Cover story: Styles blend at 2012 DC Design House

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The master balcony, designed by Shanon Munn and Amanda Welch, of Ambi Design Studio in McLean, is a private oasis with shaded fabric covers and interior-style furnishings. The 6-foot, 6-inch by 40-foot space challenged the designers, who opted to bring the indoors outside with lounge-style furniture.

“We added art panels, which function like wallpaper, on the outside of the house and covered the deck with four durable exterior rugs and used light fixtures that resemble interior lights,” Ms. Munn, owner of Ambi Design Studio, said.

Ms. Welch and Ms. Munn placed wood pedestals and low wood benches along the perimeter of the balcony to cover some of the existing wrought-iron railings, then added plants and accessories to reinforce the indoor/outdoor feel of the space.

Nancy Twomey, principal designer with Finnian’s Moon Interiors in Alexandria, specializes in designing children’s rooms, so naturally she chose to design a little boy’s room in the Design House.

“Kids come into a space and mess it up with their trinkets and their personality, so I opted to design the room with a calm, neutral palette,” Ms. Twomey said. “The ideas for this room started with the fabric for the window treatment, which has whimsical animals. I added little touches of the forest and animals in the room without it being ‘theme-y,’ such as upholstering the legs of the bed with stripes so they look like giraffe legs.”

Ms. Twomey added giraffe hooks to the wall, set at child height, along with a small bookshelf that looks like a modern tree. Instead of building in a window seat, she added two movable storage bins with cushions for seating on top.

“I always think kids’ rooms need lots of flexible seating for their friends,” Ms. Twomey said. “It’s also important to have a lot of storage options, so I added nightstands with closed storage.”

Another fun touch is a shiny red wagon repurposed for storing books.

Across the hall from the boy’s room is a bedroom designed for a teenage daughter by Susan Nelson, owner of Susan Nelson Interiors in Great Falls.

“I imagined this girl who has some sophisticated tastes and is interested in travel and fashion, yet she keeps some of her favorite childhood pieces around her,” Ms. Nelson said. “The cozy armchair covered in a confetti print fabric and the hand-painted dusty pink dresser represent her childhood, but the daybed has a far more sophisticated fabric.”

Ms. Nelson established the color palette for the room with patterned wallpaper that covers the ceiling as well as the walls, and then added 14 more patterns in fabric throw pillows, window treatments and a pale lavender and cream Turkish wool rug. Whimsical notes in the room include a fluffy pale green prom dress hanging on the closet door, with scuffed cowboy boots and a baseball cap on the adjacent coat tree, which actually resembles a tree.

The DC Design House will be open to the public from Saturday through May 13, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Tickets are $20 per person and may be purchased at the house. No food or drink, children younger than 8 (including infants), photography, pets or high heels are allowed. For more information, visit www.dcdesignhouse.com.

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