Posts Tagged 'WDC'

DreamHome 2012… Crafty Creatives!

DreamHome Washington Design Center 2012 Art Renwick

I had the lovely pleasure of attending a media event this morning at the Washington Design Center for the very upcoming 2012 DreamHome: Design Craft. This genius event celebrates the next generation of design in Washington DC with a teamwork approach to show house design. Eight emerging designers were hand-picked to create rooms inspired by works featured in the Renwick Gallery exhibition “40 under 40: Craft Futures“, which opens this summer.

In this years show house, which will be open to the general public starting March 16th and continue  through November 30th, interior designers explored color, texture, space, and their own unique interpretation on how a single art piece from the Renwick collection, whether it be sculpture, negative film, or yards and yards of floral fabric, is represented as a completely and spectacularly designed interior room. From wall, to floor, to acrylic baby grand piano, nothing was left undiscovered when it came to the designers energies put into making each room an evolution of each artistic craft chosen. Check out the renderings and art pieces that inspired them before the rooms were completed.

Drawing Room by Kori Keyser of Keyser Interiors

Drawing Room by Kori Keyser of Keyser Interiors

In the drawing-room, Kori and her associate Andrea Pompei eagerly showed me the luminescent fabrics and custom wood table that played off of the glass and wood spinning wheel beautifully. A built-in bench framed by trimmed out columns gave the space some symmetry. Their energy was contagious and further added to the unique sculpture they chose for their room.

Modern Lounge by Jeff Akseizer and Jaime Brown of Akseizer Design Group

Modern Lounge by Jeff Akseizer and Jaime Brown of Akseizer Design Group

Jeff, Jaime and I hit it off immediately. As a past advertising agency employee (eons ago), I related to their aesthetic. Their Mad Men-esque room featured so many fantastic mid-century advertising relics like Playboy dishes, rotary dial phones and the most amazing lucite piano on loan from one of their very own trusting clients. All pieces pulled shapes and spark from the art piece they embodied. The streaming music and fav Boyd wall sconces was a great added touch.

Living Room by Scott Cooke of Scott Cooke Design

Living Room by Scott Cooke of Scott Cooke Design

Scott truly felt the e,motional tone of the Cristina Cordova sculpture for his symmetrical design. The grayness of the piece was played out in the enveloping grey walls, floor and trim, all percentages of the same Stark paint color (and hand painted by Scott himself! Kudos Scott!). The splashes of color in various accents lifted a quiet peace and glammed up the large room.

Dining Room by Catherine Hailey of Hailey Design

Dining Room by Catherine Hailey of Hailey Design

Catherine and her associate Amanda used a furnishing piece as art inspiration in their own dining room. I loved the picture of the chair broken up into individual square canvas-like pieces on the wall over a walnut credenza. The geometric lines and shapes were played out in the modern custom white chandelier and materials throughout the contemporary space, a glimpse into the beautiful designs she’s created for many well-known local eateries and bars.

Breakfast Room by Christine Philp of Palindrome Design

Breakfast Room by Christine Philp of Palindrome Design

I loved the light in this breakfast room. Now if only I could really wake up and dine in this spot! Christine, who once worked alongside the talented Thomas Pheasant, took the blue and grey colors of the glass and steel wire twisted art concoction and brought about the organic feel and instead of cooler colors, chose warmer counterparts. Warm metals are a fav of mine at the moment and the natural materials and to-die-for Baker table lamps really struck a chord with my inner design beast.

Modern Study by Mariam Dillon of Barnes Vanze Architects

Modern Study by Mariam Dillon of Barnes Vanze Architects

The first room of the house was of three walls until Mariam built a fourth wall of various shelves and openings framing a tea-stained linen “screen” for the filmography that was projected from within the room. Her inspiration stemmed from the artwork created with numerous film negatives and color made into a patchwork like piece that to me read Americana. I loved the deep blue-green wall color and angular shapes throughout the room. And the beautiful bar cabinet (in fact, most all rooms has some kind of libation tray or bar cabinet. I think those Mad Men were a wee bit influential, no?).

Bedroom by William McGovern of McGovern Design Studio

Bedroom by William McGovern of McGovern Design Studio

Although William was not present today, his knowing associate was there to describe this amazing sculpture that needs to be seen to truly understand the complexity behind its creation. Seriously, I was like, I have to see this egg! William took this “human Faberge-like egg of fabric and human models” and turned it out into woman-esque details and loads of fabric that envelope a standing model, dressed in black and white. Friends with benefits applies here…. a good friend of theirs who used to work in merchandising for Burberry actually dressed this model and created the details on the dress. Bonus!

Office by Shanon Mun of AMBI Design Studio

Office by Shanon Mun of AMBI Design Studio

Shanon really found creative ways to bring in the laser-cut and engraved plywood chair into her office space. Although more like a sitting room with a desk and shelves, this lovely fresh space has a hand-stitched area rug made of remnant carpeting and custom metal and wood shelving units. Very resourceful! I fell in love with the tripod table that featured inlaid mosaic that picked up on the diamond-like lines from the “crane” detail on the plywood chair. She thought of Very Wang when she pulled together the elements of this room. All women love to hear (and wear!) a little Vera now and then.

For those of you not yet brushed up on our city’s wonderful art galleries and institutions, The Renwick Gallery, a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, features one of the finest collections of 19th century to today in American craft. Visit the Washington Design Center starting this week to get a glimpse of the culmination of great young artists in the interior design field and the crafts.

The DreamHome Floorplan on the 5th floor of the Washington Design Center

The DreamHome Floorplan on the 5th floor of the Washington Design Center


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Breakfast, Bold Hues and Books with Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.

Not often do I spend early Tuesday mornings having coffee with celebrity interior designers. In fact, not ever? The ABA Agency and Washington Design Center graciously invited DC Design Coop to join them over breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel alongside adorable Martyn Lawrence Bullard {of “Million Dollar Decorators”}, Schumacher & Co textile executives and a handful of local magazine editors and fellow Washington DC bloggers. And let me tell you, it was “deelliicciioouuss”.

Megan Blake and Martyn Lawrence Bullard interior decorator

{Blurry} Shot of Martyn and I after breakfast! 

A fan of the hit Bravo show, I knew meeting the fabulous 44-year old interior decorator was going to be a fantastic treat. After all, he is well-traveled, uber-talented {Cher, Elton John and Kid Rock are on his client roster}, and successful with his own line of furnishings, textiles and even candles to name a few. Top that off with a handsome face to boot! At 123 year family-owned old textile house Schumacher & Co., Martyn teamed up with Creative Director, Susan North {who he sweetly coined the “Empress of fabric”} to produce a gorgeous collection of chevrons, ikats, strie silks, stripes and paisleys.

Adras Ikat Print in Carava

One of my favorites: Adras Ikat print in Caravan.

Sinhala Linen Print in Bittersweet

Inspired by The Tree of Life: Sinhala Linen Print in Bittersweet

Darya Ikat in Caravan

One of Martyn’s favorite patterns: Darya Ikat Print in Caravan

Maharajah Silk Velvet in Verde

Luxury at your fingertips: Maharajah Silk Velvet in Verde.

During a post-breakfast panel chat moderated by DC Modern Luxury Editor in Chief Karen Sommer Shalett, Martyn and Liz wowed a room with their insight into textiles and their around-the-world journeys to locate artisan weavers and luxurious materials for the collection. It was important to reflect a unique perspective and specific style for the embroideries and weaves that were inspired by historical patterns and Martyn’s personal souvenirs from exotic countries.

Schumacher, MLB, and DC Magazine

{another somewhat blurry shot} The Fab Four panel at WDC.

Through his charming nature and witty commentary, Martyn told us of the interesting people he met along the way and how he became one of the worlds best interior designers {did you know he’s one of Elle Decors top 25?}. I learned that mixing and not exactly matching colors in a room makes for a more beautiful palette. And that there is soul in good fabric – so may artisans put their time and heart onto making these wonderful textiles. Martyn also enthusiactically shared with us details of his new book, Live, Love & Decorate and signed copies for guests at  WDC’s Schumacher showroom {check out my signed copy below! Eek! Kisses to you too!}.

Live Love & Decorate by Martyn Lawrence Bullard

And that, ladies and gentleman, was how I spent my Tuesday morning and afternoon. Wonder what Wednesday has in store for me?

Stay tuned for more successful endeavors from the talented MLB brand. And look out in January 2013 for his fellow “Million Dollar Decorato” star, vivacious Mary McDonald to launch her fabric collaboration with Schumacher!

Dreaming in Jewel Tones.

Wow! The Washington DC area is fortunate to be overflowing with golden decorators and designers as is displayed at this years Dreamhome Showhouse at the Washington Design Center. Eight local interior designers were asked to to use jewelry as their inspiration for their room décor. In turn, seven local jewelers and a jewelry designer helped them choose the perfect piece. I’ve got my eye on Zoe Feldman’s bedroom suite. Right now I’m all about golden hues, abstract designs, glossy walls, and creamy textures – so this abstract ring and bedroom design hits the sweet spot for a cozy and relaxing bedroom reatreat.

What great inspiration for me in my own design work. Maybe I’ll be selecting a piece for next years event (if it’s the same theme). A great idea however! I’ll share more with you when I pop over the the Design Center this Friday for a peek.

Outdoor Design Tips from the WDC Experts.

It’s Outdoor Week at the Washington Design Center! On Tuesday, a very creative panel of experts talked about  how homeowners can create outdoor spaces that complement the overall architecture of their homes. The panel included Anthony Cusat of McHale Landscape Design, Elizabeth Norman of Elizabeth Norman Landscaping, Jay Graham of Graham Landscape Architecture, and interior designers Barbara Hawthorn and Dana Tydings. Here is what progressed from this insightful event. (transcribed from the Home & Design website post):

Q: What is the best way to formulate a plan for furnishing my outdoor spaces?

A: Elizabeth Norman. The first thing to do is to determine how you live in and use the space. On a recent job, my client was trying to do everything—read, relax, play and entertain—in a small space. We took all the furniture out and didn’t put it back unless it solved a problem.

Q: What are some of the challenges homeowners face when embarking on an outdoor project?

A: Barbara Hawthorn I ask clients, “How do you envision using this space? How many months will you really use it?” One of the challenges is making a space attractive during its fallow time, designing for all seasons. I tell clients to have the philosophy that “it is going to grow with me.” The fact that it is going to take time [for a landscape to mature] is one of the hardest things to convey.

Barbara Hawthorn created a sultry evening setting complete with a fire element offering warmth and light.

Barbara Hawthorn a beautiful evening setting complete with a fire element for warmth and light.

Q: How can I be sure that my interior style will marry with my outdoor furnishings plan?

A: Dana Tydings. In a perfect world, you would meet with your landscape designer and your interior designer at the same time. People don’t realize that if they are working together, they can save you time and money.

Q: What is the difference between a garden and a landscape?

A: Jay Graham. A garden is very dynamic. It changes constantly and you engage with it. A landscape is an established setting for your house.

A: Elizabeth Norman. A landscape flows into a bigger vernacular, into the surrounding geography. A garden sits within the landscape. It quakes and moves all the time. It changes color daily in small ways and in big ways four times a year.

Q: What should I look for in an outdoor fabric?

A: Barbara Hawthorn. There are so many new fabrics now. They are incredibly easy to clean and don’t limit your versatility. The new solution-dyed acrylics are resistant to sunlight, rain, and discoloration from falling leaves.

Q: How can I stick to a budget and use the latest designer fabrics?

A. Dana Tydings. The newest outdoor fabrics are not inexpensive. At $60 to $80 a yard, you should order them sparingly. Do it in stages and do it right.

A: Barbara Hawthorn. Be sure to include welting in the seams to be sure cushions are durable.

A: Elizabeth Norman. You can jazz up affordable fabrics in solids and stripes with pillows in more expensive patterns. I like to change pillows seasonally.

Q: What types of elements should an effective landscape include?

A: Jay Graham. Thinking about how the landscape itself is “furnished” is important. I like to design low walls in a landscape that can be used used for sitting, dining and putting drinks on even when the furniture is put away.

Q: How can lighting enhance my landscape design?

A: Anthony Cusat. Low-voltage lights create a nice, warm glow. The new LED lights have warmer tones now. It’s very beautiful to up-light trees, such as crape myrtles, from below. Or you can add moonlighting by installing LED lights in the trees, shining down.

Q: What are some trends in outdoor living spaces?

A: Anthony Cusat. We build a lot of outdoor kitchens with grills, sinks, refrigerators and beverage centers as well as wine-tasting gardens that connect to a pool house.

Q: How can I create an eco-friendly garden?

A: Elizabeth Norman. It used to be really hard to have an organic garden. Now, Lowe’s organic department is as big as its conventional one. Ask professionals for plants that don’t need poisons to look good. And remember that some organic products are just as poisonous as their conventional counterparts.

Washington Design Center Sample Sale!

Calling all design aficionados!!

(or smart homeowners looking to score designer decor duds at great discounts!).

Tomorrow, Saturday October 9th, from 10am to 3pm, is the popular Washington Design Center Sample Sale featuring goods from participating showrooms: Pugrant Associates, Century Furniture, Baker Knapp & Tubbs, Henredon, Milano Group, Luxe Studio, Robert Allen | Beacon Hill, Zoffany, Foundation, J. Ascher Carpet Couture, and Sherle Wagner among several others.

Here is your chance to shop the region’s most extensive and luxurious collection of home furnishings at a deep discount. It really is the perfect opportunity to see the latest trends and products in home furnishings and decor and to shop hundreds of high-end items including furniture, rugs, lighting, art and accessories at up to 75 percent off. It’s truly a great way for consumers to take advantage of significant discounts that these luxury showrooms rarely offer.

Set your alarm, grab your coffee, slip on some comfortable shoes and prepare for a great day! Shop on DC!

The WDC Building is huge = LOTS of great home decor finds!

The WDC building is huge = LOTS of great home decor finds!


Just a Thought.

"A person should design the way he makes a living, around how he wishes to make a life" — Charlie Byrd

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