Traditional Home’s “Find-A-Designer” Day! at the Washington Design Center

I am excited that I have been chosen to participate in Traditional Home’s “Find-A-Designer” Day! at the Washington Design Center on April 29, 2010.

Maryland Interior Designer in “DC by Design” Blog

In this new world of Facebook and Linked In and Blogging, I am excited to blog that I have been written up in someone else’s blog!

Jennifer Sergent, formerly of Washington Spaces Magazine, has started a blog called DC by Design, and in her blog, she wrote about one of her favorite contemporary pieces that was used in one of my projects.

The piece by Hickory Chair marries the traditional idea of a secretary to the contemporary realm in styling and finish. The secretary I used just happened to be stripped of the factory finish and custom colored by a local artist. You can view what Jennifer has to say about this piece by clicking on the Hallings Secretary below… Scroll to the bottom to see how I used this piece in a recent project.

Maryland Interior Designer Shares Family Room Project in Bethesda

I imagine that finding an empty room is equivalent to an artist encountering a blank canvas or a writer looking at a blank sheet of paper. As an interior designer practicing in Maryland with projects throughout Washington D.C. and Virginia, I look upon the empty room as having endless possibilities.

It is a pleasure to share with you the evolution of a wonderful new home in Bethesda, Maryland that is reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts movement where I was hired to fill the empty room; their family room. Not only was this couple moving from a small townhome in Washington, D.C. but their family size would shortly increase by one; so we had to “put the move on” the project.

As always, I asked what feeling this couple wanted to evoke and was told that they loved the warmth of Nantucket and wanted that “look”; warm, welcoming, and sophisticated. The “bones” of this 18 x 21’ family room are great, boasting 10 foot ceilings and a lovely fireplace flanked by custom cabinetry. The photos below portray the room at the beginning of the planning stage.

Fireplace and cabinets in the Family Room.


View of the Family Room looking out to the deck and yard.

Nothing from the old space would convey; so I set off to do enough floor plan drawings in AutoCAD of different room configurations so that they would be able to make informed choices. The floor plan that was chosen is shown below.

The floor plan that was chosen - this plan allows seating for six and room to move around.

Next, we met with my favorite choice for fine rugs in Bethesda, Maryland and decided on several that would be brought to the home to see in the client’s own day and night light. The final selection which set the stage for the rest of the textile choices is a gorgeous hand woven rug from India in cream, gold, silver sage brown and a berry tone as shown below.

Close up of hand-woven rug from India.

Another step toward designing the room was the process of pre-selecting sofa and chair frames in the Washington, D.C. Design Center on which the client needed to sit before purchasing. Their sofa and chair selections are shown below in neutral fabrics.

The sofa the couple selected is not only good looking, it is also very comfortable.


The chosen chairs are good looking from the front and back. Perfect choice when the back of the chair will be seen.

Next, the clients were ready for textiles for their sofa and chairs; selecting fabrics is such a fun part of the job and gives the room a lot of its personality. The very wooded lot in Bethesda, Maryland on which this home sits demands that fabrics are presented on site, for lighting purposes as well as to see how close we are getting to bringing the room the New England charm that was requested.

For the sofa, a mottled Duralee chenille was chosen for its 2 color practicality as well as the wonderful way it blends with the Highland Court diamond pattern for the spool chairs. Both are shown below.

Sofa fabric shown on top and chair fabric on the bottom.

The pillow fabric selected from Hickory chair reminds one of pieces of coral and just rounds out the entire design.

While visiting the Washington Design Center one day, I came across an excellent cocktail table “find” for these clients. The table has a bamboo planked top and is virtually indestructible. The Asian influenced design makes a wonderful and striking addition to the room.

The table is great looking and can withstand the activity a family room endures.

The sofa and chairs have arrived at their home and look wonderful (not to mention are VERY comfortable) in their family room. We are now in the process selecting an additional chair and ottoman, window treatments, and side tables for the room.

I’ll blog more when we get closer to the final unveiling of the room.

Cupcake Sisters

Every once in a while I come across something that just makes me smile. This cupcake artwork is one of those things… About a month ago, I purchased this from the Washington Design Center because I wanted to put a smile on my daughter’s face. It’s just one of those cheery things…

Well, after my purchase, I saw an article in The Washington Post about the sisters who started Georgetown Cupcake. The sisters will be appearing on a TLC show detailing the inner workings of the cupcake business that may be called, “Cupcake Sisters” (they are still working on the title). I’ve made a few phone calls and my goal is to get the producers of the show to use this cupcake artwork on the show. Why would we not want to share the smiles?! And the cupcakes!