By Michael Mccarthy By Michael Mccarthy | February 5, 2021 |
Designer Jamie Merida used this home’s Cabin John setting for his decor inspiration.
Exceptional design isn’t plucked from the ether; it’s calibrated with a hefty set of criteria that includes how we want to live in our spaces, how light enters every room, whether we entertain, if we have an affinity for statement-making art and if our beloved pets roam from room to room as our furry shadows. In the DC region, we’re fortunate to have countless visionaries who continue to wow clients with a mix of modern and traditional approaches to interior design. We checked in with three designers we love for their thoughts on making our homes dazzle in 2021 and beyond.
The designer, based in Easton, Md., describes his aesthetic as traditional made modern. “This approach results in a fresh look that will continue to look fabulous for years to come,” says Merida. In this 1,900-square-foot home in Cabin John, Merida used the home’s woodsy setting for inspiration. “The chandelier is a custom-made showstopper. We were able to specify the scale and color variations to make it truly perfect for the space. The furnishings and shag carpet have a very cool midcentury vibe, and they’re cozy and comfortable. The room really invites nature in with huge windows looking out to the trees. We played that up with the gorgeous wood on the ceiling and a slate fireplace. It kind of feels like you’re in a luxurious treehouse for grown-ups.”
This Northern Virginia kitchen combines an uncluttered aesthetic with lots of utility.
For this kitchen in a Northern Virginia condo, Merida says the owner wanted the space to be a clean, uncluttered retreat. “He trusted us to develop an aesthetic that felt modern yet timeless. We chose finishes that are luxurious, streamlined and easy to care for,” he says. “The stools are from Wesley Hall (wesleyhall.com) and the backsplash tiles are from Bountiful Flooring (jamiemerida.com).” Merida’s team used durable quartzite for the waterfall countertop.
The renowned designer says her calling card is creating warm and inviting spaces that are unique and cheerful. “We respect the best of tradition with a nod to what’s both timeless and current,” says Hawthorn. “Our designs are light-filled and harmonious, with meticulous attention to color and architectural details—with the ability to create customized solutions.” For this library in suburban Maryland, Hawthorn’s team used luxe furnishings like a Lawrence sofa from Donghia with Bellagio fabric from Fabricut (fabricut.com), a cocktail table from Holly Hunt (hollyhunt.com), an area rug from Doris Leslie Blau (dorisleslieblau.com) and a chandelier from Hubbardton Forge (hubbardtonforge.com). “Although the clients love neutrals, the pops of bold accent colors as seen in the patterned silk pillows, unique accessories and art give the space personality and warmth,” says Hawthorn. “Too many people today are afraid to use color, even judiciously, which makes for a very cold and sterile space.”
This suburban Maryland home showcases Barbara Hawthorn’s aesthetic, especially the bright pops of color and cheerful design elements.
Risdon, whose style is classic with clean, modern elements, says he believes in “mixing things up and doing what feels good and makes a client happy in a space.” For this Palisades home, Risdon created chic and durable rooms and textures for a surgeon and her three elementary-age children. “My client’s previous home was a classic DC rowhouse in 16th Street Heights,” he says. “This new home was slightly more contemporary, and she wanted a space to reflect and embrace the change. But she also had to make sure it could withstand the test of time as the kids grew up. In our initial meetings, she would show me spaces that were really sleek and modern while keeping in mind it’s a busy household.” The living room’s standouts include a sofa from Robin Bruce (robinbruce.com), a leather chaise from CB2 (cb2.com), chairs from Alder & Tweed (alderandtweedfurniture.com), pillows from Loom Decor (loomdecor.com) and a rug from FLOR tiles (flor.com).
Designer Byron Risdon worked with his client, a DC surgeon, to create elegant yet durable spaces to accommodate a busy family.
A sleek bar resides in the living room.
Photography by: Robert Radeifera, Kenneth M. Wyner, Keyanna Bowen