Do you love the neutral palette and effortless cool of Scandinavian design? This minimalist style has many components that are great for small spaces: light, versatility, brightness, and accessibility. Here’re a few ways to create the look at home.
Maybe it’s because it falls on a Wednesday (sigh), but the Fourth really snuck up on us this year. So we asked Marielle Shortell and Julie Shanklin of Syzygy Events for some insider tips on how to get the backyard soiree-ready in a hurry—and on the cheap.
Shortell and Shanklin say there’s no need to run to the florist or rental company. To create their mood board, they pulled things you might have in the garage, in storage, or in the deep, dark recesses of cupboards containing seldom-used holiday decor. The vibe is eclectic and casual, a riff on classic Americana.
Rooms by quick-talking interior designer Lori Graham are instantly recognizable for their thoughtful intermingling of contemporary art, worldly artifacts, and timeless vintage pieces, whirled together into what Graham has deemed her “signature mix.” With the opening of her new showroom and design studio near DC’s Logan Circle, Graham is pulling back the curtain to reveal the two creatives she’s long been relying on to make such a mix come to life: gallery curator Lauren Gentile of Contemporary Wing, and midcentury furniture dealer Mike Johnson of Sixteen Fifty Nine by MRJ. The three collaborators have finally set up shop under one roof: Showroom 1412, an innovative one-stop design center that offers custom furniture, vintage pieces, contemporary art, and interior design services.
By Natalie Grasso
The Laird-Dunlop Coach House is abuzz with people finalizing its listing with Washington Fine Properties. Listing agent Eileen McGrath is on her laptop in the kitchen, interior designer Kelley Proxmire is putting the finishing touches on her staging job, and photographer Angie Seckinger has just arrived to document it all. We’re here for a tour with McGrath, and as we wait for her to complete paperwork our eyes drift to the ballroom. We begin to fantasize about the parties we might like to throw in the room, with its 14-foot ceiling and Palladian-inspired French doors opening onto a lush and secluded garden and views across the river to Virginia.
By Rebecca Orlov
One of our favorite small-space tips is to “go vertical,” using wall space to add style and dimension to a room. Now that it’s officially summer, we thought we’d take this idea outside and freshen up a small balcony or patio with a dose of DIY. Vertical gardens, which started popping up in the design world a few years ago, allow you to add some color and natural texture to your space without sacrificing valuable patio real estate.
Here are three easy, affordable projects that will allow you to create a vertical garden with your own personal design stamp.
By Natalie Grasso
“It’s such an exciting time to be in the design world,” Suzanne Kasler said, addressing a room full of design professionals as part of the spring Capital Design lecture series at the Washington Design Center. “It’s been a tough couple of years, but things are starting to open up. With all of the media and sharing, people are more interested than ever.” She added that more exposure creates more of a need for talented designers, because there is so much more out there to edit.
Kasler kicked off her talk by presenting photos of her own recently renovated home in Atlanta, Georgia, which was featured in the April 2012 issue of Architectural Digest. She confessed that during the house hunt she’d been looking for a Regency-style house and ended up with a Federal. “But that’s the great thing about being a designer,” she said. “You can change it!” Her first design move—one that has become a Kasler signature—was to paint all of the architectural elements white (Benjamin Moore’s White Dove and Bone White are her go-to hues). “This creates the architectural envelope,” she said. “If you get the architecture right, the rest is so much easier.”
It would take years of gallery openings to see the crop of local work currently on display at the maze that is Artomatic, a pop-up gallery that has taken over an 11-story building in Crystal City. Camera in tow, we spent an entire afternoon exploring every corner, finding inspiration aplenty in gorgeous pieces from both emerging and established artists. If you can’t make it to the exhibition before it wraps on June 23, we’ve got a look at some of the artists who really stood out—though there were many, many more (there are more than 1,000 exhibiting). Whether you’re on the hunt for that perfect piece to add to your gallery or are just out for a little afternoon eye candy, we promise you’ll find something inspiring.
When we need inspiration, one of our favorite places to duck into is Timothy Paul Bedding + Home, an impeccably curated boutique of bedding, linens, pillows, and home accessories in Logan Circle. A few times each year, Timothy Paul invites a designer to create a beautiful bedroom vignette to inspire their customers. Last week, they feted the latest installation by designers José Solís Betancourt and Paul Sherrill of the DC-based firm Solis Betancourt & Sherrill, and we took a firsthand look at the carefree, summery space. We think it’s a great tutorial on how to mix cheerful patterns and colors, as well as how to elevate a bed from a practical necessity to a gorgeous focal point.
By Meg Biram
One of the first blogs I followed upon moving to Washington was Starr Struck, a lifestyle blog penned by Arlington resident Mary Catherine Starr, a talented yogini and painter. While she is incredibly dedicated to her workout routine (she is a yoga instructor, after all!), she’s even more devoted to following her passions in life. Starr shares this outlook in her blog’s mission statement: “My goal is to inspire you to create a bit more space in your own life in order to make time to do whatever it is that nurtures you most. Because what’s left in life if we don’t pursue what we love?”
Along those lines, Starr’s painting, “Wheel,” inspired me to create a calm, mellow space that could be used for yoga or meditation. I was drawn to this lifelike painting not just for its monochromatic colors, but because that very yoga pose is something I’ve been working on in my own practice. I’ve gathered a fresh look below to complement Starr’s painting, and think it’s the perfect space in which to finally master that pose.
By Natalie Grasso
When we were young and impressionable design mavens, we used to think estate sales at fancy houses (ones in Georgetown, especially) must be treasure troves of stylish vintage finds once owned by Washington’s power elite. On this count, we were right. We also never went because we found the prospect of rummaging around these houses kind of intimidating. But all it took was an older, more experienced friend showing us the ropes to get us hooked—and now we want to do the same for you. Read on for a few easy tips on getting the most bang for your buck.