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).



Warm Nuanced Neutrals

September 16, 2012



Well, it’s almost mid- September (my absolute favorite time of year here in Virginia). Fall is in the air and I do welcome the change of scenery outside. The verdant saturated greens of the foliage start turning more murky then soften to golds, reds and browns by late October. The  woodsy view from my windows is really part of the whole color tableau of my home. Today, I took a few photos of the nuanced warm neutrals that I live with… and want to share.



I’ve always loved soft and quiet neutrals in rooms where I really want to relax.  This gorgeous lamp, found in my favorite Old Town Alexandria antiques store, Imperfections- Antiques and Great Stuff ,  inspired  the color choice for my bedroom walls, C2 Paint Bristle. Trim and ceilings were done is a soft warm white C2Paint Cotton 



Yes, I love birds. The canopy outside is home to cardinals, jays, woodpeckers, nuthatches, black-capped chickadees (and the occasional wild turkey).

And the calmest color of all and one of my hands down favorites is Benjamin Moore Dry Sage.  It is a toned -down grayed green– great with hits of gold and plum,  it is easy to live with and easy to love.

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





“Tis the Season in Old Town”

December 12, 2011




Old Town, Alexandria… in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Just giving you a glimpse of how we “do the holidays”  in this quaint little part of the world.  Yes, we do have inflatable Snoopy snow globes and blinking reindeer displays on the “outskirts” of town but in the historic district, the decor is more of the natural variety.




Fresh and dried greens and fruit are used in abundance… think Colonial Williamsburg.




A store window festooned with pine and heather (love this one)



Magnolia, lemons and clove-studded oranges





Clustered green apples play off nicely against a red door



A nautical theme with bleached starfish, shells,  and pine cones




A simple swag of scotch pine and pepperberries



A chartreuse ribbon complements the black shutters




More magnolia love…



Sprayed gold pomegranates




And how sweet is this?


If you are ever in the Washington, D.C. area over the holidays….  Old Town (on the Potomac River) is a short ride on the metro but a nice step back into history (and away from…  the glitter).



Todd Healy