Who wouldn’t love to work in a place that is surrounded by beauty? This week, I became lucky enough to do just that. I started work as the marketing director at The Washington Design Center — a place I have always loved to go to see the quality and craftsmanship in more than 50 showrooms on seven floors.
In my first four days, I’ve only just started going to each showroom individually, but I’ve already learned some incredible stories, which we’ll share in more detail on THE NEW BLOG we’re setting up for the WDC Web site, in an effort to give designers, architects, builders — even consumers — a better glimpse into what’s going on.
But I’ll share a few nuggets here to whet your appetite:
First, Lee Jofa has a new partnership with fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who has created fabric designs that I wanted to wrap myself up in the other day! (My blog buddie Susie Isaac of Maddie G Designs wrote a whole post about the parnership earlier this year, right here.)
Oscar created dresses and skirts out of the fabric, and there’s a video showing the fashion show in the Kravat/Lee Jofa showroom. Some of the actual skirts will be arriving here soon, which will ultimately be auctioned off.
And upstairs in the Century showroom, where Oscar also designs furniture, showroom manager Debbie Pegher showed me a stunning photograph of a bed frame upholstered with one of his new Lee Jofa designs.
I also spent time this week in the J. Lambeth showroom, where Ann and Jim Lambeth have been friends since I was at Washington Spaces. I adore all their lines, which include Barry Dixon’s fabric for Vervain,
and his furniture for Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth;
luscious pieces from the French furniture maker Grange,
and funky fabrics by Lucy Rose.
The latest news at J. Lambeth is that one of its brands, Fabricut, just acquired the venerable fabric house of Stroheim & Romann, which had its own showroom in the WDC. Now, there is major construction going on to combine the showrooms, so it will all be on the first floor, prominently located off the right side of the lobby. J. Lambeth, which has always been on two floors, will now be on one.
I also went to visit the J. Asher Carpet Couture showroom this week, where I learned that its carpets cover the grand auditorium of the Department of Interior (where I used to go to see the winning artists of the annual Duck Stamp contest!), the main house and 13 guest cabins of Camp David, and the Opera House and Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center, to name a few notable destinations. And the red and blue carpet going up the Capitol steps at each inauguration? Yup — J. Asher.
The showroom carries lines by Tufenkian, Alexa Hampton, Barbara Barry, and other lines known for their exquisitely woven designs. Here are some examples from its Web site:
I have obviously given short shrift to the many showrooms I didn’t mention in this post, which is why I’m so excited that our team is putting together a new blog for the WDC so we can celebrate them all on a regular basis.
I hope that any of you interested in stopping by to see what they have to offer will come visit me!