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A step-by-step lesson in weaving these trendy textiles. By Lauren Joseph, Michelle Thomas
All photos by Lauren Joseph and Hong Le.

Ever had that moment when you suddenly notice a certain something is everywhere? That’s what’s happening right now with woven wall hangings. A touch of '70s boho mixed with a dash of crafty macramé, these little textured pieces are being peddled at stores such as Anthropologie to the insane tune of $750. Like the look but not the price tag? We hear you. Here’s a detailed step-by-step so you can DIY your very own.

Materials: Scissors; 3 to 5 colors of yarn; darning/tapestry needle; shed Stick (or a paint-stirring stick); dowel rod cut to 12 inches or shorter; 1-inch nails, hammer, and a pencil; wood board cut to 12 inches x 9 inches x 3/4 inch.

A quick note on weaving terminology:

-The warp refers to the lengthwise or vertical threads on a loom.

-The weft refers to the the yarn threads drawn horizontally through, over, and under the warp.

To build the loom: Measure and place nails a half-inch apart and a quarter-inch up from the edge of the wood. Mark your measurements and hammer in the nails about a quarter-inch down or until snug. The loom can be any size you want. You can also use a wooden frame instead of a wood plank for easier access to the back of the weaving.

1) Choose a yarn to be the warp. This yarn color will show through your weaving, so select a color that compliments your overall design, and aim for a lighter weight yarn. Begin by making a loop knot that has at least a four-inch tail. Fasten it to the top left nail and begin to string the yarn by going down to the next nail and then back up again. Make sure your warp is neither too loose nor too tight, and repeat until you get to the last nail. Finish with another loop knot.

2) If you want tassels, add them now. Determine your desired tassel length, while keeping in mind that you’ll be folding the yarn. Cut as many yarn pieces as you have nails. Fold your yarn in half once or twice depending on desired thickness and length, then slip it underneath the string to the left of a nail, fold the ends of the yarn over the warp string through the yarn, pull snug, and slide it down the string until it’s resting underneath the nail. Repeat for all nails until there is a tassel beneath each one. Then complete Step 2 within the loop itself for a loop knot.

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Posted at 03:37 PM/ET, 04/16/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Historic millwork, a wine cellar, and two and a half acres. By Michelle Thomas

The listing for this nearly-$5 million mansion may start out a little curiously—apparently it was under contract, until the Russian buyer pulled out during his country’s political crisis, according to the listing brokerage—but this Avenel estate makes up for it by racking up a long list of super-luxe amenities. Built in 1996 by Mitchell Racoosin of Custom Builders as his own personal residence, the six-bed, ten-bath home includes such highlights as imported historic European millwork and fireplaces, beautifully inlaid hardwood flooring, rustic wood beam detailing in the family room, a professional-level home theater, and a wine cellar. All on two and a half acres of land that includes a pool and a sports court.

7016 Natelli Woods Lane is listed at $4.995 million. Take a look inside below, then go to the Fleisher Group for the complete tour.

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Posted at 01:15 PM/ET, 04/15/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Maryland designer tells us about her favorite space. By Michelle Thomas
Photograph courtesy of Homewood Interiors.

With more than 20 years of experience under her belt, Stacia Smith has a fair share of projects in her oeuvre. The Baltimore-based designer explains why this room, in a historic property, is her personal favorite:

“This living room is all about striking a balance between the architectural elements of the past, with the modern eclectic furnishings of the present,” says Smith. “I particularly love the artwork and the splash of color it brings into this area and how the soft color palette in the walls and fabrics play off each other."

Posted at 11:54 AM/ET, 04/15/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
$1.395 million buys you this magical, magical street address. By Michelle Thomas
Photograph courtesy of Long & Foster.

When it comes to street names, DC isn’t exactly bursting with creatively titled roadways. You got your alphabet streets, your numbered streets, your state-name avenues … and Unicorn Lane. Yup.

Hiding in Northwest DC, sandwiched between the unassuming Oregon Avenue and the ho-hum 31st Street, is the whimsically dubbed little loop-de-loop. Apparently the neighborhood comes complete with a statue of the mystical creature. And it’s only a half-mile from Jumpin’ Jack Spring, because obviously.

If Unicorn Lane sounds exactly like the address your inner seven-year-old has always dreamed of, now’s your chance to snap up one of the neighborhood’s brick townhomes. 2711 Unicorn Lane NW is on the market for $1.395 million, a drop from its original price of $1.5 million when it was first listed last May.

As for the home itself: It's a large six-bedroom, six-bath 1973 townhouse in serious need of an update. It features remarkably ugly carpeting. But bragging rights to one of the city’s best addresses has got to be worth something, right?

Head to Long & Foster for more details and a full tour.

Posted at 12:45 PM/ET, 04/14/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Wardrobe stylist Jennifer Barger shares tips to maximize space and keep your clothes organized. By Jennifer Barger
Photograph by Tetra Images/Alamy

In addition to covering design, writer Jennifer Barger works as a wardrobe stylist and personal shopper for DC Style Factory, helping clients organize and spiff up their wardrobes. Even if you can’t add an entire dressing room to your home, you can keep your closet in top shape with her tips.

Get rid of wire hangers from the dry cleaner. Replace them with matching, slimmed-down ones—such as the velvet-covered hangers from the Container Store—to fit more clothes onto rods.

Think vertically. Use those often-wasted upper shelves for out-of-season clothing, luggage, or anything else you don’t need every day.

Keep things in view. It’s easier to get dressed if you can see most of your clothes and shoes. Hang garments by type and then color, from light to dark.

Don’t go overboard on organizing gear. Relying on too many bins and baskets hides your clothes and keeps you from knowing what you’ve got.

This article appears in our April 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 08:55 AM/ET, 04/14/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Tables and trinkets to elevate your home's style. By Michelle Thomas

With a mixture of furniture and home decor that includes updated takes on mid-century cool, chic layers of organic textures, and of-the-moment materials like brass and marble, West Elm offers an effortless style that manages to feel both luxurious and attainable. Just take one step into the brand’s gorgeous new two-story outpost on 14th Street and you’ll see what we're talking about. In the meantime, here are ten of our favorite West Elm finds up for grabs online right now.

Above, top row: Marble oval coffee table, $599; Panorama chandelier, $399; Carla Peters Chulucanas vases, $54. Bottom row: Terrace tower, $499; Malone walnut campaign dresser, $1,249; Metal Frame leather chair, $1,299.

Clockwise: Marble wood cutting board, $39; M.F.E.O. Jungalow hanging planter, $75; Steven Alan Triangle throw, $119; Crisscross Wire side table, $99.99.

Posted at 02:17 PM/ET, 04/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Newly converted condos in a historic Beaux Arts building in Dupont, a loft in Eastern Market, and more. By Michelle Thomas

Columbia Heights

Where: 1322 Monroe St. NW #1

How much: $699,999

When: Sunday, 1 to 4 PM

Why: This is a rather large two-bed, three-bath for this location and price, and it's loaded with design-friendly features, including hickory floors, a wood and steel-capped staircase, exposed beams, and sliding barn doors in the bedroom. The contemporary kitchen is a particularly strong draw, with custom elmwood cabinetry, marble counters, subway tile backsplash, Bosch appliances, and Grohe fixtures.

Dupont

Where: 1801 16th St NW #711

How much: $899,500

When: Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 PM

Why: There are 17 new units ranging from studios to two bedrooms up for sale at Somerset House, the condo conversion of the historic Wardman building, and the renovation looks pretty luxe. The developers retained much of the building’s 1917 grandeur, including the original moldings and hardwood floors, and there are lots of other highlights: bay windows, French doors, chic bathrooms, and a gorgeous kitchen designed with two-tone counters, black cabinetry, a lovely gray backsplash, and high-end appliances from Miehle and Electrolux. Plus the building offers a gym—and better yet, a climate-controlled wine room with rentable bottle storage.

Eastern Market

Where: 528 13th St SE #B

How much: $898,800

When: Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 3 PM

Why: Loft-style homes can be tough to find in Capitol Hill, so this 1,900-square foot condo stands out for its sleek city vibe. Design elements include a center steel-capped staircase, glass-front cabinetry in the kitchen, and a cute little balcony.

Capitol Hill

Where: 1234 C St NE

How much: $938,500

When: Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 3 PM

Why: This four-bedroom, three-bath rowhouse features exposed brick, bay windows, hardwood floors, and a nicely updated kitchen complete with modern design like subway tiling, white cabinets, and marble counters. Bonus: The home also offers a backyard, garage, and separate in-law suite.

Posted at 11:56 AM/ET, 04/10/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Peak-bloom petal pink for your home. By Michelle Thomas

What better time than now to bring a little blossom-inspired blush into your home? Our advice: Stick to pale petal pink, pair with neutrals, and use only in small doses to keep it chic, not childish. These eight finds are just enough to bring a touch of peak bloom into your abode.

Above, clockwise: Fig & Yarrow Pink Love bath salts, $32; Shimmerstripe linen napkin set, $30; Peach and gold dish, $28; Nomaterra DC Cherry Blossom candle, $65; Eskayel Twinkle pillow, $195; CB2 Rosie table lamp, $149; Areaware Harry Allen metallic piggy bank, $22; Arper Pale Pink Duna lounge chair, $747.90.

Posted at 03:12 PM/ET, 04/09/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get a sneak peek inside Bozzuto’s new Wisconsin Avenue luxury apartments. By Michelle Thomas

Another day, another luxury apartment building. This time, it’s upper Wisconsin Avenue’s Cathedral Commons, a long-awaited redevelopment of the old Giant grocery spot. The new mixed-use building, managed by Bozzuto, is slated to open at the end of May with 137 apartments and eight townhouses stacked atop retail that mixes trendy hotspots (Barcelona Wine Bar, Pure Barre) with more practical, if more pedestrian, retail (Giant, CVS).

The apartments are designed with the expected luxury features—think white quartz counters and subway tile backsplashes—but it certainly comes at a price. A 468-square foot studio rents for $2,108; a 3,008 square foot three-bed, two-bath rents for $9,750, according to the development’s website. Perhaps Bozzuto should look to one of its other luxury properties, The Woodley, as a cautionary tale—after eight months that development’s only managed to lease 30 percent of its rentals, which go for up to $12,000.

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Posted at 10:59 AM/ET, 04/09/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Inside one of the biggest, and the tiniest, homes in Washington. By Michael Gaynor, Emma Foehringer Merchant

Throughout Washington’s bedroom communities, bigger footprints that come with more green space will continue to appeal, while inside the District, the march to maximize density by minimizing living quarters is already on.

McMansion Residents

Kim (38, health coach), Sean (48, consultant), Katelyn, and Michael McColl

Photograph by Dan Chung.

The McColls lived in Arlington for years before deciding last fall that it had become too dense. “The straw that broke the camel’s back,” Kim says, “was when I saw my kids playing in the back yard and I had to shush them because it was too loud for the neighbors.” Their five-bedroom in Loudoun County’s Willowsford development has two offices—key because they often work from home—and abundant entertaining space. Also: More than 20 miles of nearby trails means the kids have room to shriek all they want.

4,000 acres: Size of Willowsford, a development about ten miles from Dulles Airport (half the land is preserved as green space)

2,100: Number of single-family detached homes expected when Willowsford is complete in seven to ten years

7,500 square-foot McMansion.

Micro-Unit Resident

Julie Selita Williams (37, Program specialist at the National Institutes of Health)

Williams in her 14th Street micro-unit. Photograph by Dan Chung.

Williams sold most of her furniture and sacrificed proximity to family when she left her 1,100-square-foot condo in Olney for a micro-unit in a building on DC’s 14th Street, Northwest. And she has no regrets. Because she isn’t much of a cook, the sliver of a kitchen is no big deal, and she didn’t have to give up her one must-have, a bathtub. (It’s off the hallway.) Before, her closer-in friends didn’t like driving out to Olney; now she can socialize without leaving her floor. “When Scandal comes on, the neighbors down the hall cook and have people over. They have a junior one-bedroom—they have room for a couch.”

240: Estimated number of micro-units in DC

450: Estimated number under construction in DC

600: Additional micro-units proposed for the District and Crystal City over the next several years

344 square-foot micro-unit.

Data from real-estate research firm CoStar.
This article appears in our April 2015 issue of Washingtonian.

Posted at 09:00 AM/ET, 04/09/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()