We’re just days away from the opening of this year’s DC Design House, which this year is in McLean, off Georgetown Pike just beyond where I went to high school at Langley! It was great to drive by my old school, and then to see this house, designed by Harrison Design and built by Artisan Builders, with landscapes by Charles Owen of Fine Landscapes. I’ve covered this same team in the past, so it was cool to see another of their projects—a $4.895 million project at that.
I was so moved this year by how personal some of the room inspirations were, from Nancy Twomey’s sweet baby deer photography for a little girl’s nursery:
to Scott Cooke’s reverence for Bill Blass’s color palette,
to Christopher Nutter’s desire to honor the late Virginia grande dame Bunny Mellon.
Christopher Patrick was inspired by a Cartier drawing of a custom necklace for Marjorie Merriweather Post, which he saw at the recent Cartier exhibit at the Hillwood Museum. “It had blues, golds and pearls. I took those colors and pulled them together in this way,” he says of the master bedroom. You’ll have to see that space on the tour, but here’s his dramatic master bath:
Courtney Cox and Alex Derringer of 2 Ivy Lane showed off their shop’s monogrammed linens, but I was captivated by the nightstands:
Hunt Slonem makes another appearance here, too:
And then Jeff Akseizer defined his dazzling dining room by cladding the ceiling with 350 birch poles from Aspen. Wow.
Down the hall, Michael Hampton was inspired by a dramatic silk chinoiserie panel he found at John Roselli, and his library followed suit.
A powder room around the corner, done by artist Lisa Tureson, speaks to her reverence for abstract expressionist Helen Frankenthaler, “one of the greatest painters of the 20th century,” she says. Tureson created works of art inspired by Frankenthaler’s “Mountains and Sea,” which hangs downtown at the National Gallery of Art.
Sarah Wessel took the home’s American farmhouse style to heart, as both her grandfather and great grandfather were farmers. She found a pastel drawing of a 1930’s WPA photograph that reminded her of her lineage, and also set the tone in the breakfast room. You can see the artwork in the rear.
The Currey & Co. pendants are reminiscent of jars that kids use to capture fireflies. And this I love—she took a Lee Jofa fabric (Tidewater Block), which costs $500 per yard no less, and used it ON THE REVERSE. It’s hand-blocked, so the dye bleeds through the fabric. I like it so much better this way.
There are 28 rooms, so this blog post won’t do justice to all of them. Here are some more of my favorite scenes, and I hope you’ll go check it out starting on Sunday to see it for yourself.
My all-time favorite desk by Thomas O’Brien for Hickory Chair. I once did a blog post just on this desk.
Another desk built in to a downstairs hallway by David Benton, who works with architect Jim Rill.
Annette Hannon’s stunning living room, above and below, with hand-embroidered silk wallcovering by Fromental. How appropriate to see during cherry blossom season!
Instagram photography by DC photographer Michael Wilkinson, at the bottom of the stairs on the lower level. (by David Benton)
The upstairs hallway, above and below, by Pamela Harvey. I love the metallic details in the wall fabric by Beacon Hill.
The lower-level bistro by Joanne Fitzgerald of Gatega Interior Design
Cole & Son Wallpaper in the rear stairwell (David Benton)
The rear porch by Nancy Colbert
and the custom dining gazebo by Skip Sroka
The house is located at 956 Mackall Farms Lane in McLean.
Tickets are $30 to tour the design house, which is open from this Sunday, April 12 (12-5) through Sunday, May 10.
If you want your own preview, pay $50 for a ticket on Saturday, when chef Bryan Voltaggio will be on hand to sign his new cookbook, Home: Recipes to Cook with Family and Friends.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10-3; Thursday evenings, 5-8; Saturday-Sunday, 12-5. Closed Mondays.
All ticket proceeds benefit Children’s National Health System.