Washington Design Center: New and Improved!

Welcome to the new Washington Design Center, where showrooms will begin opening their doors in May, with 100 percent moved in by September, when a grand-opening celebration is planned.

wdc-banner

Not only is the location at 1099 14th Street Northwest new, but the center hired the Adams Morgan design and branding firm Project DC to create a new look, as well. Gone is the old keystone-shaped logo, a reference to architectural features on the soon-to-be old building in Southwest. And the gray, white and chartreuse color scheme is utterly of the moment: wdc-colors Here’s an example of an ad you might be seeing in the near future:

wdc-ad and two versions of the new logo: wdc-logos

What I really love about the new look is that it artfully combines both the traditional, as you see in the WDC lettering, and the contemporary, in the font of Washington Design Center when it’s spelled out. SO, on to the details:

  • First, the design center at its current location, 300 D Street Southwest, is still open for business. Yes, the building was sold in 2012, but showrooms have leases that are ongoing, so the building has remained open the entire time. Now that they have settled on a new location, they are all actively planning their new showrooms.
  • The design center will occupy three floors at Franklin Court—the new building—and have access to voluminous event space in the building’s atrium, in addition to the rooftop for receptions.
  • Its location near the McPherson Square and Farragut North metro stations puts it the city’s central business district, near multitudes of restaurants and other retail shopping. (Unlike Southwest, where one’s dining options consisted of deli, deli, and cafeteria—in that order!)
  • Unlike the mostly windowless showrooms in the current building—which was originally constructed as a cold-storage warehouse in 1919—the new showrooms will have wide expanses of windows and light.
  • Several showrooms, including J. Lambeth & Co., Fabricut @ J. Lambeth, Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils, and Holly Hunt, will have floor-to-ceiling windows.
  • Holly Hunt will have a street-level showroom that leads up to the second floor.
  • The current Niermann Weeks showroom will now be combined with J. Lambeth.
  • The current Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman showroom will be combined with Hines & Co.
  • The current J. Asher Carpet Couture showroom is being combined with Holland & Sherry.
  • The Hickory Chair and Pearson lines, currently at Henredon, will be represented at Michael-Cleary.

Here is a list of all the showrooms with leases at the new building:

  • AmericanEye
  • Brown Jordan at AmericanEye
  • Arc-Com Fabrics
  • Century Furniture
  • Cowtan & Tout
  • Doris Leslie Blau (new!)
  • Duralee Fabrics
  • F. Schumacher
  • Fabricut @ J. Lambeth
  • Galleria Carpets & Rugs
  • Hines & Co.
  • Holland & Sherry
  • Holly Hunt
  • J. Lambeth & Co.
  • Kravet/Lee Jofa/Brunschwig & Fils
  • Michael-Cleary
  • Osborne & Little
  • Patterson, Flynn & Martin
  • Pindler & Pindler
  • Robert Allen Design
  • Romo Fabrics (new!)
  • Scalamandre
  • Stark Carpet

Those who are regulars at the design center might notice some names that are missing. Here’s the scoop on those:

  • Poliform|sagartstudio, which had been the only fully retail showroom in the design center,  is moving to Georgetown, although timing and date are still to be determined, co-owner Vincent Sagart tells me.
  • Donghia, a trade-only showroom, will move to Cady’s Alley in Georgetown. The showroom will offer space for designers to work, with a large work table and iPad stations, publicist Laura Steele says.
  • Henredon, a large showroom in the current building with major brands such as Laneventure, Global Views, Visual Comfort (and the aforementioned Hickory Chair and Pearson), is NOT moving over to the new building. Unclear where most of the lines will land. 
  • The Rist showroom, headed by the lovely Mark Rist, will also be no longer (sob!). His Zoffany fabric line, however, will move up to Hines & Co.
  • Baker Furniture, which already had a retail store in Georgetown, will maintain its Georgetown presence, but won’t have a showroom in the new building.
  • WillemSmith, which has already closed its showroom in Southwest, is now in Fairfax, VA, right here.
  • Charles Ray & Associates doesn’t have plans to go to the new building. Unclear what the future is.

So there you have it. I’ll leave you with some teasers from the showrooms making their DC debut at the new location — Doris Leslie Blau and Romo.

Doris Leslie Blau makes its first foray out of New York with this DC showroom. I love the clever way they market their gorgeous rugs—by pairing them with fashion:

A flat-weave contemporary with Calvin Klein boots

A flat-weave contemporary with Calvin Klein boots

 

A vintage Moroccan rug with a knit cap from Nordstrom

A vintage Moroccan rug with a knit cap from Nordstrom

 

An English Deco rug with a dress from Temperley London

An English Deco rug with a dress from Temperley London

An American hooked rag rug with a blouse by Isabel Marant for HM

An American hooked rag rug with a blouse by Isabel Marant for HM

 

Romo Fabrics, a British fabric house, also offers collections full of contemporary whimsy and sophistication:

Fabrics from the Marlow Collection

Fabrics from the Marlow Collection

 

My personal favorite -- the Orvieto Collection. I'm using the dotted fabric in my new bedroom design, as a result of my friend Jeff Akseizer pointing it out and handling the order for me!

My personal favorite — the Orvieto Collection. I’m using the dotted fabric in my new bedroom design, as a result of my friend Jeff Akseizer pointing it out and handling the order for me!

 

The Loriano Collection, sort of a subdued bling.

The Loriano Collection, sort of a subdued bling.

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Comments

  1. I would have given “the brand” a whole new, fresh look and feel by calling it “DCDC” (District of Columbia Design Center”. I never thought “Washington” was such a good idea, seeing as we have an entire STATE with the same name, far away. DCDC seems very fresh and has lots of good graphic potential. It’s also easier and more fun to say!

  2. Daniel V. Gossard says:

    Jennifer, Thank you for the update on the moving status of our beloved local Design Center. And, extra special thanks for including our dear friends who have moved elsewhere. So glad that Donghia and WillemSmith are still easily accessible to our needs.

Trackbacks

  1. […] out so the owners can start transforming it into a Bible museum. (See my previous posts here and here on the saga.) Most of the showrooms will be moving to Franklin Court at 1099 14th St. Northwest. […]

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