Dip dye, a painting technique traditionally reserved for Easter eggs, has taken the design world by storm. Artists achieve the look by hand-dipping ordinary objects in rich hues, leaving a section untouched or lightly shaded. Charlotte Love, a London-based stylist/illustrator whose shoot (above) went viral on Pinterest, says decorating with ombré is easy. So easy, in fact, that you can do it yourself. The self-proclaimed magpie painted thrifted wooden chairs and dyed her own textiles. “I knew pastels were going to be a big trend [last season] so I let that inspire the shoot,” Love says. “It just so happened that the location we used was white, and I think it worked beautifully. The contrast prevented the decor from looking too sickly.” For those who’d rather leave dye jobs to the professionals, we found 14 two-tone pieces for sale. So add some spunk to your tabletop with neon bowls and playful spice cellars, or liven up your entryway with statement-making benches and stools.
Liz Levin of Liz Levin Interiors is known for creating stylish yet livable spaces for Washington families. After being unable to find child-friendly furnishings for her own home, the Georgetown-based designer launched Nesting, an online resource for parents and pet owners. The site offers everything from round-edged tables—including the Oly resin table featured here—to stain-resistant fabrics. We caught up with the designer to learn how homeowners can accommodate growing families without sacrificing style.
I was immediately drawn to the bold blue in George Iso’s “Red Stone,” and was interested in the inspiration behind the work. The fact that he has a background in architecture suggests the impulsive lines could be representative of his past training.
What interests Iso is the exuberant throbbing of cities, channeled by the fluidity of his forms and color schemes. According to the artist's website: “The act of committing himself to the canvas by way of gestures, with no [preexisting] order, makes Iso’s abstractionism akin to the tradition of North American abstract expressionism. With no prior logical requirement, the canvas is the result of the artist’s immediate impulse as he directly faces the surface.”
“Red Stone” reminds me of a cozy library, with warm, rich leather, wood, stacks of classics, and the faint scent of a pipe. Curl up with a cup of coffee and bask in the feeling of being transported to another era.
As the former style director of Real Simple, Marcus Hay is no stranger to producing unforgettable magazine spreads and breathtaking interiors. The Australia native has worked with some of the industry’s most sought-after clientele, including Vogue Australia, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Design Within Reach, and West Elm. So when Kimberly Steward of Kess Agency gave Hay free rein to design a living/work space in Manhattan’s Financial District, he jumped at the opportunity. We caught up with the designer to learn a bit more about the decor choices he made.
After spending an afternoon out on the sunny patio at Napoleon Bistro this summer, I thought, Why not bring the French bistro feeling home? Put together your own European oasis right in your backyard with fun red and white stripes, bright yellow pillows, and, of course, a little bubbly.
Welcome to a new series called “Small Talk,” in which we’ll be chatting with Washington tastemakers about small-space style. First up is Caroline Verschoor of Ekster Antiques & Uniques, a designer and antiques dealer with an eye for one-of-a-kind finds with European flair. Her shop itself is one-of-a-kind—she hosts weekend sales in the 8,000-square-foot barn on her property outside Leesburg a few times a year. Catching her incredible selection of goods is worth setting a calendar reminder.
With her international background and love of travel, design, and style, Verschoor has truly created a beautiful shopping experience—we covet every single piece from her large collection of decor and furniture. Offerings range from rustic farm tables to glass chandeliers to marble-top consoles to brass lamps and more. We invited Verschoor to share her style tips and inspiration on the Open House blog.
By Meg Biram
Young artist Alexandra Chiou, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, uses life and anatomy to inspire her work. “I aim to explore the complex parallels between human anatomy, geography, and organic matter,” she says. “I am especially interested in understanding and conceptualizing the common origins of life.” The playful colors in “Cave Study,” her acrylic-and-India-ink piece, made me think of a child’s imagination, with no limits to color and shape. This inspired a bright and cheery nursery where the artwork could jump off the walls; it could easily transition to more mature decor as the child grows.
It’s no secret that Washington has some of the best vintage shopping around. Estate sales, auctions, flea markets, and secondhand retail shops consistently offer incredible opportunities for the dedicated and creative shopper. I’ve heard, and agree with, the many reasons Washington has such an abundance of vintage treasures, most of them having to do with the area’s unparalleled midcentury leftovers as well as the transient nature of the area. As a vintage junkie myself, I love a good flea market or consignment shop, and I have a circuit of local retail obsessions that call to me on Saturdays (or Thursdays, when most of them bring in new stock). But my true vintage scavenging faith lies in none other than our local Craigslist.
Those of us in the Washington area who are obsessed with textiles count ourselves lucky to be in driving distance of Haute Fabrics in Marshall, Virginia, one of the best sources for premier fabrics at bargain prices. I, for one, have hit the fabric jackpot a number of times at Haute, like the time I secured 18 yards of Kelly Wearstler’s Fern Tree in charcoal grey at $28 a yard—a huge steal considering this fabric normally retails at $200 a yard and up!
If you’re in the mood to try your luck at unearthing your own treasure, head over to Haute Fabric’s tent sale beginning July 20. It’s been a few years since proprietor Roxene Hill hosted such an event, so there will be a wide and varied range of select fabrics from $14 to $16 a yard, and trims will be 20 percent off.
We’re in the thick of summer, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” perhaps the best-known work at the Phillips Collection, seems to hit just the right note. The leisurely scene of the artist’s friends enjoying an afternoon relaxing on a balcony at the Maison Fournaise along the Seine inspired this classic living room.
Ever since I moved to DC more than a year ago, I can’t help but notice all of the Federalist-style decor—it’s a popular, timeless look that mixes classic colors and patterns with items collected over the years and passed down through generations. This arrangement is a modern take on this idea. A blue couch might seem a little daring, but in this vignette it doesn’t feel out of place or overly trendy.