Wednesday, January 30, 2013

district of chic: barry dixon

"The important things in a room are the essence of what you hold valuable," says Barry Dixon. "Things that define who you are. A room should start a conversation before people actually start exchanging words."  Dixon's designs are layered, interesting and definitely unique.

The well-renowned local decorator has designed homes for Diane Sawyer and former Senate majority leader Bill Frist to name just two of the countless personal residences in his portfolio.  And he has designed more than 50 sofas, ottomans and chairs for Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth and has a collection of rugs, fabrics and trims.

Similar to ICDC's philosophy, Dixon's is rooted in a confident mix of high and low: "I'm not shy about spending a small fortune on something rare that has character and personality," he says. "But I must earn the right to do that by supplanting it with other, less expensive things. It takes the pretension out of the mix."

He creates traditional, serene, pretty and intriguing rooms.  All in one.


ICDC adores Dixon's cone-shaped light fixtures:

A few pieces from Dixon's furniture collection (including amazing ottomans):

What are a few of his tried-and-true tips?  Dixon likes using a simple, unlined, sheer fabric on a rod that can traverse over the blinds. He says, "It grabs your attention in a delicate, lovely way, and it’s not expensive. The fabric ties the room together rather than just sitting with the eyesore of blinds. The combination itself is complementary, too. The blinds are geometric and architectural, while the sheer is soft and romantic."

He also suggests using a single color on all the walls of a room: "Rather than cutting up a space with a color on the trim, another on the wall, another on the paneling, try just one. It makes the room look bigger, it’s cheaper and it’s easier. And don’t be afraid to include the ceiling!"

And Dixon loves the DC Big Flea.  "The Flea is a gold mine for quilts. A good American quilt will get you through life. If you get tired of hanging it, fold it up and take it to the beach, bring it on a picnic or use it as a throw. That’s getting your money’s worth."

"I love what I do," Dixon has said. "Hopefully, when people leave a room I've designed, they know a little bit more about the people who live there." 

images from and

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