Home & Design

Water’s Edge

McHale Landscape Design crafts and maintains a riverfront oasis with panoramic views

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Family Time

Conceived by Alan Blalack of Kane Landscapes, a wooded property is a serene backdrop for outdoor entertaining

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Beachy Feeling

Pristine Acres masterminds a welcoming backyard oasis in Aldie, Virginia

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River Vista

Sisson Landscapes conjures a picturesque aerie above the Potomac River

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Pure Geometry

Katia Goffin Gardens conceives lush, elegant garden rooms in a Chevy Chase landscape

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Gathering Spots: Spaces for backyard get-togethers

Q&A with Katia Goffin, ASLA; Katia Goffin Gardens

What were the client’s goals?
The client, an avid gardener, wanted outdoor rooms within a planted oasis for gardening, entertaining and enjoyment.

What spaces are used for relaxing and gathering?
An expanded terrace by the house overlooks the property, which features two inner garden rooms with inviting lawns and an outer garden room.

Share your aesthetic and functional vision for the project.
Plantings, materials and paths shape the garden rooms; the strong geometry of the layout is softened by leaves and flowers. We showcased perennials and shrubs against a backdrop of evergreen hedges.

What hardscape materials did you use?
The terrace was extended with matching brick and bluestone banding. Pea gravel paths link rooms. A wooden gate with brick columns serves as a focal
point in the main garden room.

Katia Goffin Gardens

Gathering Spots: Spaces for backyard get-togethers

Q&A with Denny Sisson, Sisson Landscapes

What were the goals of the project?
The vision was a beautiful and functional space for entertaining on an undeveloped part of the property. Enhancing sightlines to the river was a key element of the design, which called for distinct yet cohesive spaces intended to foster serenity, contemplation, beauty and celebration.

How do these spaces facilitate relaxing, gathering and entertaining?
By combining terraced hardscaping and complementary plantings, we were able to implement a series of patio “rooms” for gathering—one of which centers on a built-in stone fire pit. A parterre garden with a fountain creates paths between spaces and anchors the landscape.

What hardscape materials and plantings did you implement?
We used a combination of Carderock masonry stone, stacked stone walls and broken flagstone with mazus as well as beautiful local boulders.

Sisson Landscapes

Gathering Spots: Spaces for backyard get-togethers

Q&A with Steve Waldron & Kevin Kurdziolek, PLA, ASLA; Pristine Acres

What were the goals of this project?
Our clients wanted a total backyard solution with multiple options for outdoor gathering and entertaining.

Describe spaces that are used for relaxing, gathering and entertaining.
A second-level pavilion with a fireplace spills out to a deck located atop a lower-level dining area. A raised spa and a pergola with a fire feature anchor one end of the 20-by-40-foot swimming pool. Each area has its own function and visually harmonizes with the other spaces.

What inspired the feel of the property?
A theme of “modern farmhouse meets beach getaway.” The materials and plantings were selected to create that seaside feeling while still matching with the home’s modern farmhouse style. The travertine pool deck, bordered by flagstone, is accented by miscanthus adagio grasses reminiscent of the beach. Vertical marble and porcelain surfaces add interest.

Pristine Acres

Gathering Spots: Spaces for backyard get-togethers

Q&A with Alan R. Blalack, RLA, ASLA; Kane Landscapes, Inc.

What were the goals of the project?
The family wished to have outdoor areas where they could spend more time together.

What spaces are used for relaxing, gathering and entertaining?
We added a pool, spa and soccer field—all designed to feel intimate, but with plenty of space for entertaining. A two-story deck off the home’s main living area was replaced with an airy solarium.

Share your aesthetic and functional vision for the project.
To ensure a sense of intimacy, we created several “rooms” that allow guests to mingle throughout the property. Lush shade plantings connect the landscape to its wooded surroundings.

What hardscape materials did you use?
The pool patio is Techo-bloc with pool coping and wall caps of thermal-treated bluestone. The solarium and stairs are clad in Azek.

Kane Landscapes, Inc.

Gathering Spots: Spaces for backyard get-togethers

Q&A with Emily McHale Pike, McHale Landscape Design

What were the goals of the project?
Clients on the Severn River in Annapolis tapped McHale Landscape Design five years ago to replace their existing pool and pool cabana with a new vanishing-edge pool and pool house, complete with a kitchen and guest bedroom.

What spaces are used for relaxing, gathering and entertaining?
With water views and the home’s architecture in mind, we created picturesque spaces for entertaining, lounging, eating and cooking poolside year-round. We also provided guest quarters, decks for morning coffee and sunning and a fire pit—all facing the river.

What hardscape materials and plantings did you implement?
We installed ipe decking, flagstone pool coping and walls made of ashlar-cut natural stone. Wetland, native and ornamental plantings feature shrubs such as hydrangea, boxwood, nandina, deutzia and abelia as well as perennials including daylily, astilbe, hosta, carex and ornamental grasses.

McHale Landscape Design

Every two years, the Washington Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art holds a design competition recognizing fine classical work in the region. The awards are named after John Russell Pope (1874-1937), a New York-based architect who designed significant classical buildings in Washington, DC, including the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art. After a jury of experts selected this year’s winning projects, the chapter announced the 2023 awards at a gala held on April 28 at The Sulgrave Club in Washington. The winning projects are listed below; for more information, visit classicist-washington.org.


Residential Renovation
Fairfax & Sammons Architects. Hatton Grange Farm, Scottsville, Virginia.

Landscape Design
Arentz Landscape Architects LLC. Sycamore Point, Easton, Maryland. Builder: Winchester.

Commercial Design
David M. Schwarz Architects. Rosewood Le Guanahani, St. Barts.

Residential, New Construction Under 8,000 Square Feet
Franck & Lohsen Architects, Inc. The Waterfowl Residence, Bluffton, South Carolina.

Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Forest, Virginia.

Ecclesiastical Design
Harrison Design. Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel, Northfield, Massachusetts.

Institutional Design
David M. Schwarz Architects. Zeppos College at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Urban Design
J. E. Schram Architect. L’ Ecole de la Cour, Lake Arthur, Louisiana.

Historic Preservation
Kimmel Studio Architects. Cloverfields, Queenstown, Maryland. Builder: Lynbrook of Annapolis.

Interior Design, Commercial & Institutional 
McCrery Architects. Hoynak Banquet Hall, Hillsdale, Michigan.

“When designing a luxury bath, we ask a couple of key questions: How do we maximize the space if we cannot change the footprint? And how do we accommodate the clients’ requirements while making the space feel larger than it is? Once we’ve determined the layout, we select colors and materials that will create a relaxing and luxurious experience.”

—Ann Gottlieb, IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, Ann Gottlieb Design PLLC



“Adding heated floors and towel bars is a must. It’s the height of luxury to step onto a warm stone floor in the winter and grab a warm towel from the rack. We also use sophisticated LED-lit mirrors and medicine cabinets with integrated televisions and magnifying mirrors.”      

—Kirsten Kaplan, Haus Interior Design

“When designing a luxurious hotel-bath experience, the focus is on ambiance, materials and special amenities. A soothing color palette and dimmable lighting will create a tranquil atmosphere. Use high-quality materials like marble and natural stone. Incorporate textures that sparkle and fixtures with rain features. Wet rooms containing a shower and soaking tub add a layer of luxury. A linear fireplace will further elevate the look.”

—Arelene Critzos, Interior Concepts, Inc.

“Evoking a spa atmosphere in a bathroom design starts with a soft color palette. We like to keep the cabinets and walls light, especially if the windows aren’t large. We often recommend marble that has consistent veining for both the countertop slab and the floor and wall tiles.”     

—Rebecca Penno, Penno Interiors

PHOTO: Angela Newton Roy Photography


Laura Hildebrandt

Interiors by LH


PHOTO: Angela Newton Roy Photography

Laura (Fox) Wolff

Laura Fox Interior Design, LLC


Bonnie Ammon

Bonnie Ammon Interiors


Jamie Merida

Jamie Merida Interiors


Photo: Robert Radifera Stylish Productions

Sarita Simpson

Interior Matter


Melanie Whittington

Whittington Design Studio


Barbara Hawthorn

Barbara Hawthorn Interiors


PHOTO: Kenneth M. Wyner Photography


Home & Design toasted the launch of its Summer 2023 issue on June 21st with a festive event at AjMadison in Tysons. Guests mingled over light bites and explored the showroom’s array of cutting-edge appliances.

Barbara Hawthorn

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Arlene Critzos

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Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas

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Kirsten Anthony Kaplan

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Bonnie Ammon

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  • Original Furniture Design for The Hawthorn Bench and The Hawthorn Contemporary Sociable, installed at The Phillips Collection Museum
  • Best Restaurant Design, Food Wine & Company, Bethesda Magazine.
  • Featured in: Home&Design Magazine (five covers), Elle Décor, Traditional Home, Better Homes & Gardens and The Washington Post.

Share your firm’s background.
BHI is a boutique luxury firm, in business since 1984. We work on projects requiring multiple phases over years, so we typically accept only a few new ones a year; we currently have more than 13 high-end projects in progress.

What is your business philosophy?
Of paramount importance are honesty, transparency, innovation and functionality. The process should be fun for everyone.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Hearing from clients about how our work has transformed the way they experience their home. Many of our clients have worked with us before and continue to work with us whenever—and wherever—they relocate.

What sets your firm apart?
Our level of originality and creativity integrated with expert organization and responsiveness. We recognize that our ultimate reward is the client’s happiness, both with the process and the result.

Barbara Hawthorn Interiors, LTD.



  • Winner: ASID Milo Hoots, Jr., Leadership Award.
  • Featured in: Home&Design Magazine, Northern Virginia Living and Arlington Magazine.

Talk about your background.
I worked for Thomas Pheasant before launching BAI in 2016. I have a staff of four completing projects ranging from redecorating to renovations and new construction.

What sets your firm apart?
Our knowledge of construction, architecture and materials enhances our clients’ experience and allows for a solid outcome. I have a background in finance that helps me know when to spend and when not to; in fact, I’m often part of contract negotiations with the builder or remodeler.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Seeing my clients’ tears of joy during the big reveal of a new space is my favorite thing. I love being a designer because it truly makes a difference in a person’s life.

Bonnie Ammon Interiors


HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

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