Now in its 13th year, this annual feature spotlights local pros who have launched firms of their own. The women designers in this year’s group—whose stellar work is shown on the following pages—bring a seasoned eye and a fresh perspective to the table. Without further ado, Home& Design ’s 2020 Hot Talent designers are: Jodi Berger, Shannon Hickok, Kiyonda Powell and Melissa Colgan. We predict you’ll be seeing more of this fabulous four.
From the work of visionaries and artisans to local venues and events, the game-changers featured on the following pages have all elevated the design quotient over the decades in their own inimitable way.
Hot spots with style
Inspiring innovations that have debuted over the past two decades
Artful happenings, past and present
From designer collections to makers and artisans: Barry Dixon, Billet Collins, Darryl Carter, David Edward, Gretchen Everett, Guttierez Studios, Iastesta Studio, Niermann Weeks, Salvations, Thomas Pheasant
DARRYL CARTER “In this age of ‘instant,’ the home should remain a bastion of tranquility,” opines prolific DC designer Darryl Carter (above, left), who curates a collection of antiques and current-day finds in his eponymous boutique in Shaw. Carter’s creations for Milling Road include (above, right) the Lynbrook Lamp, the Wayne Dining Chair and the Recamier. darrylcarter.com; bakerfurniture.com
BARRY DIXON In addition to residences he’s designed for clients around the globe, Barry Dixon (pictured in his Warrenton, Virginia, home), has imparted his distinctive style to lighting, fabric and furniture collections. Dixon’s eye-catching creations (clockwise from top, left) include the Foliage Mirror and Egg Drop Pendant for Arteriors; the Albemarle chair for Tomlinson; and Cappadocia wovens for Vervain. barrydixon.com
BILLET COLLINS The artists at this decorative-painting studio in Darnestown, Maryland, work their magic on myriad surfaces, from murals and millwork to furniture and textiles. Principals Barbara Billet and daughters Amy Collins Matthews and Kellie Collins Hodges (right) faux-painted a space by Vivi Interiors (top, left) and hand-painted a tea set and napkins for a pantry by Aidan Design (above, left) in two area show houses. billetcollins.com Photo: Angie Seckinger; Portrait: Bob Narod
DAVID EDWARD David Edward works with designers and craftspeople to create transitional and modern seating and occasional pieces. Artisans at workshops in Baltimore (above, right) and York, Pennsylvania, produce the company’s handcrafted, sustainable furniture designs. The Luna Lounge seating collection (above, left) was designed by architect Roger Crowley with sculptural, curved arms and solid metal legs in polished nickel. davidedward.com
GRETCHEN EVERETT After launching her company in 1999, Gretchen Everett (above, right) has become a go-to, to-the-trade source for couture-level drapery and upholstery. Artisans work on hand-sewn creations (above, left) in her Silver Spring workroom; Everett and her team also craft custom tables and one-of-a-kind drapery hardware (top, left) fashioned from chunky acrylic and brass. gretcheneverett.com Photo: Bob Narod
GUTIERREZ STUDIOS Founded in 1991, Gutierrez Studios designs and manufactures wood-and-metal furniture and architectural elements in its 20,000-square-foot Baltimore workshop. Among its creations, clockwise from top, left: Frusta side tables, sold as a pair with opposing angular steel bases; a floating staircase of glass, steel and wood, custom-designed for a project by Purple Cherry Architects, Interior Concepts and Pyramid Builders; and a hot-rolled steel Red Star Stool. gutierrezstudios.com Photo: David Burroughs
IATESTA STUDIO Conceived in 2001 by craftsman David Iatesta, the company makes furniture, lighting and accessories that put a current twist on 18th- and 19th-century styles. Though the Annapolis workshop changed hands in 2014, it still employs Old World furniture-building traditions (above, left) to create pieces such as the Monolith Dining Table, Brunswick Sideboard and Layne Bench ( all above, right). davidiatesta.com Photo: Steve Buchanan
NIERMANN WEEKS Launched in 1978, this family-owned company reinterprets classic forms for today’s lifestyles. Artisans in Niermann Weeks’ Millersville, Maryland, studio handcraft an array of furniture, lighting and accessories, frequently customizing them for interior designers and architects. Creations ranging from the Tissage Dining Table to the Iron & Crystal Chandelier are available in 500 hand-applied finishes. niermannweeks.com
SALVATIONS Helmed for 30 years by founder Barry Remley (left), Salvations Architectural Furnishings creates iron furniture and architectural elements at forges in Virginia, then hand-finishes them in a 3,000-square-foot Silver Spring studio. Salvations’ iron occasional tables (top, left) are topped with painted-concrete; Remley collaborated with designer Joe Ireland on beds for a waterfront project (above, right). salvationsaf.com Portrait: Bob Narod; Photo: Angie Seckinger
THOMAS PHEASANT Celebrated DC designer Thomas Pheasant first teamed with Baker Furniture 15 years ago to develop a line of elegant, understated furniture and lighting, The Thomas Pheasant Collection. His latest line, which debuted in 2018, includes the mahogany-and-brass Vendome Dining Table, Cuff Dining Chairs and Swag Lantern (all pictured left). On view at Baker in Georgetown’s Cady’s Alley. thomaspheasant.com; bakerfurniture.com
OPEN DIALOGUE Massachusetts-based Safdie Architects designed the United States Institute of Peace headquarters in 2011 to foster the organization’s role in international conflict resolution, with two dramatic atria expressing openness and transparency. It was the first LEED Gold-certified building on the National Mall. At night, the structure’s domed lattice roofs glow like beacons on the capital skyline. Photo: Timothy Hursley
MAKING HISTORY The long-awaited Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors in 2016, within view of the Washington Monument. Its three-tiered exterior, designed by architect David Adjaye using 3,600 bronze-hued, cast-aluminum panels, evokes ornate ironwork created by slaves in 19th-century New Orleans. Lead Designers: David Adjaye, OBE; Philip Freelon, FAIA, Freelon, Adjaye, Bond/SmithGroup. Construction: Clark/Smoot/Russell.
OUT OF ITALY The 2014 debut of Fiola Mare brought high style and Italian coastal fare to Washington Harbor. Inspired by eateries dotting the Adriatic shore, interiors by HapstakDemetriou+ combine coffered ceilings, intimate banquettes dressed in nautical stripes and views of the Potomac River. James Beard Award-winning chef Fabio Trabocchi has earned a Michelin star for his seasonal menus and artful presentation. fiolamaredc.com Photo: Greg Powers
DIPLOMATIC TIES House of Sweden’s blond wood, glass and stone exterior casts a glow on the Georgetown waterfront. Home to the Swedish embassy, the building designed by Gert Wingårdh and Tomas Hansen hosts a steady stream of special events and exhibits. “House of Sweden highlights important priorities like democracy, openness and transparency through its design,” says Swedish Ambassador Karin Olofsdotter. “Since its opening in 2006, close to one million people have walked through its doors.” houseofsweden.com
DOWNTOWN DEBUT When CityCenterDC—a 10-acre, mixed-use development—hit the scene in 2013, it brought a host of high-end boutiques and restaurants, luxury condos and apartments to Northwest Washington. The pedestrian-friendly complex features changing art installations (above), a farmer’s market every Tuesday through October 29 and a brand new hotel, The Conrad, Washington, D.C., which opened in March 2019. citycenterdc.com
ON THE WATERFRONT The first phase of District Wharf—a mile-long mixed-use development on the Potomac—debuted in 2017. Combining residences, restaurants, concert venues, shops and hotels, the walkable neighborhood also boasts numerous outdoor gathering spots along its piers and promenades. Phase 2 of the development spearheaded by PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette is now underway, with completion scheduled for 2022. wharfdc.com
GRAND SLAM Amid much fanfare, the Washington Nationals moved into their new stadium near the Anacostia River in time for the 2008 baseball season. The 41,000-seat venue is everything fans hoped it would be: situated to take in iconic DC landmarks, with state-of-the-art technology and LEED Silver certification that made it the most sustainable ballpark in the country when it was built. Architecture: HOK Sport and dp + partners, llc. Contractor: Clark/Hunt/Smoot. Photo: Kenneth M. Wyner
CROSSING THE LINE Twenty-five years after its copper entry doors were boarded up, the 110-year-old First Church of Christ, Scientist, building in Adams Morgan was born again in 2018 as The Line DC (above, left), one of Washington’s hippest hotels. In the soaring lobby (above, right), original Palladian windows have been preserved and brass organ pipes repurposed to create an awe-inspiring chandelier. Design: INC Architecture & Design. thelinehotel.com/dc Photo: Gary Williams
WASHINGTON DESIGN CENTER After 29 years in a windowless building near the National Mall, the Washington Design Center moved to a light-filled, downtown location in 2014. Today, its 22 showrooms occupy the second, third and fourth floors of the stately, Post-Modern Franklin Court Building where the roster of furniture, fabric and carpet showrooms includes Schumacher (above), photographed on opening night. designcenterdc.com. Photo: Bob Narod
GLENSTONE MUSEUM Washington’s abundant arts scene got even richer with the 2018 expansion of Glenstone Museum in Potomac. Five years and $200 million in the making, the addition of a boldly modern building (right) designed by architect Thomas Phifer and 130 acres of sustainably landscaped terrain put Glenstone on the map as a world-class art institution. glenstone.org Photo: Scott Francis
CHARM CITY REVIVAL In 2018, The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore unveiled a nearby annex, 1 West Mount Vernon Place. This circa-1850 Greek Revival mansion was fresh from a three-year, $10.4 million transformation. Spearheaded by Marks, Thomas Architects, the project restored plaster panels, a grand staircase (above) and fluted Corinthian columns. The annex now showcases paintings, sculpture and decorative arts from The Walters’ collection. thewalters.org Photo: Jeffrey Totaro
HOT SPOT In 2015, Nick Stefanelli transformed a gritty warehouse near burgeoning Union Market into a mecca for Italian fare—and urban-chic décor. The chef worked with Grupo7 Architecture + Interiors to design the al fresco courtyard (pictured) and interiors where the open kitchen is offset by glazed aqua subway tile. In 2016, Masseria received a Michelin star. masseria-dc.com Photo: Scott Suchman
GRAND ENTRANCE After suffering damage from a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in 2011, the main hall of Washington’s Union Station (pictured) underwent a five-year overhaul. The project not only reinforced the 1907 structure with seismically sound steel framework, but also restored its ornamental plaster ceiling. The finishing touch: more than 120,000 sheets of gold leaf, applied by The Gilders’ Studio. Architect of Record: John Bowie Associates. Photo: Colin Winterbottom
BRILLIANT PLUMAGE Cappellini’s Peacock Armchair splendidly displays rippled folds of felt over a powder-varnished metal base. Designed by Dror Studio in 2009, the piece comes in green (pictured), blue and a green-and-gray combination. Available at Contemporaria in Cady’s Alley. cappellini.com; contemporaria.com
GLOBAL MOTIFS New Ravenna released its Miraflores Collection by Paul Schatz in 2013. These handcrafted mosaics, including Castilla (left) and Zazen (right), are abstractions of classic patterns the designer discovered on sojourns to Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Morocco. Comprised of jewel glass, shell and natural stone, the tiles can be installed on floors and walls, indoors and out. newravenna.com
AHEAD OF THE CURVE Roche Bobois’ Bubble Sofa brings both comfort and whimsy to the fore. Designed in 2017 by Sacha Lakic, the handmade piece holds its iconic shape thanks to a new, highly stretchable covering; this inner fabric is upholstered in soft wool in one of 17 colorways, including Marina (pictured). Bubble armchairs and ottomans are also available. roche-bobois.com
COLOR FORECAST For the past 20 years, the Pantone Color Institute has influenced trends in home furnishings, product design and fashion by releasing a Color of the Year. Its 2019 selection, Living Coral, has already popped up on an array of textiles, cabinetry, wall coverings—and even kitchen appliances. Northstar’s retro refrigerators and ranges now come in Living Coral, along with nine standard shades. elmirastoveworks.com
CHILL OUT Introduced in 2010, Fisher & Paykel’s CoolDrawer variable refrigerator conserves energy and space. This 34-inch, single-drawer unit can be set in five different modes, including fridge, freezer, pantry, chill and wine. CoolDrawers can be installed in any drawer space, faced either to match kitchen cabinetry or in a stainless-steel panel. fisherpaykel.com
BRASS IS BACK Once a forgotten finish, brass has re-emerged as a hip home accent. Case in point: this kitchen designed by Sarah Kahn Turner of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath. The brass Lindsey Adelman chandelier and Alno hardware, as well as geometric Harlequin wallpaper, offset the room’s black-and-white surfaces with polish. Architecture: Anne Decker Architects. gilmerkitchens.com Photo: Stylish Productions
HOME TECH Safer and more energy-efficient than conventional cooking, induction cooking is on the rise. Unveiled in 2017, Thermador’s Liberty Induction Cooktop features 11 inductors, three cooking zones and an illuminated panel with 17 power settings. Induction levels adjust in response to what’s cooking and settings automatically transfer when a pan is moved to another zone. thermador.com
CLEAN PALETTE Grohe’s Essence Semi-Pro single-handle faucet brought color, style and functionality to the kitchen in 2017. Outfitted with an easy-to-clean silicone hose that maximizes maneuverability, the faucet is available in nine colors, from orange, red, pink and purple (pictured) to yellow, green, blue, matte sheer marble and matte dark gray. It’s operable with one hand and boasts a removable spray head. grohe.us
DRESSED FOR SUCCESS Ordinary, builder-grade closets are so last century. Enter the wardrobe, where belongings are stowed in beautifully lit, furniture-grade built-ins and clutter is a thing of the past. Poliform’s Fitted glass door system, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni in 2014, features doors in transparent, fumè or bronzed glass as well as solid matte lacquered finishes; it’s shown here with the company’s Senzafine cabinetry. poliformdc.com
DESIGN COMEBACK Though its popularity waned for years, designers have embraced wallpaper with a vengeance. From textural silks and grass cloths to bold, vibrant prints, wall coverings bring high-impact style to every room in the house—as shown in this space sporting Leopard Walk in charcoal and orange. It’s part of Cole & Son’s 2017 Ardmore Collection, available at Lee Jofa in the Washington Design Center. cole-and-son.com; leejofa.com
LIGHT MY FIRE A rarity 20 years ago, al fresco fireplaces and fire pits are now all the rage. New York-based Fire Features created this custom installation for Backen Gillam Architects in 2005. It combines a poured-in-place concrete fireplace, a Corten steel insert and a gas burner with electronic ignition, providing instant heat—and drama—after dark. firefeatures.com Photo: Erhard Pfeiffer
SHOWER THE SENSES The Serenity Light, Sound, Rainhead by ThermaSol takes showering to a new level with chromatherapy and sound therapy features. Mood lighting and a built-in, high-performance audio system with voice-response capabilities are controlled via Bluetooth. The product, which debuted in 2019, is designed to integrate seamlessly into existing bath environments. thermasol.com
OFF THE WALL The Ventus Wall Hung Sink, unveiled by Stone Forest in 2019, is made from a solid block of stone, carved into a sleek basin with clean, horizontal lines. Available in classic Carrara marble (pictured) or Antique Gray limestone, it comes with new matte-black, aged-brass or polished-nickel hardware. The sink is ADA-compliant. stoneforest.com
CRYSTAL CLEAR Designed by Remi Tessier for THG Paris in 2014, Beyond Crystal is a collection of contemporary bath fittings and accessories boasting translucent Baccarat crystal handles. They come in a range of colors, including red, champagne, aqua, blue and clear crystal. An optional LED system lends the handles a soft glow. thg-paris.com
SHADES OF GRAY In recent years, designers have embraced durable, low-maintenance porcelain surfaces, which can mimic natural stone, wood or concrete. Introduced in 2018, Marble Systems’ Waterfall Porcelain Tile Collection includes three mosaic patterns in four gray hues, as well as various field tiles. All are applicable on walls and floors. marblesystems.com
AU NATUREL Move over, plastic Adirondack chairs. Today’s outdoor furniture packs the luxury and elegance of its indoor counterparts, combined with durability to withstand the elements. Pictured are 2014 introductions from JANUS et Cie: Slant armchairs designed by founder Janice Feldman and made of powder-coated aluminum; and the Strada Stone Top Dining Table, designed by Paola Navone. janusetcie.com
HIGH PERFORMANCE Crypton introduced its durable Home Fabric line more than 25 years ago. The sustainably made textiles are stain-, odor- and moisture resistant, and available in a wide range of textures and styles at Century Furniture and Kravet in the Washington Design Center. crypton.com
PLUG & PLAY Eco-consciousness met a yen for sophistication with Tesla, currently the trendiest electric automobile on the market. Unveiled in 2017, the all-wheel-drive Model X SUV boasts a battery lasting 295 miles and an electric powertrain that takes it from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds while producing zero emissions. “Falcon Wing” doors allow for easy access. tesla.com
SHOW TIME During the past 20 years, the concept of the media room has really come home. As technology has improved, dedicated home theaters have made way for viewing areas in open-plan spaces. Anthony Wilder Design/Build turned a dingy Bethesda attic into a chic home theater (above), complete with 110-inch screen, concealed projector, acoustic surfaces and a beverage center and bar. Automation: Strategic Home Media. Photo: Morgan Howarth
ONE TOUCH Wireless speakers hit stores in the early 2000s with the advent of Bluetooth technology. Bang & Olufsen has been delivering wireless sound ever since. Pictured here, the BeoSound 2 wireless speaker, introduced in 2017, integrates with Bluetooth and all major streaming services. Users control the sculptural aluminum device—part of the company’s Multiroom Technology system—via taps and twists. bang-olufsen.com
COCKTAIL HOUR The Astor Bar from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams marries two popular design trends: chic storage for wine and glassware; and a touch of Asian style, conveyed by its geometric handles. The antiqued-mirror surface is trimmed in brushed brass (pictured) or pewter; the interior, with adjustable shelves, is painted black. mgbwhome.com
Rich, textural fabrics are never passé—as Zoffany’s 2019 Darnley collection of velvets, embroideries, prints and weaves will attest. Pictured: Anjolie De Novo creates stunning drapery; available in three colorways, its finely detailed floral tree motif is embroidered on a linen ground. Available with complementary wallpapers at Hines & Company in the Washington Design Center. stylelibrary.com
NATURE’S BOUNTY Anna Weatherley’s hand-painted porcelain brings an otherworldly garden to the table. China collections by the Arlington-based artist, sold by local retailers, even graced the White House after Laura Bush commissioned a set in 2008. Motifs delicately depict nature: Blossoms and finely veined leaves are rendered in painterly style, while her trademark insects are woven into every piece. annaweatherley.com Photo: Erik Kvalsvik
INDUSTRIAL MODERN Over the past 10 years, interior design has gone industrial modern. The look—marked by raw, exposed materials like concrete and metal—crops up in David Weeks Studio’s 2014 Fenta collection of floor and table lamps. Custom-cast cement bases lend them an industrial sensibility; a wooden pin holds the brass armature as it curves gently up. davidweeksstudio.com
MODERN MAGIC Ligne Roset collaborates with international designers on collections of contemporary sofas, chairs, tables and beds, all made in France. Pictured here: the company’s iconic TOGO seating, designed by Michel Ducaroy in the ’70s, with the 2009 Book&Look shelving unit by Pagnon & Pelhaître. ligne-roset.com
WEARABLE ART In 2006, the Smithsonian Women’s Committee orchestrated its first Craft2Wear Show—and now more than 70 artisans display handmade, one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry and accessories at this annual event. Pictured: a 2017 creation by Janice Kissinger. The 2019 show takes place October 3 to 5; proceeds support Smithsonian outreach, research and education programs. smithsoniancraft2wear.org.
DC DESIGN HOUSE A celebrated highlight of the design scene from 2008 to 2017, the annual DC Design House showcased the work of local talent as participating teams transformed an area residence from drab to fab. Pictured, left to right: a stylish library by Lorna Gross Interiors (2017) and a garden pavilion by Sroka Design (2015). During its 10-year run, the event raised more than $2 million for Children’s National. Photo: Angie Seckinger
DREAM HOUSE The former Washington Design Center hosted its own show houses, which ran annually through 2012. During these much-anticipated events, local designers tapped the Center’s vendors for furnishings, rugs, lighting and accessories to decorate their spaces. Pictured, an “al fresco” bath in the Spring 2005 show house. Designed by Barbara Hawthorn, the luxurious space featured fiber-optic lighting and a 2,000-pound Stone Forest tub surrounded by a screen and planters by Niermann Weeks. Photo: Gordon Beall
JOSH NORMAN The celebrated Redskins cornerback enjoyed a moment with his Tesla during H&D’s photo shoot outside his Leesburg mansion. The second-highest-paid cornerback in the NFL, Norman is entering the fourth year of a five-year contract. He recently hosted a charity basketball game to raise money for Starz24, the foundation he launched to enrich the lives of underprivileged kids. Renovation Architecture: W.C. Ralston Architects. Photo: Maxine Schnitzer, 2018.
DANA BASH CNN’s chief political correspondent lounged poolside in the backyard of the home she shares with her son, now 8. Bash continues to work with interior designer Melissa Broffman, imparting modern touches to her traditional Northwest DC abode. In addition to covering Congress, Bash has also launched “Badass Women of Washington,” a CNN series spotlighting many of the capital’s most powerful female figures. Photo: Bob Narod, 2015.
JOSÉ ANDRÉS When not responding to a global hunger crisis through his non-profit, World Central Kitchen, José Andrés can be found in ThinkFoodGroup’s bustling test kitchen (above). His company’s Penn Quarter headquarters also features open workspaces and a living wall of plants and herbs. In May, the chef/restaurateur released his latest book, Vegetables Unleashed. Architecture: Gronning Architects. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2013.
ROBERT WIEDMAIER During breaks from his nine restaurants—among them Marcel’s and Mussel Bar—this chef/restaurateur retreats to his family’s weekend escape near Solomons Island, Maryland. Built around the remnants of a 17th-century customs house, the getaway boasts an open kitchen (left) and a dock where Wiedmaier (with son Marcel, above) embarks on fishing expeditions. In 2020, he will reopen Siren by RW, recipient of a Michelin Star. Photo: Geoffrey Hodgdon, 2014.
BRYAN VOLTAGGIO When this “Top Chef” alum opened the acclaimed Volt in his hometown of Frederick, he and wife Jennifer lived in a nearby townhouse (pictured there with son, Thacher). Almost a decade later, the chef presides over four additional restaurants, including the new Estuary in Penn Quarter. He and his family, now five, inhabit a nine-acre “farmette” in Urbana complete with a rancher, goats, chickens and an organic vegetable garden. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2010.
KWAME ONWUACHI Chef Onwuachi and fiancée Mya Allen moved into a sleek Shaw apartment (below) to be near his first restaurant, The Shaw Bijou. After that eatery abruptly closed, Onwuachi opened Kith and Kin in District Wharf. Within a year, he and Allen moved to new digs in Navy Yard; Onwuachi published a memoir, Notes From a Young Black Chef; and the James Beard Foundation named him Rising Star Chef of 2019. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2017.
PATRICK O’CONNELL The cuisine—and décor—at The Inn at Little Washington have delighted guests since it opened in 1978. “Your eye can never be bored, just as your palate can never be bored,” says proprietor Patrick O’Connell, pictured in the kitchen of The Inn’s Claiborne House. His former home, this 1899 abode renovated by architect Allan Greenberg is now the presidential suite. O’Connell, whose restaurant boasts three Michelin stars, received a 2019 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2015.
PATI JINICH Former political analyst Pati Jinich (above, on her Chevy Chase patio) now fosters diplomacy through food in her PBS series “Pati’s Mexican Table.” After exploring a different region of her homeland every season, she tapes the show’s cooking segments in her own kitchen. Jinich won a 2019 James Beard Award for Outstanding TV Program in Studio and will soon start filming season eight of her show in Sinaloa. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2018.
KARL ALZNER Featured during his “iron man” streak with the Washington Capitals, defenseman Karl Alzner and wife Mandy (shown on their deck) settled into an Arlington abode with farmhouse-style details and a home theater. After almost a decade in DC, they returned to their native Canada, where Alzner plays for the Montreal Canadiens and Laval Rocket. The couple recently welcomed a third child into the family. Photo: Bob Narod, 2016.
RYAN ZIMMERMAN Now in his 14th season with the Washington Nationals, Ryan Zimmerman kicks back at his Great Falls residence between games. The first baseman and wife Heather (pictured in their pool house weeks before their second daughter was born) often host team and charity events around their pool (left) and fire pit (far left). Landscape Architecture: Fine Landscapes, Ltd. Interior Design: Great Falls Distinctive Interiors, Inc. Photo: Geoffrey Hodgdon, 2016.
CARON BUTLER When Butler played for the Washington Wizards, he and his wife, Andrea, purchased a Fairfax home (where they are pictured) that they liked so much, they kept it even after he was traded—more than once. Today, the couple lives in Los Angeles with their daughters and the now-retired basketball star shares his expertise as an analyst for NBA TV, ESPN and Fox Sports. Interior Design: Dahlia Design. Photo: Bob Narod, 2013.
MICHAEL WEISS Soon after Olympic figure skater Michael Weiss and wife Lisa (in their former kitchen, right) put the finishing touches on their custom McLean residence, they sold it and are now remodeling another McLean home for their family of four, through their own design/build firm. It will feature a wine cellar crafted by Lisa’s firm, Wine Cellars by Lisa. Michael continues to host charity skating shows to benefit aspiring athletes through his eponymous foundation. Architecture: SB Design Studios. Builder: Weiss Design & Build. Photo: Bob Narod, 2017.
MICHAEL WILBON Two additional Emmys have come his way since H&D profiled the acclaimed sports journalist in the Bethesda home he shares with his wife, Sheryl. The longtime co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” (pictured in his home office amidst precious memorabilia) also does sports commentary for the network. Renovation Architecture: Cunningham | Quill Architects. Interior Design: Yardstick Interiors. Renovation Contractor: Potomac Valley Builders. Photo: Bob Narod, 2013.
DONNIE SIMPSON Legendary Washington radio deejay and TV host Donnie Simpson and wife Pamela (pictured by their pool) share a large Potomac residence complete with sound studio, theater and putting green. The Simpsons love to relax at home with their grown children and five grandkids. Though he retired from WKYS in 2010, the move turned out to be short-lived: In 2015, velvet-voiced Simpson signed on to host an afternoon radio show on Majic 102.3. Photo: Bob Narod, 2006.
DEBRA LEE Just before BET Networks moved its operations from DC to New York in 2017, then-chairman and CEO Debra Lee put her modern, steel-and-glass abode on the market. The Massachusetts Heights mansion—complete with a wine-tasting room and private theater—finally sold in May 2019. Now retired and living in Los Angeles, Lee holds the title of BET chairman emeritus. Architecture: Marshall Moya Design. Contractor: Davis Construction. Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg, 2013
DENYCE GRAVES When it’s time to recharge, opera star Denyce Graves and her family leave New York for their bucolic, 74-acre retreat north of Baltimore. Although Graves immediately unwinds in their inviting farmhouse, she still rehearses in its music room several hours a day. Pictured with husband Robert Montgomery and John and Ella, two of their four children, the DC-born diva returns to The Metropolitan Opera this fall to portray Maria in “Porgy and Bess.” Photo: Bob Narod, 2018.
MONTE DURHAM Home & Design photographed the prolific reality TV star in the dining room of the Alexandria home he shares with husband Jakob Evans. If anything, Durham is even busier these days. He’s wrapping up the 11th season of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta;” launching online sales of his own hair-care line, Monte; and planning to open a beauty salon in Old Town. Photo: Bob Narod, 2014.
KITTY KELLEY When H&D profiled the unauthorized biographer of Frank Sinatra, Jackie Onassis and Nancy Reagan, her Georgetown Victorian (right) had just undergone a facelift. Known for her tell-alls, Kelley recently changed tack, penning two books showcasing photographer Stanley Tretick’s Kennedy collection as well as a children’s book, Martin’s Dream Day. Her writing appears in The Georgetowner and Washington Independent Review of Books. Interior Design: Sharyn Corry. Photo: Bob Narod, 2015.
AMBASSADOR GÉRARD ARAUD Spearheaded by Araud (shown in the Empire Salon), the 2015 renovation of the French ambassador’s residence in Kalorama married bold modern art with a Gallic sensibility. After a five-year stint, Araud—celebrated for his blunt speech and colorful fêtes—surrendered his post in April; his successor, Philippe Étienne, arrives in September. Renovation Architecture: Quinn Evans Architects. Interior Design: Anne-Sophie Fries-Thébaut. Renovation Contractor: The Christman Company. Photo: Michael Ventura, 2016.
AMBASSADOR LARS GERT LOSE Under the auspices of the former Danish ambassador and his wife, Ulla Rønberg, the Mid-Century Modern embassy residence—nestled in verdant Rock Creek Park—became a showcase for contemporary Danish art and design. And though Lose and Rønberg (pictured in the residence’s entry), departed their U.S. post in April, the Art in Embassy program continues under the tenure of Denmark’s new ambassador, Lone Dencker Wisborg. Photo: Bob Narod, 2018.
Best in Show The 2015 Kitchen & Bath Design Awards, organized by the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), welcomed 81 entries from area designers. Sponsored by Home & Design, the annual contest invites industry professionals from our region to judge the submissions. This year’s jury included Annette Hannon of Annette Hannon Interior Design, Ltd.; Michael Hampton of Michael Hampton Design; John Heltzel, AIA, of John Heltzel AIA; Christina Simon, ASID, CKD, of c|s Design Studio LLC; and Sharon Jaffe Dan, editor in chief of Home & Design.
Click to read more:
LARGE KITCHEN—1st place
Scarlett Breeding, AIA, Alt Breeding Schwarz Architects
LARGE KITCHEN—2nd place
Paul Bentham, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath
LARGE KITCHEN—3rd place
Davida Rodriguez, CKD, Davida’s Kitchen & Tiles
MEDIUM KITCHEN—1st place
Davida Rodriguez, CKD, Davida’s Kitchen & Tiles
MEDIUM KITCHEN—2nd place
Meghan Browne, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath
Scarlett Breeding, AIA, Alt Breeding Schwarz Architects
Outdoor Vision It’s easy for homeowners planning a landscape project to come up with a wish list of desired features. What is not so easy is creating a design that will organize these amenities, flow efficiently, dovetail with the topography and existing architecture—and look good too. On these pages, two landscape pros share their views on how a design vision takes shape.
Botanical Decorators stresses the importance of form and function when devising a successful outdoor design. Not only does the scheme need to be attractive to the eye, but it also needs to incorporate easy, logical circulation throughout. “In general,” Hahn says, “you want to focus on strong, clean lines and work with the shape of the property. You put in the main components first. Then, once you get the concept down, it’s about making it look pretty.”Landscape designer Brian Hahn of
He recently designed a Potomac, Maryland, landscape for clients who wanted to build a pool, pavilion and grilling area in a small, pie-shaped yard. Where there was once an empty lawn and no access to the yard from the kitchen, the owners now enjoy full access via new stairs and a landing, a grilling and dining area, a free-form pool and, at the other end, a pavilion with a sitting area and a stone fireplace.
While the shape of the lot largely dictated his plan, Hahn made sure that the pavilion would serve as a dramatic focal point from the kitchen and basement doors leading to the garden. “When you come out of both spaces,” he says, “you look across the pool and directly at the pavilion. You always want to have sight lines from one space to the next.”
If space is limited, Hahn says it’s best to make it feel as big and open as possible. On larger properties, however, designers create “transitions” from one area to another. “In larger lots, you can have multiple defined spaces and vignettes and can meander from one to the next,” he says.
Hahn relates that while some clients entrust their landscape professionals to come up with the best vision for their project, others have pre-conceived notions that can be hard to change.
“In those cases,” says Hahn, “we need to do a good job communicating why it’s better to do things differently. Usually, once clients see the plan and the scale, they understand why we did what we did.”
McHale Landscape Design, the vision for a project is inspired by a combination of factors, from the topographical constraints of the site to the style of the house and the way the homeowners live. “The best situation is when the homeowners have a general idea of what they want, then allow us to figure out the details,” Robey says. “That way, we have the flexibility to design as we go and work around any issues that arise.”For landscape architect Daniel Robey of
This was the scenario during a recent project in McLean, where the owners had just purchased a home on a sloped, two-acre site. They were updating the house and knew that they wanted extensive landscaping with a pool, but nothing more specific. “I did initial design sketches and got an idea of the general direction they wanted to go in,” Robey explains. “I asked questions about their lifestyle to get clues. There wasn’t a grand vision beforehand.”
Due to the slope and location of the septic field, the backyard required terracing. A 10-foot-tall retaining wall separates the patio from the 18-by-50-foot pool, which was sited on an axis with the kitchen—a logical connection because the wife is an avid cook and it is the hub of the home. A space beside the pool was left empty while the homeowners decided what kind of structure they wanted there; eventually, they built a conservatory that does double duty as a greenhouse and pool house with a kitchenette and fireplace.
In the front yard, Robey designed a patio that echoes the curved stoop and portico at the home’s entry. Pennsylvania bluestone stepping stones create an informal path from the street and allow a visual connection to the backyard, where the pool coping and patio are also made of bluestone.
“The key is flexibility,” Robey advises. “The beauty of the landscape design/build process is that the homeowner can be in the driver’s seat. Everyone needs to go into it with an open mind.” He adds, “On almost every job, the homeowner teaches me something.”
HOT TALENT This annual feature spotlights a handful of gifted designers just making their mark in the region. Photographed in the future home of the Washington Design Center (in space that will become the Schumacher showroom) they are (left to right):
Shawna Underwood read more
Lisa Puchalla read more
Christine Philp read more
Rachel James read more
When designer Jonas Carnemark and his team were called on to update a tiny kitchen in a DC condominium, they found a 150-square-foot space with precious little storage. It was disconnected from the rest of the apartment and to top it off, contained a dumbwaiter dating back to the building’s early years that wasted valuable real estate.
This forced Carnemark, principal of CARNEMARK Design Build in Bethesda, to get creative, “stealing” space however he could. First, building authorities agreed to let him remove the dumbwaiter, which provided room for the designer to configure a functional plan.
“We separated different functions into different areas,” he explains. “By using specially sized appliances and multiple cabinetry depths, we were able get more logical space for storage.”
He placed the sink and range next to each other and “infilled” around them with small custom cubbies. A broom closet flanks the left side of the window while a sizable pantry on the opposite side provides badly needed food storage. A 24-inch refrigerator, microwave cabinet and small “landing” shelf occupy the wall that once housed the dumbwaiter.
A new, arched punch-out connects the kitchen to the dining room, “opening up visual flow and the view,” says Carnemark.
On projects with limited space and budgets, he advises clients to “look at the impact of each gesture and then weigh them as a whole. For example, it might make sense to steal some more space and buy a less expensive faucet. The visual flow, for me, is the most important aspect. This kitchen feels like a bigger space whereas before it felt like a hallway.”
Newlyweds with a tiny two-bedroom condo in DC were thrilled with its hip 14th Street location but wished to maximize their space. They hired Ashburn, Virginia, designer Jennifer Wagner Schmidt of JWS Interiors with the request that she focus on the dining area and foyer—two trouble spots they wanted re-oriented and redesigned for optimal effect.
“The breakfast nook is just eight feet by eight feet, but it’s the only eating area they have,” Schmidt says. “It was important to make it work because they like to entertain.” She chose a banquette from Ballard Designs that fits perfectly within the nook. Clear acrylic chairs surround a dining table from West Elm with a pendant light above; the chairs convey a sense of openness, while a large-scale abstract painting from Joss & Main above the banquette provides a focal point. Schmidt added a cowhide rug “for a modern vibe,” she says.
To the left, a custom sideboard only 22 inches deep from Redford House offers a much-needed surface for serving without occupying a lot of floor space; above it hangs a set of monochromatic prints Schmidt found on Etsy.
In the four-foot-wide foyer, Schmidt opted for drama. “I chose a graphic quatrefoil wallpaper from [online wallpaper retailer] Spoonflower that would make a statement,” she says. “And it erases the lines of the wall, which makes the entry feel more spacious.” A narrow, white-lacquered console by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams is paired with a white-painted faux-bamboo mirror from Horchow. Carpet was replaced with hardwood flooring, and, says Schmidt, pale, neutral walls “help the whole place stay light and bright.”
Show House Style THE 2013 DC DESIGN HOUSE in the stately Wesley Heights neighborhood showcased the work of 24 area design teams. Open for tours from April 14 to May 12, the new home on Foxhall Road designed by GTM Architects was brimming with design inspiration. Rooms focused on comfort, with a soft palette of grays, blues and neutrals—and elegance overall. Now in its sixth year, the DC Design House is also a fundraiser that benefits Children’s National Medical Center.
1. Living Room
Camille Saum (Camille Saum Interior Design, LLC) and associate Whitney Hansen emphasized color in the light and airy living room. “We started with colors that would make it peaceful, lovely and comfortable,” Saum says. Flowing, crinoline-lined taffeta draperies played off Farrow & Ball’s Pale Powder walls. A chandelier by Niermann Weeks hung center stage and chairs designed by Saum in a chevron fabric flanked the fireplace. Saum installed a window seat with a bamboo base and pastel-hued pillows. A bold sculpture by Brian Kirk punctuated the tranquility and a delicate ceiling treatment, designed by Hansen, enhanced the room. To get a behind the scenes look Click Here.
2. Dining Room
Nestor Santa-Cruz, IIDA(Nestor Santa-Cruz Decoration), mixed periods and styles so the dining room would look “collected rather than decorated.” In this way, he conveyed “a polyglot sensibility” that connected the house to the embassies in the neighborhood. “I like to mix styles,” he says. “It’s the designer’s job to find a common language between things.” A Scandinavian dining table designed by Poul Kjaerholm coexisted beside a French Neoclassical chandelier from Marston Luce Antiques. An acrylic-and-glass console by Hugh Newell Jacobsen highlighted the stone-like, hand-painted wallpaper behind it. The wool rug by Matt Cameron was customized by Santa-Cruz.
3. Entry Foyer
With help from the DC Design House Advisory Committee, Farrow & Ball color consultant Eve Fay created an elegant, airy foyer to welcome visitors. Marble floors in a herringbone pattern delineated the space from the surrounding rooms, ensuring a sense of lightness throughout. Furniture finished in silver or painted in light hues added softness; all the furnishings and artwork came from David Iatesta, Inc. An original abstract oil painting by Iatesta himself was hung above the carved, painted Lancaster bench with its upholstered cushion. Farrow & Ball’s Cornforth White adorned the walls while Pointing was used on the ceiling.
David Mitchell (David Mitchell Interior Design) created the study with a well-traveled Harvard professor in mind. A far cry from the typical warren of dusty books, this retreat was designed for comfort and ease. Mitchell gathered large upholstered seating on a vintage Persian rug and lacquered a long teak table in a warm shade of green. Art and accessories appeared to be collected over a lifetime, “not like we went out and bought it all at once,” the designer says. “I wanted to convey a feeling of life and spontaneity.”
5. Family Room
Victoria Neale (Victoria Neale Interiors, LLC) took full advantage of the family room’s garden views, embracing organic materials and textures in her design. She combined drapes in a Cowtan & Tout botanical print with a sisal rug and wooden barrel chair by Formations. Nesting David Iatesta cocktail tables with iron frames and wooden tops played off softer textiles. Pillows, some made from hand-blocked fabrics Neale discovered in India, added a dose of color to the comfortable room. Says the designer, “I kept finding people sitting in here, which I loved.”
6. Powder Room
When designing the powder room, which already had classic black-and-white tile floors in place, Charles Almonte, AIA, ASID (Charles Almonte, LLC), found timeless inspiration in a Great Gatsby trailer depicting actress Carey Mulligan dressed in pink with a black and white Art Deco background. He created a similar effect with Farrow & Ball’s Lotus wall covering. “I knew I wanted something bold and dramatic,” he says. Almonte selected a mod Queen Anne lacquered mirror by Jonathan Adler for “a nice foil to the traditional motif.” A sculpture of pink recycled glass and purple tulipwood accessories added the finishing touches.
7. Morning Room
Iantha Carley (Iantha Carley Interiors) brought a Mid-Century vibe to the morning room. “When you can go back and revisit an era, you always do it better,” says the designer, who grew up in a Mid-Century home. Carley paired drapes in a cheery yellow and taupe Vervain floral with a geometric Phillip Jeffries jute wall covering that grounds the light-filled space. Mod accents ranged from a dramatic chandelier by Fine Art Lamps to a curvaceous Lucite table by Spectrum and a custom dog bed in orange fabric by Duralee to ensure that dog has sound sleep throughout the night, to know more about how to help your puppy sleep through night visit Bored Cesar.
8. Powder Room/Hallway
Intent on warming up a slightly “impersonal” powder room, Terri Hartwell Easter and Ashleigh Bradshaw (The Maris Elaine Gallery) painted the walls in Farrow & Ball’s soothing Charleston Gray. The designers aimed to bridge the softness of the adjacent living room and the masculine study nearby. Two metallic abstracts by Maureen Farrell dressed up the space. A turned-wood vessel by Arizona artist Eric Lima and a sculptural table blurred the lines between powder room and art gallery.
9. Kitchen/Butler’s Pantry
Under the guidance of Jessica Parker, LEED AP (GTM Architects), the kitchen became an open, inviting space for family to gather. The neutral palette included custom white, Shaker-style cabinets, light blue-gray walls and a glass-and-marble backsplash in gray and white. Against this backdrop, the dark-wood island topped with granite counters stood out, paired with Crate & Barrel stools. In the dining area, upholstered chairs in neutral and rust hues were grouped around a table from Century. A distinctive, handmade chandelier of painted twigs hung above the table and a mirror from Modloft reflected the view.
10. French Modern Bar
Andrea Houck (A. Houck Designs, Inc.) brought a sense of glamour to this hallway space “where you could have a martini, almost like you were going out in your own house” she says. Houck faux-finished the cabinetry in a burl mahogany and paired it with a caramel onyx countertop. Red lacquered and embossed wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries added drama and echoed the Zimmer + Rohde striped fabric on an elegant bench. A sculptural mirror from AmericanEye dressed up the wall painted in Farrow & Ball’s rich London Clay. A Nuevo chandelier added a funky vibe.
11. The Loggia
Located off the family room and kitchen, the loggia by Taylor Wells (Taylor Wells Design) overlooks the pool terrace below. Wells extended a sense of luxury outdoors with woven rattan seating surrounding a teak table with an inset granite top; all furniture was part of the Oscar de la Renta collection from Century. Plush upholstery and brightly striped pillows by Dash & Albert invited an afternoon of repose amid the greenery. Planters added more color and texture.
When designing the open lounge area on the lower level, Lorna Gross-Bryant, ASID (SAVANT Interior Design), looked for ways to enclose the space while still retaining openness and light. She delineated the area with upholstered screens from Century and topiaries, then chose Farrow & Ball’s Drawing Room Blue “for intimacy and definition,” making it high-gloss to bounce the light. Gross-Bryant centered the room around a sectional from Century and a quatrefoil chandelier from J. Lambeth. Calvin Klein wall tape with nail-head trim defined the fireplace wall while a Suzani rug from Galleria Carpet made a vibrant focal point.
13. Lower-Level Dining Room
Designing this relatively undefined space required ingenuity from Scott Cooke (Scott Cooke Design), who envisioned “an inviting room in which to congregate.” Cooke repeated the tray ceiling’s circular shape with a round sisal rug hand-painted by Billet Collins, a round dining table with a base from J. Lambeth and chairs from Henredon that echo the same curves. Modern art hung in a library area and throughout the space, providing a counterpoint to classical forms such as a chandelier by Niermann Weeks and an antique Buddha from Hollis & Knight. A palette of blue and terra cotta finished the room.
14. Covered Terrace
Extending the living space and color scheme from Lorna Gross-Bryant’s lounge, Jen Chappell and Ken Berry (AmericanEye) created inviting seating areas with an array of playful outdoor furniture. Poufs by Lee Uncovered, a water sculpture by glass artist Alison Sigethy and a tequila bar added whimsical touches to this comfortable al fresco room. A Dash & Albert outdoor rug softened the stone floor while cheery Sunbrella fabrics withstood the elements. “We wanted to create an adult space where you could see kids playing in the pool or watch a storm roll through,” says Chappell.
15. Master Mezzanine
Bringing the outdoors in was the primary goal for Claire Schwab, ASID, and Katharine Howard (Claire Schwab Interior Design, Inc.), who created a fresh, organic aesthetic in the hallway outside the master bedroom. A serene palette of light earth tones punctuated with soft green and orange provided a backdrop for outdoor elements such as plants and garden stools. An antique Chinese Qinghai altar table served as a focal point, and wallpaper from Kravet added interest. Paintings by Allen Levy and a pair of ottomans covered in a bright pattern enlivened the space.
16. Sitting Room
As conceived by Michael Hampton (Michael Hampton Design), the sitting room was “a tranquil retreat for lounging or working.” A flame-stitched carpet inspired the palette of cream, taupe and soft gold while a range of textures added richness. Alternating squares of faux bois wallpaper from Nobilis imparted character while metallic, lacquered wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries was a bold touch in the vestibule and desk area. Hampton paired the straight lines of a Parsons console with a curvy stool and centered the room with a custom daybed. Soft alpaca curtains were chosen “for the way they drape,” Hampton said.
17. Twins’ Nursery
In lieu of typical pink and blue, Nancy Twomey (Finnian’s Moon Interiors) took a more sophisticated approach in her nursery design. “We knew that Mom would be in here in the middle of the night,” the designer explains. “She needed to love her serene room.” Sleek iron cribs, hand-crocheted mobiles, crisp bedding and ribbed wallpaper panels imbued warmth and texture without looking busy. Mesh drapery panels by Kravet let daylight stream in. A local craftsman built bookshelves with circle cutouts to accommodate little hands. “They’re not perfect,” says Twomey, “as if someone’s grandfather had made them.”
18. Master Bedroom
Susan Jamieson (Bridget Beari Designs, Inc.) set out to evoke romance and vintage style in the master bedroom. An Elitis wallcovering that resembles travertine helped lighten the space. Jamieson flanked the iron bed frame by Mike Reid Weeks with an upholstered headboard and footboard and nightstands of her own design in a shagreen finish. A 1960s Grand Nest chandelier and a white flokati boosted the room’s mod quotient. “I like different shapes and different geometric patterns that play off each other, still keeping it soft and interesting,” Jamieson said. A mesmerizing abstract by Bill Fisher created a sense of calm.
19. Master Bathroom
Starting with the home’s opulent master bathroom already outfitted with honey-colored onyx tile and an oversized soaking tub, Darlene Molnar, Allied ASID (Darlene Molnar, LLC), kept furnishings and accessories to a minimum. At the vanity, a pair of iconic Harry Bertoia wire chairs were customized by Molnar’s father, a New Jersey leatherworker, with Edelman Leather. Across from the tub, TV screens in the mirrors entertained on demand. Carefully curated art included portraits, watercolors and painted textiles, while selectively applied black Dragged wallpaper by Farrow & Ball helped ground the light-filled retreat.
20. Teenage Boy’s Room
Boys of any age would feel at home in Regan Billingsley’s (Regan Billingsley Interiors, LLC) bedroom. The designer combed consignment shops as well as the Web for vintage finds that would add a sense of whimsy to the room. She had an artist friend refinish an old locker from a New York City public school and selected an Oushak rug from Timothy Paul over-dyed in acid green. Other “graphic and punchy” touches included “Disco Dan” posters from DC’s go-go heyday, bold Farrow & Ball striped wallpaper and a vintage trunk from her parents’ attic.
21. Away Room
To create a charming and peaceful refuge on the top floor of the house, Allie Mann (Case Design/Remodeling Inc.) emphasized the room’s angled ceilings with wide, painted stripes in Farrow & Ball’s Pointing and Slipper. A built-in daybed with attached cabinet storage from Crystal Cabinets was tucked into the far wall below the gabled window; it was illuminated by sconces from Ferguson Enterprises. The daybed and chaise were dressed in Robert Allen fabrics. A desk from Pottery Barn was paired with a chair from Robert Allen. The rug was from Susan Kasler through Ballard Designs.
22. Guest Room
Katherine Vernot-Jonas, Allied ASID (Katherine Vernot-Jonas Designs, LLC), transformed a small attic space into a cozy retreat for guests. She employed a graphic, black-and-white bedspread by Yves Delorme against the bold backdrop of Farrow & Ball’s Citron, with F & B’s Block Print Stripe Wallpaper in a black-and-white colorway as an accent. Vernot-Jonas installed a custom window seat with cushions that match the window valance. She replaced a carpeted floor with wood, added headboards upholstered in black to the twin beds and designed a diminutive, marble-topped nightstand to fit the small space.
23. Loft/Media Room
After passing through a landing with beautiful abstracts by Lisa Tureson on display, guests reached the loft/media room. Jeff Akseizer and Jamie Brown (Akseizer Design Group) conceived this modern refuge as a place where family members could curl up on the custom sectional and read or watch a movie or surf the Web on the four flat screens installed on a sleek media wall. A fabulous aquarium by ReefeScape (that automatically feeds its 300 inhabitants daily for three months) was equally captivating. “We wanted to eradicate the man cave,” says Akseizer, “and still have everybody together, having a good time.”
24. Entry Garden
The front entry garden was a challenge, says Amy Mills (DCA Landscape Architects, Inc.), because the house sat above driveway level. Mills and her team dealt with the height discrepancy—and created a strong sense of arrival—by building stone retaining walls. The terraced lawn is surrounded by evergreens and flowering plants such as hydrangeas, azaleas and camellias. At the bluestone-banded concrete paver driveway, a hedge of hollies provides privacy from busy Foxhall Road. White crape myrtles flank the bluestone front stairway up from the drive. A newly planted sycamore shades the yard.