Opinions about branding by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

DC Design House 2017 - Assorted Notes

If you just want to see the photos, go to the album
You can download them for free with attribution.

Today we visited the Washington DC Design House, where the area's top local designers pitch in their talents to create a model home for public viewing, with all the proceeds going to charity.

It was an opportunity to a) see the inside of a mansion b) take a lot of photos c) talk to actual designers about the work that they do.

Karen Snyder, of Interiors of Washington (pictured above) designed Area 14, the "Traveler's Retreat." She talked to me about her style, which is a mix of modern, traditional, and "transitional." I asked her what "transitional" means and she said it bridges the gap between the first two.

Basically, she does what the client wants.

Snyder designed the ottoman sitting in front of her. She told me all the details and to be honest with you, they went over my head. But the cost for two of them runs into the thousands, and I have to tell you, the piece really defined the room.

Melanie Hansen, of Margery Wedderburn Interiors, designed Area 2, the "Living Room." She was nice enough to let me take her picture and to talk about her designs. The photo is included because she personifies a strong personal brand. She seems professional, highly qualified, and practiced in the art of posing for the camera without seeming too artificial.


The most notable thing about the room she designed is the pink lollipop statue. Everyone was looking at it and talking about it, probably because it gives off a vaguely naughty air.


Designers seem very into how they found things. As an observer, I frankly tune that stuff out.

I was interested in this blue velour chair in Area 7, "The Study Royale." Lorna Gross, of Lorna Gross Interior Design (contact@lornagross.com), told me that the entire room was designed around this cheap-looking chair, which somehow also comes off as luxurious.

For me, it was the color that just totally popped. I couldn't look away from it.


Here is a look at Area 3, the "Dining Room." The design is by Susan M. Jamieson, at Bridget Beari Designs. 

This room is not so much my taste, but then again I'm not the target audience. I don't get invited to mansions very much...er, make that never.


On the other hand a well-designed bathroom (a.k.a. "powder room") is a thing of beauty. I loved the dark walls against the soothing light and spare white design of this one, by Mary Amons at Mary Amons Design.

Assistant Ryan M. Van Sickel was standing outside and nodded proudly when I asked if this design was his.


There were some interesting characters at this event. Designer Camille Saum, of Camille Saum Interior Design, dressed a bit eccentrically but if you're rich, I think this means that you're a genius.


I did have fun teasing the rich people. At the cafe they were selling these "sandwiches" at $6 for four. "So these aren't sliders, right?" I said to the attendant. "They're munchers."

She didn't think that was funny.


We didn't love the designers' taste in everything. Again, I think this must be a rich Washingtonian thing...the overall concept was "heavy."


But you have to consider that to these people, a garage sale means blazers that cost $172.


I'm throwing in this one from Meena Tharmaratnam at Ibhana Creations, even though I don't know the exact price, because she was very friendly to me.

Let me say that Area 10, "Modern Professional's Stylish Retreat" (which looks like a girl's bedroom) was a was a stunner. The designer, of Anthony Wilder Design/Build, had to wave them off with a stick. Just look at that stunning mini-couch with a Vogue on it.
Designers can sometimes have weird taste in art. Below is one of the pieces I saw. Not all people would appreciate it, but I totally loved it. It's from Area 9, "The Collector's Cabinet," designed by Josh Hildreth of Josh Hildreth Interiors.

Overall I would definitely recommend taking a visit to this secluded mansion in Potomac. It's all for a good cause. The show ends October 29, 2017.

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Copyright 2017 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own. All rights reserved. Photos by me.