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A Touch of GLAMOUR

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Michael Roberson's Garden Room.

A treat is in store for visitors to The Washington Design Center this fall: the Halls of Fame 2010 Design House, a collection of eight stylish rooms created by members of the Center’s Hall of Fame. Located in a newly completed space on the fifth floor of the building, it is blessed with natural light—as opposed to its former venue in the Center’s subterranean concourse level. A few common threads unify the designers’ innovative spaces: creativity, a touch of the unexpected and a generous dose of glamour. Their vignettes, which showcase products offered in Design Center showrooms, are sure to enlighten design buffs of all persuasions. Inspired by a Park Avenue home, Kelley Proxmire’s Foyer contrasts black-and-white motifs with bright turquoise accents. Michael Roberson imagined a Garden Room with furnishings covered in crisp whites and a montage of botanical photographs taken in her own backyard.

Categories: Interior Design

A Creative Collaboration

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Earth tones and clean-lined, transitional furnishings impart a warm vibe in the condo's living room/dining room.

It was the spacious 28-foot terrace and breathtaking view that first attracted the owner to a fifth-floor, one-bedroom condo in Arlington, Virginia, back in 1994. And for a long time, the view sufficed. The rest of the apartment, which she describes as “builder-grade everything, all white,” remained untouched—until 12 years later, when it was time to install a new floor and ceiling fans.At that point, the homeowner, a communications consultant, met with interior designer Andrea Houck and “it all kind of spiraled.” Houck envisioned a home that would better reflect her client’s personality, with a higher level of finishes, stylish furnishings and a cohesiveness that the current space lacked. Through a combination of structural and cosmetic changes, she was able to completely transform the apartment. “Everything is new,” the homeowner says happily. “Lights, floors, furniture—everything.”

Categories: Interior Design

2011 Designers’ Choice Awards

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

A home designed by Robert M. Gurney, the 2011 Hall of Fame Architect. Home & Design’s 2011 Designers’ Choice Awards celebrate excellence in architecture and design within our region. Each year, we poll hundreds of DC-area industry professionals to glean their picks for the leaders in this innovative, ever-evolving community—as well as their votes of confidence in those just making their mark.

Categories: Interior Design

Art Studio- The Gilded Age

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Avery Studios' new workshop.

Walking into The Jefferson, a venerable hotel on Washington’s 16th Street, is like embarking on a luxury cruise back in time. Exquisite Beaux Arts architecture transports the visitor to a courtly age. And decking the walls, gilt-framed art opens some 1,000 views onto the past.That’s the number of paintings, prints and other wall objects that Evelyn Avery’s studio framed, restored, reproduced or created from scratch as part of the hotel’s recent renovations. These historic and newly minted pieces arrived in truckloads from Avery’s workshop in Atlanta, Georgia. A longstanding resource for interior designers and clients in the Washington area, Avery moved her studio to Alexandria, Virginia, last summer.“After 20 years of working here, the business was so strong it seemed a natural transition when our lease expired in Atlanta,” she says.

Categories: Interior Design

A Sense of Self

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The master bedroom juxtaposes elegant furnishings with whimsical folk art.

As far as Barbara Franceski is concerned, good design is in the details. So when the designer was house hunting and came across a 15-year-old townhouse boasting such architectural elements as picture moldings, a coffered kitchen ceiling and doorframes sporting Victorian rosettes, she naturally jumped. “They were a big part of what drew me to the space,” she recalls. Three years later, Franceski has added to those innate good lines to create a home that thoroughly reflects her design sensibility. She’s accomplished her goals using classically styled furniture and accessories enhanced by a sense of whimsy, an element of surprise or a contemporary flair—all punctuated by eye-catching artwork. “Spaces shouldn’t be too stuffy or take themselves too seriously,” says the designer. But before the transformative décor took shape, Franceski’s first, dramatic step was to bleach the floors. “They were dark-stained, builder-grade oak,” she explains, “and made the house feel enclosed. White floors made it light.” They also complemented the neutral palette of creams and beiges that Franceski chose as a backdrop for what she calls “pops of color from the artwork.”

Categories: Interior Design

A Fruitful Collaboration

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

The renovated kitchen features a turreted breakfast room with an antique iron chandelier. Opposite the range, a copper prep sink with a built-in cutting board makes cooking a breeze.

The ability to tackle a million details at once is one of the hallmarks of a good kitchen designer. And in a kitchen where the design is driven by a high level of decorative detail, the challenge is even greater. Such was the case in a Great Falls, Virginia, home where kitchen designer Lois Kennedy and interior designer Maria Galiani collaborated on a kitchen brimming with Old World style. Their client had toured a kitchen Kennedy designed years ago in a National Symphony Orchestra show house, and loved its Gothic elements—especially the chestnut range hood hand-carved with a griffin motif. She wanted to achieve a similar look in her home. The designers got to work, first figuring out how to transform the lackluster kitchen into a larger, more functional space. Kennedy’s colleague Victoria Feldman drew up plans to bump out the odd, triangular room into the backyard to gain space. She also created a new breakfast room housed in a turret framed by windows.

Categories: Interior Design

A Creative Twist

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

A renovation expanded the former galley kitchen; its new layout provides added functionality and workspace.

Acompleting several renovations of their DC home, the owners decided it was time to address its lackluster kitchen. When they bought the house 16 years ago, they installed new cabinets in the cramped 1950s galley kitchen—and then tolerated its lack of work and storage space. “We do a lot of entertaining,” says the homeowner. “It was tough. We wanted a more functional space for cooking.” Another sore subject was the fact that the kitchen didn’t blend well with the inviting breakfast and family room area that had been added to the back of the home a few years ago. So the couple turned to kitchen designer Jennifer Gilmer, who’d recently completed a neighbor’s kitchen, to update theirs in style. Gilmer worked with interior designer Jodi Macklin to develop a program that expressed their clients’ preferences for clean lines and modern finishes, but one that would also complement the home’s traditional heritage.

Categories: Interior Design