Thursday, February 28, 2013

style spotlight: beautiful botanicals

ICDC planned to give you a post today about living well in small spaces, but after she received and perused the new J. Crew catalog last night, that post was put on hold.

Because J. Crew has created a line called the "Hummingbird Floral," which instantly reminded ICDC of the most beautiful Chinoiserie silk wallcoverings from de Gournay.

J. Crew says that the pattern was inspired by a vintage Time Life botanical book.  Pieces range from the dress above to shorts, a lady-like blouse, pumps with glitter and a breathtaking clutch:

This pattern is gorgeous.  And if ICDC found a bolt of it lying around, she would cover the walls of her bedroom with it so fast your head would spin!

Chinese silk wallcoverings are one of the earliest global luxury products. They were originally created for Ming Dynasty nobility, but by the 18th Century, the wallcoverings  had also been widely adopted by the English and French nobility as the high-water mark of interior design. In France, they were known at the Louis XIV Versailles court as "papiers peints panoramique."  They are handpainted and absolutely a work of art.

images from,, and

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

steep, splurge, steal

Hollywood Regency Mirrors - identified by elements of bamboo and general Asian influences - are beautiful statement pieces. 

What is "Hollywood Regency" you ask?  It is a catch-all name for a style of decor, described by Jonathan Adler as: "Neo-classical lines mixed with Hollywood glamour and a top note of mod moxie. Hollywood Regency was a style of architecture and decoration popular in the 60s in LA that was a revival of classical regency style through a modern lens. Hollywood Regency added a layer of pattern and decoration and opulence and glamour to the minimalism of mid-century modernism."

These beauties are perfect on a console in an entryway, would add pizzazz in a powder room or "glam up" a woman's bedroom.  ICDC has even seen one used in a pool house!

Member of Congress

Hill Staffer


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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

district of chic: dc design house "bear bones" tour

On Saturday, ICDC had the pleasure of touring this year's enormous DC Design House - all 15,000 square feet of it.

The home in Wesley Heights was designed by GTM Architects and has eight bedrooms, eight full baths and four half baths on five levels. With 24 spaces to be decorated, it was an exhausting but exciting day.

Many of the existing architectural elements of the home are exquisite "as-is" - like the marble herringbone entry hall and marble fireplace in the Living room.  The wood paneling on the stairwell and in the library is also extraordinary.  Some of the tiling work - especially in the Master bath is intricate and intriguing. 


stairwell paneling (remember there are five floors..)

 dark wood paneling in the library

ICDC loved the "mud room" with
its benches and long open hanging spaces

Master bath tile 

the Master bath wet bar..for all those drinks in the shower

the sauna.
(there's also an outdoor pool and home gym space)

Depending on the room, some designers are totally overhauling a space (like Andrea Houlk will do with burled wood, antiqued mirror and lots of red in the downstairs bar, to separate it from the kitchen) and others are just "upgrading" the space (like Charles Almonte who is adding color, wallpaper, accessories, art and new lighting to make the space pop.  Charles told ICDC that the new light fixture was "like a bracelet" because the space needed a little jewelry).

ICDC had the chance to chat with most of the designers about their spaces, which promise to be absolutely stunning.  Some design plans knocked ICDC right off her feet, they were so exciting!

Designers' Mood boards:

 Camille Saum - Living Room
See ICDC's previous post about Saum's extraordinary room.

Easter & Bradshaw are putting in a custom insert with an antique mirror in the existing bookcase right outside the powder room and are painting the ceiling a gold/yellow color.  The duo decided to use colors from designers on either side of the powder room to make it blend into the home as designers would in a real-world residential space.

Victoria Neale - Family Room
Neale noted that a lot of the corners in the home are rounded, which make
it hard to wallpaper.  So Neale is using two large oil paintings by Douglas Freeman to flank the fireplace in her room and add interest.

 Jessica Parker - Kitchen/Butler's Pantry
Parker designed the interior bones for the house (the herringbone entry hall was her idea!) and took on decorating the kitchen space.  Her plan includes pops of orange and really interesting accessories.

Iantha Carley - Morning room
Yes, that's an orange dog bed Iantha will use in the morning room along with beautiful textured brown fabrics like herringbone and Phillip Jeffries chartreuse pattern on the board.

Andrea Houck - Bar/Back Hall
As noted above, Houck is totally remodeling the bar with dark colors and textures.  She is using a lucite console and bright rug in the hall to create a "modern Parisian" look. 

 Charles Almonte - Powder Room
As noted above, Almonte will use new lighting as a "bracelet" to adorn the room, with this beautiful wallpaper and Jonathan Adler mirror.
Claire Schwab - Second Floor Hall
Schwab will use garden stools, an asian-style alter, zebra rug and beautiful, modern fabrics to adorn this surprisingly large space.

Michael Hampton - Sitting Room
Perhaps one of the calmest but most beguiling rooms-to-be in the house, Hampton chose a tan and brown color scheme.  He will use faux bois wallpaper (which he will alternate with each square), alpaca curtains with a fabulous woven tape edge and a rectangular double chaise longue in the center of the room.  This is the kind of room ICDC could lose hours in, happily..

Susan Jamison - Master bedroom
Truly a feast for the eyes, Jamison's fully custom master bedroom will combine all of ICDC's favorite patterns through wallpaper (she is covering bedside tables in a shagreen version), fabric and textures.  Jamison will even cover the ceiling in front of the large window with a shimmery Capiz shell and install geometric-shaped bookshelves on either side.  The iron bed will also be custom.  WOW!

Darlene Molnar - Master bath
Molnar will keep the tortoiseshell-style tile and play up the colors with leather and dark blue colors.

Regan Billingsley - Boy's Bedroom
Thick navy and white stripes will adorn this space, with pops of red and green.  Billingsley will use  two large photographs of ducks above the bed and vintage sports equipment as accessories.

Nancy Twomey - Nursery
Nancy, of Finnian's Moon Interiors, will do a double-crib nursery with soft, neutral colors and a silvery mesh curtain.  The geometric wallpaper in the top right corner of her Mood Board will line the closet.  

Jeff Akseizer & Jamie Brown - Loft Space/Media Room
ICDC is always a fan of bringing menswear fabrics like this window-pane gray flannel into the home.  Combined with a woven leather (similar to a Bottega Veneta handbag!), the loft space will be a very hip place to congregate before screening movies in the cocoon-like gray grasscloth sheathed media room!

Katherine Vernot-Jonas - Guest Bedroom
Vernot-Jones noted that this bedroom gets very little light - so she's adding bold yellow paint and shocking pink accessories to brighten the space.  Double beds will flank the window, which will have a built-in window seat with storage and a roman shade with Kelly Wearstler's Imperial Trellis fabric.

Allie Mann - "Away Room"
Mann decided to make her room into a calm and serene "Away Room" where one can escape with a good book "like Charlotte's Webb" or to take a nap.  Colors will be in the turquoise and brown range - including a paisley and a check print - and will cover side chairs and a chaise longue.

 Lorna Gross - Lower Family Room
ICDC walked up to this Mood Board and nearly jumped for joy.  Three words: Navy. High. Gloss.  As ICDC clapped her hands with glee, Gross said triumphantly that she was making it her mission to bring high gloss walls to the District.  She has ICDC's vote!  In addition to her bold wall treatment, Gross also happened to select a number of beautiful ikats to use throughout the room.  This will be a grown-up room with a comfortable vibe.  How chic!

Jen Chappell - Covered Terrace
Chappell will use bright lime greens and blues to decorate the outdoor space adjacent to the pool.  The American Eye furniture selected for this space is strong but laid-back - truly "American casual."  In effort to be "green," the retro-style radio in this space will be fashioned from reclaimed wood!

Scott Cooke - Lower Dining Room
Despite it's location near the pool, Cooke decided to design a regal dining room with a grand chandelier and round table with a round, graphic rug.  Dining chairs will be upholstered in a red herringbone fabric.  Delicate gilt sconces, lush mahogany, and a mix of reds and blues will make this dining room very elegant indeed.

Stay tuned for details on the transformation!

images courtesy of ICDC