Sitting in her living room, Amanda McClements is surrounded by a delightful mix of decor: a high-backed rattan peacock chair, a love seat draped with a blue-and-white shibori-dyed throw, plants everywhere. “I’m constantly having a design identity crisis,” she says. “I’m into a West Coast 1970s vibe, but I also love an antique New Orleans mansion dripping with velvet.”
Her red-brick 1885 rowhouse near 14th Street, however, definitely doesn’t look like it’s in crisis. It’s true that it contains a mash-up of styles, but McClements pulls off the eclectic look at home in the same sophisticated way she does at her Salt & Sundry stores in Union Market and Logan Circle. On the open first floor, Cisco Brothers sofas in neutral fabric get heaped with exotic textiles such as vintage kilim pillows and a rainbow-stripe Bolivian frazada blanket. The adjacent dining area is anchored by a black- walnut farm table made by McClements’s North Carolina carpenter father; on the wall, a vintage rattan folding screen serves as art. Houseplants in handmade ceramic pots on the kitchen window sill could be a display from her indoor-gardening shop, Little Leaf.
“When I bought the house, I loved that it was wide open and airy, which felt modern,” says McClements. “But I also think that if you have a property of a certain age, you should pay homage to the past.” With that in mind, she has incorporated a number of period pieces, including a Mad Men–era drum table and old paintings of what she calls her faux “vintage relatives” leaning against the foyer’s wall. “I like a lot of different stuff,” says McClements. “That’s why I opened a store.”
This article appears in the December 2019 issue of Washingtonian.