Regan and Meaghan are stocking up for the spring!
We took an extended summer break. WE'RE BACK! And we have loads of exciting news and ideas to share. Stay tuned for regular blogging to begin next week. Hurray!
In the meantime, come check us out in our new design studio! Today we're celebrating Amex Small Business Saturday. Open until 5pm!
4216B Howard Avenue | Kensington, MD 20895
Inspired by his travels, Martin Lawrence Bullard came out with a new wallpaper collection at Schumacher. Here's a peek into the new line:
This month, Design 101 is all about Fabric. We're cheating a little this week, because we've already blogged about how to find the best fabrics selection for your sofa and windows.
Oh la la, we love.
It's was another busy month in the life of this designer. By week five, I felt like I was finally getting a handle on the plumbing fiascos. By week six, I realized the house hadn't yet showed me all of the fun it had in store.
Even designers have dogs, that as puppies, tear apart our doors. Growing up, we had a particularly obstinate beast who broke through screens, climbed bushes, and took the shock of two electric fences to chase squirrels. I'm fairly certain the claw marks above are his handiwork. In the end, you lose track of the number of doors that need to be repaired and learn to live with the damage. They become friendly reminders of the dogs that have come in and out of your home. Beyond the hideousness of the door above is the real problem in that we seem to have misplaced the door knob. After several weeks, I finally had the trash collection and recycling schedule down. But when you have a knob-less door between you and the trash bins, it makes weekly chores a lot more difficult. I knew a guy, and he came to "fix" it. Days later, I stood barefoot and locked out in the rain, wet newspapers dangling off of my arms, because the knob had fallen off again.
To those of you who sit at a desk for the majority of the day, it probably seems a bit unfair that as a designer I get to hang out with life sized stuffed animals. What can I say, it's clearly a huge perk of the job. That's me, with the mascot for Children's National Medical Center, at the opening party for the DC Design House.
That week our room at the DC Design House was featured on the front of the Local Living section in The Washington Post as well. Yahoo! Lack of sleep for weeks on end? Totally worth it.
We discovered Link Outdoor Fabric (and trim!) at John Rosselli in Georgeown, and fell head over heels in love. The gorgeous combo above is for an outdoor terrace project.
Actually, who am I kidding. I don't wear heels. I've knocked my front teeth out three times, so I only wear heels when I know I can get from point A to point B without falling flat on my face. I fell head over Superga, which is my shoe of choice for running around town all day.
Back to the terrace project, you can't go wrong with any of LuLu DK's fabrics. Her outdoor collection is hip, fresh, and stunning.
Despite our disappointment that the Lee Industries Outdoor Pouf didn't come with the dog, we ordered a few as ottomans and additional pull-up seating.
Only in DC could a design center share space with Homeland Security! I have never wanted a badge more! After a long day of sourcing rugs, wallpaper, and fabrics, stumbling upon this entry was the greatest DC design discovery yet.
On to shop for door knobs...
This month, Design 101 is all about Fabric. We rounded up some of our favorite DIY tutorials to help you incorporate all of your new fabric finds into your home.
As you all know, we believe the little design details make a difference. One thing that drives us nuts is kleenex boxes. Those colorful crayon flowers never seem to go with our decor! Cover your boxes with fabric, by following a tutorial from Coffee and Cabaret.
We saw this photo and wondered how fun it would be to switch out headboards seasonally. It could completely transform your room? Learn how to upholster your own headboard from C.R.A.F.T., Creating really awesome free things.
We recently fell in love with Link Outdoor Fabrics. Their colors are spot-on and there are patterns available for every style. Their terrific selection of outdoor trims add just the right finishing detail! Below are some of the patterns and colors that have us drooling.
Link Outdoor Fabrics are available to the trade through John Rosselli & Associates.
This month, Design 101 is dedicated to fabrics, so we wanted to start with the fabrics that are the most fun: Outdoor Fabrics! Summer is here and it's time to put the finishing touches on your outdoor furniture!
Types of Outdoor Fabric
- Solution-dyed Acrylic: You might have heard of fabrics like Sunbrella, which fit into this catagory. They hold up well in the sun, repels water, won't mold or mildew, and resists wrinkling. It can be washed in the washing machine. They also hold true to their color because the fabric fibers are dyed before they're woven into fabric. Acrylics are used for everything from awnings and umbrellas, to furniture cushions and pillows. You can even find acrylic outdoor drapery fabric.
- Acrylic-coated Polyester: Similar in appearance and durability to acrylic, this fabric is often used for boats and cars. It can be screen printed with fade-resistent and weather-resistent dyes.
- Acrylic-coated Polyester-Coton Blends: This fabric is a combination of man-made and natural fibers, so it's hand is softer and it maintains a high level of durability (but might not take rough and tough as well as 100% acrylic).
- Vinyl-coated Fabrics: You'll recognize this fabric on large canopies and commercial awnings, with it's slick and glossy finish that is fully waterproof.
Qualities of Outdoor Fabrics
- Water and Mildew Resistance: Most outdoor fabrics are made with a protective coating, so that they repel water, moisture, mold, and mildew. The coating is often a finish that is applied to the fabric, so if you clean the fabric often, or sit in it regularly, the fabric will still reflect normal wear or use.
- Fading: Over time, outdoor fabrics can fade. Especially dark colors such as black, navy blue, and dark brown. If you are using dark or vibrant colors, consider storing cushions away from the direct rays of the sun when not in use.
What to Look for when Shopping for Outdoor Fabrics
When shopping in-store, or online, look for the following keywords:
- Indoor/Outdoor Fabric
- Outdoor Fabric
- All-weather Fabric
- Waterproof Fabric
- Weather-proof or Weather-resistant Fabric
If you're a regular reader of our blog, you know that we often take outdoor fabrics indoors. Because they are durable and resistant to mold and mildew, outdoor fabrics can be terrific on indoor upholstery in humid environments, homes with pets, and homes with allergy sufferers. One of our favorite options? Restoration Hardware has a terrific line of outdoor sofas that we like to use in family rooms!
We love low maintenance.
We've had a long standing love affair with the Bennison, the British fabric house established in 1985. We've used their hand printed fabrics on projects throughout the country, as they have motifs and colors to fit with every style. We were thrilled to receive an email from Holly Hunt (DC) announcing new patterns:
Can't wait to pick up samples! Below are some of our favorite Bennison classics.
Last week I started a new blog series, Design Diaries, to give all of you aspiring designers insight into the daily life of an interior designer. In the beginning of April, I officially relocated from NYC to DC. I packed up a rental SUV with half of my clothes, half of my office, and a bunch of show house art and furniture, ready to settle into my parent's house (where I'm housesitting) and the DC Design House (where I designed a room). Things didn't exactly go as smoothly as I had planned.
Lesson One, Day One: I don't know everything I thought I did about Plumbing.
When you start a load of laundry, and within minutes your laundry room floor starts to look like the image below, you are in trouble.
Yikes. I grabbed a mop, left my clothes soggy somewhere in the middle of spin cycle, and begged the plumber to come as soon as possible. 8am the next morning? Fine, so what if I have movers showing up at the same time.
The plumbers scolded me for various objects found in the drain, snaked it, and recommend further investigation. A few days later they showed up with something that looked like the machine above, which took a picture like the one above, and I prayed the culprit wasn't a dead raccoon or bunny rabbit (it looked awfully furry and morbid on camera). Luckily, or not, it was a tree root from a former oak that used to line the driveway. The oak has been long gone, but the vicious roots still existed. We went for the larger snake, and now I'm crossing fingers and toes that the roots are gone for good.
Lesson Two, Day Two: Regan 0, Plumbing 2.
The next week, after a shower, I noticed a suspicious cloud like mark on the living room ceiling. Oh no, I thought, that's not good. I sat, watching the cloud grow larger until eventually water droplets started forming. Something told me the plumber and I were about to be best buddies.
Or not. I mean, look at the ceiling! What I thought was a grout leak, was in fact a faucet leak. Naturally a good chunk of the ceiling had to go, as did a large portion of the shower wall. Thankfully now it's all patched up, but I'm starting to miss my little apartment in NYC with my super on speed dial.
Lets not forget why I'm here in DC - the DC Design House! What fun! I mentioned above that my movers were supposed to show up the same day as plumber #1. Well, 9am came and went, as did 10am and 11am. Where were these guys? I finally got a hold of someone, who told me their truck broke down, and they were stuck in traffic. OK, I thought, I'll believe you. Once. 12pm, 1pm, still no movers. Did I mention that my living room was full of ALL of the furniture, art, and accessories for the show house? Yep, that would be the same living room that was soon to spring a leak the following day. By 3pm I realized the movers were never going to show. Frantic, I called around to find a moving company that could help me in a pinch.
Metropolitan Movers to the Rescue!! I cannot praise these guys enough. If you are moving in the DC area, CALL THEM. That's their shiny clean truck in the picture above, as they unloaded at the DC Design House.
I bet you thought everything in my room at the DC Design House just magically came together, didn't you? Try again. For a week straight, I was up at 6am and working until 11pm. Installations are often that way - they initially look like a hurricane came through the house, and then slowly things start to come together.
Once all of the major pieces were in place, I concentrated on filling in the gaps with additional accessories. In any large space, I've often found that the room sucks up accessories. You can never have enough on hand, just in case. I made daily trips out to Rockville Pike, which looked like the image below, no matter what time of day.
Traffic is a killer! I haven't driven regularly in twelve years. It has been hard enough to adjust to sitting behind the wheel of a car, much less trying to navigate all of the cars going every which direction. I have made countless U-turns, driven the wrong way down one way streets, and within a month I racked up an embarrassing total of parking tickets and moving violations. I can't bring myself to publish the dollar amount.
I like to plan ahead, and think of any problems that might arise during an installation. The installation week was going well, until I walked in one morning to realize a slight mistake on the Roman Shades. The one above just didn't seem right. It was supposed to look like the other two:
Huh, peculiar. Was it the sunlight altering the appearance? Was there a film on the windows? The I figured it out. The shades were ordered with privacy lining (which lets in light), and one was accidentally made with blackout lining (which blocks all of the light). These things happen, we are all human. But with the DC Design House opening in three days, I had a problem on my hands. Luckily, The Shade Store has some of the best customer service in the industry. I kid you not, two days later I had a brand new shade sitting on my doorstep. Now that's impressive.
By week four, the house plumbing and the DC Design House installation seemed to be in order. I, on the other hand, had to host a one party intervention when I realized I had worn yoga pants everyday for a nearly a week without having been to the gym once. It was a slippery slope to finding myself grocery shopping in pajamas. Turns out design isn't always as glamorous as it's pumped up to be.
Looking forward to checking out this new pretty pattern at Quadrille!
This month, Design 101 will be all about Fabrics!
When I tell people I'm an interior designer, they usually say something about how fun my job must be. Yes, I'm lucky to be able to do something I love everyday. Over the years friends have offered to be my assistant for a day, following me around town to showrooms and shops, lugging everything from tile and fabric to pieces of furniture. When our backs are about to break, and we realize the loud grumbling noises are actually our stomachs, I always ask, "still fun?". "Oh yea", they say, every time. Then they briefly consider leaving their jobs to become designers. This has happened enough that it got me thinking about writing "a day in the life of a designer".
I recently relocated from NYC to DC, creating the perfect opportunity to start such a blog. The move has been a transition for work, requiring me to make new connections and build local sources. Just when I've familiarized myself with the DC Design Center, it's moving!
It's also proven to be a transition in lifestyle. I moved from a tiny jewel of an apartment in the city to housesitting my parent's 1950 colonial in the suburbs-ish. In the city, I longed for trees. Here, I've learned quickly the damage they can do. Ever washed a load of laundry only to have all of the water come back up, flooding your laundry room floor? Let me assure you, it's not pretty. Within a week I was battling a main drain backup and pinhole leaks in the living room ceiling.
Calling the plumber in one hand, putting together paint color schemes in the other. That's a day in the life of this designer. And on Mondays, you'll hear all about it.
We’re wrapping up a month all about art. We wanted to end the month by sharing works from a few fantastic artists we discovered through the DC Design House. Summer is here - Anyone have a beach house longing for an amazing original artwork? We can’t wait to find a home for a work by one of these talented women!
Lindsay, and abstract artist based in Richmond, VA, has been featured in publications such as Richmond Home, Young House Love by Sherry and John Petersik, and Luxe Interiors + Design. She states, “My inspiration derives from raw texture, movement, and color. Fundamental elements of my works are focused on the interplay of color and the layering and texturing of paints. Each painting’s composition develops organically as the work moves through each dynamic layer and stage.”
Below are a few of her available works:
Carol lives and works in Woodley Park, DC, and Noblesboro, Maine. She is a graduate of Pratt Institute and has won awards such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art Drawing Award, from the National Arts Club. Her work has been featured in publications such as Chesapeake Life Magazine, New York Daily News, and Antiques and Arts Weekly.
Below are a few of her available works:
Elise attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where she specialized in illustrations for children’s literature, landscapes, and portraiture. Spending time in both Arizona and the Pacific Northwest, Elise is inspired by nature. She continuously tries new approaches to her work, which is always evolving. The works below are influenced by the style and attitudes found in fashion during the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Below are a few of her available works, available through Merritt Gallery:
While designing our room at the DC Design House, we noted the amount of magnificent artwork throughout the house. We particularly fell smitten with the master bathroom, designed by Darlene Molnar, who hung a collection by local artists. One of the portraits Darlene displayed in her bathroom was by painter Nicole Bourgea:
Nicole Bourgea is a third generation artist and resident of Washington, DC. Her contemporary expressionistic paintings range from individual and home portraits, to larger projects for schools, offices, and interior designers. Underlying all of her work is a concern with microcosms that suggest a whole larger than the sum of it's parts.
Below are a few images of Nicole's recent work.
Nicole accepts commissions from private and public clients. She is currently working on an Urban Portrait Project, AS IS. The project asks the question, "Do we really see each other?". You can find out more about her series on her website or her blog, I Hate to Alarm You.