Great Model Home Design at the Brownstones of Brambleton

WOW, model homes in large developments are getting really hot these days — developers are hiring savvy designers to decorate their models to be idea factories for really cool interior design. Ever since I found out that Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams decorated a model home in Hyattsville a few years back, I think there’s been a trend toward design-conscious model homes and home staging.

So I was psyched to see these gorgeous photos of two models at The Brownstones of Brambleton in Ashburn, VA, decorated by Carlyn & Co.out of Great Falls and developed by Miller & Smith of McLean. The architect on record is Lessard Design of Reston.

The architecture is "a clear example of the recent trend towards replicating city life in suburban communities," the press release says.

It does look like someone plucked up a half-block of row houses from the city and set them down in the ‘burbs, but the prices are definitely more Ashburn than Dupont Circle. Now let’s go inside…

This was my OMG moment. I mean, who does this kind of retro lounge look in a model home? The only thing model-y about it might be the wall-to-wall carpeting, and those big bamboo poles, but I’ll forgive them for  that — I’m not even sure what I would put there instead. I might use a more interesting cocktail table, but I LOVE the pendant in the corner – I think more people should try that in living rooms. And , the art and the wall covering gives a real sense of movement to the room, balanced against the neutrals of the furniture.

I adore this bright and happy breakfast room. I can see putting all my cookbooks on those shelves, and maybe a flat-screen TV on the wall instead of the mirror? I also think using that looong sofa as a banquette is the greatest idea — you can either sit by the table and eat, or sit near the end and read the paper. Brilliant. And I just love the MCM style of the sofa and chairs, covered nonetheless in contemporary fabric. The yellows and greens in this room seem to bring summertime right inside.

I covet all those windows. But besides that, Carlyn & Co. designed a fresh, up-to-date kitchen but softened the white and granite not only with the hardwood, but with those delightful industrial stools, which give it a really personal flavor.  And WHAT I wouldn’t give for all this great cabinetry:

Here’s a more expansive view of the living/dining/kitchen area. I think in a “real” home it could be personalized with some better area rugs to define each space, but the open flow is great:


OK, and check out this bedroom. Anyone can take the idea of running wallpaper up the wall behind the bed and onto the ceiling to define this space, and the pendant makes it really special. I mean, that’s just a quick weekend project! So clever.

And we’ve seen this idea in shelter magazines, but it bears repeating: In a small space, use a desk as your bedside table and make it do double duty. The industrial chair here is adorable. Another small-space idea at work: running the window treatments up to the ceiling to make the room look bigger.

And here, while the green is a little wild, I think a teen would feel right at home:

First, we all should be so lucky to have that many windows in our bedrooms. But I’m LOVING the accent chair and lamp on the bureau. And the designers make really clever use of wall adhesives that have become so popular — see the little black birds flitting around above the windows? So whimsical.

There’s a distinct green theme in some of these rooms, which probably would bee too much in a single house, but as individual room ideas, they’re great. Here is a laundry room that would make me so happy to do the wash:


And because most of us can’t afford to do a custom bathroom with snazzy tile and top-of-the-line hardware and cabinetry, here’s a wonderful idea on dressing up your basic builder-grade white:

Adding these punches of color is as easy as a one-stop trip to Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond. But the best tip to be had from this room is running the shower curtain up to the ceiling, just like a window treatment. Totally makes the room.

Stepping outside, here is the terrace off the living/dining/kitchen area — would that we all could have an outdoor fireplace!

The sectional, the rug — even the art — all really good ideas for decorating outside. And I’d love to know where those little blue poufs came from. The squirrels? Model-y. Oh well. But here’s where the designers did absolutely right: they oriented the seating area to look back into the house — and not toward what looks like a parking garage in the distance! We all face negatives in our back yards — the Dupont Circle dwellers have alleyways and rats, while suburban residents have parking garages. Very few of us have the bucolic rolling yards of the shelter magazines, and I think the designers here did a great job of dealing with the situation.

The upside, of course, is that these homes are obviously in walking distance to Brambleton Town Center, a mix of restaurants, business and retail.

According to the press release, there is a waiting list on “future releases,” but if any of you live nearby, the model is worth a visit for design ideas alone.


  1. love the shower curtain idea, but a regular shower curtain and liner would not be long enough. Could make a shower curtain (kind of a pain) but not sure about the liner. Is there another way?

  2. My favorite is the breakfast room. Love the oval table and the side-by-side couches!