Business and Money, Essential DC, Fashionable DC, Life in the Capital, The District, The Features

CB2 Fall Line: Space May Be Limited, But It Can Still Be Chic


Continuing on the heels of my Etsy Round Up: Washington DC feature apartment decorating finds, I ventured over the CB2 in Georgetown recently to check out their Fall 2011 collection. The latest and greatest from this Create&Barrel and Land of Nod, “affordable” sister shop centers on providing innovative, space saving options for DC’s small apartment, loft and efficiency occupants.  Although that is not a revolutionary concept (see IKEA, West Elm, etc.) and was not chosen to meet the particular needs of DC urban dwellers, it is well executed. Continue reading

The Features

A We Love DC Interview: r:u

“u:board Sample”;  r:u, 2010

In December of 2009, I graduated from The George Washington University with a Graduate degree in Interior Design.  During my schooling I learned that it takes a lot of hard work to become an Interior Designer.  Just having phenomenal taste and being really, really good at tearing out magazine spreads doesn’t cut it anymore.  Now you have to be able to sketch, compose sections, build models, create 3-D renderings, and even pass your NCIDQ exam if you want to be taken seriously.

When I heard about the DC-based design team of residents:understood, I just knew that I had to get them on WLDC.  Not only can the firm do all of the above, but they also do it in a really unconventional way.  I caught up with the three principles of residents:understood, Kiera Kushlan, James Wall, and Jessica Centella, and got all of the insider tips for how to create the perfect “personality-driven design” while living in D.C.

We Love DC: What is residents:understood?

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The Features

Behind the Design: Westend Bistro

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

“When I came on board with the project, the design aspect was quite well advanced, however I participated towards the end in making sure we created a concept that was casual, friendly, warm and high energy, keeping in mind we were building a neighborhood bistro.”   – Eric Ripert on the design of Westend Bistro, exclusively for We Love DC

Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert, opened in 2007 at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C., is not your typical, often lackluster hotel restaurant.  Apart from the exceptional service – synonymous with the Ritz-Carlton brand, one would never guess that they were dining amongst hotel guests and visitors.  Westend Bistro feels like that friendly, neighborhood spot.  The place you know you can always count on – with phenomenal food and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. 

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The Features

Behind the Design: Immortal Beloved

Image Credit: Max Cook

Design is everywhere.  Your toothbrush is designed, your office is designed, and even the carts at the grocery store are designed (next time check out the difference between the elongated single carts and the compact double carts – the latter makes maneuvering through a crowded aisle much, much easier).  Design is truly meant to improve the physical and emotional relationship that we have with a space or a product.

Having spent a couple of years studying design, my sense of awareness in regards to its implications has been heightened.  No matter what I do, I take notice – the good, the bad, and the extremely ugly.  And one type of environment that has always left me wondering is the hair salon.   Why the heck do they all look and feel like clones?  High-end salons are almost always ornamented with chandeliers; trendy salons love to play glaring music – the louder the better; and I don’t think a “budget cut” salon exists without some dated, checkered vinyl flooring.  Can’t someone please answer my salon design woes and create something truly unique?

And in fact someone has finally answered my prayers! His name is Kelly Gorsuch and he is the owner of Immortal Beloved.

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The Daily Feed

Author Stephen Salny on Francis Elkins

Photo courtesy of
‘Lonely Lady’
courtesy of ‘Hoffmann’

Author Stephen Salny will be giving a talk on Tuesday night at the Corcoran (7PM) about his critically-acclaimed book, Francis Elkins: Interior Design (Norton, 2005).   Francis Elkins is best known for her avant-garde style, pushing the boundaries of Interior Design for the first half of the 20th century, and ultimately still influencing the practice today.

For more on author Stephen Salny, check out his interview with We Love DC!

Tickets are $15 for the public and $12 for Corcoran Members, ASID, and AIA.

For more information please call 202-639-1770.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art is located at 500 Seventeenth Street NW.

The Daily Feed

Halls Of Fame @ DC Design Center

Photo courtesy of
‘Door to somewhere’
courtesy of ‘spiggycat’

If you have never entered the DC Design Center I would highly recommend that you remedy that, especially to check out the 2010 Halls of Fame Design House

Every Spring and Fall the Design Center invites local designers to showcase their work in the design house by placing their aesthetic mark on a room, and currently the Design Center is featuring an elite eight.   The eight designers featured are Frank Babb Randolph, Kelley Proxmire, Victor Shargai, David Herchik & RichardLoomin, Rita St. Clair, Nestor Santa-Cruz, Michael Roberson, and Olivia Demetriou Adamstein.

Each room is completely different, reflecting every designer’s personal style and vision.  A perfect way to find some inspiration!

The 2010 Halls of Fame Design House will be open till December 11, 2010.

Admission is free and open to the public.

History, The Features, We Love Arts

We Love Arts: Drawing Toward Home

DTH_Bowen House

Bowen House, Woodstock, Connecticut, c. 1846.  Joseph C. Wells, architect.  Courtesy Historic New England.

“A major component of the American pursuit of happiness has long been a home of one’s own (the automobile is a distant second: the one a castle, the other a chariot).”   – James F. O’Gorman, lead curator for Drawing Toward Home.

When talking about art we often highlight forms such as painting, theater, sculpture, dance, and photography – just to name a few.  However, often overlooked are the artistic endeavors of both the historic and modern architectural community.  The newest exhibition at the National Building Museum, called Drawing Toward Home, highlights the intricate and often-complex domestic architectural drawing.

As a traveling exhibition organized by Historic New England in celebration of their Centennial, the 100-plus drawings featured provide a unique look into the vast history of the New England Style home.  Ranging from the Federal to the International Style and spanning over 200 years, Drawing Toward Home “reminds us that the architecture of New England is a touchstone of American Architecture”.  The exhibition is uncomplicated; simple to follow and clearly displayed.  Organized chronologically into four sections, beginning circa 1800 and ending around 1980, Drawing Toward Home is much like the foundation of the architectural drawing itself – a cohesive way to convey pure information.

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People, The Features

A We Love DC Interview: Author Stephen Salny


Image Credit: Stephen Salny via Michael Taylor Design

Last night at the Corcoran, author and design expert Stephen Salny provided a comprehensive look into the legendary designer Michael Taylor.  One of Architectural Digest’s “20 Greatest Designers of All Time” and best known for his popularization of the “California Look”, Taylor continues to revolutionize the industry 25 years since his passing.

I had the unique opportunity to chat with Salny about his book Michael Taylor Interior Design.

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The Daily Feed

Spring Trends via Rckndy

Photo courtesy of
‘Spring Trend – Color (Rckndy)’
courtesy of ‘prettylovelythings’

Looking for a little interior pick-me up while anticipating warmer weather?  No problem. David Dennis, owner of Rckndy on U Street, shares exclusively with We Love DC readers a few design trends for Spring.  Pops of color seem to be the biggest trend hitting the store with “purple being the new it color” says Dennis, who also suggests that the best way to achieve this look is by incorporating bright colors through a few bold accessories, that way, you don’t overdo it.  A popular item is the Gus Modern Stool in Safron even though Dennis says that most people still end up buying it in a neutral color anyway.  If color is not your thing, no worries, I was also told that 80′s geometric patterns are having a revival.

Rckndy is located at 1515 U Street NW.

The Features

Behind the Design: Blue Duck Tavern

Photo courtesy of
‘Rocking Chairs – Blue Duck Tavern’
courtesy of ‘prettylovelythings’

Author’s Note:  So often we move through space too quickly – trying to get from one place to the next, without ever taking the time to stop and look around.  Behind the Design is a new series that hopes to encourage an appreciation for the places we forget to take a moment and truly experience.

Located in the West End and tucked within the Park Hyatt, Blue Duck Tavern has become a staple among the DC foodie scene.  With a farm-to-table menu that includes a variety of delights – even worthy of a Presidential date night, Blue Duck Tavern deems to be deserving of all its food-related accolades.  However, often taking a back seat to the well-deserving menu is the other half of this award-winning duo:  Blue Duck Tavern’s interior. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Retail Therapy at the Design Center

Photo courtesy of
‘Paper Snowflakes and Birdhouses’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

As the snow is melting you are probably already thinking of all the exciting things you can do this weekend (not at home).  So why don’t you just add the President’s Day Sample Sale at The Washington Design Center to your schedule on Saturday between 10 and 3.  Enjoy deep discounts at some of your favorite showrooms that are only open to the public for just one day; including: American Eye, Christopher London, Ebanista, Fendi Casa, Michael-Cleary, and many more.  At least next time when you are stuck inside because of snow you will have some lovely new furnishings to look at.

Sample Sale at The Washington Design Center is Saturday, February 13th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and located at 300 D Street NW – Washington, DC 20024.

The Daily Feed

Spring Dream

courtesy of ‘Just a Prairie Boy’

After spending so much time indoors this winter, you might be contemplating a home or apartment makeover.  But WAIT!  Why attempt this alone when you can get some professional expertise at a promotional rate?  Save your walls from unnecessary holes and register by February 8th for ASID Washington Metro’s Spring Spruce Up 2010.

Fill out the about your home questionnaire and within three weeks you could be on your way to domestic heaven.  Applications will be accepted until all available slots are filled so there is no more time to waste.  Your home will be forever grateful.