Thursday, September 28, 2006

Design House Fall 2006 Opens Tomorrow

The Washington Design Center and Metropolitan Home's Design House for Fall 2006 opens to the public tomorrow until December 16th. This year's theme is "Modern with a Capital M."

Tonight is the opening gala at the seriously fabulous Washington Design Center. Even if you're not a designer, I'd suggest wandering the halls of the 300 D Street SW massive structure. The intricate individual showrooms featuring everything from Houles tassels to Kravet Fabrics is like a visual Mardi Gras. Last night, a couple of us stuffed gift bags for the opening tonight. Vive's remark upon entering the Center, "I totally don't feel like I'm in DC anymore. This is so wonderful."

But, just wait until you see this year's Design House.

Eight design and architecture firms sketched and built their impression of today's modern home. As you enter the Design House, a black cement walkway lines with shiny black pebbles and lighting welcome you. The Foyer features a Frank Gehry-esque motion throughout, with fishing line tied from ceiling to floor to create waves in front of the basic flat walls. A cardboard ottoman, obviously imitating Gehry's 1970s Easy Edges cardboard furniture collection, brings to mind Eastern design influences. Black board paint to the back of the entry way makes the wall utilitarian. Since the Master Bathroom of the house does not feature a toilet, a humorous comment on the black board wall reads "Buy Toilet for Bathroom." The Foyer was designed by Kube Architecture.

The Foyer opens to the Media Room designed by Barry Dixon, Inc. A plasma television set on the ceiling shows sailing videos while a Plasma on the wall and three smaller television sets on the side offer serious media overload. The backless seating creates a perfect openness for optimal television viewing.

The Dining Room is bound to be a favorite of most visitors. It features a mix of traditional, almost antique, items infused with modern elements such as a single-layer bookshelf embedded into the wall. The intricate detailing of two parallel gold chandeliers contrasts greatly with the harsh clunkiness of the slightly missionary wood table. A translucent curtain and a gold-framed antique portrait separate the dining area from the books. Patrick Sutton Associates designed the magnificent room.

The house also includes a Master Bedroom by Raji RM & Associates, a Living Room by Barry Dixon, Inc., a Master Bathroom with a sink that drains into a shower by Division 1 Architects, a Wine Tasting Room by Darryl Carter Design Group, and a Kitchen and Pantry by Cole Prevost.

Tonight's invitation-only opening gala will feature a silent auction, DJ, food, and drink. I should probably think of some significant technical comments to make about the house other than "Oh my gosh! It's just gorgeous!"

Tomorrow, the Design House will become open to the public during regular business hours. I'd strongly suggest checking it out.


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