Thursday night, Logan Circle’s Room & Board store hosts a book launch party to celebrate the release of design blog AphroChic’s first book, Remix: Decorating with Culture, Objects, and Soul. The bloggers behind the site, policy-attorney-turned-designer Jeanine Hays and her husband, Bryan Mason, will be on hand to chat about their aesthetic and sign books, but here’s our favorite part: Turns out Hays’s sister, Angela Hays Belt, is Room & Board’s head visual designer right here in DC. Impeccable design taste must run in their genes: Belt’s Navy Yard apartment (which she shares with her husband, Leon, a videographer and graphic designer) is one of the five homes featured in the book, and it’s chock-full of inspiring design. Keep reading to see more of the Belts’ artistic-meets-midcentury-industrial loft, then swing by the 14th Street store tonight to meet both Hays and Belt in person.
AphroChic book launch party, Thursday 6 to 8:30 PM. Presentation at 6:30 PM. 1840 14th St., NW; 202-729-8300. RSVP online.
Hey, history buffs—if you’re in the market for a new home, you’re in luck. Two homes, each with a fascinating backstory, have hit the market in recent days.
In West Virginia’s Charles Town (about 60 miles from Washington), Perkins House is a 7,000-square-foot brick mansion with a score of Victorian-era indulgences including a 113-foot turret, Tiffany windows, Waterford chandeliers, and 19-foot ceilings. But the real draw for history lovers? The home formerly housed Civil War General Robert E. Lee’s office, and was the site of abolitionist John Brown’s hanging execution in 1859. Asking price: $975,000.
Looking for something with a more recent claim to fame? Check out this home in Marshall, Virginia (about 50 miles from Washington), which was listed this week and was once used as a retreat for JFK. He only spent two weekends at the home before his assassination, but Jackie Kennedy designed the property, which was built in 1963 and sold soon after the President’s death. The 5,050-square-foot home sits on 166 acres and has a pond, a pool, a tennis court, and mountain views. List price: just under $11 million.
Looking for a few quick tricks to give your home a little fall refresh? We asked Georgetown-based designer Zoe Feldman to share three ways to transition your decor into autumn—without a heavy-duty redo. Read on to snag her secrets. (Spoiler: texture is key!)
Try: West Elm's pillows combine soft, pale hues and lush velvet texture. Studded velvet pillow covers, $34-$39 at West Elm.
Try: Lafco candle in Den Brown Redwood, which combines notes of coastal redwood, cedar, and huckleberry; or Diptyque’s Feu de Bois, meant to invoke a log fire. Lafco and Diptyque candles, $60 at Bluemercury.
Try: Restoration Hardware’s cashmere throws impart a super-soft bit of luxury. 555-Gram cashmere throws, $199 at Restoration Hardware.
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.
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.
It’s hard not to smile when the petite Jonathan Adler bounces into a room in crisp white pants and a checkered shirt. But that’s to be expected; after all, the designer has made a career out of the words “happy chic.” Speaking to a nearly sold-out audience at the Corcoran on Tuesday, Adler set the tone of his talk by opening with a joke. Pointing to an image of a bearded, disheveled hippie on the screen behind him, the first words he spoke were, “Ohh, there I am!” Once the laughter fizzled out he launched into the story of his “improbable and accidental career.”
Adler spent his entire childhood dreaming of being a potter, and after taking courses at Rhode Island School of Design, he approached his professor to ask whether she thought he had what it took. The professor, whose name “begins with a J and ends with ackie Rice,” answered with a resounding “no” and advised him to pursue a career in law. Disappointed, he moved to New York and found a job in the movie industry.
It was love at first sight when we caught a glimpse last week of local craftsman Geremy Coy's latest piece: a decorative cherry blossom panel hand-joined from hundreds of pieces of Alaskan yellow cedar. So you can imagine our surprise when we learned that the man behind the panel had only been working with wood for two years. Two!
Photographs by Neil Alexander.
Using a cheerful palette of pink, yellow, and lime, Kelley Proxmire of Kelley Interior Design created a Rhode Island seaside retreat bursting with traditional yet playful touches. Inspired by the home’s sprawling 15-acre landscape, the designer mixed botanical prints with raspberry fabrics, sunny wallpaper, and pops of green. But it’s small touches like colored piping and monogrammed pillows that pull the whole look together. We asked Washington’s queen of prep to share her tips for creating a room Lilly Pulitzer herself would envy.