The son of Congressman Jennings Randolph, Frank Babb Randolph grew up in an era when he could jump on a streetcar and explore Washington’s treasures alone. “I haunted the National Gallery,” he recalls, “and had the opportunity to see some of the best houses in Georgetown.”
Decades later, the seasoned designer would express his classicist eye in the design of his own 1959 Georgetown residence. Though he loved the generous proportions of its living room, Randolph “enhanced the woodwork and added tall windows and a center window like Jefferson did at Monticello,” he explains.
Pale gray walls and a muted Odegard carpet created a serene backdrop for a collected-over-time mix of antiques, accessories and modern pieces of Randolph’s design, including a banquette sofa that will be part of a forthcoming collection for David Iatesta. A 19th-century Zuber screen made a bold statement behind the seating arrangement, which Randolph kept “mobilier,” so pieces such as the antique French center table could be moved around as company enjoyed the space.
On one wall, a Niermann Weeks console was flanked by Louis XV chairs covered in eye-catching coral fabric. Niermann Weeks sconces and a David Iatesta mirror hung above.
Randolph, who moved to Kalorama in spring 2017, reminisces about his former living room. “People who visited would say ‘I’d live in this room all the time if I were you.’ Well, I did. It made an impact, despite its subtlety.”
Interior Design: Frank Babb Randolph, Frank Babb Randolph Interiors, Washington, DC. Photography: Max Kim-Bee.
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