A few weekends back I decided to head downtown with some friends – first stopping in Eastern Market (a huge flea market / farmer’s market – more on that to come once I take some pics of my finds), and then touring the D.C. Design House in Georgetown.  I grew up visiting seriously every decorator house in Kansas City with my mom, so I was looking forward to seeing what the DC Design House had in store.
Can I be honest about my thoughts?  Okay, good, because I have to admit I really wasn’t that impressed…  Maybe it was the Georgetown-ness that put a sour taste in my mouth – don’t get me wrong, I love me some Georgetown, but the air of superiority is sometimes overwhelming.  Everyone was checking out everyone else, commenting to their friends about a clothing or shoe choice, etc.  It makes me uncomfortable being in situations when I feel like I’m constantly feeling judged – and unfortunately this was one of those situations…
But enough about the snooty location, how about the house?!  Here’s a shot of the outside:
dc design house

dc design house

Purty, isn’t it?!  The house selected for this year’s Design House was the rectory of St. John’s Church in Georgetown.  It was built in 1809 and was really a gorgeous piece of architecture – soaring ceilings, thick moldings, timeworn hardwood floors – the character and personality I love in the housing in and around Georgetown.  I wish I could have taken some pictures of the inside, but those I scavenge off the internet will have to do!  Here are some highlights of the house…

The entryway, stairway, and upstairs hallway were all wallpapered in Farrow & Ball’s Lotus print in a warm chocolate brown – a really bold print that was masterly pulled off because of said ceiling height and moldings that make my heart pitter patter.  I also loved the antique chandelier hung in the vestibule just above the doorway (you can just barely see it in the pic below).

entryway

entryway

I really liked the living room, which was designed by David H. Mitchell (if you have your January 2008 House Beautiful, he decorated the Hamptons home on the cover).  The floor was covered in an enormous sisal bound rug, and floor-to-ceiling mustard yellow curtains framed the stage-stealing windows.  He mixed very classic elements (Grecian urns and that very same Oly fainting couch I saw in Valerianne the day before!) with more modern elements (like the collage of colored prints in the pic below) to make for a really classy yet really comfortable room.  I loved the bolsters and greek key pillows on the fainting couch – perfect for an afternoon of reading.

living room

living room

I also liked the library, which was lined with some amazing built-in cabinetry and Farrow & Ball wallpaper-wrapped books (love that idea!).  The room was decorated with a perfect antique glass front cabinet, pair of eco-friendly chairs from Lee Industries, and natural touches like potted mosses and my ever-favorite bird statuettes.

library

library

I wasn’t very impressed with the remainder of the rooms on the first floor (library, kitchen, powder room, laundry room), nor many of the rooms upstairs (master bedroom, guest room, guest sitting room, young girl’s room)…

…except for the master sitting room, which was designed by Ianatha Carley Interiors.  I could sit and sit and sit in that room all day long and never get tired of it!  The chandelier was what really had me at hello – an oversized milky glass and scalloped pendant from Baker Furniture.  Serious swoonage here.

chandelier (yes, please!)

THE chandelier

The windows were draped with a classic but fun Cowtan & Tout sunflower print (which I think is the fabric version of that fab wallpaper Lauren over at pure style home is looking to use in her kitchen – Lauren, awesome choice!), the walls painted a yummy latte, and pops of yellow and green throughout the room (oh how I love that marigold colored lamp and head-turning drum shade!).  She also designed the adjoining master bath, which was very nicely done and had the seen-everywhere-but-still-loveitloveitloveit KWID imperial trellis fabric in natural as a shower curtain.

sitting room

sitting room

I must say the highlight of the whole event, though, was when I was walking through the laundry room on the way out of the house, and the designer stopped me and asked, “I love your sunglasses, who makes them?”  (Let’s remember that I was suffering from Georgetown snootiness overload at this point…)  I just laughed and said, “Tar-jhay, of course!”  He tried to come at me with a witty response, but it just made me laugh…see? – I can still look Georgetown fashion worthy on a Target budget!

There’s still another week left of the DC Design House event, so you still have time to make it out there – but I might just recommend waiting for the virtual tour of the house to get posted on the event’s website.

{DC Design House images from Washington Spaces}

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