INTERIOR DESIGN - Personal Style

The living room color scheme sets a sophisticated tone.


Since the owner needed a place where he could entertain clients as well as youngsters, his home had to double as both a casual hangout zone and a functional, sophisticated space. Ireland and his team asked for pictures from the owner that would indicate his taste, but only received one or two shots of furniture. In the end, the designers defined their own vision and went with it.

A palette of gray and white is punctuated by splashes of color in the dining room.


“I ended up basing a lot of the choices I made on [the client’s] personal style,” Ireland says. “He works in Washington in a corporate setting with important people. He’s a stylish guy—sophisticated but not stuffy.We decided to reflect his personality in the house, to make it look sort of like a tailored suit—but not too tailored.”
After selecting a color scheme of grays and whites, Ireland and his associate Edith Gregson started from the ground up. They stained the oak floors dark and purchased crisp, subtly patterned carpets from Georgetown Carpet, bound as area rugs and custom cut to fit each room.The carpets establish a contemporary sensibility that feels fresh but still complements the home’s traditional architecture.
The home's exterior is clean-lined yet traditional.
The living room, with a narrow console against the stairway, opens onto the library.
The living room presented a challenge. “It was the hardest room to design because it needed to be a cozy space in itself but was also a through-way,” says Gregson. “In the end, we went with Andrew Martin sofas but had them custom-sized to accommodate the traffic flow.” In keeping with the kid-friendly theme, they are covered in a light, stain-resistant weave that resembles linen. 
A printed rendition of the Washington Monument by Andy Warhol occupies center stage in the library.

A fireplace in the living room is flanked on either side by windows. Ireland painted their trim the same strong gray as the walls in order to ensure that the fireplace would take center stage. A terra- cotta tile hearth was replaced with soapstone and the existing surround of tiny mosaic tiles was painted white. A large, white abstract by Teo Gonzalez hangs above the mantel and a row of autographed baseballs is displayed in playful contrast on the mantelpiece.

Ireland and his team retained the existing kitchen cabinets but freshened up the space with new accessories.
 At its far end, the living room spills into what Gregson terms the library. Existing bookshelves in a contemporary style cover the far wall and two chairs from Sixteen Fifty-Nine in Georgetown, reupholstered in a fresh blue-gray stripe, are positioned before them. A black-and-white print by Andy Warhol adorns one wall.

On the opposite side of the entry, the dining room shares the living room’s palette and aesthetic. Ireland mixed high-end dining chairs from Sixteen Fifty-Nine with a round Crate & Barrel dining table and large, drum-shaped light fixture. The client produced a folder of graphic ink sketches by Russell Forester, which Ireland framed and hung as a series on the wall. Two printed lithographs by Josef Albers occupy another wall. Custom relaxed Roman shades in a subtle stripe unify the living and dining spaces.
The kitchen opens to the dining room where a lithograph by Joseph Albers and sketches by Russell Forester are on display.

A small TV room adjoining the dining room boasts cream-colored walls and a cheerful, butter yellow ceiling for a dash of color. The custom, L-shaped sofa (designed to fit the small space) is covered in outdoor fabric so that its cushions can literally be taken out and hosed down in the event of a spill. Ireland added a built-in TV stand/shelf for storing TV components. Antique game wheels from AmericanEye add a whimsical touch.
The kitchen opens to the dining room where a lithograph by Joseph Albers and sketches by Russell Forester are on display.

The kitchen and bathrooms were repainted and accessorized, but remain largely unchanged. “We used a lighter version of the gray from the rest of the house in the kitchen,” Gregson says, adding that Ireland and his team eventually hope to replace the cherry-stained cabinetry.

Upstairs, a spacious master bedroom in pale gray blends furnishings from Crate & Barrel with pieces from AmericanEye. Artwork by Steven Cushner and moody, large-scale photographs of ships’ hulls by Frank Hallam Day adorn the walls. The adjacent master bath has been freshly painted and offers plenty of light thanks to an already existing skylight.

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