Tons of Spring Design Events!

This is a huge season for design events—no sooner did I send out my newsletter yesterday than I got word of even more events than I listed in the e-blast. So here’s a review, with bonus events added in for those who already got the newsletter—plus my museum picks for the season.

Mark your calendars for a lot of cool stuff going on in April and May. Click the links for details and ticket information.


Thread Popup at Union Market:

Featuring wares from the likes of designer Darryl Carter, the home-styling community Zestt, and vintage-chair upholstery shop Third + Grace. The popup also includes fashion and jewelry designers, and great reads from Politics & Prose.

A sampling of Darryl Carter's offering for Thread.

A sampling of Darryl Carter’s offering for Thread.


Collector’s View:

This annual series, sponsored by Transformer, allows us to step inside the homes of Washington’s most formidable art collectors. It starts with a bang this Sunday at the home of lobbyist Tony Podesta, and follows with three other “views” through April and May. Tickets are $50 each; click the link to reserve.

A Mel Bochner painting featured in last year's Collector's View at the home of Andrea Evers, of Evers & Co. Real Estate.

A Mel Bochner painting featured in last year’s Collector’s View at the home of Andrea Evers of Evers & Co. Real Estate.


APRIL 10-13:

Smithsonian Craft Show:

One of America’s premier craft shows, this annual juried event features 123 top artists, who were chosen from 1,200 applicants. The fun starts April 7 with an online auction, and all proceeds benefit Smithsonian-wide projects chosen by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

Intricately cut paper by Lucrezia Bieler, to be featured at the craft show.

Intricately cut paper by Lucrezia Bieler, to be featured at the craft show.


APRIL 13 – MAY 11:

DC Design House:

The area’s top designer show house benefits the Children’s National Health System. This year’s home, in DC’s Forest Hills, has been spruced up with the help of 29 designers. The event kicks off April 12 with a preview party and talk by Barry Dixon.

A rendering by Maria Morga of designer Victoria Sanchez's family-room design for the DC Design House.

A rendering by Maria Morga of designer Victoria Sanchez’s family-room design for the DC Design House.


APRIL 25-27:

Georgetown French Market, April 25-26: 

The shops, galleries, salons and restaurants of Georgetown’s Book Hill spill out into the streets for a two-day open-air market. Munch on croissants as you wander the stalls, where there will be great deals to be had, while strolling musicians and mimes entertain.



Skip Sroka’s Tag Sale, April 26:

Designer Skip Sroka has built up a huge inventory of designer furnishings, lighting and accessories over his years in the business—and he’s selling it all at massive discounts on April 26, from 9 am – 4 pm at 2166 Dunmore Lane NW. For more information on products and prices, e-mail

The Axel chandelier by Currey & Co. are one of more than 150 items on a huge sale in Skip's inventory.

The Axel chandelier by Currey & Co. are one of more than 150 items on a huge sale in Skip’s inventory.


Georgetown House Tour, April 26:

This tour is much anticipated each year, as we in the hoi polloi get a chance to tour a new group of  stately old row houses throughout the neighborhood. From 11 am – 5 pm, you can step in and out of the homes at your own pace.

An example of the lovely interior architecture you'll see on the Georgetown House Tour.

An example of the lovely interior architecture you’ll see on the Georgetown House Tour.


Washington Fine Properties Home & Design Weekend, April 26-27:

This two-day event, sponsored by WFP and DC Modern Luxury Magazine, gives you a tour of the 14th Street design district, where vendors will have special offerings and interior designers will be on hand to offer tips and advice. Industry experts will also be there, giving in-store lectures and demonstrations.



APRIL 27 – MAY 18: 

Baltimore Symphony Decorator’s Show House: 

This year’s show house is at Silo Point, which I LOVE, because it’s not the typical mansion setting. Rather, it’s a thoroughly modern, industrial-loft style space, so I’ll be really excited to see what the designers come up with to complement the architecture.

Baltimore's Silo Point overlooks the Inner Harbor.

Baltimore’s Silo Point overlooks the Inner Harbor.

MAY 2-3: 

Get an Ikea Makeover: Apply by May 2:

The Ikea Home Tour is coming to DC and Baltimore in June to give a lucky homeowner a total makeover. Submit a video about why you need one through the home tour link above; and even if you don’t win, the Home Tour Squad will be on hand June 21-22 at the Safeway National Capital BBQ on Pennsylvania Avenue to offer decorating tips and advice.

The Strandmon Wing Chair, used in  a recent makeover in New Jersey.

The Strandmon Wing Chair, used in a recent makeover in New Jersey.


Hollin Hills House & Garden Tour, May 3:

Midcentury lovers will want to make a beeline to this Alexandria enclave of homes designed primarily by architect Charles Goodman, where devoted homeowners have lovingly paid tribute to that Mad Men era of design.

A classic Hollin Hills home

A classic Hollin Hills home


Historic Brookeville House Tour, May 3: 

Drive out to the country and also back in time for this lovely self-guided tour of more than a dozen homes and historic buildings in Brookeville, MD. The tour includes the Madison house, where President James Madison fled on Aug. 26, 1814, as the British burned the White House during the War of 1812. Other homes from that era are also on the tour, in addition to a one-room schoolhouse and a Sears-Roebuck catalog house.

A watercolor of downtown Brookeville

A watercolor of downtown Brookeville


MAY 10:

Georgetown Garden Tour: 

If you don’t get enough of your Georgetown fix at the house tour in April, come back and see the gardens. It’s your chance to see the verdant settings that lie beyond the brick facades of Georgetown’s row houses—and you’re in for a big surprise.

Is your garden shed this stylish?

Is your garden shed this stylish?



It’s easy enough to get listings of all the big exhibits going on around town, but here are a couple that are flying under the radar, which are worth the trip for design lovers.

National Building Museum | Cool & Collected: Recent Acquisitions

The building museum has tens of thousands of objects in storage, and this exhibit is its chance to pull out some of the gems. My favorites include a designer doll house, vintage architectural plans, and paper villages that you fold into place:





Paper Models 2


The other half of the exhibit features the personal archive of sculptor Ray Kaskey, whose public art all of us have seen and admired, but I’ll bet you never knew who did it: The relief sculptures at the World War II memorial on the Mall; the corner markers at the National Building Museum as well as the lion and cub sculptures at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial across the street; the huge figure of Justice at the Alexandria courthouse; and the giant lady greeting those who fly into the airport in Charlotte, NC:



National Archives—Making Their Mark: 

This exhibit is unlike any I’ve ever seen. It represents, literally, the “mark” of celebrities and historical events through documents, signatures, and other artifacts, such as the red and black dress Michelle Obama wore the night President Obama was first elected in 2008, and Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s famous military jacket. There’s also a collection of pens used by presidents Kennedy and Johnson to sign huge pieces of legislation, and a dinner menu for participants of the Pottsdam Conference, signed by Stalin, Churchill and Truman.

You can see notorious signatures from the likes of Hitler, Saddam Hussain, and John Wilkes Booth.

And did you know Michael Jackson applied for a patent on the special shoe that allowed him and his dancers to lean dangerously forward in concert at they performed “Smooth Criminal”?

Michael Jackson patent application

I personally love the photos depicting the famous “Johnson treatment,” where President Johnson would physically enter a truculent lawmaker’s personal space to “persuade” him to go the president’s way. (My mother worked for Mrs. Johnson, and I grew up hearing these stories, so the pictures give illustration to all that I’ve heard!)




You can also see letters written by the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Johnny Cash, and Jackie Robinson that concern political issues of their day—seeing that ink, and the lines of each signature, really brings you close to these people in a way that mere photographs can’t.

Well, I hope this guide will keep you busy this spring, and add some spice to the good weather coming our way. Enjoy!

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  1. Thank You Jennifer for the selection of my illustration on your blog! Looking forward to celebrating Spring and the opening of the design house..
    Love what you do!
    Best Maria Morga

  2. Thanks for posting the rendering of my space! So much fun to be a part of the DC Design House!!