New Post House Calls Article

I was asked to help redesign a homeowner’s master bedroom for The Washington Post, and I had a great time! I wanted to provide a classic backdrop for the couple but also interject a little bit of color and contemporary pattern.
Here is the “before” picture, courtesy of The Post:

Photo | Leah L. Jones for The Washington Post

Photo | Leah L. Jones for The Washington Post

And here is the rendering of the proposed “after” that I sent to The Post with my design suggestions:

Caroline McCandlish

Caroline McCandlish

But Julius Goyanko’s rendering for The Post turned out much, much better!

Here were my suggestions for the room:

  • Cream drapery panels frame the windows while letting in sunlight
  • Mixing stained and painted furniture creates an eclectic feeling
  • A bench serves as a spot to put on shoes and as additional storage
  • Pops of color and pattern add a fresh touch to a timeless, neutral backdrop
  • Reinvent an existing piece of furniture (headboard) with a fresh coat of paint
  • A textured duvet cover and shams add softness
  • Add unexpected touches in the small details, like the crystal curtain tie backs
  • A mirror serves a functional purpose and also reflects natural light back into the room
  • Relocating the bed allows for easier movement around the bed and a better location for the dresser

I actually did not include a TV in my design, though it was included in The Post’s published rendering. The paper wanted to include a TV because the home owners wanted to keep one in the room. I felt that a round wall-hung mirror would better enhance the romantic sophistication of the space.

Refer to The Post’s online article for the product details. Here it is in print!

House Calls Article, The Washington Post, 5.9.13

House Calls Article, The Washington Post, 5.9.13

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“65 Stylish And Exciting Walk-In Closet Design Ideas”

Wow, this page on walk-in closets on Digsdigs.com was really fun to look at as it has tons of photos of beautiful closets to inspire. There is nothing like seeing images of amazing closets that makes me want to go organize (and color code!) my own.

Photo | Digsdigs.com

Photo | Digsdigs.com

Posted in Design Examples | Tagged | Leave a comment

Prison Hotel

Check out this former prison, Het Arresthuis, in the Netherlands that was closed in 2007 and recently refurbished as a luxury hotel.

Photo | Het Arresthuis

Photo | Het Arresthuis

From the inside of the guestrooms, you wouldn’t really have any idea that it was a prison. The prison’s 150 small cells were converted to 40 guest rooms. I love the barrel vaulted brick ceilings.

Photo | Het Arresthuis

Photo | Het Arresthuis

Photo | Het Arresthuis

Photo | Het Arresthuis

But in the common areas, there is a distinct vibe of incarceration. I wonder what the mood and tone of the hotel is like. These guests appear to be enjoying the atmosphere!

Photo | Het Arresthuis

Photo | Het Arresthuis

Photo | Het Arresthuis

Photo | Het Arresthuis

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The “Granny Pod”

The Washington Post recently published an article, Pioneering the granny pod: Fairfax County family adapts to high-tech dwelling that could change elder care, about a new way that is being explored to help older relatives age in place (see the Video). It involves a free-standing dwelling that looks like a mini mobile home and is intended to provide a safe, monitored environment for an elderly resident that could be placed on a relative’s property. In concept it sounds amazing because it provides the elderly adult with a “home” that is more tailored to their advancing physical needs than a traditional home. It would enable them to remain in very close proximity to their family or friends in the “big house” next door, and it would not require them to move to a potentially more expensive assisted living or nursing home.

Photo | N2Care. Bonnie Berkowitz and Alberto Cuadra/The Washington Post.

Photo | N2Care. Bonnie Berkowitz and Alberto Cuadra/The Washington Post.

I think the success of a house like this depends on the mindset of the inhabitant. Some may see it as a way to prolong independence and privacy. It would enable the aging adult to have their own space to retreat to and make their own while having help and family close by. Others may think it seems more isolating than an assisted living or nursing home because social interaction is more challenging. I will be interested to see if this type of building and living scenario grows in popularity.

Posted in Design Trends, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tiny House

In response to my Bali Open House post, here is a house that is very closed in. It is the subject of a Washington Post article about a Fairfax woman who built a “tiny house” for her master’s degree in environmental management policy. I would love to walk inside of it to see how small it really is.

Photo | Donna Peterson for The Post

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bali Open House

This Bali house is amazing for all that it has and all that it doesn’t have. Would most people feel comfortable living in a home without walls, even if it is in an environment where this is possible?

“My Houzz: Open Air Living in the Mountains of Bali”

Photo | Jeni Lee, Houzz.com

Posted in Design Examples, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Refinished Console

I have a client who wants to update her home to be a little lighter and brighter, and one of the pieces she wanted to update was a heavily carved wood console with a brown marble top. I had seen Christen Bensten’s (Blue Egg Brown Nest in Arlington) work in The Washington Post a while back, and I thought that her chalk paint refinishing technique would be the perfect solution to breath life into an older piece of furniture.

Christen worked her magic, and the “Duck Egg Blue” color that we picked works beautifully on the piece and will harmonize nicely with the paint and fabric selections for my client’s dining room. It is so fun seeing the before and after transformation! What was a heavy and dark piece is now updated and fresh with a small investment. Here are the before and after, courtesy of Blue Egg Brown Nest’s blog:

Photo | blog.Blueeggbrownnest.com

Photo | blog.Blueeggbrownnest.com

Check out Blue Egg Brown Nest for more “after” photos of this console and to see all of Christen’s other beautiful work.

Posted in Design Examples | Tagged , , | Leave a comment