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D.C. Design House 2017: 38 photos inside the D.C. area’s best show house

Get an inside look at this year’s most stunning renovations, from a black and white boudoir to an oh-so-vibrant guest bedroom

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

From September 30 through October 29, lovers of home design will be able to escape into a full-blown masterpiece in Potomac, Maryland. For the tenth year, D.C. Design House has transformed a D.C. area home by allowing 23 designers and boutiques to renovate it in order to raise funds for the Children's National Health System through ticket sales.

In the last nine years, D.C. Design House has raised more than $1.78 million for the Children's National Health System.

The property is currently for sale for $10.28 million by Fouad Talout and Pascale Karam of Long & Foster Real Estate. It was originally up for grabs for $10.48 million, but it has since lowered in price. Spanning nearly 28,000 square feet, this listing comes with nine bedrooms, nine full bathrooms, and four half bathrooms.

The most luxurious details of this home include that it has a lower-level ballroom, home theater, two-story library flanked by his and her offices, and multiple kitchens. There is also an elevator across all four floors and an outdoor pool with a pool house.

For a preview of what to expect this year, check out the ins and outs of each renovated space below.

Outside Entry

Lauren Fisher-Nagia

Photo by Angie Seckinger

The first impression one will get of this year’s show house is a variety of planters, botanicals, and colors. The designer used modern Orangerie Boxes to frame the entry along with seating vignettes and elegant pots. In order to further make the space a warm and inviting area, Fisher-Nagia also included dried and preserved plants and sculptural garlands.

Living Room

Margery Wedderburn

Photo by Angie Seckinger

Once settled inside this year's D.C. Design House, visitors will be able to enjoy a living room filled with surprises like a Niermann Weeks paneled screen designed by Wedderburn.

Framed in Venetian silver leaf, the screen features leaves crawling upwards and away, a design meant to bring more movement to the room.

Originally, the walls were red, but the designer decided to reduce the formality of the space by painting them and the moldings colors described as “pure white” and “discrete white.”

Out of all of the artworks and furnishings in the room, Wedderburn's favorite is the oversized pink lollipop replica, created by Desire, Obtain, Cherish.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

Dining Room

Susan M. Jamieson

Photo by Angie Seckinger

When Jamieson first saw the dining room before any renovations had started, she said it looked like something from the 1980s. In order to bring it into the 21st century, she simplified the paint on the walls, accentuated the cabinetry details, and added midcentury blue velvet barrel chairs.

The table that was previously in the room was able to sit 20 people. The new one that Jamieson designed can sit eight and can be divided into three sections, allowing for a roomier and more flexible space.

The most dynamic design choices made including coloring the ceiling with an ombre gradient and installing a metallic grasscloth as the wallpaper.

The Gallery

Cindy Grossmueller McClure and Jenna Randolph David

Photo by Angie Seckinger

When it comes to this room, the emphasis is on looking towards the sky. Here, visitors will be impressed by the beauty of the double barrel ceiling vault, emphasized by LED lighting, hidden in the existing moldings.

To ensure that the ceiling design is not lost on visitors, the designers installed wallpaper on the ceiling and painted the walls a deep blue. While adding a bit of twinkle to the ceiling, the designers say, “shine on, you crazy diamond!”

From this space, guests will be able to wander into the powder room, “Collector’s Cabinet” room, “Hive” family room, kitchen, and theater room.

Powder Room

Mary Amons

Photo by Angie Seckinger

If you’re a lover of film, then this space might just charm you even more than it already does at face value. Amons said that her main inspiration for the powder room was the Academy-Award-nominated film, Nocturnal Animals, due to its simple, bold colors and dark, mysterious nature.

Already, the space had a dramatic flare, thanks to its marble flooring. To accentuate this, the designer chose a black, textured faux crocodile wallpaper, a black flat-finish paint trim, and black gloss-finish ceilings.

To help bring further sophistication to the powder room, Amons installed contemporary sink fixtures, a raised bowl sink, and a poured concrete countertop. Because of how dark the space was, Amons lightened it up a bit by adding a wall mirror that really helps make the room look more spacious and a frosted white Ralph Lauren ceiling fixture. The commissioned painting in the room is done by D.C.-based artist Annie Carroll.

A close-up of the faux crocodile wallpaper.
Photo by Michelle Goldchain

A Study in Blue

Kelley Proxmire

Photo by Angie Seckinger

This may be Proxmire’s twenty-fifth time contributing to a show house, but this is her first time renovating a library. With this challenge in mind, she was inspired by New York socialite Brook Astor’s iconic library that was designed by Albert Hadley.

While referencing the drapery used in the room, Proxmire said, “I can see Mr. Hadley using this in the ‘60s.”

In her space, she mimicked the fabric from Hadley’s room, while also emphasizing the use of seating arrangements as a way to make the library a space for conversation, perhaps a book club, or a family gathering.

To further brighten up the area, she added new lighting, bright window panes, and blue and white porcelain.

The Study Royale

Lorna Gross

Photo by Angie Seckinger

The intent of this room was to create a both beautiful and functional space perfect for brainstorming. Influenced by rooms found in Spanish and Italian country homes, Gross used Italian parchment draperies throughout. The walls were also hand-painted and layered in a luxe finish.

In this challenging room, Gross was unable to paint the dark, heavy bookshelves. In order to balance the space, she emphasized the grand, arched windows with mocha casement. She also lightened the bookshelves with linen and a metallic wall covering from the Netherlands.

In a statement, Gross said, “The Study Royale does away with the notion that offices must be sterile ... this room is an inspired space for inspired thinking.”

Lady’s Retreat

Marika Meyer

Photo by Angie Seckinger

When designing this room, Meyer had Grace Kelly in mind. She wanted to create a space that was colorful, fun, and perfect for a glamorous lady of the house to find relaxation in. By naming this space the “Lady’s Retreat,” Meyer also meant to imply that this was a place for someone to house one’s life collections in.

On the ceiling of the room, visitors will be able to see a custom-designed, hand-printed fabric. The pattern used in the drapery was inspired by Art Deco decor and meant to create a sense of intimacy. The walls were also lacquered.

According to Meyer, over 100 yards of fabric were used in the room.

On one of the walls, there is a collection of framed, colorful Hermés scarves. To further add some light fun to the room, Meyer added a custom Lucite cocktail table as well as a game table, perfect for hosting friends.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain
A close-up of the fabric on the ceiling.
Photo by Michelle Goldchain

The Collector’s Cabinet

Josh Hildreth

Photo by Angie Seckinger

It’s difficult to know where to begin when it comes to this specific room. There is such an abundance of artworks, furnishings, rugs, and draperies—each one more stunning and surprising than the last. If it can be described in three words, Hildreth’s choices are serene, tranquil, and expansive.

Originally, the room was called the Grand Salon, but Hildreth said he found that a little too frou-frou. In order to de-emphasize the formality of the fireplace, the designer placed a very commanding mirror above it, lined with antlers.

When pointing out this detail, Hildreth said, “I love things that live between beautiful and ugly.”

Everything in the room is either custom and or hand-made, including the chandelier with the Venetian plaster, the sconces, fire tools, and the bronze table and chairs. Even the ceiling was hand-painted, made to look like cyprus.

Overall, the room’s design was inspired by Hubert de Givenchy’s oh-so-chic Château du Jonchet.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain
Photo by Michelle Goldchain
Photo by Michelle Goldchain

Modern Professional’s Stylish Retreat

Keira St. Claire-Bowery

Photo by Angie Seckinger

Isn’t it pretty? This light, airy room was designed for a made-up muse, known as Sloane. This muse was imagined to be a stylish urbanite with an active lifestyle. With a muse imagined to have a very active work and social life, the designer wanted to create a serene, tranquil haven with layered textures and quirky knick-knacks. Pastel colors keep the color scheme calm.

Up front and center in this retreat is a geometric canopy bed, flanked by modern pendant lights. Custom marble and metal stools allow guests to be able to rest with a book in hand. To further open up the space, the ceiling was painted a turquoise in order to allow the chandelier with fluted glass crystals to shoot light dynamically across the ceiling.

Nearby, there is a hologram tile that winks at visitors when they enter the en-suite bathroom, whose walls are hand-painted with flamingos. Another quirky addition to the room is a set of gold-colored bowls filled with pink Himalayan salt, meant to clean the air.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain
Photo by Michelle Goldchain
Photo by Michelle Goldchain

Guest Bedroom

Caryn Cramer

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

If you’ve been looking for a room that will really make you say, “Wow,” you’ve finally found it. Cramer’s guest bedroom is sure to make a statement with its balance of cucumber and papaya color scheme and custom-designed fabrics.

When asked what her inspiration was for this particular room, Cramer said that she wanted to be able to express what the transition of fall to winter really feels like to her. In short, it’s heavy. With this in mind, she used a myriad of very textured materials, including nubby linens, horsehair, glossy millwork, and wool felt.

By using a fabric wallpaper, the designer also hoped to “dampen sound” in the room.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

Upstairs Family Room

Erica Burns

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

This quiet, cozy respite offers a very neutral color scheme. Designed as a television-free space, this family room is meant to allow guests to relax away from the lower floor. The most unique feature in the room may be the big ceramic pots that have been converted to lamps.

One of the walls features large-scale prints of botanicals in order to add an extra dose of color and life to the room.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

Le Boudoir

Romain Baty

Photo by Angie Seckinger

Almost everything in this room is hand-crafted, from the Italian, French, and British artworks to the hand-painted walls. The very graphic and striking black-and-white walls are complemented by moody paintings and metal urchins hung on the walls. A mixture of textures adorn the room, from marble to metal to fluffy feathers to a soft kimono.

In a statement, Baty said, “Le boudoir is a distinctive room to cast a flavor of now-ness as a blend of modernity, classic taste, and mystery.”

Travelers’ Retreat

Karen Snyder

Photo by Angie Seckinger

Before Snyder did her magic on this warm and welcoming room, she said that the architecture of the space was fine, but it overall was very cold, formal, and even off-putting. In order to warm up the space, she added a Niermann Weeks chandelier and a “primitive-patterned” window treatment from Beacon Hill with embroidery stitched in.

While overall with a very neutral color scheme—mostly grey, black, and gold—there are pops of red found in the pillows and end table.

Lush Laundry Room

Paula Grace

Photo by Angie Seckinger

From drab to absolutely fab, this laundry room is a space that now offers a clean, modern look with a built-in dog bed added for some extra quirky flare. When designing this room, Grace said that she wanted a look that was both functional and lush.

To accomplish this, she added a tile backsplash and customized baskets in order to make traveling from room to room with laundry a little bit easier. The ceiling was also painted blue for an extra pop of color.

Master Bedroom

Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas

Photo by Angie Seckinger

“I’m not a bling person,” said Rojas. “It’s hard to believe. However, I wanted to do something very glamorous.”

And so glamor was instilled in the master bedroom in the form of a glittery wallpaper, a waterfall chandelier, and a sophisticated silver color scheme. The sun-shaped mirror above the bed is also meant to appear like it was coming out from the wall, as if it is a part of it.

Attached to the room, there is also a sitting room, perfect for relaxing in when awake and ready to take on the day.

The Lounge

J. Allen, Michelle Borden, and Mark Borys

Photo by Angie Seckinger

In case you haven't heard, black is the 2018 color of the year, as decreed by PPG PAINTS. To celebrate this, the designers of this room created a very dark, but not at all dreary space, highlighted with chalk outlining the wainscoting. The designers also told Curbed DC that they were very much inspired by the late 17th century.

This must-see room is small, but it packs a punch thanks to its bold fabrics, mixed materials, and stunning artworks, including the one seen below, created by Spanish-based artist Alberto Murillo.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

Jewel Box Bar

Allie Mann, Elena Eskandari, Alex Hubbard, and Hope Hassell

Photo by Angie Seckinger

Isn’t it lovely? The designers behind this space wanted to stay subtle and pretty, while also keeping it functional.

Originally, the space felt very heavy, but the designers decided to add some feminine charm by painting the cabinets white, adding a glass sink with backlighting, and including a gold and aluminum leaf triptych with gilded glass, created by Lisa Tureson.

Don’t forget to look up. There, one will see a sophisticated lighting fixture as well.

Little Jewel Box Sitting Room

Camille Saum

Photo by Angie Seckinger

If you know this designer, you know she has a deep love for pops of color and texture—and this room is no different. Starting from the venetian plaster walls that are meant to resemble a rose quartz design to the upholstered window panels, Saum has once again instilled a room with fun and whimsy.

One of the biggest changes made to the room is the addition of stained glass above the existing windows. Both the sofa and the center pouf are custom, created by Carlos Interiors. The glass light fixture was designed by Niermann Weeks.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in a showhouse,” said Saum in an interview with Curbed DC.

The Idealized Family Room

Todd Martz and Susan Nelson

Photo by Angie Seckinger

What makes a family room “idealized”? According to Martz and Nelson, it’s a family room where electronics are checked at the door, where family members can focus on simply conversing, playing games, or reading together.

To stand out from the crowd, the designers kept the color scheme energetic with a modern yellow wallpaper. To counterbalance the exuberance of the yellow, the designers added blue and white chinoiserie pillows and porcelain throughout the room. The custom-designed chandelier also offers a glass flower design to mimic the wallpaper.

In one corner of the room, guests will find felt flowers, created by a women’s co-op in Nepal. The coffee table in the center of the family room is also hand-made in order to bring an organic touch to the space.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

Kitchen/Breakfast Room

Samantha Friedman

Photo by Angie Seckinger

It all started with the backsplash tile. Inspired by its floral, vine-filled design, Friedman continued the motif by having flowers hand-painted on the header of the kitchen island. She also changed the rounded pillars of the island with bigger, square columns.

Elsewhere, she installed water-colored floral fabric in the windows and brought in a coral-colored area rug.

Overall, Friedman’s absolute favorite part of this space is the glass light fixture, created by Tracey Glover. She told Curbed DC that she admired the rounded, transparent fixture as it didn’t compete with the other elements in the space.

The Hive Family Foyer

Lisa Tureson

Photo by Angie Seckinger

Proceeds from every ticket to D.C. Design House go to Children's National Health System, which is awesome, but there are more ways to give back. If interested in helping out even further, 100 percent of the sales made from each artwork in this room also go to the health system.

Each artwork is created by a child and teenager in Children’s National through the Art Therapy program. The theme was a busy hive.

Poolside Oasis

Kimberly Asner of Country Casual Teak

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

The final renovated space at this year’s D.C. Design House is located outside by the pool. Here, Asner decorated the space with teak furniture and lush greenery as well as a cabana, which is meant to serve as the centerpiece.

Around the cabana, there is a mirrored seating arrangement. Adjacent to the pool, there is also a covered cafe with a mix of tables and chairs.

Be sure to buy your tickets for D.C. Design House here.