Sunday, January 10, 2016

Inspiration for the new year

To heck with the diet!  ICDC's cure for the new year's blues is to skip yourself and get right to improving where you live.  No need to go for broke; use what you already have.  Just add some new pizazz.

ICDC turned to local expert designer Camille Saum, known for her "Spring Spruce Ups," to ask for a little advice about where to start and a sneak peak at some of her latest work.

1.  The Dining Room

You may be fĂȘte-ed out for now, but a drop-dead navy-with-hints-of-gold-hued dining room would turn anyone's frown upside down.  Those leather chairs!  And lapis and buttercup taffeta draperies..!

2.  The Kitchen

Nothing's better than high-gloss cabinets.  You don't have to get new ones.  Just sand the old ones slightly and add a clear varnish.  And think about adding a backsplash like Tranquil Trapezoid Midday Aubergine below.

3.  The Bathroom

Need a little pick-me-up in the bathroom?  Camille has a trick up her sleeve: go broke for pattern, but keep it in muted tones.  She's a fan of mural tiles like the show-stopping Clermont Noir Blanco or the Netherland District Dark Circle Glass and Resin Tile.  Or try a metallic wallcovering to brighten up a bathroom.
4.  Only a few pennies to spare? 
Try updating a bookshelf wall with a painted stencil in a vibrant plaid (like the one designed by Camille Saum Associate Designer Whitney Hansen).

 Images via Camille Saum Interior Design, LLC.

Friday, April 17, 2015

fashion friday

Despite a hectic work schedule, ICDC is determined to bring back the Fashion Friday series for you dear readers.  The FF concept first surfaced because ICDC realized that women know how to dress themselves, but were often frightened to do the same for their homes.  Determined to change that, FF was born!

Requests have come in that the rooms be more connected to Washington spaces.  What better way to do that than showcase rooms by DC designers at this year's showhouse?

First up, the living room by Jeff Akseizer and Jamie Brown

Olivia Palermo's furry grey, brown and black outfit is easily transformed into the grey walls, birch ceiling and patterned, modern chairs of the dining room.  Where to find similar pieces to recreate this room?

images via and Angie Seckinger

Monday, April 13, 2015

one nest project & greenspur

ICDC was scrolling through Airbnb recently looking for country houses in northern Virginia.  Just in case a weekend away from the city is needed in the dead of summer.

Most houses are either extremely expensive and could host 20 people or terrible shacks.  Nearly bored and about to close the app, ICDC happened across the gorgeous place below.  Intrigued, ICDC did a little digging.  The story behind this striking home, and the company run by its owner, sparked a massive online hunt to know more.


Called "One Nest", this vacation home in Delaplane is only 1000 square feet.  It's essentially a proof-of-concept and the brainchild of Mark Turner, owner and founder of Greenspur - a real estate development group that is rethinking how we use space and materials to construct homes in a shorter timeline, all while respecting the environment.  The idea was to build a home in 100 days for $150,000.  As you can see, Turner was successful. 

The use of space is extremely efficient: it has 2.5 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms.  ICDC's last apartment was that size and one bedroom/one bath seemed small.  This seems huge!  There's also a kitchen, dining area, living area, home office, wine cellar and deck (with firepit).  It's light on cement, and has no drywall or foundation. 

Wait.  No foundation??  Instead of the typical, dug-out concrete model, Turner used a steel chassis that won't rot or burn and magnesium oxide replaces drywall (according to Turner, this is an ancient substance used in the mortar of the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army).

Wood inside the house is reclaimed from an old smokehouse (the smoked wood providing natural protection against bugs).  The house also has no ductwork (saving space) and making the heat and cooling more efficient with wall units (and cost effective: only $42 a month!).

ICDC is going to keep her eye on Greenspur.  Stunningly innovative and exciting!

This post kicks off a series on sustainable design and decorating with the natural environment.  Stay tuned!

images via

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 Design House

It's baaaack! 

The 2015 Design House, benefitting the National Children's Medical System, is nearly open.  Tomorrow is preview day (get tix here) and the home opens to the public on Sunday.  It's supposed to be a wonderfully warm and beautiful weekend - perfect for a stop in Mclean! 

Last year, ICDC's favorite space was Nadia Subaran's wine room (I know, what's not to like!). 

This year, winner of most creative space (in ICDC's humble opinion) is the Jeff Askizer/Jamie Brown dining room: Birch trees from Aspen decorate the ceiling.  Combined with a killer chandelier and sleek dining chairs..wowzers!

Here's a digital preview..stop by 956 Mackall Farm Lane, tout suite!

images by Angie Seckinger

Thursday, April 9, 2015

do you know wisteria?

Because if you don't, you should.

ICDC doesn't usually get too excited about design catalogs.  (In fact, she keeps trying to unsubscribe..without success!)  Usually the options are too planned, too mass-market and without much character.

That all changed when this piece of magic arrived in the mailbox.

Over the years, Wisteria offerings have intrigued ICDC.  A beautiful Moorish chest, comfortable but chic looking linen-clad sofas, an etagere that wasn't boring.

But Wisteria has knocked it out of the park this year.  And it wasn't just the lush green malachite wall hangings (or Agate ones) that sucked ICDC in.

It was the cobalt blue Chinese Chippendale chairs, the Pagoda mirror, the Acrylic Wall Brackets and Leaning Bookshelf and Ghost Pedestal and X-Base Stool, the Faux Bois Mirror, the Ikat Pillows, the Graphic Pillows, the Hemicycle Nailhead Side Table, the Laurel Leaf Mirror, the Wheel-y Useful Basket, the Smart and Sleek Stools, the Cinema Lounge Chairs, the Elegant Etagere, and the Colonial Column Side Table. The list goes on.  ICDC is keeping a copy of this catalog for inspiration..and just in case a furniture need arises!

Also wonderful is that the Dallas-based Wisteria story is adorable.  Andrew and Shannon - the creative team and owners behind the company - call their style "updated traditional with a twist".  They blend the "best designs that have stood the test of time..with the latest styles, and then [add] a fun eclectic item that rounds it out."  They say "if that means combining a wonderful old wooden chest you inherited from your grandmother with an acrylic pedestal you just purchased and a framed drawing your five-year-old made, then that's it!"  Heaven.

And no, Wisteria did not compensate ICDC for this post.  It was pure design excitement that inspired it!