DC Design House: Amuse Bouche

The DC Design House had its press preview day today, and OMG — just can’t get over it. Usually, I would never want to live in a designer showhouse — every room tends to be over the top and way too showy. But MAN, I want to move right into this one. It didn’t hurt that they served us lunch on the terrace by the pool.

It opens to the public on April 10 (see my previous posts here and here). And while I await more professional pictures for a more detailed post next week, here is a little eye candy — not a lot of words, just a lot of visual teasing. I do hope you will pay $20 for a ticket — it will not only give you a most pleasurable afternoon, but it will also benefit the National Children’s Medical Center.

Foyer, by Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey

I'm pretty sure the vases come from my favorite porcelain company, DC-based Middle Kingdom.

Living Room, by Frank Babb Randolph:

Sun Room, by Sarah Wessel:

Dining Room, by Basha White:

Kitchen, by Clive Christian:

I didn't know what to look at first, the cabinets or the china.

Refrigerator doors!

Library, by Victoria Sanchez:

Conservatory, by Barry Dixon:

Barry is a modern-day Thomas Jefferson, interested in architecture, science, nature, and how to elicit the beauty of them all at home.

The conservatory is a showcase for Barry's lines of furniture with Tomlinson Erwin-Lambeth, fabrics with Vervain, and rugs with Megerian.

Conservatory Terrace, by Andrew Law:

How I longed to be out here at the cocktail hour...

Landscaping by Cynthia Ferranto:

Here's what you see from the balcony on Andrew's terrace.

Master Bedroom, by Sally Steponkus:

The flowers make a perfect complement to the whimsical lines of Barry Dixon's Hendricks table.

Lamp from Verdigris in Old Town, lamp shade by Pottery Barn, shade trim by Michael Smith for Samuel & Son

Master bath, by Celia Welch:

Original tub, tile; new wallpaper and artwork

Home Office by Rose DiNapoli:

English antique wing chair, with a beautifully upholstered facelift

New paneling; old fireplace

Guest Room, by Michael Hampton:

Artist John Matthew Moore, normally known for his oversized floral paintings, created this one specifically for Michael's design, so it would resemble wallpaper.

Yummy custom-made alpaca bedspread by Sandra Jordan; hide rug

Guest Sitting Room, by Barbara Franceski:

Boy’s Room, by Lisa Adams:

Girl’s Room, by Page Palmer:

Upstairs Living Room and Terrace, by Kelley Proxmire:

And the Virtual Golf Room in the detached Carriage House, by Lynni Megginson:

The space is outfitted for golf, gaming (of the table and video variety), movies, cocktails -- you name it.

The nailheads represent golf balls; the sculpture represents the occasional dandelion you might see on the course.

I hope these small details have whetted your appetite for more to come. I’ll have more design details next week, but not so much that you won’t have to go see this amazing house in person — just across from the Chevy Chase Club.


  1. Ooooh – I can’t wait to see it in person! Thanks for the great post.

  2. What a magical night at the Circle of Friends event. I will make time to help any way I can to support this and future projects for Children’s National Medical Center.

  3. Over sized…but not floral….great piece of art.

  4. Over sized floral by Matthew Moore….awesome

  5. It looks amazing!

  6. I agree with you…does look beautifully normal!!! Looking forward to seeing all the spaces in person.

  7. cannot wait to see it!!! great teaser!! 🙂

  8. Jennifer says:

    Alison, good! I was writing this post at 1 a.m., so I didn’t think it was a good time to call you on the phone and verify.

  9. Thanks for the preview.Looking forward to attending the show!

  10. You are absolutely correct to use the word ‘teaser’… and it WORKED!
    Can’t wait to see it! We are so fortunate to have such amazing talent right in our own backyard! These designers continue to raise the bar with everything from color to the way items are juxtapostioned. Am looking forward to spending as much time as possible there next Saturday… hopefully they won’t kick me out… because I won’t want to leave. Thanks for the post.

  11. Jennifer,
    Those three hand painted vases are in fact Middle Kingdom! And in Barry Dixon’s room there’s a special yellow bowl commissioned by the dear departed Sansar in Bethesda, though I didn’t know about it until I saw your lovely photos.

  12. My appetite without a doubt is wet and I hunger for more, more, more and more. Thank you for sharing some of the beautiful details.


  1. […] You have to remember this house is over 100 years old and needed a little loving before the top designers in our region got their hands on it. I’m hoping you all saw the before pictures from Bare Bones day. Did anyone see the master bedroom? Sally Steponkus generously worked her magic in there (and I do mean magic). It went from startling red walls and black carpeting, to subdued creams and little blue. Sally (very cleverly, I thought) agreed to let us have our way with the built-ins which were straight from the 80′s and stuck out like a sore thumb. A little glaze, some lovely handwork and voila! A pretty piece of furniture with some classic charm and style. Tucked behind that great mantle is more Billet Collins handiwork in the form of a faux stone firebox. So remember all the hours spent, the imagination and the people who made this historic home a work of art…And say hello to the Eagle for us! For a sneak peak, check out these two blogs: Apartment Therapy and DC by Design. […]