Holiday Doors ~ Au Naturel in Old Town

December 13, 2012



Holiday Tradition  {Old Town, Alexandria,Virginia}




























Cranberries, kumquats, pinecones, laurel, heather, magnolia, pine, lemons, apples, oranges, cloves–the colors and textures of nature, rendered on holiday doors are, well, pretty perfect.


And HAPPY HAPPY HOLIDAYS  to all of my friends out there!  Thanks for all of your eyes, comments and support over the past year. XO XO XO from The Painted Room  ( me, Jean).



Belle Haven Beauties

November 14, 2012



Yes, “tradition” is thriving in the Alexandria suburb of Belle Haven. While driving through yesterday, I couldn’t resist snapping a few of the stately homes there- especially striking in the late afternoon light with fall colors still ablaze.



The subtle use of color on this door, a very pale mint green, works with the weathered white brick.






Another example of a soft, gray/blue/green detailing on a brick exterior. Perfect.







It’s not uncommon to find smaller townhouses with a saturated red exterior, but this gutsy scheme (with landscaping) works on a larger scale here.






Classic white and black with a striking vermillion door.






Brick steps ground this beauty with a soft buttercream body, white trim, black shutters and a Chippendale storm door in soft blue/green.









Happy November— enjoy the riot of color while it lasts!


Transformed Rowhouse Exterior ~Redux

July 27, 2012



I just returned from a completed row house exterior project in Old Town, Alexandria and had to share.




The  row house, dating back to the 1800s, is situated  in a block of  houses that are much the same. Many have been remodeled but most retain the original “facade”. In this particular block, many of the homes are set back with a small front garden and white picket fence.



When starting to pull together color options for exteriors I always take into consideration the color schemes of neighboring houses. This pretty blue one sits directly across the street.



And this saturated red exterior is directly next door.


Entrance before


So here is the entrance of my project.  The house was painted an “anemic” gray with darker trim and a faded  blue door.  Not enough contrast. Very tired. Very bland. Fabulous bones…much room for improvement.



Exterior before


With such a small slice of exterior, three window boxes looked too busy.   Because all houses on the block had white painted fences, I didn’t consider changing that, but the white didn’t relate to anything else on the house.  The door treatment was all wrong. I usually paint the storm to match the door rather than the surrounding trim.


Exterior after


Here is the house with its new colors.  The facade is now more snappy and ordered.  There is nice crisp contrast with the fresh white trim on trim and window sashes (which now relates to the fence).  After testing with large samples, we settled on one of my favorite mid-tone neutral colors for the exterior- Benjamin Moore’s Briarwood. Trim is Brilliant White; shutters and door are Black Forest Green. I limited the colors to three only to keep things clean and simple on this tiny plane (restraint– this is Virginia).  The house sits nicely with its neighbors and is ~ much improved.  All it needs is a spot of  color in that one little window box. Another happy client!


Benjamin Moore Briarwood



Benjamin Moore Black Forest Green





Bungalow Heaven

May 23, 2012


Loved every step of the Del Ray Home and Garden Tour last Saturday.  Blue-sky weather and  lunch on the porch of the newly opened Del Ray Cafe and the afternoon was off to a great start.  Del Ray is a little neighborhood in my part of the world-  filled with comfy eateries, coffee shops, galleries, dogs,  and sweet historic bungalows.

“A neighborhood on the decline 20 years ago, Del Ray has become a magnet for young, urban refugees in the DC area who… are looking for beautiful homes, front porches and back yards. As architect Gaver Nichols notes, ‘People want character.  Smaller can be better.  It’s all in the details’.  ” ~American Bungalow Magazine




Some of these “cottages” were not on the tour but how could I not notice these sweet little details on a slow walk  through these shady streets?   Love the combination of textures and finishes here- brick, a range of gray/greens on siding and trim, bronze-tone window sashes and the warm natural wood tones.



This is my fav… siding, shingles in blue/greens, creamy trim, a gray metal seamed roof, natural door and those oak leaf hydrangeas!  Perfect.



Details….  “mission” lighting fixtures + butter cream siding + gray/blue porch floor paint










Garage. Color trifecta. Perfection.


A dusky blue choice for siding with soft white trim and dark window sashes– love this.



Many of these homes have been restored with care.  Some have been completely rebuilt.  The interiors, which I was not allowed to photograph, ranged from period antiques to Pottery Barn. What I loved about them all– they were  inviting… cozy… designed for casual and relaxed  “living”.   Thanks to all of the owners who graciously opened their doors for this tour.  It was a treat!  For more great coverage on the tour, check out DIY DelRay’s blog post here.






There WAS a  house on the tour that stood apart from the rest and had me gasping (just a little).  And the owner let me snap away to my heart’s content.  Stay tuned.






Beverley Hills Beauties

April 16, 2012




Spring has come a few weeks early here in Virginia.  It is the most beautiful time of year in my little hilly and woodsy neighborhood.




Azaleas and dogwoods thrive under old towering oaks that make the soil acid-rich.  The  mature azaleas are often massed together and the pink, coral and red blooms are real show-stoppers.




I had to also snap some of my favorite little Beverley Hills cottages with gardens at their best.








This shady enclave of older homes in Alexandria, Virginia is just north of Old Town, west of Del Ray and  only 15 minutes outside of Washington, D.C.  And we’ve got a stellar “walk score”.


Come take a stroll and get a healthy dose of ~pink~