“Shades of Gray” in Georgetown

April 18, 2011

Washington, D.C. is a conservative, somewhat buttoned-up town. Anyone can tell you that the thousands of starched men’s business shirts hanging on the spinning racks at the drycleaners all look Brooks Brothers same– oxford cloth, white, pale blue and pink, striped, maybe some tattersall thrown in.  Some march to a different beat for sure, but things on the exterior here are pretty East Coast classic, neutral and...safe.


Brooks Brothers






Which brings me to the appeal of a little shop in Georgetown called Random Harvest .  This shop, with additional locations in Old Town  Alexandria, Arlington and Bethesda, is a local gem and go-to store for new, antique and vintage home furnishings.  The store has thrived here for 25 years- its combination of updated classics and eclectic accessories offers just the right mix.



The stores are styled simply with walls painted in a soft gray green- Benjamin Moore Clarksville Gray.  Floors are covered in a warm textured natural sisal– a perfect backdrop for showcasing furniture  upholstered in creams and pale neutrals.  The look is calm and soft. Accessories provide pops of color such as coral, blue  and yellow.




Clarksville Gray, Seattle Mist, Vanilla Ice Cream, Coral Bronze

Benjamin Moore Clarksville Gray, Seattle Mist, Vanilla Ice Cream, Coral Bronze



The furniture is scaled beautifully–  perfect for the smaller rooms of city apartments and townhouses.






And after Washington finishes up its “neutral” shopping  in buttoned- down shirts and loafers, there is always a little room for some pink flair.  About as wild  and indulgent as we get here.



Georgetown Cupcake


Happy shopping DC!

Old Town, Tulips…Rain



Yesterday,  I was fortunate to get a close up look at one the grand houses in Old Town Alexandria dressed up (inside and out) for Historic Garden Week.  The house, built in 1796, has an expansive walled garden, with purple wisteria, Dutch tulips and English boxwoods.  The rain finally let up enough for me to venture outside for a few photos.








The current owner has restored many of the interior details back to their original late 18th century style and has furnished the house with many family heirlooms.  One of the most stunning features is the extraordinary faux-wood graining on the interior shutters, doors and raised paneling.  This graining was painted by  the fifth-generation artisan Malcolm Robeson who was also responsible for the wood graining at George Washington’s Mt. Vernon Estate.





And, of course,  this home is not only loved but lived in by a vibrant and busy young family. I had to smile as I passed through the front hall and thought about how Eddie Ross would have loved this little vignette.  There, on a polished antique table,  next to a silver vase with a gorgeous loose floral arrangement,  was that perfect little “layer of imperfection”- some legos.





Spring….and a Little Color in Georgetown

April 16, 2011


Spring has arrived in D.C …. finally. Headed across the river to Georgetown this morning  for an exterior consult. I have lots of work in the historic districts of Old Town and D.C.- mostly townhouses. I’ve always loved the idea of tightly designed little spaces.  That is what you get with city townhouses…the canvas of an exterior is relatively small.  The landscape  here is somewhat conservative, dignified and restrained. Natural brick, off-whites and neutrals reign with pops of  “color”  expressed  on a tiny scale.   A small cluster of brilliant pink tulips against a putty gray exterior; a high gloss navy door  and crisp white trim on brick; a tiny side gate  painted a sunny yellow… powerful in context.



Eddie Ross at Capital Design Days

April 13, 2011


Oh ~ happy day! Capital Design Days got off to a great start yesterday at the DC Design Center.




I finally got to meet the talented and ever so charming Eddie Ross and his partner Jaithan Kochar.





I know, I know.  The shoes alone were enough to make me swoon.




Eddie gave a great demonstration on how to style rooms for photography.  He stressed the importance of using a good photographer, natural light and  “adding a layer of imperfection” (this includes dogs and kids).   His mantra is “When in doubt, style simply”.  Props should make sense and suggest a relaxed, welcoming ambience – doors and windows flung open, pillows a bit rumpled (but not too) and lots of loose floral arrangements.




{Eddie Ross}


{Eddie Ross}

Capital Design Days continues through Thursday, April 14 when most programs will be open to the public.



Anthropologie, Shoes and HonorJane

April 8, 2011



Three of my favorite things.  Favorite thing #1)   Anthropologie Hard to ignore those dreamy catalogs that appear in my mailbox regularly. And nothing better for inspiration than wandering  through their stores with the feel of some romantic foreign land, chock full of color and dusty bohemian chicness.




Favorite thing #2)  Shoes……..enough said.





Which brings me to favorite thing #3)  Honor and Jane, two longtime friends and uber- talented  home-staging and real estate pros.  I recently helped them tweak some wall colors in  a sweet little house that they were readying for the spring market.  The wall colors were the easy part.  Full credit goes to that duo for packing up two truckloads of furniture and leaving behind a perfectly edited collection of just a few choice antiques, rugs and colorful abstract artwork.   Look at the gorgeous palette in this sweet little rug from Anthropologie– smoky lavender grays, acid greens and touches of pink and red, which inspired the wall color choices for bedrooms and baths.







C2Paint Inuvik Ice, Chameleon, Hydrangea, Puck, Bombay

C2Paint Inuvik Ice, Chameleon, Hydrangea, Puck, Bombay








Don’t  you feel like you’re walking through that store again?  Take me to the…..kasbah.




What do you think? Amazing how much color was packed into that fabulous little Anthropologie rug.




On the main floor of the house, the palette is more subdued, with neutrals playing a supporting role to the owner’s collection of vibrant paintings.  This one is a stunner- by local artist,  Sheep Jones.




More Sheep Jones.



C2 Paint Thatch, Muddy Waters, Turkish Market, Kasbah

C2 Paint Thatch, Muddy Waters, Turkish Market, Kasbah




Kitchen cabinetry was painted out in another C2Paint neutral, similar to the wall color- visually expanding the space.





Sooo, my gift to you for the weekend. A tiny lesson on the power of color in real estate staging (no, you don’t have to paint everything Shell White) and some more images of beautiful rooms to gorge on.  A simple little ode to  Anthropologie, my two very talented friends Honor and Jane and ………shoes.







Enough said.