Located off a winding road in the leafy neighborhood of Wesley Heights, the 2013 DC Design House, which showcases the work of mostly area designers, will not disappoint.
This year's French Country-style home has 14,000 square feet of luxurious living space, from a grand marble foyer to a placid infinity pool in the backyard. The canvas was blank for the designers to fill in room by room. And they did, beautifully, the charge led, as always, by the biggest names on the local scene: David Mitchell, Camille Saum and Victoria Neale, to name a few.
Most fittingly, a newcomer to the DC Design House is interior designer Jessica Parker who works for the architectural firm www.gtmarchitects.com/">GTM Architects, which actually created the stone-and-stucco home.
Parker designed the expansive kitchen, with its generous granite counters, Shaker-style white cabinets, and glass-and-marble subway tile backsplash. "Because the kitchen was so large and neutral, with 10-foot-high ceilings," Parker said, "my challenge was to bring the overall scale down and make the space more welcoming."
|2013 D.C. Design House|
|www.camillesaum.com">Camille Saum Interior Design|
|www.davidmitchellinteriordesign.com">David Mitchell Interior Design|
|Iantha Carley Interiors|
|www.victorianealeinteriors.com">Victoria Neale Interiors|
She achieved this with lower-hanging pendant light fixtures above the island, as well as with an oversized white-twig chandelier over the eat-in area. Warmth came by way of a reclaimed chestnut breakfast table bracketed by two cozy rust wingback chairs. The C & B wooden bar chairs have seat cushions in the same toasty hue and are stained to match the island's base.
"I also added lighted upper cabinets for displaying baskets and other decorative objects with pops of color," Parker added.
When it came to color, three-time DC Design House participant interior designer Iantha Carley made a smallish front office/morning room sing.
"I love yellow and gray," Carley said. "They're such a fresh and timeless combination."
Carley embellished existing 7-foot white-painted wainscoting and a built-in desk with the addition of a Phillip Jeffries jute wall covering in her pretty palette, balancing its geometric graphics with soft florals in ceiling-to-floor flowing curtains by Vervain.
"I used some midcentury furniture, like my parents' chair from the '60s, and added more transitional pieces like the velvet sofa," Carley said.
Other transitional elements include the Lucite coffee table and the sculptural glass-and-metal chandelier, which hold hints of glamour without visually cramping the airy yet intimate room.
Another strong use of a relatively diminutive room is upstairs on the second floor in one of the home's eight bedrooms. Nancy Twomey, of www.finniansmooninteriors.com">Finnian's Moon Interiors, who specializes in kids' rooms, created a bedroom for boy/girl twins that could easily evolve into a room for older children and even guests with the passage of time.
"I wanted to create a space that was gender-neutral, and also soothing and serene for the parents who'd spend a lot of time there," said Twomey of the cocooning taupe-hued room.
The only kids' furnishings of note -- which couldn't be repurposed once the babies were grown -- are the linear iron cribs, as the settee, chest and benches would transition effectively over the years. All that would be needed is to switch beds.
The 2013 DC Design House is full of great ideas and decorating options. It's open to the public from April 14 to May 12. Proceeds benefit the Children's National Medical Center. For parking and information on hours go to dcdesign house.com.