Bringing Nature Indoors at the DC Design House

Last Thursday I had a great day touring the 2015 DC Design House in McLean, VA. Funds raised benefited the Children’s National Health System. Twenty-four designers turned the 8,869-square-foot home (currently for sale at $4.895M) into a spectacular decor showcase. I was impressed by their creative design aimed at bringing nature indoors. Here are a few highlights:

The 8,869 square foot house replicates an Old American Farmhouse as a nod to Virginia’s righ countryside. It is now on the market for $4.895M.


The library, by designer Michael Hampton, was inspired by American farmhouse and Greek revival style. When asked about the very cute standing lamps on either side of the sofa, he said “don’t tell anyone, but they’re from Restoration Hardware”!


This darling nursery, by Nancy Twomey, is modern meets Swedish country. The focal point is the photograph of the lovely baby fawn watching over the crib. So many cute accessories…and all were for sale!


The living room by Annette Hannon featured custom handpainted and embroidered silk cherry blossom wallcovering surrounding the fireplace and ceiling. Georgeous!


The dining room by Akseizer Design Group embraces textures of wood and stone and other organic materials throughout (note the ceiling!). The light fixture offers a dramatic contrast.

Bringing nature indoors

The patio provides a lovely private oasis for dining Al Fresco. The pavilion, by Skip Sroka, was described as “Palm Beach meets Hollywood Regency”. Such a beautiful setting for entertaining friends on a warm spring evening!


I loved the many creative decor ideas showcased within the design house. The theme of bringing nature indoors, through use of natural materials and textures, flowed throughout the home. The bold use of color, whimsical details, and creative repurposing of common items provided many new design inspirations for upcoming projects!

Second Time Around

I’m so happy to see the trend of reusing, repurposing and redesigning commonly used items expanding both in scope and creativity these days. It seems as though there is no limit to the clever ideas that are popping up and being shared on Pinterest and other sites. While some clever transformations are coming from designers and decorators, many others are being developed in the home by individuals who want to make something useful and functional from what they have at hand. Others, of course, scour flea markets and estate sales looking for potential gems that just need a bit of polishing.

A ladder can make a great clothing rack! Image Source: Pinterest

A ladder can make a great clothing rack! Image Source: Pinterest

Here’s one of my favorites….adding hooks to a freshly painted ladder to hang clothes to dry in the laundry room. Hooks and chains enable easy mounting from the ceiling. So clever and functional… it!

A gardening tool can be repurposed to display favorite wine glasses. Image Source: Pinterest

And who doesn’t like a new way to display their favorite wine glasses? But I’ll admit, I would have never thought that an old garden rake might serve that purpose!

The rake could be spruced up with bronze, black or silver spray paint, (or whatever color coordinates with your room) or simply cleaned and used in its natural state. A guaranteed conversation piece above your bar or counter!

These ideas inspire me to crank up my imagination and “out of the box” thinking to come up with some new fun (and useful) projects. This means taking a new look at common everyday items…seeing them not only for what they used to do (or are supposed to do), but what they could do in a new repurposed form! Have fun!