A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the opening day of the 2015 Washington D.C. Design House. It was an amazing, inspiring experience. All of the designers were on hand to discuss their designs and answer questions. Many of the rooms were absolutely exquisite. I particularly loved the living room, powder room and nursery. If you have an opportunity to attend, I highly recommend it.
In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the design elements that most intrigued me about the design house and why. Some rooms were more impactful than others, and certain elements were repetitive from room to room, pointing toward current and upcoming design trends.
Opening weekend was an ideal one to attend the 2015 D.C. Design House in McLean, Virginia, which benefits the Children’s National Health Systems. For those who don’t know, a design house or show house is an annual fundraising event where designers are invited to submit a design for a space or spaces in the home. If their design is accepted by the design committee, they have several weeks to put together their approved design. The home is usually open to the public before the designs are implemented and, of course, afterward. A design house can be an exciting challenge for designers because they aren’t dealing with an actual client. They are able to design a space that reflects their personal style, who they are and what they do well. And this year’s D.C. Design House was a true testament to that.
There were three spaces in particular that struck me as truly exceptional. The first room entered upon starting the tour is the living room. I was immediately touched by how inviting the space feels. It almost glows with warmth. I was instantly drawn to the beautiful tree mural on the fireplace wall. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the flowers on the tree are actually embroidered silk. The designer explains that she custom-designed the wallpaper mural to fit the space perfectly. The warmth felt in the space is the primary effect of the golden/green tone that is the wallpaper background. She added continuity with textured fabrics in the seating, all in beige, green and gold tones and in the amazing texture of the drapery fabric. All of the elements work in unison, one never outshining the other but instead building on and supporting each other.
Entering the back hallway, I was immediately drawn in by the warmth emanating from the textured walls of a room to the left. In this powder room, it was hard not to notice the attention to detail. The coffered ceiling boasts textured wallpaper in dark brown, which serves to bring the high ceiling into scale with the space. The designer added a gold leaf scroll pattern to the wall mirror that mimics the metallic gold accent that she has woven into the Venetian plaster. Poignantly placed accessories make one want to spend time in this room.
Upstairs, I found the most perfectly relaxed nursery I’ve ever seen. It shocked me how this designer, by keeping things simple but focusing closely on color and texture, was able to evoke the softness and purity of a newborn baby. The first thing I saw when I entered the space was the most striking photograph of a baby doe. The photo is stunning in its simplicity. I heard many people enter the space and immediately comment on this photograph. From there, I noticed the choice of paint colors: the soft pink on the ceiling, the grey blue on the walls, the slightly darker pink in the bathroom and on the wall shelves. A feather pendant light and a faux sheepskin chair in the corner, both soft to the touch, caught my eye. Every detail was so perfectly purposeful, the effect was fascinating.
Perhaps I’ve sparked your interest in these delightful designs. The good news? You have until May 10 to visit the D.C. Design House. Let’s compare notes if you do!
The 2015 D.C. Design House is located at New Country Estate, 956 Mackall Farm Lane, McLean, VA. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/dcdesignhouse
Photo Credit: Jennifer Sargent, DC By Design Blog