Nantucket Gray and Paula Broadwell

November 16, 2012



Ha!  Did that get your attention?  Couldn’t resist. Headed over to the historic Mt. Pleasant neighborhood in Washington, D.C. yesterday to photograph one of my latest exterior projects.










Yes, this historic row house was ready for a major facelift. After testing numerous gray/greens we settled on Benjamin Moore’s Nantucket Gray for the brick body.  Take a look at the slate tiles on the upper portion- yes, they had been painted  a dreary BROWN.  We chose a medium gray (like the real thing) for that surface – Rock Gray 1615 and a darker version, Cheating Heart 1617 for the shutters.  A warm off-white — Grand Teton White AC-42 brought the trim back to life, especially on the dentil detail above the porch.








The porch ceiling on this house is a prominent surface because the house is elevated  with the ceiling very visible from the street.  A soft silvery gray with just a hint of blue was chosen- Pelican Gray 1612.  Steps and porch floor were repainted with a darker khaki River Gorge Gray 1537.   There is heavy stonework near the front entrance (not shown) which inspired some of the neutral palette.





We debated about removing all shutters but the owners wanted to keep them.  The addition of shutters on the lower level might make the house a bit more balanced… perhaps a future project.

Which brings me to…….. Paula Broadwell





So  yesterday, while photographing this project,  I encountered the media stakeout of the above.




Apparently, Paula has been holed up in her brother’s Georgian Revival mansion in Mt. Pleasant–all week.  Of course, I took note of the cheery yellow color and wasn’t wild about the porch ceiling treatment- a stained natural wood (blue would have been better). Just saying.




A few other snaps of neighboring beauties:







So… I hope Paula gets out of the house (and town) today and lets the neighborhood return to normal.  Just another interesting day in our nation’s capital. Take a stroll through Mt. Pleasant  this weekend … great history, eclectic architecture, color, and, for now, lots of cameras.


Happy Weekend!




Tres Moderne at Le Meridien Philadelphia

November 1, 2011




What a visual treat!  I  recently had the pleasure of spending a few nights at Le Meridien in Center City, Philadelphia.



lobby, le meridien


This hotel, which opened just 2 years ago, is an adaptive reuse project of the original 1912, Horace Trumbauer-designed, Georgian revival-style building.  It was formerly a YWCA.




Blackney Hayes Architects was responsible for the redesign. The lobby is simply grand and references old tradition with its soaring arches and rich floor to ceiling paneling.




The vibe and decor, however are decidedly  hip, plush and moderne.



The rich wood-tones in the lobby are the perfect backdrop for bursts of rich red, persimmon and saffron color in the carpeting and upholstery.




It was fun exploring the hotel’s private art collection. Large, contemporary abstracts hold their own in the soaring spaces. The lighting fixtures are sublime.






In the evening, the lobby is hushed and dark with a swanky back-lit bar and flickering votives (football, too).



le meridien


On the upper floors, the color scheme is subdued gray with accents of red and orange.



sliding door, le meridien


The surprise was a large plane of color on the sliding bathroom door, in a yummy cherry red laminate.



An updated tone-on-tone medallion wallpaper graces the bath.



Woman in Blue, Henri Matisse


And for a jolt of reality, from the  lobby windows you have a great view of the tent city that is “Occupy Philadelphia”.  The hotel is just across from the magnificent City Hall.  It’s also within walking distance to the fabulous food markets and The Philadelphia Museum of Art.




And  I knew I was in the right hotel with this reading material in the lobby. I read it cover to cover.


*   *   *


Le Meridien Philadelphia…. your coffee could be warmer but you’ve got my vote~