Home & Design
Built-ins and ceiling treatment by Phillip Jeffries
Built-ins and ceiling treatment by Phillip Jeffries

Stylish built-ins and a ceiling treatment of Phillip Jeffries wall covering lend character to the living room.

Craftsman table and chairs in dining room, modern Visual Comfort chandelier and sculptural painting by DC artist Stephen Benedicto.
Craftsman table and chairs in dining room, modern Visual Comfort chandelier and sculptural painting by DC artist Stephen Benedicto.

The traditional style of the Craftsman table and chairs in the dining room is offset by a modern Visual Comfort chandelier and a sculptural painting by DC artist Stephen Benedicto.

Breakfast nook with Kelly Wearstler pendant
Breakfast nook with Kelly Wearstler pendant

The breakfast nook is enlivened by the homeowners’ artwork and a Kelly Wearstler pendant in soft, pleated fabric.

Study walls in Greenfield Pumpkin, ceiling in Roxbury Caramel and built-ins in Monticello Rose, all by Benjamin Moore
Study walls in Greenfield Pumpkin, ceiling in Roxbury Caramel and built-ins in Monticello Rose, all by Benjamin Moore

In the study, walls in Greenfield Pumpkin, a ceiling in Roxbury Caramel and built-ins in Monticello Rose, all by Benjamin Moore, are a backdrop for a rug with fuchsia overtones and a bench in a Kelly Wearstler stripe.

Schumacher wallpaper and bedding from Matouk and RH in owners’ bedroom.
Schumacher wallpaper and bedding from Matouk and RH in owners’ bedroom.

Schumacher wallpaper and bedding from Matouk and RH impart a pale-gray palette in the owners’ bedroom.

Black-and-white powder room, Harlequin wallpaper and textured, geometric wall tile from Ann Sacks
Black-and-white powder room, Harlequin wallpaper and textured, geometric wall tile from Ann Sacks

In the high-contrast black-and-white powder room, Harlequin wallpaper is complemented by textured, geometric wall tile from Ann Sacks and a black ceiling.

Designer Paul Corrie
Designer Paul Corrie

Designer Paul Corrie.

Vanguard sofa in living room with Holly Hunt coffee table.
Vanguard sofa in living room with Holly Hunt coffee table.

Paul Corrie chose a Vanguard sofa for the living room, paired with a Holly Hunt coffee table.

Gauzy, textured window treatments
Gauzy, textured window treatments

Elevated views are enhanced by gauzy, textured window treatments that “make you feel like you’re in the clouds,” he says.

Feathered Nest

Paul Corrie elevates a run-of-the-mill Cathedral Heights condo with eclectic flair and bold, unexpected touches

Feathered Nest - When the time came to downsize from their house in Arlington, an attorney and his wife, a writer, settled on a light-filled, fifth-floor condo overlooking Northwest DC’s Glover-Archbold Park.

The two-bedroom unit in a 1966 high-rise was a blank slate in terms of style—plain white walls, dated parquet floors and nondescript bathrooms pretty much summed it up. The empty-nesters tapped designer Paul Corrie to bring some much-needed personality to the space.

“We gutted and remodeled the entire condo except the kitchen,” Corrie says. “We replaced all the floors, redid the two bathrooms and added tons of built-ins—both to maximize storage and to give the rooms dimension and character.” Drawing from a lively and eclectic design vocabulary, Corrie combined new and existing furnishings with unexpected finishes and bold lighting, creating fresh flair in a city retreat that is just what his clients ordered.

What was your vision for the home?
I tried to update the overall look with a modern aesthetic. The clients had a few existing pieces they wanted to keep—specifically their Craftsman-style dining room set and a pair of mid-century chairs that I reupholstered. I used these as springboards for an eclectic mix that felt appropriate to their personalities and ages—but a little bit fresher, younger and more modern.

How did you optimize efficiency in the compact, 1,400-square-foot condo?
We converted the second bedroom into a study for the husband with a pull-out sofa for guests. The dining room table doubles as a desk for the wife, so we added a wall of built-ins to accommodate her storage needs.

How did you furnish the unit with its size in mind?
I’m all about scale, particularly in city living. So instead of using large surfaces that may impact traffic flow, I create little vignettes that can accommodate the needs of each person. In my designs, I often use a variety of occasional tables for this purpose. They’re also a great way to lend eclecticism to a space.

How did you bring character to the living room, which was a large, blank expanse?
I sold the clients on the idea of getting creative with the ceiling. We selected Phillip Jeffries grass cloth that I framed in black. I then layered the color story with a Matt Camron flat-weave rug in similar blue tones. Accents in the same colors throughout the space create a cohesive nest.

What’s your philosophy on hanging art?
I think people tend to hang art too high. It makes it difficult to relate it to the things around it. I like there to be a relationship between works of art and what’s around them, and for them to create a personal connection with the viewer.

How did you freshen up the dining room?
I interjected a fun, modern chandelier found at Circa Lighting that takes the room in a whole other direction—as does the graphite piece on the wall by DC artist Stephen Benedicto. And I layered a small vintage kilim on top of a large flat-weave so the larger rug frames the smaller one; seen from the foyer, it provides a visual moment as if there’s a piece of art on the floor.

What purpose does lighting serve in your designs?
It creates an entire energy. I think ambient lighting is incredibly important and is sometimes overlooked. It can dramatically change the overall vibe and aesthetic of a space—at different times of the day, it can completely change the mood.

How did the study come about?
The husband’s study is right off the very neutral living room, so I felt it was an opportunity for a “wow” moment just looking into the space. The clients wanted to use their existing Oriental rug, so I needed to create something interesting to pair with it. The bookcases are a pale salmon with pumpkin on the walls. The ceiling is a caramel color.

What makes the bedroom feel current?
Again, I started with an existing traditional rug, so I juxtaposed it with pale neutrals that tell a younger, fresher story. The headboard, bedding and subtle Schumacher wallpaper add interest and depth. The primitive night table by Lulu and Georgia is different from everything else they have.


Feathered Nest - Ask Paul

Do you balance vintage architecture with modern elements in your own home?
Yes. For example, our house is 100 years old and in our traditional kitchen I chose flowery, gold Christian LaCroix wallpaper with a modern, almost dreamy feel. It adds a twist to the space.

How do you select accessories?
I look for pieces that will marry well with the environment through color, texture and style. If those qualities are inherent in the overall design, I make sure they’re reflected in my accessories.

If you could buy an antique from any period, what would it be?
I love the classic lines of Federal style. It’s very American and pairs with so many things, from sculptural forms to interesting table lamps.

Do you have a favorite local shopping spot?
I’m a big fan of David Bell Antiques. He has an amazing eye and his shop always has interesting pieces.

Interior Design: Paul Corrie, Paul Corrie Interiors, Washington, DC. Contractor: Madden/CCI, LLC, Rockville, Maryland.

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