It’s hard to imagine springtime right now as I look out my window to all this snow, but this past weekend’s Bare Bones Tour at the DC Design House, which opens April 13, gave us a good taste of what’s to come when the trees and flowers start blooming.
The house is at 4600 Linnean Ave. in DC’s Forest Hills. It’s one of those big old stone houses with great bones (sorry for the pun), built in 1929. For the past six decades, it’s been owned by members of the Coyne family; its patriarch, Marshall Coyne, founded the Madison Hotel.
Unlike last year’s house, which was all new construction, this one holds the charms of a more formal age gone by.
Designer Kelley Proxmire is overhauling the living room, but I hope she keeps the cabinetry and grillwork cabinets — you really don’t see that much anymore. I also love the fireplace mantel, which has plugs right on each side for lamps.
Designer Nestor Santa Cruz is decorating the library, and I hear he’s going to keep all the paneling as-is, thank God!
This curvy hall leads to a side wing. The alcove at right is the bar, which designer Tracy Morris will be dressing up. How appropriate for aperitifs and night caps in the library.
The library hall ends up in a side wing that leads out to the pool. At present, “bare bones” is the correct term:
But Naseera Moore-Lawrence and Nicolette Powell of Country Casual will be sprucing it up in a big way:
Now, let’s go back to the front entrance, where Camille Saum’s handiwork has already begun. She chose this gorgeous green and silver wallpaper to line the foyer and go all the way up the stairs.
This is what you see when you look up from the front door—a taste of more to come:
Marika Meyer has big plans for the dining room to the right of the entry—but they DON’T include the existing chandelier:
Here’s what she has in mind. The chairs are coming from her own dining room, which she’s having reupholstered for the design house. Her family will have to eat elsewhere for a little while!
Nadia Subaran of Aidan Design is creating a new kitchen, which at this point, is nothing but construction framing. My dear friend Victoria Sanchez is outfitting the adjacent breakfast room and wine tasting area. Here’s her vision for that space:
There’s a secret back stairway leading from the basement, up by the kitchen and up through the third floor. That’s what I love about old houses—these tucked-away closets and stairs that were once the domain of live-in housekeepers.
C2 Paints, which is one of the DC Design House’s sponsors, is enriching the back stairway with big spring colors—I can’t wait to see the finished product!
Also upstairs, there’s this one huge walk-in closet made entirely of cedar, with built-in cedar drawers for out-of-season clothes. Brilliant. I don’t know if anyone is doing anything with the closet for the design house, but we found these spectacular masks in there—it was like making a discovery in grandma’s attic!
Meanwhile, here’s a peek of what’s to come on the second floor:
Designer Nancy Colbert of Design Partners is doing the master bedroom.
Designers Dennese Guadeloupe-Rojas of Interiors by Design and Diane Taitt of DeSpace Designs are collaborating on the second-floor family room.
Susan Donelson and Sharon Bubenhofer of Cleveland Hall Design will create this lovely guest room.
There’s a TINY space on the second floor that had once been designated as a sewing room. I LOVE that this house had a sewing room! Chad Alan poses below with the sewing machine, though this converted space will be an office.
Here’s a closeup of his tiny office design, where the star of the show is to be a fabulous desk by Century.
The design house is always a treat for me, because I get to see old friends and also meet new ones in the design industry. This time, I got to know Melissa McLay, who runs her eponymous design firm in Severna Park, MD. I especially loved that her third-floor guest room will feature a fabric by Annapolis-based Victoria Larson, whom we’re featuring in an upcoming issue of Luxe Magazine. Small world!
The centerpiece is Victoria Larson’s fabulous Peacock print.
Speaking of fabulous prints, I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing what Anne Wenzel of Anne Walsh Design does to this bathroom on the third floor:
Small bathrooms are great because you can totally splurge on pattern and color without it looking overdone. Here’s a closeup of the plan:
These images are just a small sampling of what’s to come — there are a total of 29 designers and landscape architects who are going to work on it this year, and I hope you’ll come out and see it between April 13 and May 11. The $25 tickets benefit Children’s National Health System. Additionally, on April 12, designer Barry Dixon will host a preview presentation and book signing at 2 pm. Click here for more information.
Until then, here’s a complete list of the participating designers:
- Front Landscaping – Blake Dunlevy and Gina Benincasa of D&A Dunlevy Landscapers, Inc., Poolesville, MD
- Façade – Jim Rill and David Benton of Rill Architects, Bethesda, MD
- Entry and Stair Hall – Camille Saum, Camille Saum Interior Design, LLC, Bethesda, MD
- Dining Room – Marika Meyer of Marika Meyer Interiors, Inc., Bethesda, MD
- Butler’s Pantry/Wine Room – Nadia Subaran of Aidan Design, Bethesda, MD
- Family Breakfast Room – Victoria Sanchez of Victoria Sanchez Interiors, Alexandria, VA
- Kitchen – Nadia Subaran of Aidan Design, Bethesda, MD
- Powder Room – Joanne Fitzgerald of Gatega Interior Design LLC, Rockville, MD
- Back Garden Loggia – Stephen Wlodarczyk of Botanical Decorators, Olney, MD
- Pool Bath and Dressing Room – Christopher Cahill of Cahill Design Build, Olney, MD
- Family Room – Jeff Akseizer and Jamie Brown of Akseizer Design Group, Alexandria, VA
- Outside Pool Area – Naseera Moore-Lawrence and Nicolette Powell of Country Casual, Gaithersburg, MD
- Playroom – Katherine Vernot-Jonas of Katherine Vernot-Jonas Designs, Washington, DC
- Library Bar – Tracy Morris of Tracy Morris Design, Washington, DC
- Library – Nestor Santa-Cruz of Nestor Santa-Cruz Decoration, Washington, DC
- Living Room – Kelley Proxmire of Kelley Interior Design, Bethesda, MD
- Guest Bedroom 1 – Susan Donelson and Sharon Bubenhofer of Cleveland Hall Design, Alexandria, VA
- Guest Bathroom 1 – Allie Mann of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc., Bethesda, MD and Falls Church, VA
- Second Floor Family Room – Dennese Guadeloupe-Rojas of Interiors by Design, Silver Spring, MD and Diane S. Taitt of DeSpace Designs, Washington DC
- Guest Bathroom 2 – Cindy McClure of Grossmueller’s Design Consultants, Washington DC
- Master Bedroom – Nancy Colbert of Design Partners, McLean, VA
- Master Walk-In Closet – Deborah Broockerd of Closet Factory of Waldorf, MD
- Master Bathroom – Cindy McClure of Grossmueller’s Design Consultants, Washington DC
- Office – Chad Alan of Chad Alan Designs, Washington DC
- Guest Bedroom 3 – Melissa McLay of Melissa McLay Interiors, Severna Park, MD
- Guest Bathroom 3 – TJ Monahan of ibby/Case Design/Remodeling, Inc., Bethesda, MD/Falls Church, VA
- Guest Bedroom 4 – Cheryl Lynn Doyle of Doyle Interiors, Washington DC
- Guest Bathroom 4 – Anne Wenzel of Anne Walsh Design, Chevy Chase, MD
- Back Stairhall – Beth Boggs of C2 Paint, Potomac Paint, Alexandria, Arlington, Chantilly, VA