Design And Interior Home

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Doorways of Georgetown

The other day while walking through Georgetown I noticed this beautiful door and transom. Notice how the glass door inside the vestibule has the same transom as the solid entry doors - I love this look for letting light into the stairhall.  Now this is just one example of the many beautiful doorways of Georgetown.
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Friday, November 23, 2012

My haunted chairs; fabric advice

A few weekends ago I was driving through Georgetown and stumbled upon an estate sale.  I've been attending a lot of these lately in order to feather my new nest and was excited to find a set of 4 18th century English dining chairs which I was able to scoop up for a bargain as it was the last day of the sale.
The chairs have seen better days and need a good cleaning and polishing (Murphys oil soap and some furniture polish) and the upholstery contains 40 years of dust and grime (or whats left of the upholstery). But the chairs are sturdy and in excellent condition otherwise and of a diminutive scale perfect for my apartment.  One chair is in such bad condition that I'm just leaving it in my storage unit for another future owner to deal with -and here is where the story begins!
Unbeknownst to me, the house is one that hosted a media frenzy a year ago when a society matron was murdered by her much younger husband.  Years before the murder, some violence forshadowed the death involving a chair.  My chair with the horribly bashed in corner perhaps??? oh my! That chair  will forever be called my haunted chair and will stay untouched in my storage unit!
However, whats to be done with the 3 others? In my posession I have a length of grey cashmere upholstery fabric from Ralph Lauren Home as well as beautiful plaid wool, also from Ralph Lauren.  I'm thinking of using the plaid but thought I would ask some of you what you thought?  Orange plaid, grey cashmere or something new?
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Jonathan Adler opens in Georgetown!

 I'm very excited to report that one of my favorite design shops, Jonathan Adler, has opened in Georgetown!
I've always loved Adler's fun pots, accessories, and furnishings, and it makes a great addition to my neighborhood.
 Midcentury with fun pops of color and whimsy is his base design guide.
 This bed looks pretty cozy though, no? The store is HUGE with lots of furniture groupings.
 I loved this zigzag sofa.
 Everything looks great against navy blue.
 I love love these candlesticks.
 And his pillows are the best and most fun around.
 I loved this fun art piece; sunny yellow feathers that look like a giant dandelion on the wall.
Don't forget to stop by the shop while on your holiday shopping run in Georgetown. The shop is located at the corner of Wisconsin and N Streets NW.
And if you'd like to meet Jonathan Adler himself,  he will be in the shop all day Tuesday, November 27th signing copies of his newest book.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Spoils of Market

While at market, other than checking out the latest trends I did some shopping for myself.  One of my favorite shops is the reproduction company Van Thiel & Co which also carries a selection of antiques which is where they got their start.  I picked up a fantastic framed watercolor signed E. Rotsaert from 1927 of a winter landscape at sunset. It arrived last night and I immediately hung it in my bedroom.  I love how it looks against my wall color, the sunset just pops.
Oddly enough the wall color is 'Tiffany Blue' from Sherwin Williams in their new Emerald label paint (which is the most fantastic paint to work with) even though it bears no resemblance to what one thinks "Tiffany Blue" should be. I hung the watercolor under my framed print by Jeremiah Goodman.
Have you found any treasures lately?
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Monday, November 19, 2012

A quick change: before and after

I recently was in New York helping my best friend from college with an apartment he had just purchased.  As he just bought a large mortgage and is gutting the kitchen, he was loathe to spend money on the only somewhat outdated bathroom. The biggest problem was the rusty, dated light fixture which spanned the vanity wall, seen above. Replacing the fixture would also require changing the mirror and quickly become a big project.
After cleaning and lightly sanding the backplate (windex!!), we decided to use rustoleum spray paint in a metallic dark bronze finish.  Edison bulbs were ordered online inexpensively for a quick update (found them HERE). The look is very industrial and of the moment: think restoration hardware.
What do you think of this quick and easy update? We were happy with our improvement!
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Fall 2012 TRAD HOME

Don't miss the latest addition of Traditional Home's TRAD HOME online which features an article I wrote in conjunction with my friend Raji Radhakrishnan, designer extraordinaire!
In the article we feature some of our favorite shops and haunts in DC, beautifully photographed by the talented Colleen Duffley. Many thanks to editor Ann Maine who says of my Hirshhorn description in her Editor's Letter "With a flair for words as well as design, Stefan descibes this hidden gem as a round building nestled in a classical square city".  It was a fun if exhausting day and I'm happy to share it with all of you! Article begins on page 114.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Scottish Country House

Just in time for the holidays is James Knox's release of The Scottish Country House from the Vendome Press. This lushly filled tome features a number of estates which have been in the same families for hundreds of years, in some cases since the houses were first built.
Because of this familial longevity, these houses have layers added over time in their decoration and architectural additions. An example of this is seen at Balcaskie where the gallery above was decorated in the 19th century (I love the paisley wallpaper) and many bedrooms (one seen below) were redecorated in the 1930s.
The gardens in many of these houses reflect the beautiful but rugged Scottish landscape.
Also because of this progeny and layering you also get televisions in rooms decorated in the 18th century, microwaves on top of Edwardian stoves and other adorable quirks (notice the modern silver framed photographs in the room below).
These are living, breathing houses with so much character and soul it makes you want to hop on a plane and spend your next vacation in Scotland.
Many of the houses feature sumptuous public spaces, fit for royalty. Actually in many cases they actually WERE built for royalty and their summer visits. The histories featured in the book are astoundingly interesting - it's more than a pretty picture book!
This is the perfect gift for any travel, photography or design enthusiast and would make an invaluable addition to any library; it is in mine!
All photographs by James Fennell for The Scottish Country House.
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