Meet the Design House Designers – Rita St. Clair Associates, Inc.

The Family Room was designed by Rita St. Clair of Rita St. Clair Associates, Inc.

Designers are often called on to create aesthetically pleasing spaces in addition to creating order from chaos. The family room is often the designated space for such a design process. This space is what I imagined would be the result of my designing a family room for a client who is sophisticated and world traveled; and yet relaxed enough to buy and live in his or her own style. My team and I gathered the eclectic contents of this space to form what we considered an intimate and personal room for this “fantasy client”. By premeditating the chaos that will inevitably ensue for any family or active adult, this multi-functional space appears to be loose but in actuality is an effective design for its purpose. As a designer it is important to find each client’s personal style, often disregarding trends. Finding furnishings to achieve this style no longer requires searching in faraway and exotic places. As this room illustrates, an eclectic selection of furnishings and art can produce the look you may want without the use of a “flying carpet.”

To watch Rita St. Clair Associates, Inc. share more of their design inspiration, click here!

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Meet the Design House Designers – Victor Shargai & Associates, Inc.

The Dining Room was designed by Victor Shargai, Blair Riggs & Rahman Seraj of Victor Shargai & Associates, Inc.

“The room in which he sat had the same lack of conformity to any period or scheme. It was a personal room, quite evidently a part of someone’s home, a place of strange curios, but comfortable chairs.

—Death of a Ghost, Margery Allingham, 1934

The English mystery writers of the first half of the twentieth century were fond of including descriptions of livable spaces, recognizing how essential the environment is to the action in which the story takes place. Victor Shargai and Associates takes the same approach in their work. It’s our clients’ lives and characters (yes, they are often “characters”) that are the focus of our design aesthetic. Comfort and style are always a given, but of more significance is the personality of the space. We invest time in getting to know each of our clients individually and learn what will enhance their lives. We love to remain flexible and to learn from our clients, as well as have our clients stretch and see our perspectives. Our design evolves to produce an organic result, and not one that looks as if it was “done.” We have only one rule and that is that there are NO rules – excepting, of course, that artificial flowers are never used.

So, as always, our client is our inspiration, and this room was inspired by the vivacious yet sensitive Margery Allingham, whose novels over the years have

given me much pleasure.

“It is a room with an air, a room used to soothing and entertaining people of widely different types and standards, a diplomat among rooms, gracious and superior, capable of stimulating as well as subduing.”

—Traitor’s Purse, Margery Allingham, 1941

To watch Victor Shargai & Associates, Inc share more of their design inspiration, click here!

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Meet the Design House Designers – Nestor Santa-Cruz

The Study was designed by Nestor Santa-Cruz, LEED AP, IIDA, of Gensler.

I see the job of a designer to be a combination of wearing different “hats”: a psychologist and a teacher at the same time.

In the past, I have said that my interest lies in achieving a balance of both visual and physical comfort. But in creating a room for an imaginary client in a show house, I am interested in the visual experience and generating an emotion in the visitor’s mind.

The WDC Design House provides me with opportunities. I like spaces to reflect personality that are referential to design history, yet the design sends a message with a modern point of view and provides a little inspiration.

For this small study room, I used French decorator Madeleine Castaing as the inspiration, but it is not about creating a replica. She liked all kinds of blues, and mixing it with black, red, green. She liked pattern.

She liked old, but fresh. I visited her shop once and I left with an important lesson: make it personal. I said to her “Madame, votre boutique est tres belle,” to which she replied something like “J’ai cree ses chambres pour vous monsieur.”

Elle Decor is the premier magazine for featuring personal, beautifully designed, chic rooms. It is with great pleasure that I join my colleagues of The Washington Design Center’s Hall of Fame in creating a “living” Elle Decor experience.

To watch Nestor Santa-Cruz share more of his design inspiration, click here!

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Meet the Design House Designers – Michael Roberson Interior Design

The Garden Room was designed by Michael Roberson, ASID of  Michael Roberson Interior  Design.

It was an interesting premise. How do you create a “garden room”on the 5th floor of a city building with no gardens in sight?

The answer, of course, was with imagination! To design a calm, welcoming retreat and infuse it with fantasy.

First, the garden room was furnished with a mix of comfortable seating. Some outdoor, some indoor, each piece upholstered in the same white fabric. Accents of brown in the pillows and brown wood furniture enliven the room. Among those accents is an antique Palladian style aviary wired to light a corner, not to cage a bird. A beautiful table illuminated by a hanging lantern, a chaise lounge for reading or a nap and a table top bar make this a very livable space.

And then, to introduce the fantasy, they installed artificial turf for a lush green carpet. Ms. Roberson also hung photographic images from her garden to create a garden on the wall. Behind the bay window seat a planter box brings a bit of real garden to our fifth floor aerie with walls the color of reflected sunlight. Here, we can imagine that we are in a garden.

To watch Michael Roberson Interior Design share more of their design inspiration,click here!

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Meet the Design House Designers – Frank Babb Randolph Interior Design

The Portico was designed by Frank Babb Randolph of Frank Babb Randolph Interior Design.

A classical entrance to a home inspired by the Greco-Roman culture which has in turn influenced our Western way of living today. A transitional space from exterior to an interior where one may meet and greet or say farewell.

To watch Frank Babb Randolph Interior Design share more about their design inspiration, click here!

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Meet the Design House Designers – Kelley Interior Design

The Foyer was designed by Kelley Proxmire of Kelley Interior Design.

For her “Glitz and Glamour Galore” Foyer, Kelley Proxmire envisioned the Park Avenue home of a New York socialite and the backdrop for big entertaining. The inspiration for the room began with a pair of turquoise vases Proxmire discovered at the Charlotte Moss Townhouse in Manhattan. Building on this defining shade of blue and

Proxmire’s love for black and white, the room is a study in graphic contrasts and glamorous finishes.

The unexpected focal point of the room is the floor. In lieu of a rug, Proxmire painted the floor in a David Hicks-inspired black and white octagonal pattern, a look both bold and classic. Aside from the floor, patterns in the room are restrained. The skirted table is vibrant turquoise outlined in a bold black-and-white trim. Window treatments in crisp white silk are accented with a simple trim in turquoise on he leading edges, the bottom of the panels, and on the valance. Walls are finished in a simple yet sophisticated white grasscloth from Schumacher.

Patterns may be restrained, but the scale of the pieces in the room reads dramatic. The two console tables were originally built as dining tables; the mirrors above them soar to nearly five feet. A sweeping wall of French doors gain added impact painted black.

Accent pieces add the dazzle and refinement of jewelry to this punchy room. Crystal table lamps dispense sparkle throughout the room. Mirrors and wall sconces extend theluxurious gold tones. An oversized gilded chandelier graces the center skirted table adorned with rhinestones.

To hear Kelley Interior Design share more of their design inspiration, click here!

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Meet the Design House Designers – JDS Designs, Inc.

The Living Room was designed by David A. Herchik and Richard J. Looman of JDS Designs, Inc.

JDS’ concept for the Living Room was a collaboration between modern and retro. Inspired by the Bohemian batik feel of the plum and gold Rubelli fabric, they let it guide the tone for the room setting. JDS envisioned this relaxed , contemporary room in a loft setting or open space apartment. They played on different textures from the Stark rug that feels like fur to the braided hemp wallcovering from Maya Romanoff to the polished plaster wall behind the fireplace. Perfect for city-living, the space is multi-use. Combine the two spaces for a sophisticated cocktail party. Utilize the study for a casual dinner, work space or game table. Close the drapes to create a more intimate and tranquil space.

To watch JDS Designs, Inc. share more of their room inspiration, click here!

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