I just had the opportunity to be the “designer on call” for The Washington Post’s House Calls column, and it was an absolute blast! You can see my design, which was a sunroom for a family of four in Springfield, VA, here. This is the lovely illustration of the space, by The Post’s very talented Julius Goyanko.
The whole process for House Calls is thorough and interesting, so I thought I’d recap it for you briefly. When I was initially contacted about the column, a room had already been selected for me. I thought this one was a great match that allowed me to engage in one of my favorite types of design: family-friendly. I was able to contact the homeowner, who filled me in on the uses of the room and preferences. In this case, they wanted a place to play, relax, watch television (but they watch television primarily in another room), and sometimes even snack in.
I had a great time selecting all of the child-friendly elements of the room, particularly a table that ultimately wasn’t shown in the drawing (can’t show it all!), that has a durable metal top, casters, and is situated underneath a wall mounted chalkboard. There’s also a book nook with comfy ottomans (that can double as middle-of-the-room seating) in a corner where the wall is painted in wide horizontal stripes to add some visual interest. The ample seating and durable fabrics are well-suited to a large family. The television is amidst a wall-collage that conceals it, but still provides a central view; it’s mounted just over a low media console. The coffee table is a gorgeous play table that features pull our drawers to hold toys, magazines, or whatever else lands there. And finally, there’s some lovely art floating around on all the walls (and all of it is very reasonably priced). Here is the rough, scaled plan I provided to The Post.
With the plan, I included a key of items that indicated the sources for furnishings, fixtures, and finishes. This is that collage (without the mountains of text; though, if you have a specific source question, feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email).
You may notice that many of the pieces are from children’s stores: Land of Nod and Restoration Hardware Baby and Child in particular. One of the tricks I use often, and certainly did here, is to mix up more expensive pieces (like the media console from Gus Modern) with less expensive, unconventional alternatives (like the art on the wall from Urban Outfitters). It’s a sort of “catalog curating” that is full of style, but costs less than it looks. …and can’t we all appreciate that?
I hope you enjoyed this week’s column as much as I did participating in it! I can’t wait to do it again sometime, and I hope to be one of the DC designers who contributes regularly. Many thanks to Megan and Julius at the Post for a seamless and fun experience!