I was bowled over by the architecture of Darryl Carter‘s new eponymous shop in DC’s Shaw neighborhood last fall when he held his opening party—before any of the products had been stocked. It opened right after Thanksgiving, and I finally made my way to his emporium at 1320 9th St. NW last week. WOW.
Visitors walk through a huge old Tudor arch at the store’s entry—Darryl salvaged it during the construction and immediately knew it had to grace the front. (Kudos to builder and historic-restoration expert Tom Glass for his expertise in being able to fit it in.)
What I love about the store, which occupies a pre-Civil War carriage house, is that you feel like you’re walking through Darryl’s home—he conceived every piece of molding, millwork and metal to surround his wares, and he spent two years sourcing his products from artisans. Everything is made my human hands, says Charles Grazioli, Darryl’s chief operating officer. “Nothing rolls off an assembly line on the other side of the world.”
Here’s a closer look into the cupboards:
And even closer, where one of the open drawers reveal salt cellars made by local artist Margaret Boozer, with horn spoons crafted by UK craftswoman Sarah Petherick.
Here are more of Sarah’s horn creations—I was pleasantly surprised by how affordable they are:
And look at these Champagne flutes, made (by hand, of course) with impossibly thin glass. They weigh practically nothing.
The store is arranged like a real home—kitchen and dining items in a kitchen and dining room, bed and bath in an upstairs bedroom, etc. Here is the kitchen and dining area. The BEST news is that it’s a full working kitchen, and the entire space can be rented out for events.
Margaret Boozer’s work on the wall here is stunning, especially with the pendant lights, which are Darryl’s own design:
On the dining table are these modern cheese plates, designed by Darryl and Margaret together. The antler-handled utensils are made by a craftsman in Utah.
This bowl stand is also a Darryl design:
As is this outdoor lantern also comes from Darryl’s sketch book, appropriately named Naylor Court for the alley in which it hangs:
The store occupies two buildings, with a gorgeous courtyard in between. I love the geometry of this space, especially as seen through the architecture of the windows:
And this piece of “modern art” in the courtyard? It attests to Darryl’s incredible sense for finding beauty in ruin. Bedsprings!
There are so many curiosities in this shop, that no doubt you will spend a lot of time poking around here. And surely nature will call. Not to worry, there is a WC here, where of course everything is gorgeously appointed (and also for sale—note the jaunty globe in the mirror’s reflection).
As Darryl intended, the architecture is just as interesting as the products on offer. As you can see from this stairwell, Darryl wanted to expose the old bricks of the original building, with minimal intrusion of new construction—you can see the original joists and the “ghost lines” of the original stair configuration:
Darryl’s textile library is on the level where I took this picture. Instead of hanging fabrics on “wings,” as is typical of a fabric showroom, he arranged them in baskets that he salvaged from the Navy. They were originally used in ship building, where parts were placed in the baskets and dipped in cleaning solutions.
Upstairs is like visiting a favorite aunt’s attic — furniture everywhere, but all of it beautiful.
And there is still one level left—the bedroom.
If you look closely at the linens, you will see that they are stitched together by hand.
I particularly love the easel next to the bed with the painting, which could be of an old great uncle. Darryl frequently displays art on these types of easels—big and small—both in client projects and in his own home. I love knowing that we can get one for ourselves here.
Charles tells me that business has been brisk since they opened, both with consumers and designers who are shopping for clients. And for good reason: Darryl’s pared-down style, his reverence for old things and his eye for the modern combine for a look that is timeless. I will definitely be going back soon.