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DC Design House Sept. 30-Oct. 29, 2017

September 27, 2017

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WHEN I VISIT a decorator show house I listen as the designers explain the concept for their assigned room, because be it a powder room, a drawing room or a butler’s pantry, there will be a guiding principle, a theme. It may be the color, or the textures, or the balance, or the zany sense of people at play, but it will be there.

But while the decorators are talking, I confess that I often “slip away” and try to experience the space in a more personal way: Does the space make me feel happy, does it energize me or calm me down, does it maybe make me feel more graceful, or wow, would I feel rich if I lived here!?

I definitely would have to be rich to settle into the $11 million Potomac estate that is the setting for the 10th DC Design House, benefiting Children’s National Health System, which opens on Saturday, September 20, 2017. And with 23 designed spaces there are opportunities for all sorts of reactions. So I went through the house with LittleBird Kathy looking for spaces to covet.

And I found them. In my next house I want a Gallery, just an arm of “wasted” space on the main floor that leads to all the principal rooms. I also want the Laundry Room devised by Paula Grace Designs of Ashburn, Virginia (we’ll have a picture of it in our next installment). I could sleep quite peacefully in the pale blue tranquillity of the Master Bedroom, designed by Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas of Silver Spring’s Interiors by Design. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the wildly colorful Guest Bedroom. I know I could sleep in it, but would I want to stop watching the magical march of Caryn Cramer’s hand-drawn designs?

Then there’s the room where I would happily live out the rest of the days allotted to me: the Collector’s Cabinet, which Josh Hildreth of Josh Hildreth Interiors of Reston, Virginia, has filled with treasures, all of which fade into the background, my attention seized by two enormous photographs by Danish visual artist Trine Søndergaard, who photographs herself, from the back, wearing exquisite antique bonnets made by women in past centuries insistent on leaving their mark.

They certainly left their mark on me.

The house is enormous; we’ll have more descriptions and photos over the weekend.

—Nancy McKeon

LittleBird Nancy is managing editor of MyLittleBird.com.

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