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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Washington Design Center's Fall Design House

My friend Karen and I attended the Washington Designs Center's (WDC) Fall Design House ~ Potomac Fever. What a night! Jazz music, good food and drinks, lots of beautiful people.... and of course, great designs. This design house is sponsored by WDC, Southern Living, City Arts, and Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI). Their charity partner, City Arts, is an organization after my own heart. Their mission is to enrich neighborhoods through community art. Check out their website, it is truly beautiful. The focus of this design house is to highlight the beauty and strengths of the eight historic districts in DC.

Mitchell Ammons (middle), Director of Marketing, is pictured here with Nicole Frye and Alexander Guffin. They graced each room that night with their sheer loveliness. Don't they look gorgeous in their pink dresses?!

I also loved their shoes. I wore strappy black heels that evening myself! Yes, my feet hurt slightly but it was worth it.

The floor plan is below. The design house is located on a lower level of the WDC. Note the awkwardness to some of the spaces ~ strange angles, pass throughs, etc. You'd never know it though when you are in each room. Each designer did an amazing job working within their space.

Here are the story boards for all to peruse before you enter. It was wonderful to see each design realized after taking in each board.

Each room I visited brought new inspirations.

Let's begin with with the Foyer. The designer is Beverly Claiborne. Her historic district ~ LeDroit Park.

This room was a wonderful place to start. The beautiful Beverly used green and plum hues and captivated the audience with sleek and elegant style. The chandelier above the center table was heavenly with dripping crystal. Furnishings from the likes of LUXE Studio, Robert Allen/Beacon Hill, Baker Knapp & Tubbs, plus her very own lines is a magnificent welcome into the design house. Her use of art from Alex Turco (LUXE Studio) was spectacular. The Ferguson Copeland sofa with Robert Allen fabrics she is standing next to is amazing.

Brooke Steuart had center stage with the Social Living Room. Her historic district is Georgetown.

The focal point of the room was this spectacular mosaic water feature designed and built by Brooke and her partners from Trio Furniture Creations. Ms. Steuart is a busy lady ~ her own interior design studio plus her work with a new venture, Trio. Many pieces in the room demonstrated their skill. The room Brooke designed was interesting and lively with many wonderful pieces that evoked discussion and praise. The room came together as an artistic whole pleasing to the eye and soul.

This hot number drew much attention. The bench was very nice too :). Pictured here is Darren Salta of Walls of Wonder Decorative Painting. Number two in Trio. Rob Link is the third in the Trio. He was not in the room when I was there so I have no picture of him ~ yet. Trio designed and built this commanding bench.

Yet another lovely piece by Trio. I think a subsequent story just on them is in order.

Now we move into the Congressional Quarters/Library with the work of William and Katherine Tarleton of Tarleton Interiors. Their district ~ Capitol Hill.

Their distinguished room used neutral tones of gray, brown and ivory ~ I love the palette. The focal point is the vignette of the Amy Howard folding screen mirror, Hine & Co. desk, and beautiful Henredon chair graced by Katherine in this photo. The wallcovering was a remarkable vine pattern from Farrow & Ball. In one corner stood a Pearson chair that looked like one could curl up and read a good book (I would have tried curling up in the chair but the room was filled with Tarleton fans). My friend, Karen, adores the area rug from Galleria Carpets & Rugs. Subtle tones and pattern ~ it is really quite exquisite.

Next we move into the the Sports Lounge with Debbie Wiener of Designing Solutions. Debbie had the honor of the Navy Yard as her historic district. She took this to heart with a tribute to our men and women serving overseas.

The palette was lively. Orange and green. Debbie displayed her own eco-friendly furniture line available through the Pugrant Associates showroom in the WDC. The line called "Slob Proof" is perfect for a sports room where celebrations of touchdowns can lead to spontaneous jumping and high fives ~ you've seen it ~ drinks and chips go flying (ok, maybe that's just what happens when I watch football ~ love that game) but you also may have children that think a seat cushion is aka a napkin. Her selection of fabric ~ Crypton ~ is just the ticket for a kid friendly, sports enthusiast room.

After I high fived Debbie, we wandered next door to the Dining Room designed by Christine Hecht Payne. Christine's district ~ Wesley Heights.

This room is a tribute to the fantastic David Iatesta whose furnishings are available through Holly Hunt DC. Christine fell in love with the chandelier, sconces, table and chairs. She has excellent taste. The chandelier alone made me swoon. Christine added beauties from the likes of J. Lambeth & Co., Brunschwig & Fils, and Baker Knapp & Tubbs. I enjoyed the way she mixed traditional and contemporary elements into an interesting whole. The other lovely feature in the room was Christine herself ~ a very gracious host.

The Bedroom Suite designed by Karen Mitano Snyder boasted the most fabulous fabric of the evening. Ms. Mitano Synder's district is Massachusetts Avenue Embassy.

All the fabrics are from Pindler and Pindler, Inc. The pillows and throw on the bed were luxury at its finest. Tricks she showed me were the slipcovered bench and how they cut the outer part of the medallion on the fabric to serve s a natural ruffle on the lead edge of a drape ~ what wonderful ideas. (You'd think I'd take a picture of the drape but no, I didn't. I believe I was mesmerized by how beautiful the drape looked that I just forgot to snap the photo). I did manage to get the beautiful armoire from Julia Gray, Ltd. The lovely women in front of the armoire is the daughter of an art consultant I met in Karen's room. I adore her skirt. I think I could pull that off ~ but I digress! More on the art consultant later. The bedroom suite was grand and perfectly executed ~ plus I learned something new ~ I always love that.

The next room is the Vestibule/Parlor designed by Dana Tydings of Tydings Design, Inc., a WDC Design House alum. Ms. Tydings' district ~ Kalorama.

My favorite part was the vestibule. Her creative use of Niermann Weeks Birch Tree wallcovering and a decorative painted floor ended in a whimsical, happy space that made me smile. In her parlor, back to back Barbara Barry loveseats via Henredon beneath a Nautilus Chandelier by Niermann Weeks take center court. The corner vignette boasts the Nonchalant Lounge Chair from Baker Knapp & Tubbs. They are lovely for me to see as they are favorites of mine ~ I recently specified them for a client's home. The gorgeous mirror, floor lamp, accent table and Dana's lovely self wearing fabulous shoes round out the beautiful vignette.

Last but certainly not least is the Artist Studio designed by the chic Lori Ludwick of InDesign, LLC. Ms. Ludwick's district is U Street.

Lori embraced the diverse past of U Street and made her space "represent the grittiness of the inner city, merging with the young heartbeat of inventive style." I'll buy that! The color palette ~ magenta and gray. Vibrant and soothing at the same time. The ever so swank Chloe Sofa from Ferrell & Mittman Lori shows off her fabulous legs on is the epitome of city vogue. When we spoke, she told me she "bedazzled" the nailheads on the wood wall. When I think of bedazzle, I think of my daughter's contraption to add faux gems to her clothes. Don't be fooled, Ms. Ludwick used Swarovski Crystals to add a bit of bling to the room. What a creative touch! When one walks through, you catch sparkles out of the corner of your eye. You're not sure why since wood walls don't typically sparkle. Its, dare I say, magical perhaps emulating the change seen in her district from the 1960s to today.

What about the art consultant and her pretty daughter?! No worries, here's the info....

I met Jeanne Lucas Ponko and her lovely daughter (still love the skirt) while in the Embassy Bedroom Suite. Ms. Lucas Ponko owns and directs the Amandeline Gallery in Rehobeth Beach, DE. She is also an art consultant. What's that? Have you ever struggled to select art for your home, wonder if it will look right in the room, or wanted to invest in art that will stay in your family for generations but not sure how to do that? You call an art consultant. Here's Jeanne's number just in case 302-226-0330.

Well there you have it folks, the Washington Design Center's Fall Design House seen though the eyes of Paula Grace. I hope you enjoyed the tour!

If your near DC, check it out for yourself. It's worth it!

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely going to try and get to DC in the upcoming weeks to check this out! Thanks for letting us know it's going on!
    XX Kate "the NEO-trad"


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