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Adaptive Reuse At Its Most Exciting: Revisiting 700 Delaware Avenue S.W.

25 Jul

Today I took my interior design students from the Corcoran College of Art + Design to one of my new favorite places in D.C.: the formerly-decaying-now-under-renovation old Baptist church at 700 Delaware Avenue S.W. that has recently been painted by Atlanta-artist Hense Brewer. None of the 12 of them knew what was coming; all they had was an address. So they were all pretty surprised – pleasantly I think – to arrive and find this:

700 Delaware Avenue SW

I was here about a month ago and didn’t see anything going on, but now it’s pretty clear they’re deep into renovating the interior. I spoke with the building’s owner, Steve Tanner, and some of his partners in this endeavor over at Art Whino, and the plans are for this to eventually become an event/gallery space.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

We walked around the building a bit to see it from all the different angles.

There’s a lot to see.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

700 Delaware Avenue SW

They even let us inside, which was thrilling. It’s not as dark as it looks from the foreboding open door…

http://www.artwhino.com/

One of the first things we saw in the vast first floor space was this baptismal pool. We all thought it was going to be an altar as we approached…but it wasn’t. Very intense, a little freaky to see it in such a run down state, and ultimately really interesting.  It really drove home the type of space this was intended to be, versus the new functions it will house. Steve tells me this building was officially decommissioned by the church a while back, which is when there is an official ceremony conducted that figuratively takes the soul of the building and makes way for the building to move on and serve another purpose. 

But back to that baptismal pool, I suppose this is where the DJ booth is going to go… This is adaptive reuse in action. I think it’s fascinating.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

The upstairs, which is quite different from the plain downstairs, is just as interesting as the exterior. Here’s a little peek.

The windows are particularly eye-catching, because many are stained glass AND have the exterior paint on them, so the colors they transmit and reflect are really powerful.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

700 Delaware Avenue SW

700 Delaware Avenue SW

(The image immediately above is a panorama, so the wall is not actually curved.)

After the tour, we sat outside and did some sketching. A big component of this particular course is becoming more comfortable with sketching, and this was a great opportunity to sit before a fantastic, very out of the ordinary subject.

700 Delaware Avenue SW

700 Delaware Avenue SW

Next week we’ll work with this space in class a bit to brainstorm alternative possible uses for it as an exercise in space planning. This will be hypothetical of course, because it’s being developed right now as a cultural, social, and artistic hot spot for a dynamic neighborhood. That’s a function that’s hard to beat!

Additionally, if you’re interested in seeing this building house the G40 Art Summit later this year, or if you want read a bit more about the aspirations of those involved in this project, please visit this page to read up and help out!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Visiting the Watermelon House.

16 Jul

One afternoon last week, instead of heading straight home like we usually do I took my son to one of my favorite spots in DC: the “watermelon house” in Shaw. He was AMAZED. I’ve been wanting to do a photo shoot here for a while, but life doesn’t always happen with a DSLR in-hand, so instead of doing it right we busted out the Instagram and did it sort-of-right. He had on a green shirt, which was just perfect. I love this photo so I thought I’d share.

Watermelon House!

He looks so sweet and contemplative, when in reality he was bribed to be still instead of repeatedly yelling “WATERMELON! Are you serious? Can I get a watermelon popsicle RIGHT NOW?” He was still sweet. Just not very contemplative.

Below is an image of the whole house (via What About Watermelon), and here is an article from the Washington Post where you can read a little bit about its history. Fun, right?

Watermelon House!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Look At These Pants (and other things that look like these pants)!

22 Jun

Long time, no blog. I know.

I’ve been running around from client to client and in the past two weeks there has been a deluge of end-of-the-school-year activities (examples: water day, field day, carnival day…these are all different things).

But now I’m back, and in the time I was gone I learned how to work a professional cotton candy machine very well. Despite the dozen or so ideas I’ve had for blogging in the past two weeks, the one that I am really most excited about is this one:

Look at these pants.

Look at these pants. I bought them last week. FROM THE GAP (can you even believe that?). I really like them and so do some of my Instagram friends. I think my husband likes them, but all he said about them when he got home from work was “Oh, wow. Those are some pants.”

So in keeping with my general theme here of interior design, here are a few home decor items that resemble my FAVORITE new pants.

Look at these pants!1.   2.   3.   4.   5.

They also remind me of some of the fantastic handcrafted terra cotta tiles from Tabarka Studio, which I’ve recently used in a project for the powder room. Here’s just one of their designs, which I absolutely love:

Look at these pants!

Hope you love the graphic finds as much as I do! Have a great weekend!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Recently on Pinterest…

7 Jun

It’s been a long two weeks. Between work being busy and tending to a sick kid’s mystery illness (he’s fine…no longer a mystery) I haven’t have much time to blog. One thing I have been doing though, is pinning things to Pinterest. At first I regarded it as another site to demand my time, but now I’m finding it more and more useful. I still feel the same way about Twitter though, which is to say, I find it redundant and pointless and a tedious effort. (Sorry, tweeters.)

Here are five fun things I’ve recently “pinned.” If you like them consider “following me” on Pinterest!

 

An unconventional, super neat mantle-scape:

Recently on Pinterest...

 

A kitchen island with personality:

Recently on Pinterest....

 

A celebration of imagery from the Dutch Postal Service:

Recently on Pinterest...

 

15 DIY crafts you can make from a paper box!

Recently on Pinterest...

 

And last but certainly not least, this cake roll:

Recently on Pinterest...

 

Please follow the links thru for proper image crediting, as well as how-tos and more info on these fun projects.

Have a great weekend! Mine is already filled with clients, swim class, a baby shower, and a TRUCK TOUCH!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Monday Color Explosion!

20 May

If there’s any day that deserves an explosion of color, it’s Monday.

Don’t you agree?

 

Color Explosion Monday!

1.)  Pillow  2.)  Towel  3.)  Dress  4.)  Chair  5.) Painting  6.) Tray

 

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Rainbow Church Wins the Weekend!

11 May

This is the coolest thing I’ve seen in DC in a while. We spotted it this morning, on the way back from Pentagon City (we took a little detour thanks to the race).

Rainbow Church Wins the Weekend!

This is the work of painter Alex “Hense” Brewer, an Atlanta-based artist, who was commissioned to paint this vacant church at 700 Delaware Avenue, SW. The building, formerly Friendship Baptist Church, was built in the early 1900s and was designated a historic site about 10 years ago. The painting was done in November of last year.

Here’s another shot of it, courtesy of the artist’s website.

Rainbow Church Wins the Week!

And another (via Miguel Martinez and Alex Brewer via WJLA.com).

Rainbow Church Wins the Week!

We need more of this stuff in DC.

I LOVE IT.

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Artist Brendan O’Connell paints Walmart interiors. He makes them look fantastic.

28 Apr

Brendan O’Connell, an American painter born in Georgia but now residing in Connecticut, likes to paint the interior of Walmart stores.

Brendan O'Connell paints Walmart

 

In addition to sweeping scenes which capture – pretty accurately – the bad fluorescent lighting of these vast warehouses, he does a lot of vignettes that prominently, though sometimes very abstractly, feature grocery store branding that we’ll all recognize. I’m a sucker for branding; food branding especially.

 

Brendan O'Connell paints Walmart

 

R.I.P Wonder Bread!

 

Brendan O'Connell paints Walmart

 

I really love this highly abstracted painting of a Crisco cooking oil display, which you may also recognize if you frequent a grocery store as much as I do.

 

Brendan O'Connell paints Walmart

 

According to his website, his work ranges from photo-realistic to abstract expressionist painting (which is what I’d say is most fitting to this series), and he studied his craft in Europe before returning home to America. His wife is also a painter, so that must be a house with very adorned walls!

You can purchase originals here.

 

(All of the images above are via the artist’s website, which is linked to throughout.)

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Another Instagramed View of Durham.

21 Apr

The other weekend my husband and I got away for a much-needed trip to Durham, North Carolina. We went for his law school reunion, but we really enjoy the town, so we spent time visiting places we love and enjoying the awesome weather. Last summer we took a similar long-weekend, during which I took a lot of pictures with Instagram. So I decided to carry on the tradition for this trip as well.

The town is filled with lots of old (mostly tobacco) warehouses which have been converted into any number of new uses: housing, communal art space, restaurants, and other creative adaptive-reuses. Here’s the side of one of the old buildings, featuring one of my favorite combinations: candy and soda.

Durham 2013

Another old building, this one a showroom for Organic Transit, which sells what I like to describe as a space-aged green golf cart. They were parked out front one of the days we were there, but I didn’t snap a picture that day. I adore the signage.

Durham 2013

 

 

An old building in the middle of downtown. Loving the green…

Durham 2013

 

 

…and you know I’m not lying. Look at my pants:

Durham 2013

 

 

Not all of the architecture is so hipster-y. The Carolina Theater at night is pretty classic.

Durham 2013

 

 

And the new Cupcake Bar and The Parlour, and ice cream shop, are pretty cute. Here’s a shot of the exterior of the cupcake shop – prime real estate on a prominent corner, plus a very “apple store” aesthetic – and a shot of the neat art inside The Parlour.

Durham 2013

Durham 2013

 

 

Of course I can’t resist a photo of a dilapidated public health building. This is what Instagram was made for.  Not sure why, I just think it’s beautiful.

Durham 2013

 

 

But all else aside, you can’t go to Durham and not go to Parker and Otis. Because candy. That’s why.

Durham 2013

 

 

Can’t wait to return again!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Eggs in Every Color…an Easter Craft Round-up!

29 Mar

Coloring eggs this weekend? Here are five fun methods to try for all skill-levels.

Pantone Eggs (via How About Orange). Easier than you thought!

Egg Dyeing Projects

 

Sprinkle Eggs (via Studio DIY). An egg after my own heart…

Sprinkle Eggs!

 

Marbelized Eggs (via Camille Styles). Not food safe, but totally gorgeous.

Marbelized Eggs!

 

Wax Patterned Eggs (via Martha Stewart Living). Because is it really a craft round-up without a MSL project? No, it’s not.

Wax Patterned Eggs

 

Rubber Cement Swirls (via Parents). Genius, and reminiscent of my 80’s childhood with the rubber cement.

Rubber Cement Eggs!

 

As a relevant aside (is that a thing?) I read on Slate this week that the correct way to boil eggs is to immerse them in a pot of water, bring it to a rolling boil, then turn the heat off and let them sit there, covered, for 10 minutes. Not 8, not 12, just 10. Apparently this allows the yolks to cook-through completely without making the whites rubbery. Who knew?

Have a great weekend!

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Super Mario Inspired Metro Map!

19 Mar

Graphic designer Dave Delisle has created a fantastic map of the Washington Metro, in the style of Super Mario Brothers. It even includes the new silver line!

 

Super Mario Metro!

 

You can purchase a print here. I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting one for my public-transit-obsessed son.

 

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.