The Layering Process – A Bedroom Takes Shape – Interior Design in MD, DC and VA

The design process can be likened to the layering of a cake or a lasagna. In Interior Design, layers usually begin at the bottom and work their way up until the final product is achieved.

In a recent Falls Church, VA bedroom project, we began with a navy and cream area rug from C.G. Coe & Son, Inc. as the room’s first and stabilizing layer upon which all other pieces would be added.

Area Rug

Next came the bed, or more specifically, the custom headboard we designed and had fabricated by Oliver’s Furniture and Delivery. We selected a neutral gray tweed fabric for the headboard. The shape and button trim adds to the personality of the headboard.

Headboard fabric

Upholstered Headboard

In order to keep decorating costs lower, the client purchased ready made bedding. We gave the bed a custom look by having a pillow fabricated in a stylized floral patterned fabric. And although not seen in any of our photos, the window treatments have been fabricated in the same fabric.

Stylized floral fabric

Side tables were selected from the American Eye Showroom in the Washington Design Center for each side of the bed, and to keep things interesting THEY DO NOT MATCH, but are both made with metal and painted wood to make them congruous.

Night table with drawer

Night table

Next, we again enlisted the skills of Oliver’s Furniture and Delivery to fabricate the bench at the end of the bed according to our specifications. It is upholstered in a sturdy vinyl and adorned with polished chrome nail heads.

upholstered bench with nail heads

And a closeup of the nail head detail…upholstered bench with nail heads

But the layering does not end here. The room still needs accessories which can be likened to the chocolate shavings on top of a cake or the asiago cheese sprinkled on lasagna. Lamps, artwork, a throw blanket and other accessories will give this room a finished look.

Home. Work. This MD, VA, DC Interior Designer Knows How to Blend the Two.

We recently worked with a lovely repeat client to help her better blend and yet separate the lines between home and work in her Chevy Chase, MD home.

TRANSLATION: Very busy wife, mom of twins, and business executive needed a space in her home to become an office for some serious work. Her previous office was off the mudroom in a busy and noisy part of the home – this was not at all conducive to work.

We looked to a guest suite in the basement complete with a large room for an office, an adjacent room for storage and a bathroom across the hall. A door can be added later to make this a true “office suite”.

We started the process by presenting the client with three floor plans and together we determined this one would best suit her needs…

Office Floor Plan

After new recessed lighting was installed, we began with a new wall to wall carpet from C.G. Coe & Son in a sturdy and attractive nylon, perfect for a lower level room.

Fabrica carpet

A large workspace with plenty of surface area and cabinet storage was a must. We looked to our commercial office sources for a combination maple desk, cabinets, and bridge. The look is transitional and chrome hardware complements the look.

desk, cabinets, bridge

satin chrome hardware

We added two schoolhouse style sconces with clear Edison bulbs on each side of the back wall with a dual purpose in mind: to provide light and to provide visual interest. The third benefit was the very attractive ambiance these lights provide. The client plans to place a chair she already owns in this corner.

Schoolhouse style sconce

A TV was mounted above a shelf unit purchased from a popular catalog retailer. The piece provides a place for accents and accessories.


A sleep sofa was placed directly opposite of the desk unit and provides a comfortable place to catch up on reading materials or even grab a rejuvenating cat nap. We know the client will laugh when she reads the nap part!

Queen sleep sofa

Three custom made pillows adorn the sofa; two square in a floral fabric welted in taupe, and a self-welted rectangular pillow in a chain-link pattern. The sofa has a pull-out queen mattress to accommodate guests when necessary.

Custom made pillows

The large and small windows were casually treated with faux wood blinds in a finish that brings everything together.

Hunter Douglas Everwoods

The bathroom directly across from the office was given a partial renovation. The tub/shower, toilet, and tile remained as is. We designed a simple painted wood vanity with shaker-style doors fabricated by our cabinet maker.

Bathroom vanity

The vanity received a quartzite top (that was a remnant), undermount sink and graceful faucet.

quartzite and undermount sink

The final touch in the room was a wall covering with a grey trellis pattern on a white background.

Trellis wall covering

A new silver and wood framed mirror and chrome square knobs will soon be added.

The same taupey faux wood blinds in the office adorn the window in the bathroom.

Hunter Douglas Everwood

During a recent conversation, the client expressed her delight with the office space and at being able to close the door during a recent business phone call; a simple act that further helped separate work from home.

The (mostly) finished product…


MD, VA, DC Interior Designer Goes to NYC

I just got back from a 2-day whirlwind design meeting with a lovely couple whom I have worked with just recently on another project. They recently purchased a penthouse condo in Tribeca and I was so excited that they asked me to come help them with the design of the space.

I stayed at at charming luxury boutique hotel called Duane Street Hotel, and that got me thinking more and more about good design in small spaces. My room was small, and when space is at a premium, it is important to make every square foot count.

The bathroom was compact, but that did not deter the designers from making the most of it. The floor, vanity and shower tile were all on the dark side which made the space feel cozy, but not cramped. Yes, I wear my Interior Designer hat all the time, and I love taking everything in when I am in new spaces!

Duane Street Hotel

Mirror with slim lighting built right in

Duane Street Hotel

Dark vanity cabinet with open storage

Duane Street Hotel

Darker tile in the shower with a concrete look

And my favorite feature in the bathroom – one that I will be tweaking and using in the future…

Duane Street Hotel

Convenient shelf storage in the bathroom is functional and good looking

The built-in wood look continued in the room…

Duane Street Hotel

Lastly, the bed, with it’s leather upholstered headboard had a geometric mirror perched directly above to assist with providing more light into the room.

Duane Street Hotel

I hope to bring you pictures and information about this wonderful NY project soon!

We Provide “Shelf Help” Too

Yesterday’s article “Shelf Help” in the Local Living section of the Washington Post yesterday got us thinking about a few of our favorite shelving units that we have designed recently. We’d like to share them with you.

cabinet and shelves

shelves with drawers

desk with shelves

wall shelves

floating shelf

Thanks for visiting!

Throwback Thursday: Potomac, MD Home Hits the Market

District Home Magazine
In early 2000 we worked on a project with a wonderful couple who were having a country villa style home built in the Avenel Community of Potomac, MD. It was bittersweet to see this very home on the cover of the April issue of District Home Magazine… it is now for sale.

We had the honor of working on this home during the during all stages of conception and building. The home was designed by Architect Michael Marshall and constructed by Natelli Builders. We assisted the clients with selecting all finishes in this beautiful home. Once built, we worked with the clients to integrate their existing furniture as well as to seamlessly incorporate new pieces into the mix. At the time their style was traditional, although like many couples whose children have grown, they are now embracing a more transitional style in their new home.

One of our favorite features in this home is the grand two-part foyer the couple wanted built for their extensive art collection acquired during their travels. Its wood and stone floor, textured but neutral walls and beautifully designed ceiling and pilasters provide the perfect backdrop for art display.


The home also features a gourmet kitchen that opens to a large breakfast area and family room with gorgeous and unique wood trusses. These large entertaining spaces set the stage for the delicious meals and many gathering that would take place in the home.

wood trusses

Looking back, there are several things that made this project one to fondly remember:

1. The positive energy of the homeowners
2. Their openness to new and creative ideas
3. Their love of having projects to complete

Some of the other rooms we designed in the home:

dining room

Spacious Formal Dining Room


Office with Cherry Cabinetry

Master Bedroom

Traditional Master Bedroom with Fireplace

After architect, builder and interior designer were gone, we love that they made this large elegant house a warm and inviting place to call home.

We wish the couple much luck and love as they close the door to their past and open the door to their future.