Friday, February 15, 2008

High and Low

Every Friday I look forward to the newest New York Social Diary designer's house feature. This week the home of architect Gisue Hariri is featured.
I really loved this apartment because it seems so REAL. While I could use with a little more stylistic mix ( maybe a few great antiques, preferably wood to warm up the whiteness ) I love the mix of high and low that is shown -which to me is very true to life. The fact that NYSD features homes 'as is' and not staged really helps warm them up as well.

There is a mixture of high quality vintage furnishings ( the Saarinen table and other classics which you know I love and the Bertoia chair ) and some Ikea finds ( some chairs and wall-clocks ). Of course if there were 1 or 2 18th century antiques thrown in or at least a klismos chair or two I wouldn't complain! Those aged stone floors are just BEAUTIFUL too!

I also love the open feel of the apt. While the views aren't 'million dollar views' they really are great; facing some interesting buildings and providing TONS of natural light. The simple window treatments also help with this open feeling.

The expanses of white are always a great city calming wall treatment and the punches of bright color really enliven the apartment. This is like..the stereotypical architect's apartment done to PERFECTION!

Check the weekly designer at home article online at

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Auto Harp

You've probably already had enough candy and need to zone out to some pretty music this valentine's day! Have you heard of an Auto Harp?
The auto harp is just a collection of crystal glasses with water at different heights. Surely you've rubbed your fingers along the rim of a glass and made 'magic' as a child. Well - this used to be a very popular instrument in the 17th and 18th centuries. Mozart actually wrote his first music for use on the auto harp! Imagine that!
A few summers ago I ran into someone playing some Mozart on the auto harp in Old Town, Alexandria VA on the wharf -it was really magical! I've found this video online of someone playing the autoharp - enjoy! Now THIS is talent!!

Happy Valentine's Day!

This has always been one of my favorite 'holidays'. I hope everyone remembered to wear something red and don't forget to let everyone know how much you care for them: friends, family and others! I hope everyone has a very special day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Insider's DC

In this month's issue, Elle decor chose my own DC to profile for the design 'insider'. Well I thought I'd add my 2 cents. While their choices are all fine and dandy, there were only a few that I totally agree with, such as Gore Dean.

I'd say our local chain for lunch - Clyde's - either in Georgetown or the pretty one at Gallery Place pictured here:or have pizza at my favorite Italian place - Sette -either in Dupont (at Conn. and R. streets) or in Clarendon VA. Sette has wonderful salads, pasta, a great wine menu and AMAZING pizza. I'd recommend a caprese salad and my favorite Proscuitto e rucola pizza with a sparkling rose perhaps? At clydes the turkey burger is really really good!

The hotel monaco downtown, across from the national portrait gallery is a really beautiful hotel in the old restored post office. The restaurant is a great place for brunch as well! If you don't stay there at least check out the great lobby and beautiful courtyard!
In addition to GORE DEAN that was mentioned in the article ( on Cadys Alley here in Georgetown ) which is probably my favorite shop to window shop and dream here in dc
I would also recommend GO MAMA GO at 15th and S streets for their great candles, gifts and housewares which is next door to 'home rule' which is mentioned in the article.
Another store is Random Harvest- 2 blocks north of M street on Wisconsin ave.
They carry a great mix of early 20th century re-upholstered furniture and new furniture of the same style.

That starts about a mile (a little further up Wisconsin Ave.) of some of the greatest design and antique stores in DC such as MARSTON LUCE, DARRELL DEAN, and COTE JARDIN. A great little walk on a saturay morning! Stop in at Cafe Napolean for crepes!
The U street corridor that is mentioned in the article has some interesting shops at more affordable prices but it's hit or miss in my opinion and you have to deal with some scary types of people and the goodies are few and far between ( sorry, just my opinion ) but if you have time definitely check it out!
Of course everyone knows the Smithsonians along the mall - but be sure to check out the famous Peacock Room by J. Whistler which is installed at the Freer Gallery of Art on the nat'l mall which is generally passed over. This is probably my favorite building on the Nat'l Mall -it is very elegant and has a BEAUTIFUL interior courtyard.
Also check out the Renwick Galleries which are across the street from the White House on 17th street. This was the first art gallery in the US and is a really great building and frequently has the Smithsonian art treasures on display ( and the BEST gift shop! ).Keep in mind both of these museums are free of admission as they are a part of the Smithsonian! Also -the best time to view the monuments is at night when they are magnificently lit and the amount of tourists is a lot more bearable.

Thats just my 2 cents - the Architectdesign tour of dc :-)