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Classical Contemporary

For two decades, the Georgetown couple walked past a Colonial Revival brick house near Tudor Place and wished it could be theirs. “We admired the simplicity and elegance of the architecture,” says the attorney husband. “The home is somewhat unique because it is freestanding rather than a row house. It came with one of the deepest gardens in Georgetown.”
When he and his wife, a telecommunications consultant, discovered their dream home was finally for sale, they jumped to buy it. The interiors needed updating so they turned to Rob Brown and Todd Davis, who had remodeled rooms in their previous house. “They know how to integrate clean, modern furnishings with older homes in which the preservation of the historic details is essential,” says the wife. Brown and Davis, who have offices in Bethesda and Miami Beach, are best known for decorating the Washington, DC, and Chappaqua, New York, homes of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as Hillary Clinton’s former Senate office.

In the living room off the stair hall, Brown and Davis unified the seating groups with a Chinese-inspired rug of their own design. Contemporary interior design,modern decoration
In the living room off the stair hall, Brown and Davis unified the seating groups with a Chinese-inspired rug of their own design. 

Hardly the typical Washingtonians whose conservative tastes run to wing chairs and Oriental rugs, the well-traveled homeowners prefer more stylish, pared-down designs. “In essence, we are Bauhaus admirers,” says the husband. “We dislike clutter, excessive ornamentation and overly decorated spaces.” At the same time, he and his wife appreciate the historic charm of Georgetown and made sure renovations respected the architectural character of their 1883 home. “The challenge was to find the right balance between preserving the best of a 19th-century structure and furnishing it with designs that are clean, simple and elegant,” he says.

In the dining room, golden drapes warm the north-facing windows. The rosewood table, upholstered chairs, banquette and rug were designed by Brown Davis, interior decorating ideas small apartment interior design ideas
In the dining room, golden drapes warm the north-facing windows. The rosewood table, upholstered chairs, banquette and rug were designed by Brown Davis.

Brown and Davis addressed both modernity and history by setting sleek furnishings into rooms outlined in elegant architectural details of their own making. “The façade is gorgeous but the interiors did not match that,” says Brown. “To either side of the central hallway was a jumble of rooms. It was time to give the house new life.” On the main level, archways between the hallway and flanking spaces were widened and raised to improve flow. A small room behind the living space was replaced with a coat closet and a powder room with a sculptural stone sink.

Brown Davis designed new paneling in the family room, where they repurposed furniture from the couple’s previous home. The print is by Robert Motherwell, house design sydney australia house design front bedroom design ideas pictures
Brown Davis designed new paneling in the family room, where they repurposed furniture from the couple’s previous home. The print is by Robert Motherwell.

At the rear, the kitchen was completely overhauled by Poggenpohl with contemporary cabinets, glass backsplashes and stainless-steel appliances. It now opens to the rebuilt back porch overlooking the terraced garden and pool. The room across the hall from the kitchen was framed in new paneling and built-in cabinetry to create a family space. Chairs and sofas were recycled from the couple’s previous home and reupholstered to provide comfortable seating for reading and watching TV.

Throughout the house, the décor reflects what Brown and Davis call “classical contemporary,” a luxurious but streamlined look that has become their signature. “One of our trademarks is the juxtaposition of old and new, and bringing colors together in unexpected ways,” Davis says.

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The contemporary was revamped by Poggenpohl.

The more formal rooms at the front of the house exemplify this mix of traditional and modern elements. In the living room, Brown and Davis replaced the fireplace mantel with a carved limestone surround and installed new architectural moldings to create a classical backdrop to stylized, Deco-inspired furnishings. Instead of pairing sofas around the fireplace, they arranged seating areas at either end of the room and connected them with a floral-patterned carpet of their own design. “It was inspired by a late 19th-century Chinese import rug for another client,” explains Brown. “The furniture has a Deco flair and in terms of Deco interiors, Chinese rugs were often used.” Ivory upholstery on the chairs and sofas provides a contemporary twist within the room’s traditional setting.

The husband’s cherry-paneled study centers on four chairs originally designed by Brown Davis for the British Embassy, bedroom decorating ideas Designing of house photos House interior idea steel and glass house Washington
The husband’s cherry-paneled study centers on four chairs originally designed by Brown Davis for the British Embassy.

Across the hall, a similar contrast is evident in the dining room, which also serves as a music room for the couple’s three children. A baby grand piano faces upholstered chairs pulled up to a rosewood table and a banquette in front of the windows. As in the living room, the piano and furnishings are linked by a large rug in subdued tones to match the upholstery. In both living and dining rooms, marigold silk draperies add a jolt of color. “These rooms tend to be dark because they face north,” says Brown. “We chose a golden tone to warm them up.”

Abstract prints by noted American artists Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg and Richard Serra, and large paintings by Spanish artists Miguel Angel Campano and José Freixanes underscore the contemporary feeling. “We think the art reinforces the importance of simple furnishings—the furnishings do not collide visually with the art,” says the husband.

In the master bedroom, Donghia wallpaper provides a dark backdrop to light-colored furnishings and a sleek stone fireplace mantel, modern kitchen cabinets bedroom decorating ideas Designing of house photos House interior idea steel and glass house Washington design minimalist small nyc apartment decor bedroom decorating ideas
In the master bedroom, Donghia wallpaper provides a dark backdrop to light-colored furnishings and a sleek stone fireplace mantel. 

Upstairs in his study, Brown and Davis extended the same strategy applied to the living and dining rooms, but reversed the approach. Instead of ornamenting the walls with intricate moldings, they used streamlined cherry paneling and shelving as a modern backdrop to traditional furnishings, including four chairs the designers originally created for the British Embassy.

Contrast continues in the master bedroom, where light-colored bedding, drapes and upholstery are set off by raisin-colored silk wallpaper. “We were asked to make it a cocoon,” says Davis. “So we used materials to absorb sound from the street.”At one end of the room, a print by British artist Henry Moore hangs over a fireplace framed in a simple stone surround. “It’s our favorite room, especially in winter with the fireplace burning,” says the husband. “We are often there, reading or working late at night when the house and the city outside are quiet.”

INTERIOR DESIGN: Rob Brown and Todd Davis, Brown Davis Interiors, Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, and Miami Beach, Florida.

Amazing Pentouse Interior Design by Craig Steely

The “Ludwig Apartment“ is located in San Fransisco, California and it is a new approach made by Craig Steely of a place that originally had four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Here is some of the information we found on the designer’s site concerning this project: “the original 4-bedroom/4-bath penthouse was a rabbit’s warren of confusing rooms. In our re-design, rooms were combined and uses were re-assigned to allow the occupants to take advantage of the views looking north and south and the movement of the sun through out the day.Materials used are clear and etched 1/2″ glass, slabs of Black walnut, hand made mosaic tile walls, and gun blued steel.”- via

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Interior design for children is one of the most fun, delightful aspects of the business if you ask me. It is so fun because children are limitless as far as their creativity and imaginations are concerned. Whenever planning interior design for children, be sure to involve the children in the planning and-if you feel very brave, the implementation of your designs.

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A good beginning point or theme for interior design for children is to start with any favorite activity or toy or even character of the child’s interest. Remember that many items of interest to children are topics that will change with time so try to take advantage of these interests and favorites with accessories and changes that will be easy to replace in the future as their interests and needs change. If a child has an interest or a particular activity that they are very enthused about and they have a special request that would make the design very special to them, go for it as long as the parents are as enthusiastic as the child is. Also, forewarn them of any possible headaches they might experience changing it in the future when it comes time to redesign the space in order to accommodate the child’s changing needs.

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When choosing your color plan or schemes remember that interior design for children offers you unique opportunities to use bold or bright colors that would usually not be ideal for use in adult surroundings. Along the same lines, certain areas of the room would be more ergonomic to use as focal points then would in an adult’s atmosphere. For example, a chalkboard or toy box might capture a child’s attention more so then would a table or seating arrangement.

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Another aspect of design that will vary from adult tastes when planning interior design for children would be the accessories that will be used to highlight and accentuate key features. Toys and collectibles make wonderful objects to use in this application. However, many times toys that are placed on display or for decoration are toys that the child would enjoy much more by being able to play with it rather then it actually being on display. You can solve this dilemma by either using old, unused toys that no longer captivate the child’s interests or even by purchasing duplicates and allowing them to actually use one version of the toy and letting them know that the others are ‘for looking only’. Also, keep in mind that collectibles often times are of less significance to smaller children then are to adults so make sure that any item placed in a child’s room is not of significant fiscal or sentimental value just in case!

Tying in interior design for children can be accomplished easily by purchasing one of millions of available bed treatments that is complimentary to the designs and themes used in the creation of the room layout as well as fitting in well with the accessories chosen. Many bed treatment packages come prepackaged with matching detailed sheets, a comforter, dust ruffle, and window coverings. These items can bring a room together in the greatest of all fashions and are an option in interior design for children that are obtainable by anyone looking to make a change.

Always remember when planning interior design for children that a child changes attitudes, opinions, and behaviors around every three years. Permanent changes of any type are a big no-no and practical, cost effective ones are ideal. A good furniture tip to remember when designing for kids is to buy reasonably priced, sound furniture that doesn’t break the bank. Kids are even harder on furniture then they are on clothes! And most importantly to take into consideration when working with interior design for children--of course, HAVE FUN!!!

New York English Style Interior Design

When you’re choosing an interior designer whose style is English country or one of the famous periods, your first decision is how authentic your want the décor to be. Some want every detail picture-perfect; while others want a hint of English in the fabrics, furniture or accessories

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Whether your idea of French style is formal or country, part of the fun is knowing where to shop and how to get the most style for your dollar. If you’re interested in antiques, then your best buy will be at auction; if style is more important than provenance, you’ll have a world of choices. My only suggestion: instead of being slavish, adapt English style to your style.

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Designer Previews will show you the work of many of New York’s finest designers of English style interior design firms a
nd help you compare their styles in relation to your needs. -Karen Fisher

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The furniture and wall structure around the apartment is as minimal as possible but without losing in functionality. Minimalist apartment design can be either modern or contemporary in nature. The unifying element should be a focus on form, color, and texture, as opposed to ornamentation. Modern minimalist spaces usually feature white or neutral walls with little to no trim work or window casings. Luxury apartment interior in Dubai, this project has designed by Tom Dixon and Design Research Studio.

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It is with great pleasure that we provide a complete interior design service throughout Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We have completed interior design projects in many international destinations throughout the world and with Dubai's meteoric rise to international applause it is only appropriate we seek inspired new projects here.

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Dubai is immersed in a fascinating history, brimming with archeological wonder and architectural brilliance. A trip to Dubai transports you on a journey through time, from its ancient origins to the modern, sensational place it is today. We are honoured to be part of the transition of one of the great, seven Emirates and are always excited to be welcomed by new clients. Let's take this exciting journey together and make all those dreams a reality.

We offer a unique interior design service to Dubai which has brought us a wave of acclaim over previous years, firmly substantiating us as one of the world's top interior designer companies. Our aim is to assist all our customers in achieving their goals and guiding them effortlessly through to the final, successful conclusion. Whether you're looking for a fresh new look for your exclusive villa in Dubai, a fabulous theme for your new luxury house, a sumptuous style for your palace, the relaxation of a lush tropical villa, an impressive executive office, a comfortable board room, a new night club and fashionable bar, or the 'wow' factor for that 5 star hotel/resort. We can turn those hidden fantasies into a reality, creating a world where colour and style blend into each other leaving a feeling of immense pleasure and tranquility. Delight in your new world and indulge your senses with the magical charms of professional Dubai interior design.

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Interior design is now an integral part of both residential and commercial properties in Dubai. It is an essential aspect of any major hotel chain in Dubai, or resort in Dubai, and vital to bring exciting new concepts to the market place; Long gone have the days when Dubai hotels could suffice with standard rooms and furniture; to compete on the international market it is vital each has there own special theme, which soon becomes part of their overall trademark. A trademark, which if created correctly will have their customers coming back time and time again.

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The right colour schemes to calm the mind, soft, tasteful furnishings to relax the body and enchanting sculptures to muse upon. These and many more unique concepts not only enrich your lifestyle but also put you on a new path of artistic discovery. You will welcome the new soothing effects of the right use of colour and wallow in the luxuriant nature of your dazzling new property. As a company in Dubai we are extremely pleased to be associated with some of the world's best furnishers and excited to be able to introduce you to a whole new world of lifestyle living.

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From Dubai to Costa Rica, Monaco to Moscow, Bangkok to Phuket, Paris to London, Shanghai to Berlin, Qatar to Beijing, Amsterdam to Mustique; our exciting team of professional, creative people have done it all. From high spec offices, corporate boardrooms, luxury apartments, exclusive villas, fashionable bars/restaurants, presidential villas, exotic tropical resorts and sumptuous 5 star hotels. Whatever your fancy, whatever your dreams, we can guide you on a journey into an imaginative world that holds few boundaries. A delight for the senses awaits and it is our goal to create that world for you.

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Our policy is to constantly strive for higher levels of creative splendor and to continually bring inspired and exciting new concepts to each of our new clients in Dubai; rich in fashionable colours, beautiful designs and lush comfortable furnishings; whether you have ideas or not, it is of no matter as our seasoned professionals guide you through a wonderful realm of enchanting and inspirational suggestions; restricted only by their fervent imaginations and your specific desires. This truly is a chance to open the doors on a whole new world of interior design.
Join the latest trend in property and lifestyle improvement by contacting Dubai Interior Design. You are only an e-mail away from breathing new life into your property and opening the doors to the world of inspiration.

Casual Opulence

Casual Opulence
Among the many joys homeowners experience when decorating a new residence is the ability to put into context—and sometimes even into words—their own unique lifestyle. Eric and Kerry Cole turned to interior designer Alice Busch of Great Falls Distinctive Interiors to help them realize a way of living Busch termed “casual opulence” in their new Ashburn, Virginia, home.

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“They were very clear about the generalities of what they wanted,” Busch says of the Coles, who envisioned their new home in the Belmont Country Club enclave as a haven that, while luxurious, could still support the day-to-day energy of their three young children. “She loved the richness and comfort of a Ralph Lauren look, and he wanted something more impressive and opulent. So we had to meet in the middle,” Busch says.
Kerry Cole agrees. “My husband is very Versace. But I’m home with the kids and wanted something that, while beautiful, would be really comfortable,” she says.

The end result is an amalgam of easy elegance. Grounded in rich woods and sparkling with jewel-toned fabrics, the rooms are beautiful but appointed to stand the test of time—one of Busch’s signature decorating mandates. “We had to take special care with the durability and quality of the materials we used. Most of the carpets and rugs have patterns and are very child-proof,” she says.
One such rug presides in the dining room, which, like the many fine meals the Coles enjoy there, is a sensual delight. A grand table imported from Italy is surrounded by chairs with distressed wood frames and nailhead trim. Busch selected deep burgundy upholstery on the chair fronts, while the backs are covered in neutral suede. Shadowy, heavily textured walls reveal a stencil pattern that complements the detail in the damask drapes. “Even though it has a rich and elegant feel, the room still looks worn,” Busch says. “The opulence in this room is in the fabrics, and the walls are made to look very old.”
In the kitchen, which initially had been earmarked for dark cherry cabinetry, Busch opted instead to lighten things up with white cabinets and a central cherry-based island that dovetails nicely with the wood furniture in the adjacent breakfast room. Dusty red toile wallpaper and pencil pleat balloon valances in a Scalamandré plaid also help to relate the two spaces. “The kitchen adds the lighter element,”

Busch says. “We had to integrate this very large space so instead of doing it with a deep tone of color we did it in other ways. It’s cheerful and open, a little country but tastefully so.”
The nearby great room, where the family congregates casually, is awash in saturated neutrals and golds that create a warm and cozy atmosphere with just the slightest nod to the outdoors. (A new tiered stone terrace off the room is planned). As well as housing loads of closed storage for children’s toys, the room accommodates two custom sofas which are so deep, Busch says, without their back cushions they’re the depth of a twin bed. More formal gatherings are staged in the conservatory. In this room that Busch describes as “sophisticated without being ostentatious,” a grand piano is offset by a gracious seating area.
Upstairs, Busch also created a sweet bedroom for the Cole girls with room to grow, with two beds adorned with hand-carved birds and a continuous, wall-long valance that sweeps over not only the windows but also canopies the beds.
For the master suite, Eric Cole had a clear mandate. “He travels a lot and wanted everything at the level of some of the wonderful five-star hotels he stays at,” Busch says. She achieved that aura with a mix of calming sea shades, a soft-patterned rug and an eye-grabbing sunburst canopy bed whose romanticism the Coles “simply couldn’t resist,” she says. The room also has a spacious sitting area with a secretary where Kerry Cole attends to her correspondence, a working fireplace, two sumptuous club chairs, and even a full breakfast bar and table—another nod to luxurious hotel suite living. “We used striae on the walls to add complexity and visual interest,” Busch notes, “and it really helps pull out the background panels behind the bed and the pillows.”
Aside from helping the Coles realize their dream home, Busch was able to complete the task in less than four months—a feat made even more remarkable since the couple did not contact her until well after the building process was set in motion.

“A lot of our work is done preconstruction, which we love because we are able to do things like move windows a few inches here and there,” Busch says. “This was not quite the case here. We had to go in bathrooms and take out light fixtures, rework cabinetry.”

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Mustard-colored walls and tasseled draperies in gold and russet plaid lend a masculine feel to the library, with its regency mahogany desk and Hancock and Moore leather desk chair.

Busch credits her “enormously decisive” clients with the ability to move swiftly and, most importantly, in a professionally cooperative manner. She notes that Eric Cole told her early on he would give her the same respect he expects when clients come to him as an expert in his field. “He said, ‘I’ll follow your lead,’” says Busch. “And as a result we were able to achieve something remarkable.”
Writer Catherine Applefeld Olson is based in Alexandria, Virginia. Lydia Cutter is a McLean, Virginia-based photographer.

Interior Design: Alice Busch, Great Falls Distinctive Interiors, Inc., Chantilly, Virginia.

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The spacious kitchen is filled with the kinds of touches that lend the rest of the home its elegance: beaded white cabinetry and a cherry wood island with carved finials, as well as sleek granite countertops. The walls are papered in toile, and scalamande plaid balloon valances adorn the windows. The wallpaper continues into the breakfast area, on the other side of the breakfast bar, connecting the two spaces.

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Filled with saturated neutrals and gold tones, the great-room-where the family tends to congregate-provides a warm, inviting space to sit by the fire or watch TV. Extra deep sofas are custom-made by Great Falls Distinctive Interiors and covered in textured fabric from fabricut; the coffee table by woodland offers plenty of space for the family to spread out games.

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In the master bedroom, interior designer Alice Busch chose a palette of sea shades and a subtly patterned rug to create a soothing, restful environment.

A Fresh Start

Artistic vision comes naturally to architect and designer Ernesto Santalla. Those creative insights became particularly useful back in 2006, when he first glimpsed the plain, one-bedroom apartment in Northwest DC that he would ultimately buy. “I liked its quiet, park-like setting,” Santalla recalls. “It presented a clean palette to work on. I could see beyond it to how it could be changed to reflect my lifestyle.”

livingroom interior design, interior solutions, amazing homestyle, best furnitures, A frosted-glass wall screens the bathroom from the living room area, which includes an expansive sofa from Donghia, and a glass-topped coffee table.
A frosted-glass wall screens the bathroom from the living room area, which includes an expansive sofa from Donghia, and a glass-topped coffee table.

Luxury home, apartment accent, new design homestyle,A vivid accent wall provides the perfect backdrop for a custom-designed credenza, vases from Kose and a series of paintings in mixed media by John Dickson.
A vivid accent wall provides the perfect backdrop for a custom-designed credenza, vases from Kose and a series of paintings in mixed media by John Dickson.

Built in 1959, the high-rise apartment building once provided student housing for American University; though Santalla’s unit was updated in the early 2000s, the floor plan remained the same. Santalla describes the building’s architecture as “International style,” a modernist aesthetic that developed in the 1920s characterized by simplified lines, a lack of ornamentation and the use of glass and steel. Santalla chose to embrace the architectural roots of the building by adhering to these characteristics even while radically altering the look of the space.

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The L-shaped living room or dining room.

The 900-square-foot apartment includes a living/dining room with an adjoining kitchen, master bedroom and bath. In order to add visual interest and continuity, Santalla used the same dark-taupe paint and walnut millwork, interspersed with a warm white, on selected walls throughout the residence. In the living room, he painted an accent wall a vivid orange-red, and he stained all the apartment’s light oak floors a dark espresso color. In a corner of the dining area, he covered the space between windows with mirrored panels to create the effect of windows going all the way around, a characteristic of the International style. He also installed a mirror at the end of the bank of windows on one wall to create what he calls “the architectural trompe l’oeil effect of extending the windows even further.” Santalla placed a prized sculpture by Washington artist John Dreyfuss in front of the mirror so, as he says, “I can see it from both sides.”

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Santalla enclosed the kitchen and removed the upper cabinets to make the small space feel less crowded.

The greatest alteration to the apartment, however, occurred in the bathroom and walk-in closet. Originally, the space was piecemeal, dark and cramped. Santalla demolished the walls to create one room; by utilizing part of the front hall closet and reapportioning the area, he was able to construct a spacious combination master bath and dressing room. He replaced the wall between the bathroom and living room with frosted glass, which brings light in from the rest of the apartment but allows for privacy. Creamy limestone used on the floors, walls, shower surround and eight-inch-thick countertops lends the room a sleek continuity.

There was one design conundrum. The only entrance to the bedroom is through the bath, a setup that Santalla found unappealing. “I placed drapes across the shower and toilet so that it feels like you’re entering a foyer,” he explains, adding that he often uses drapes for concealment. The designer also removed the door between the bedroom and bath—but left the doorway—to add a sense of flow between the spaces.

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The bathroom. 

Santalla carried the taupe color scheme and walnut millwork into the bedroom, where he painted two opposing walls and the ceiling to provide a unifying element to the room. Taupe draperies cover the bedroom closet doors and the windows opposite. Below the windows, walnut millwork conceals air conditioning ducts.

In the main living area, Santalla played with the idea of solid and voided space by enclosing the kitchen completely in walnut yet leaving the adjacent dining area open. He removed the upper cabinetry in the kitchen to make it feel more airy despite its enclosure, and painted it dark taupe. In the dining area, he dropped the ceiling and painted it the color of the kitchen, delineating the space yet leaving it open to the living room.

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On the wall in the bedroom, Santalla displays a ceramic piece by Margaret Boozer and work by local artist Andrés Tremols.

Santalla’s decorative vision also encompassed furnishings of his own design, including a dining table, credenza and desk on which high-gloss, white-lacquered surfaces rise over a rich African hardwood called Mozambique. “The idea behind the furniture is that it appears to float,” Santalla says of his pieces. In the living room area, comfortable chairs and a sofa by Donghia are grouped around a glass-topped coffee table with a chrome-plated steel base. A plush white wool carpet offers a strong contrast to the nearly black-stained floors. Original fluorescent lights have been replaced throughout with recessed and accent lighting. Against a backdrop of chromatic wall surfaces, an eclectic collection of modern art shows to great effect. Works by Andrés Tremols, sculptor Margaret Boozer, painter Kevin Tillman and others add the finishing touches to Ernesto Santalla’s own expertly rendered palette.


Going Glam
While studying interior design in Boston, William Powell had a eureka moment. One of his instructors, a well-known designer, invited him for a drink after class. “She was one of those people you can never really read,” he recalls. “Professionally, you never knew if she loved you or hated you. I thought she was going to tell me to give it up.”

Custom furnishings upholstered in velvet, silk Robert Allen sheers and a Murano glass-beaded ceiling create a luxurious environment in the formal living room.

They sat down and she asked him, point-blank, “What do you think you’re doing” Powell nearly fell off his stool. “Studying interior design, I think,” he replied. “This is not for you in terms of training,” she said. “I have to tell you quite honestly: You already have the eye. You have the skill. You need to be out in the field working with clients. Just go for it.”

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Powell left the university and never looked back. “I really appreciate her to this day because I would have gone through the program,” he says. “She told me it might have been detrimental for me to study because some of the disciplines they’d teach me would probably be in conflict with my style and what I was already doing.”

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Powell launched his career at Cartier, where he worked in human resources and executive administration. He and his partner, Richard Johnson, moved to Boston in 2002, when Johnson landed a position as chief financial officer for the Boston Ballet. In Boston, Powell enrolled in a few classes and began taking on interior design projects. He also completely overhauled the townhouse he shared with Johnson. Designed in a traditional, tailored style, the home was published in a national magazine.

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Powell shifted his practice to the DC area in 2004, when Johnson accepted a post as COO/CFO of the Washington National Opera. Powell also immersed himself in the renovation of the condominium apartment he and Johnson eventually purchased in Arlington. His ambitious plan would replace the condo’s new but standard-grade appointments with completely customized fixtures and finishes.

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Dining chairs are upholstered in Brunschwig & Fils velvet.

The apartment greets guests with a heady mix of glamour and restraint. Gone are the original bare white walls, “orangy” oak floors and run-of-the-mill lighting. “It wasn’t the caliber of build that we thought we were getting,” explains Powell. “So I came in and I went backwards.” Before even addressing color schemes and furniture selections, Powell focused on basic infrastructure. “I replaced, literally, all of the hardware, flooring and carpet and all of the doors which are now solid core as opposed to hollow,” he says, “plus all the electrical.” He also installed new appliances and countertops in the kitchen and new vanities, fixtures and top-of-the-line tile in the bathrooms.

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A black-granite carpet surround and custom pillows embellish the media room.

From its gleaming marble floors to its enlarged crown molding, the finished apartment is a far cry from the original. “It is kind of my own little jewel box,” says Powell, reflecting back to his days at Cartier. Hints of sparkle in the chrome hardware, crystal accessories—and even in the Murano glass-beaded ceiling in the living room—play off luxurious silk and velvet upholstery.

Powell designed the main living area as a sophisticated environment for entertaining. “I think it’s very luxe, but comfortable at the same time,” he says. “I don’t think it’s overly ostentatious. I don’t want it to be unapproachable.”

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The master bath combines marble tile, custom vanities with black glass tops and polished chrome hardware.

Powell lavished attention on custom furnishings, fabrics and countless details, from the lamp shades he designed in silk with velvet trim to the buckles and accoutrements he added to the pillows, also of his own design.

A soothing color palette of blues, grays and black in the main living spaces gives way to a simple black-and-white scheme in the master suite. A custom black-lacquered bed is centered before a backdrop of hand-flocked velvet wallpaper from India and a black crystal chandelier hangs from a black-mirrored medallion. “I love the crispness and the play of just black and white,” says Powell.

Throughout the home, Powell had his Benjamin Moore paint selections custom-blended to achieve the effects he wanted. “All of the paints were darkened by 15, 25 or 75 percent because I just wanted the richness and the depth of color,” he explains. “I also had some fun with finishes. In the master bedroom, even though the walls are jet black, it’s jet black in a pearl finish so it gives them a sheen.”

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Powell designed the black lacquer-and-glass platform bed and the pillows in the master suite.

Powell and Johnson lived in the apartment throughout the design process, enduring “two years’ worth of plaster dust,” says Powell, who went to so much effort because he and Johnson planned to make this their home for the next 10 years.

Then fate intervened when Johnson got a call from the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas. The opportunity for him to shape this new institution as vice president and CFO was too good to pass up, so Powell and Johnson are moving again. Powell is already planning the interiors of their new home in Turnberry Place. He will continue working with clients on the East Coast, while cultivating business out West.

Ironically, friends remark that Powell’s glamorous abode in Arlington was somehow a hint of things to come. “Most people say, ‘You’re so ahead of yourself. This is Vegas. This is what you need to be doing now.”

INTERIOR DESIGN: William Powell, William Powell Interiors, Inc., Arlington, Virginia, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Old World Modern

Old World Modern
When Mariana and Jack White moved into their 1988 center-hall Colonial in Fairfax Station, Virginia, they loved their home’s spaciousness and bucolic setting. Over time, however, their aesthetic changed and they began to feel that the house lacked the visual impact they wanted. The family room was dark; the living and dining rooms were a mishmash of colors. “We had what I called an Easter egg house,” Jack White recalls. “It was full of Colonial colors like blue and pink.” The Whites wanted to lighten the space, to create a more sophisticated palette. They also wanted the house to have a sense of architectural detail, yet feel fresh and modern.

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To accomplish this challenging list of goals, the couple turned to McLean, Virginia-based interior designer Barbara Hawthorn, whose work Mariana White had seen in the pages of HOME & DESIGN. “I said to Barbara, ‘I need light,’” Mariana says. “She said with the right colors it would be sunny every day.”

The Whites put their faith in Hawthorn, who devised a plan that would emphasize the home’s classic lines while infusing it with a modern flair. As the designer explains it, Jack White had gone to Oxford and loved the ornate woodwork inside its venerable buildings. Hawthorn was inspired to create a space “reminiscent of Oxford, with a sense of Old World craftsmanship, but do it in a modern way.”

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The result is an interior in which intricate millwork and architectural finishes such as moldings, cornices and friezes all figure heavily into the design scheme. At the same time, clean-lined, simple furnishings communicate a more contemporary aesthetic and offset the elaborate backdrop of walls and trim.

The architectural finishes are particularly prevalent in the entryway, a two-story space that feels both airy and elegant. To achieve the effect they wanted, Hawthorn and her clients pored over catalogs, choosing a mix of Greek-, Roman- and Victorian-themed cartouches in the shapes of grape leaf clusters, flowers and acanthus leaves. “Each cartouche is different,” Hawthorn says.

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All the decorative moldings in the entryway, and the door frames, were handcrafted by Warrickshire Woodcrafters of Reston, Virginia, using Indonesian mahogany. Hawthorn added large-scale dark-stained frames to the wide doorways leading into the living and dining rooms, integrating the existing window transoms above them into the design with faux-paint treatments. In fact, the interior doors in the foyer area are all “plain old builder doors,” says Jack White. Rather than replace them, Hawthorn saved money by having them faux-painted to look like heavy mahogany with an inlay of lighter fruitwood. “I had to find just the right value that was golden and had depth,” Hawthorn recalls. She turned to decorative painter Paul Levy for the job.

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Though the designer carried the Oxford theme into the rest of the house, the living and dining rooms were transformed largely through paint (trading the “Easter-egg” colors for soft creams), upholstery and new, more modern carpets. “We took the traditional furniture and reupholstered it in modern fabrics,” says Hawthorn. “They have beautiful pieces that weren’t showcased enough so I created vignettes with the furniture and their art to draw attention to them.” Decorative wood moldings over the fireplace in the living room were shadowed and glazed to bring them into relief.

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The family room, which adjoins the kitchen, underwent a major transformation. “We wanted to lighten the space and make it feel bigger,” Hawthorn explains. She replaced the traditional fireplace with a wider, more contemporary one, which has the effect “of making the room seem stretched out.” The new fireplace surround is made of eye-catching honey onyx and Walker Zanger glass tiles, and the hearth is limestone. Columns to either side are actually pull-out-drawers that hold videos. Laser-cut lattice doors above conceal a 62-inch TV.

The walls were painted a soft yellow and woven Conrad shades replaced the draperies so as not to obstruct the natural light. Wherever possible, Hawthorn installed LED lighting.

Prior to the remodel, knee walls had separated the kitchen area from the family room. Under the auspices of Cabin John, Maryland, architect Robert Wilkoff, these half-walls were replaced by columns, which served to open up the room. The door to the powder room was strategically moved out of kitchen view and tray ceilings trimmed with architectural accents were added above the dining and kitchen areas, along with chair rails and crown moldings to connect the family room and kitchen with the rest of the house. Wilkoff drew up an elevation of the family room area to show the Whites how the room would look.

Back in the entryway, a huge chandelier hangs from the second-floor ceiling. It epitomizes what Hawthorn was trying to create: a perfect balance of old and new. “It had to be simple so as not to interfere with the moldings,” she says. In its elaborate setting, it is simple and elegant and a little bit modern. “At night,” says Jack White, “the chandelier disappears, and all you see is lights.”


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