DC Design House Inspiration, Part II

Yesterday, we got a tour of the first floor of this year’s massive DC Design House in Potomac, Maryland, where designers introduced the fabrics, furnishings and artwork that are inspiring their rooms. Today, we’re going upstairs to the more intimate areas of the home.

Let’s start with designer Erica Burns, who’s planning the upper-level sitting room at the front of the house.

“We started with two things that immediately has the feel we were going for, which I’m labeling ‘Tailored Bohemian’—think herringbone meets vintage pieces.” Erica says. “The fabric for the two swivel chairs is this Ikat from Cowtan & Tout. It has a very old-world vibe but also still feels current.”

She’ll hang a piece by Atlanta artist Sally King Benedict on the wall:


Across the hall from Erica’s room is the Boudoir, where Frenchman Romain Baty is using a classic image by Robert Mapplethorpe as his muse:

Romain created a vivid storyline for the stark black-and-white room he’s planned here, whose windows he’s leaving bare so they serve as frames for the grounds outside:

Entering the Boudoir, stripped of all artifices, had always been a relief. She had forced her husband to follow her into this room decor, this room in particular, designed with the sole goal of deliberate daydreaming, idleness and Arts. She had always felt that nature, the green and the light coming in from the garden, should not be prevented from fully entering the room and that this space should be dedicated to the dialogue between the inside and the outside, fostering reverence, daydreams and contemplation. One of her first requests was no draperies, to cast the voluptuous shape of the window moldings as the frame of a landscape painting. As she was entering the room, the bouquet of white lillies were detaching themselves from the gentle East light of the morning of this summer day entering through the large windows.


At the rear of the house, which overlooks the pool, Karen Snyder is planning one of the bedrooms using Beacon Hill’s Maurice fabric in black and white.


Keira St. Claire-Bowery of Anthony Wilder Design/Build is planning a “Professional’s Retreat” in the bedroom space next door to Karen.

She found inspiration for the space in this amazing four-poster bed by Mr. Brown London:


Designer (and my fellow Potomac School alum!) Caryn Cramer is applying her funky Bohemian style to the rear corner bedroom of this house:


Caryn is using one of her own fabrics to set the tone for this bedroom, which is called Hapy (yes, it only has one P) and is printed on Belgian linen:

A hallway off the main corridor leads to this bedroom, so Caryn is having a custom runner made for this space using leather belts. “The hallway has all the closets located off it, so it’s quite fitting, I think,” she says. I agree.


Before we get to the master suite on the other side of the second floor, Paula Grace Halewski is decorating the laundry room that’s just outside that area.

She says she was first inspired by this really cool Facet cabinet pull by Nest Studio:

She’s also using the Park Place Gaptow Mosaic in Empire Beige by Jeffrey Court to add movement to the room. Gosh, Paula, now I’m getting laundry-room envy!


Saving the main event for last, let’s take a peek at the Master Bedroom, which Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas is tackling.

Her inspiration is the sparkly organic Vahallan Enchanted wallcovering in a color called Arcadia.

Here’s what it looks like in a room design, which is where you can see more of its effect:

I can’t wait to see how she fills the space with this very cool wallpaper covering its walls.


The windows of the master suite look down onto the pool area, which Kimberly Asner of Country Casual Teak is bringing to life.

The guiding inspiration here is the company’s Vista Cabana:

“We have seen a growing trend with cabanas lately, used in both residential and commercial spaces. I think the appeal is in their stately size and plethora of cushions and pillows,” Kimberly says. “They can be both a social hub for conversation, or the ultimate place for an afternoon nap!”

Also planned for this area are the Salon armchairs and an outdoor poof:

The show house opens to the public on Sep. 30 and goes through Oct. 29. As always, ticket proceeds benefit the Children’s National Health System. Visitors will see its presence in the “family foyer,” the side entrance to the house where artist Lisa Tureson of Studio Artistica is working with young patients to create artwork around the theme of “The Very Busy Life of Little Bees.” The artwork will all be on sale, Lisa says, and the “fantasy beescapes” will weave in the number 10 in celebration of the DC Design House’s 10th anniversary.

Here’s a link to the DC Design House for more ticket, address and designer information. See you there!