A Novel Approach - Camille Beers
Camille Beers Design Studio; Reston, Virginia
When Camille Beers takes on a project, she likes to think outside the box, which is exactly what happened when she landed the dining room space in The Washington Design Center’s Spring 2008 Design House. Beers broke with the norm of setting a formal dining table and chandelier in the center of the square room and came up with a far more relaxed and inviting solution. Her Urban Orange Dining Room combined a cozy lounge area featuring a pair sculptural Donghia chairs upholstered in mohair with an oversized leather ottoman, and an intimate dining area subtly screened off by gossamer drapes. “My goal was to turn a formal space into a space where, for example, people like me who have children and the kitchen is a disaster at the end of the night can have a place to go sit down and have a glass of wine and catch up at the end of the day. But then you could also have a beautiful formal dinner in it.”
After earning a degree in interior design from Virginia’s Radford University, the Kentucky native came to Washington and spent a few years working at area architecture and interior design firms. Beers started her own company in 2001. “I loved working for designers and architects but I always felt like I had my own ideas to overlay,” she says. “When you work for a designer, you are really implementing their vision. I had my own sense of vision of what I wanted to see.”
Whether her clients are young couples or empty nesters with modern or traditional style, Beers takes a fresh, unconventional approach to her work. One of her “nesting” couples in McLean has converted a spare room into a dedicated “napping room” complete with a fine mattressMcLean isn’t ready to abandon her home’s traditional style, but turned to Beers to make it more current and alive. “It’s traditional but it’s about stripping out all of the busyness—the wallpapers, the florals, the birds. We said, ‘Let’s not do that traditional where the fabrics are all rusty and muted. Let’s do really fun colors that make you feel happy,’” says Beers.
A strong rapport between designer and client is the key to a successful project, says Beers. “When you meet with a client, the first thing to do is to establish a connection with them. My philosophy is that home is a place where people can connect and be at peace. It’s not necessarily about creating this grandiose, beautiful space; it’s about really making it comfortable for the client based on their needs.”