DC Design House 2011

April 6, 2011

The 4th annual DC Design House , benefiting the Children’s National Medical Center opens this Saturday, April 9.  The  stately Tudor manse, located at 3134 Ellicot St, NW was built in 1925. I had the opportunity to tour the house last week and chat with the designers about their inspiration and color choices.   Much to my delight,  Farrow & Ball is an official paint and wallpaper sponsor this year.  All twenty designers worked with the elegant and historically- referenced Farrow & Ball palette and as a result, the rooms flowed beautifully.  Complex and nuanced off-whites, soft grays, smoky greens and chalky plums predominate and the result is ~ sublime.



Light Gray, Dutch Pink, Pointing, Babouche

Light Gray, Dutch Pink, Pointing, Babouche

“Elegance and whimsy, punctuated by the unexpected”….I’m guessing that would be these  patent leather yellow/ linen dining chairs!  This dining room, by designer Camille Saum, was one of my favorites. Walls are covered in F&B Light Gray and the ceiling in Dutch Pink.  The floors are checked in F&B Babouche and Pointing. Oh, and there is the live moss covered mantel. Pops of peach and chartreuse  complete this lively palette.



Cornforth White, Skimming Stone, Charleston Gray

Cornforth White, Skimming Stone, Charleston Gray


The inspiration for the Grand Foyer, designed by  Liz Levin Interiors, came from a large scale moorish motif.  Two Farrow & Ball colours,  Skimming Stone and Cornforth White, were used to create a subtle tone on tone hand-painted graphic wall pattern spanning the first and second floors of the entry.  Charleston Gray was used as a third accent color. A global/ ikat inspired Timothy Paul carpet anchors the space.




Designer, Erin Paige Pitts,  transformed a formerly dark and dreary Pool Room into a light and airy white cloud using Farrow & Ball All-White in a high gloss finish on the paneled walls and ceiling.  Her aim was to create an elegant, porch-like space.  She succeeded!





On to the main living room, by Patrick Sutton Associates.  The walls and sloping ceiling in this grand room were covered in a white-on-white damask Farrow & Ball wallpaper (Versailles  BP 2601). The extensive wood ceiling beams were stripped and treated with a liming wax finish.  Textured neutrals, punctuated by turquoise, saffron and purple create an inviting and relaxed atmosphere.  These chairs, covered in a handmade Indian crewel, stole the show.



Dimity, Oxford Stone

Dimity, Oxford Stone


In this Family Room by Barbara Franceski,  a “purposeful mix of contrasts engages the senses” and  blends classical with contemporary . Barbara chose the soft, warm backdrop neutral of Farrow & Ball Oxford Stone to allow accents to pop.  A lively rug by Kelly Wearstler adds pattern,  and speaking of pop…. don’t you love these “modern ancestor portraits”?  A wink to the past, indeed.



Calke Green, Saxon Green, Red Earth

Calke Green, Saxon Green, Red Earth


Designer Whitney Stewart, widely recognized for her exquisite sense of color, used more saturated Farrow & Ball greens in this elegant Conservatory, evoking both tradition and a bit of whimsy. Modern botanicals, fabrics and a whimsical hanging “bird’s nest” fixture bring the outdoors right in.



Oxford Stone, Calluna, Mizzle, Brassica, Charlotte's Locks

Oxford Stone, Calluna, Mizzle, Brassica, Charlotte's Locks


I must admit, when I got a peek at  the color boards for this room,  with several of the newest additions to the Farrow & Ball palette, including the bravest of all- Charlotte’s Locks, my heart went pitter-patter.  The result, in this “Secret Garden” bedroom designed by Samantha Friedman,  did not disappoint.  A subtle, warm neutral on the walls allows accents of orange and purple to pop.  Can you spy “Charlotte’s Locks”?   It was used on the adorable swing that appears to fall from a tree in front of the window seat. In the adjoining bath area, designed by Jason Hodges,  texture, sparkle  and the same palette  of spring colors add to a sense of playfulness.



Pavilion Gray, Slipper Satin

Pavilion Gray, Slipper Satin


And here is “One for the Guys”, a masculine gentleman’s bedroom by David Mitchell.  Farrow & Ball’s Pavilion Gray on the walls creates a warm and cozy atmosphere.



Dimity, Churlish Green

Dimity, Churlish Green


In  this “Hideaway”, designed by Lauren Leiss,  the  textures of grasscloth wallpaper, natural woven roman shades and  a diamond pattern sisal rug combine to create a relaxing, earthy ambience. Lauren Liess– designed wing chairs are upholstered in a Michael Smith floral and brown-green velvet . Black and white ikat curtains (a new Lauren Leiss fabric) are hung at the ceiling.








Strong White, Charleston Gray

Strong White, Charleston Gray


More green!!  In this master bedroom,  Iantha Carley uses a David Hicks geometric print to bring in a sense of crispness and whimsy. Farrow & Ball Charleston Gray, an elegant mid-tone smoky purple-gray, is used on the walls.  In the adjoining dressing room, Charleston Gray complements an elegant Nina Campbell wallpaper and a touch of vibrant pink on the tufted wing chair adds a splash of spring.



Out the back door, Jeff Potter and Scott Brinitzer of J&G Landscape Design, Inc. have  created a playful interpretation of a classic parterre garden.



So this wraps of my post on color at the DC Design House.  This is just a sampling of the rooms of the twenty participating designers. The Design House opens Saturday, April 9 and runs through May 8, 2011. For more information and tickets, see  the DC Design House website.




Happy Spring !







24 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for sharing these fabulous photos! I love the use of gray, particularly in the first several photos. Also LOVE the wallpaper featured!

    • jeankee says:

      Thnx Kristie for the feedback. One of the only showhouses I’ve seen that really “flowed”. Those colors are so understated and chalky…just beautiful. As far as I know, they really didn’t collaborate. Lots of grays in that purplish range….. The auxiliary kitchen used the new color Dovetail lots of gray and white. Yum.

  2. Bill Gardner says:

    A great blog and a great intro to the Design House, Jean! Thanks so much.

    • jeankee says:

      My pleasure, Bill. Would love to get together with you and Sandy up in Frederick one of these days–am up there often!

  3. Yitz Finch says:

    Howdy Jean!

    Thanks for a great post! Was there any custom woodwork in this project?

    Also, in a shared decorating project like this, is there any coordination among the designers of different rooms?…or a set of guidelines to follow? What if one designer decides he’s in a Bright Primary Colors kind of mood?

    • jeankee says:

      Hey Yitzy! Thnx for stopping by. Yes..lots of custom woodwork. Guidlelines were simply staying somewhat true to style and period of home….no real collaboration as far as I know. The edited Farrow & Ball palette really made it flow. Believe me..I’ve seen many “disjointed” show houses.

  4. great point of view. impressed.

  5. These photos are absolutely exquisite. Thank you. I didn’t want to leave and I’m sure it must have been hard for you as well.

    In the first row of paint samples shown, it is interesting they call that one “Dutch pink” because dutch pink was actually yellow!

  6. Hey, Thank you for checking us out at flooranddecor.org We are quickly developing the site for your benefit and in your interest. We hope to develop some helpful articles along with some discount floor and decor materials as well as recommended services. So check back soon for floor and decor advice and opinions.

  7. ?? says:

    Your style is so unique compared to many other people. Thank you for publishing when you have the opportunity,Guess I will just make this bookmarked,2$4

  8. Please keep the info flowing about this!

  9. Janet says:

    Hey Jean, I am so proud!! The blog is fabulous and congrats on all of the positive feedback. xoxo J.

  10. Lynn Waller from Pixie Dust Painting says:

    Absolutely stunning article. The colours used are fantastic, and everything in the photos are amazing. Well done, I will share this with my clients for sure. Looking forward to reading more. (Pixie Dust Painting- Benjamin Moore Painting and Decorating Services)

  11. I have to say, while looking through hundreds of blogs daily, the theme of this blog is different (for all the proper reasons). If you do not mind me asking, what’s the name of this theme or would it be a especially designed affair? It’s significantly better compared to the themes I use for some of my blogs.

  12. Jami Cordry says:

    I really, really enjoyed this post! The colors and sense of whimsy are lovely. I wish I could see the house but DC is a long way from San Diego. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Beautiful post and the color palette happens to be my personal favorite. Great inspiration for a current project I’m working on! Thanks

  14. Halonblusser says:

    Hello webmaster. I like your blog about DC Design House 2011 – The Painted Room.

    I was wondering, i am planning to make a blog for myself. I want to use wordpress like you. Where did you get your template? If you post your answer below mine,then i will read this in the next couple of day’s.

    Thanks Halonblusser

  15. […] designed by Samantha Friedman, was featured at the DC Design House last month and discussed here by Jean from The Painted Room.  Pillows and butterflies exist (in another example of odd numbers) […]

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