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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 !