Home & Design

A Design House to Die For

The 2014 DC Design House opens on Sunday, April 13, and is set in a 1929 Colonial-style stone house in the Forest Hills section of Northwest Washington belonging to the grand-daughter of Marshall B. Coyne, who founded the Madison Hotel, now the Loews Madison, on 15th Street NW. Six bedrooms, five full baths (and two half-baths) over three floors and almost 8,000 square feet meant there was a lot for 29 designers to work with.

The Design House began in 2008, when the National Symphony Women’s Committee ended its long run of designer showhouses. It has quickly become the pre-eminent decorator event in the region and has been a financial success, raising more than $1 million for Children’s National Health System since inception. It has been a critical success as well, because of the talent of the designers, of course, but also because since the beginning it has been conceived as a “flowing themed design house,” as two of the founders, Skip and Debbie Singleton of  DC Living Real Estate, describe it in the showhouse program booklet. That means that there is a coherent aesthetic in evidence throughout the many rooms. In other words, no “Rosemary’s Baby” room, the weird ugly duckling that so often lurks inside other, more eclectic, decorator showhouses.

The house, open to the public through Sunday, May 11, is at 4600 Linnean Avenue in Northwest Washington. Tickets are $25.

–Nancy McKeon


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