Lured by gracious proportions, luxury amenities and an enviable position on Annapolis’ Spa Creek, a business executive acquired his three-bedroom pied-à-terre while the condo complex was still under construction. The corner unit boasts wraparound views of shimmering water, elegant yachts in their moorings and the Maryland capital’s charming skyline.
Baltimore designer Patrick Sutton was enlisted to enhance and complete the interiors, gracing the home with custom cabinetry and millwork, stylish furniture and refined finishes throughout. No doubt, the iconic maritime setting inspired his approach. “The whole idea of being surrounded by water and boats made us feel like we wanted a nod to a nautical, yachty kind of vibe,” remarks Sutton. “My client likes things that have clean lines but are comfortable. You can put your feet up on the coffee table without having to worry about it. The best way to describe it is ‘warm modern.’”
The resident’s admiration for impeccable men’s apparel also swayed the aesthetic. Tailored details—from upholstered walls to leather trim—elevate every room.
Visitors arrive via a private elevator, which whisks them into the foyer of the second-level apartment. From here, an open, airy living/dining area and kitchen unfold. Neutral furnishings and a textural rug reminiscent of velvety sand let marina views steal the show, though splashes of blue—the owner’s favorite color—enliven the palette. Plush sofas in Romo fabric and woven RH chairs embrace a sculptural cocktail table of Sutton’s design; its bronze base supports a square top of chiseled limestone. Quartz table lamps add a luminous touch.
“Light, bright and happy was the goal in this particular space,” notes the designer. Wide doors on two sides of the living area open to breezy balconies—one of which features a built-in fireplace for cooler weather.
Decked out in navy blue, a six-burner La Cornue range and matching hood anchor the kitchen. Sutton designed the hood, as well as all of the cabinetry and millwork in the kitchen, dressing room and primary bath. “I made refinements and customized the apartment while the building was going up,” he explains.
The kitchen’s ship-shape cabinetry, luxe marble countertops and backsplash and beadboard ceiling create a richly layered effect. Near the island, two handcrafted Wendell Castle stools appear to float atop their bases of steam-bent wood.
Another conversation piece awaits in the adjacent dining area: a bespoke bar of Sutton’s design, dressed in blue embossed leather and fitted with brass hardware. “My client loves the ritual of making drinks for guests,” observes the designer. “When you open its doors, the beautiful, wood-appointed bar inside is very James Bond.”
The glassy chandelier suspended above the dining table, he adds, “makes you think of sparkles on the water.” A corridor off the dining area leads to a guest room, den and two baths, while a hall on the opposite side of the kitchen accesses the primary suite.
The bedroom décor was inspired by Brunello Cucinelli menswear. As Sutton recalls, “When we’re trying to drive a material and color palette for a project, we ask a lot of questions. In this case, the client mentioned he was a fan of the Italian fashion designer. So we leaned in on recent Cucinelli collections, and fully upholstered the walls in a wool herringbone that feels like men’s suiting.” Drapes made in the same fabric achieve a tone-on-tone look.
“The nice thing about an upholstered room is it absorbs sound so there’s dead silence. It’s like a cocoon,” notes Sutton. A velvet headboard, leather bench and braided-leather trim on the walls complete the understated tableau.
A made-to-order sensibility also prevails in the primary bath and dressing room. In the latter, rosewood cabinets—including a generous island complete with copious drawers and a marble countertop—neatly stow belongings.
In addition to the ensuite guest room, an intimate den accommodates visitors on a pull-out sofa. Wallpaper in a subtle stripe, a Tibetano rug with a linear pattern and a circular chandelier forge a geometric interplay. The nearby hall bath doubles as a powder room; its bespoke walnut vanity is topped with a thick slab of creamy quartzite.
Ocean scenes and a dreamy blue palette are common threads unifying the owner’s artwork. Not surprising when you consider that both his primary home in Florida and his getaway in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware—now in the process of a makeover by Sutton—also enjoy waterfront locations.
Delighted with the finished project, the resident frequently hosts weekend guests in his new Annapolis retreat. “Everything is tidy and in its place,” reflects Patrick Sutton, “but it still feels welcoming and comfortable.”
Interior Design: Patrick Sutton, Patrick Sutton, Baltimore, Maryland. Building Architecture: Jay Schwarz, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP; Sarah Favrao, project architect; David Ferara, project architect; Peter Tokar, project architect, ABS Architects, Annapolis, Maryland. Builder & Developer: Bret Anderson, Pyramid Builders, Annapolis, Maryland.
Leo is making waves in Annapolis’ Uptown Arts District. Brian and Hilarey Leonard opened the New American restaurant and bar earlier this year; the duo also owns two DC bars: Lost & Found and Free State.
Executive chef Matthew Lego sources local ingredients from nearby farms and purveyors to create modern, seasonal and sustainable fare. Entrées such as Crispy Chicken Breast with carrot purée and pea tendrils share the limelight with charcuterie plates, shareable apps and special salads.
“Leo is a comfortable, lively and casual space where everyone is welcome to gather,” says Hilarey, who serves as the restaurant’s sommelier. “It’s also our mission to support other local, small businesses.” 212 West Street; leoannapolis.com
PHOTOS: SCOTT SUCHMAN
Dawn light silhouettes crab houses on Virginia’s Tangier Island in an image captured by photographer Jay Fleming. Heading out by boat on a February morning to shoot oystermen at work, he came upon this scene—one of the most beautiful sunrises he’d ever witnessed. “I spent about 15 minutes shooting it,” he recalls. “The colors were constantly changing as the sun got closer to rising.” After years spent documenting the Chesapeake region’s seafood industry, the former National Geographic photographer has published two books on the topic, including the recent Island Life.
PHOTO: Jay Fleming
With fire pits, steaming spas, hidden heaters and outdoor kitchens on the rise, today’s outdoor rooms can keep on going long after summer’s last hurrah. We asked experts to shed light on how to plan the perfect year-round escape.
What features and amenities are essential to a comfortable, year-round outdoor retreat?
An ideal zone for entertaining should include a comfy, central seating area that is convenient and easily accessible to the primary residence. Gathering spots with privacy and good views are always nice. Shade is key—either from a well-placed tree, umbrella or roof. Other features that make a space more enjoyable include small fountains, decorative landscaping or a cozy fire. Lastly, low-voltage accent lighting extends the usability of a space into nighttime.
—Howard Cohen, Surrounds, Inc.
Explain your approach to outdoor lighting.
Outdoor lighting depends on the client’s preference. Though some like to light up the façade to spotlight the house, we usually design our lighting according to task. For example, overhead lighting is great when you’re cooking in an outdoor kitchen, but if you’re snuggled by a fire, you may want less light.
We usually go for an ambient glow around an entire landscape. Shining a spotlight on a tree of interest helps with visibility—especially in areas where path lighting may not be highly functional. Moonlighting, or lighting from above, works well for driveways and darker spaces where you don’t want a line of bulbs creating a runway effect.
For us, the glow of a light is more important than the fixture itself. Careful placement is key and should be reconsidered as plant material matures to ensure the lighting plan still functions as designed.
—April Sullivan, Rossen Landscape
When should homeowners begin planning an al fresco gathering space and what steps are involved?
It depends on the complexity of the project, but a year or more in advance is not too early to start. The first step is the design process. Well-thought-out plans take time and vary according to the challenges of the site, the clients’ schedule and their decision-making and communication styles.
The second step is aligning the design with the budget, which can mean deleting portions of the plan, changing materials or installing in phases.
Installation is the next and lengthiest step. Obtaining permits; procuring hardscape and construction supplies; and coping with the weather and season all factor into how much time it will take to complete a successful outdoor space. Consistent communication among the homeowner, designer and production team is crucial so expectations are fulfilled—and hopefully exceeded.
—Phil Kelly, McHale Landscape Design
What materials are most practical and attractive for outdoor kitchen countertops?
There are many factors to consider when making a countertop selection. Granite is a popular option that stands up to the elements, doesn’t absorb stains easily and will not fade in the sun. However, select your color carefully, as darker stones absorb the sun’s heat and can burn your skin in the summer. Another natural stone option with many positives is soapstone—a heat-, stain- and bacteria-resistant option. It’s also nonporous, so regular sealing isn’t required. One drawback to soapstone is that it’s limited to shades of gray and black.
Newer on the market is Dekton—a manmade, highly bonded stone that’s UV-resistant, nonporous and highly resistant to abrasion. It’s quickly becoming the top choice of many designers.
—Josh Kane, Kane Landscapes, Inc.
What drives your selection of hardscape materials and which ones should homeowners avoid?
When selecting hardscape materials, you need to consider durability, lifespan, carbon footprint, beauty and cost. We gravitate towards natural materials with proven, long-term track records in the climate where they’re specified. When logical, we reuse materials found on site or consider salvaged materials. In general, we are hesitant to specify composite decking that is difficult to recycle and hasn’t performed well over longer time frames.
Some materials are right for one spot in a landscape but not another. For example, while Western red cedar may be a great option for a vertical fence, we’ve found it to be too soft for a deck—especially in a high-traffic area. Granite is a favorite paving choice but needs the right surface treatment to ensure slip-resistance. By using the same material in different finishes (honed granite for a countertop, a thermal finish for paving and a rock-face finish for steps), we can showcase the stone’s variability.
Remember that not all materials need to be maintained—some should be allowed to patina over time and change with the seasons. We love the look of natural wood as it silvers.
—Ryan Moody, ASLA, Moody Graham
Explain the guidelines you apply when siting and designing an outdoor fireplace.
Outdoor fireplaces are often used as a focal element or a termination point on a long access. They are generally big-ticket items, so we site them in areas that will make an impact. Before selecting a fireplace, owners need to take into consideration how it’s going to be powered: wood-burning versus gas, or a combination of the two. They should also consider the fireplace’s relationship to the seating spaces around it, as well as its proximity to other structures. The material selected—whether brick, stucco, stone or steel—really drives the aesthetic we choose; we make an effort to complement or contrast fireplaces with other materials on a project.
—Joseph Richardson, PLA, ASLA, Richardson & Associates Landscape Architecture
DC’s National Museum of Women in the Arts reopened on October 21 after a two-year, $70 million renovation that dramatically updated the 1908 building while respecting its architectural legacy. The Classic Revival gem was designed by architect Waddy Wood as a Masonic temple. Over the years, it also served as an office building and a movie theater before the NMWA purchased the landmark in 1983.
The first major rehab since the museum’s 1987 debut brings it into the 21st century with flexible, expanded exhibition spaces; the Learning Commons complete with a gallery, library and classroom/studio; the updated Performance Hall; better accessibility; and state-of-the-art lighting.
“We’ve designed a forward-looking structure with versatile spaces while also maintaining the building’s historic spirit,” says lead architect Sandra Parsons Vicchio. The Great Hall (above) exemplifies this vision. Its original marble balustrades and coffered ceiling were preserved, as were the circa-1980s marble floors and chandeliers—now lit with LEDs. But a new, neutral palette elevates the space along with reworked gold-leaf accents and, on the mezzanine, custom Holland & Sherry wallpaper framing artwork on view.
“This transformative renovation makes it possible to be bolder and more inventive and imaginative,” notes NMWA director Susan Fisher Sterling, “and to provide strong programming now and into the future.”
Lead Architect: Sandra Parsons Vicchio, AIA, NCARB, LEEP AP, Sandra Vicchio & Associates, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland. Architect of Record: Cara Versace, AIA, NCARB, LEEP AP BD+C, MCA, Baltimore, Maryland. Interior Design of Public Spaces: Eileen Ritter & Associates, Washington, DC. Contractor: Grunley, Washington, DC.
Every year, some 20 local design teams partner with Washington Design Center showrooms to celebrate the holidays. Now in its eighth year, the lively soirée presents dazzling vignettes and tablescapes—ranging from classic to avant garde—made with fabrics and finery sourced at the center.
This year’s Fête will kick off with a public reception on December 5th; attendees can peruse each showroom display, meet the designers and enjoy refreshments. Décor will remain on view through December 8th.
Following is a list of designer-showroom collaborations:
American Eye: Michaela Robinson/Michaela Design
Baker/McGuire: Tobe Design Group
Century: Lorna Gross Interior Design
Cowtan & Tout: Sally Steponkus Interiors
David Sutherland: ColePrévost
Galleria: Marika Meyer Interiors
Hines: Disney Magic
Holland & Sherry: Hendrick Interiors
Holly Hunt: Rebecca Penno/Penno Interiors
John Rosselli: Melissa Colgan Interiors
Kravet: Sarah Bartholomew Design
Michael-Cleary: David Mitchell
Osborne & Little: Jennifer Stoner Interiors
Patterson Flynn: Laura Hodges Studio
Pindler: Donna Wheeler Drapery Designs
Quadrille: b.croft Textile
ROMO: Catherine Ebert Interiors
RUE IV: Kazumi Yoshida/Folding Chair Design
Scalamandré: Haynes Associates/Consider It Done
Schumacher: Annie Elliott Design
Stark: Laura Hildebrandt/Interiors by LH
Home & Design sponsors the event; proceeds benefit Childrens National Hospital. For more information and a complete list of participants when available, visit designcenterdc.com.
El Presidente, Stephen Starr’s latest foray into Washington, celebrates Mexican cuisine in a festive, 6,000-square-foot Union Market locale. Designers at AvroKO conjured its “neo-retro” interiors. The main dining room features an elaborate raw bar while the bar room is crowned by a surrealist diorama depicting scenes of land and sea. Agave spirits reign, with about 100 tequilas and 50 mezcals ready to sample. Menu highlights include fresh seafood, from ceviche to the Gran Torre de Mariscos and prime Tomahawk ribeye with grilled bone marrow. 1255 Union Street, NE; 202-318-4820. elpresidentedc.com
PHOTOS: REY LOPEZ
Scanlan Theodore, an Australian label, has landed in CityCenterDC. Proffering modern, well-crafted women’s wear, the 2,872-square-foot boutique designed by Studio McQualter features a chic lounge (pictured) sporting a vintage Murano glass chandelier and seating dressed in Italian velvet. 983 Palmer Alley, NW. us.scanlantheodore.com
From its low-slung hood to its three-dimensional radiator grille, the 2024 Mercedes-Benz CLE Coupe combines sporty, elegant proportions with modern design. Engine options include four- or six-cylinder, mild-hybrid powertrains with an integrated starter generator and a 48-volt electrical system. The coupe arrives in the U.S. early next year; price to be determined. mbusa.com
LG has launched the world’s first wireless OLED TV. The model 97M3 connects wirelessly to various devices, including gaming consoles and set-top boxes, and is free of all cables except for its power cord. Available in 77-, 83- and 97-inch sizes. From $4,999. lg.com
Harman Kardon’s new Aura Studio Bluetooth speaker, crafted in part out of recycled materials, pairs a sleek look with high-quality sound. With a six-speaker array that fills a room, it houses 324 individual crystals in the base of a dome. Ambient light— programmable in various color moods—dances to the rhythm of what’s playing. $299; harmankardon.com
After traveling a mile through the woods, the car arrives at a berm blanketed in mountain mint. A concrete tunnel in the slope leads to a weathered metal door. It swings open and visitors emerge into the light.
Suddenly a modern refuge unfolds revealing a confluence of earth, water and sky.
If the entry is a bit out of the ordinary, that’s because this is no ordinary house. Pushing the concepts of threshold and boundary, openness and protection, it accentuates the magnitude of a setting where the Potomac River converges with the Chesapeake Bay.
It all started when a DC-based executive acquired the 144-acre Leonardtown, Maryland, property in 2019, then enlisted architect Todd Ray of Page to design a weekend escape on site. The initial request gave Ray pause. “He asked for a Hobbit house,” relates the architect. “I told him, ‘Well, you came to the wrong guy.’”
But as the dialogue deepened, sparks began to fly. “I liked the idea of a home that fits into the land,” the owner explains. “There is something exciting, a bit foreboding and very cool about going through a tunnel into the earth and entering a home you cannot see.”
As Ray and colleague Ana Zannoni collaborated on the plan, they envisioned the main entry as well as other thresholds that would offer revelations of their own. Walking the site, they took cues from black stone jetties protecting the beach. “The cadence of these manmade elements at play with nature,” says Ray, inspired them to carry the lines of the jetties onto the property. They created two massive parti walls that would form the home’s framework, perpendicular to the entry tunnel. “The two big walls created boundaries and have a very strong presence,” says Zannoni.
Social spaces—an open kitchen, living area and reading room—are laid out between the four-and-a-half-foot-thick walls while a dining room, two bedrooms with ensuite baths and a den/guest room are situated on opposite sides of the parallel partitions. A central interior courtyard brings light and greenery into the heart of the kitchen. When the folding doors are open, lines are blurred between the living area, pool terrace and the watery vista beyond.
The architects riffed on contrasts between dark and light and indoor and outdoor conditions. Enclosed passageways signal transitions from public to private realms. For example, a tunnel-like stair leads to a second-floor office with 360-degree views of nature. “Our client wanted the experience of entering a compressed spatial threshold that leads to an unexpected expanse—a place of safety, refuge and wonder,” says Ray.
“The contrast—between feeling contained and protected and instances where we blow out the walls so they almost disappear—is a reminder that we want a connection to the outside but are also conscious that at times, we shelter,” elaborates Zannoni.
A year after its 2022 completion, the owner and his long-time partner were married under the stars on the property. He and his now-husband, a consultant, selected most of the furnishings and building materials. The simple, organic palette pays homage to the architects’ exterior program. Concrete-look tile clads the floor and walls; custom concrete countertops and sinks grace the kitchen and baths. In the primary suite, a living wall illuminated by a skylight brings the outdoors in.
The 4,731-square-foot residence is an ode to the beauty—and fragility—of the site. Equipped with solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling, it has nearly achieved net-zero status. The entry berm was made from soil excavated during construction.
As the project neared completion, landscape architects Ryan Moody and Nick Wittkofski of Moody Graham joined the team. “We pulled the amazingly strong concepts that Todd and Ana developed into the landscape and pulled some of the forest back into the site,” says Moody. Focusing on native species, they planted the berm with silvery mountain mint and fringed the pool terrace with Virginia sweetspire, oakleaf hydrangea and Russian sage.
Continuing the axis established by the jetties and parti walls, concrete pavers extend from the home toward the forest, culminating at two Corten steel panels. “These planes that you can pass through create another portal, a transition point where you enter a different landscape,” says Wittkofski. Ana Zannoni, who launched her own architecture firm in 2022, has designed a new guesthouse and freestanding gym to be built in the woods.
The owners often get away to Leonardtown with friends and family. “They go there to rejuvenate and read, swim and be with nature,” observes Todd Ray.
“Coming here,” muses one resident, standing on the dock near a fleet of paddleboards, “you feel your blood pressure going down. The relaxation of it all is just amazing.”
Architecture: Todd Ray, FAIA; Ana Zannoni, Page, Washington, DC. Landscape Architecture: Ryan Moody, principal; Nick Wittkofski, Moody Graham, Washington, DC. Contractor: J. Johnson Enterprises Inc., Hollywood, Maryland. Landscape Contractor: Hurley Landscape & Design, Leonardtown, Maryland.
What were your initial goals?
My priority was to make the home warm, inviting and livable instead of feeling barren and kind of sparse. With a big, open area on the main level, I also had to create spaces within that space.
Describe the look you were after.
The wife was drawn to a Scandinavian aesthetic. Her husband, who’s from the South, likes modern design but also wanted something that felt familiar and comfortable with lots of wood elements. We landed on contemporary California-meets-traditional Scandi style.
How did the process unfold?
I think about a design project almost like a piece of art. After in-depth discussions with my clients, I come back six to eight weeks later with two options for each room. Everything down to the pillows is pulled together so that they can see how spaces translate visually and tie into other rooms. My goal is to figure out what resonates and to make sure all the options fit their style and needs.
Is it possible to overdo the Scandinavian aesthetic?
Nowadays, people who want a Scandinavian look often shove a bunch of Mid-Century Modern pieces into their homes as opposed to balancing the look out with other things. You have to make sure there’s an equilibrium and that on the whole it feels fresh.
What drove the color palette?
They were open to some color, but I had to be strategic about it. She likes certain warm colors and he likes blues. When selecting neutral pieces, we needed some contrast in order for the rooms to feel balanced and to help bring down the lofty white walls and high windows—to make it feel intimate and cozy.
Explain your criteria for furniture selection.
I wanted to show them a mix of pieces with familiar lines and some Scandi references. So even though they wanted to keep things clean and simple, I thought about ways to introduce a bit of detail in items that are unique. For example, the owners like to sit down and take off their shoes when they arrive home. We had to find something that could hold shoes, but that didn’t look super-utilitarian. Near the front entry, we sourced a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams chest with a carved-wood element on the front; it was perfect.
Why are plants so vital to this project?
Layered plants are key to relieving the “new car smell” of new construction. And since we weren’t installing window treatments or ceiling fixtures, plants became important vertical elements. They bring the eye up so that there is some sort of balance between low and tall pieces in a room.
Why did you mix seating options in the dining room?
My clients were pretty adamant about having a long table that they could pull up to for casual meals. The benches bring in the contrast the space needed; the black leather makes them durable for kids. And the pop of color on the performance-velvet Four Hands chairs grounds the space.
Explain your rug selections.
With kids around, I am a big proponent of making sure that if something spills on a rug, you shouldn’t have to stress. Rugs that combine neutrals with some color and have a pattern are really good for disguising things while making a room feel clean and fresh.
How does art elevate the home?
Creating visual texture on the walls was so important. I selected pieces that represent the design well and have some personal context. I love that the abstract painting in the living room is by a California artist. And in the third-floor office space, a work by Colin Taylor that we found at Calloway Fine Art not only balances the room’s neutrals, but also the window and gorgeous view.
What inspired the primary bedroom?
A beautiful hotel room. Earthy tones give it a minimal feel, but we added a lot of textures that bring dimension to it, like the linen headboard, plum-accented fabrics on the throw pillows and the faux fur on the Four Hands bench. These elements make the room feel comfy and cozy, but not in your face. It has a natural elegance.
Name your favorite haunts for vintage finds.
I love going to Miss Pixie’s on 14th Street and Luckett’s in Virginia.
Describe a recent foray into bold color.
I painted a wall in deep teal—St. John Blue by Benjamin Moore—to show off a ceramic cherry blossom art installation.
Name a wallpaper that you’re crazy about.
I’m in love with Butterfly Sky by Phillip Jeffries. It makes you feel like you’re floating and the little butterflies make it all the more fun.
What’s your take on maximalism?
I’m a fan of Maximalism and its play of color and pattern. I think it’s here to stay. To make it work, you have to avoid clutter. More pattern and color do not necessarily mean more stuff.
What inspired you to become an interior designer?
I wanted to be a designer since I was 11 years old and always styled my own room. Once I saw “Trading Spaces,” it was fuel to the fire.
Interior Design: Mary Jo Major, Rise Interiors, Washington, DC. Stylist: Hayley Garrison Phillips.
McHale Landscape Design was tapped to overhaul an existing landscape and pool on the Severn River in Annapolis. The team installed travertine coping and a vanishing-edge water feature clad in glass tile. “The pool provides a stunning visual and delicate audio effect,” notes McHale’s Sandra Moffatt. “But the sound of a waterfall needs to be taken into consideration. If it’s over 70 decibels, it can make conversation difficult.”
Landscape Design & Contracting: McHale Landscape Design.
On a Mount Vernon property, landscape architect Joseph Richardson created a lily pond with three fountains. Aquatic plants, he notes, require ample sunlight. “Foliage should cover only 60 to 65 percent of the surface to shade the water and maintain a suitable environment.”
Architecture: Rill Architects. Landscape Architecture: Joseph Richardson, PLA, ASLA, Richardson & Associates Landscape Architecture. Landscape Contractor: Black Pearl Management.
An eight-by-16-foot water feature—half spa and half plunge pool—makes the most of its urban footprint in Cleveland Park. The project designed by Blake Dunlevy features a stone wall with a spillway. The wall conceals pool equipment and also displays artwork. “We focus attention on placing pieces within the landscape that complement the surroundings,” Dunlevy notes.
Landscape Design & Contracting: D. Blake Dunlevy, D. A. Dunlevy.
MAKE A SPLASH
Kane Landscapes outfitted a sloped Leesburg poolscape with a waterfall, slide and tiered stone seating. Principal Josh Kane says large boulders are key to creating a natural-looking waterfall. “Also,” he advises, “to make falls look more natural, be sure that water bubbles up rather than shooting out of one area.”
Landscape Architecture: Alan Blalack, RLA; Landscape Contractor: Kane Landscapes, Inc.
“Our client in Lothian, Maryland, wanted an oasis with a pool, slide and waterfall,” says Jeff Crandell of Scapes. The designer surrounded the freeform pool in lilac flagstone coping and ivory travertine decking. Balancing natural stone and plantings softens a hardscape, he contends. “When plants are mixed with materials in different colors, textures and sizes, it creates a natural-looking escape.”
Landscape Design & Construction: Scapes, Inc.
Pristine Acres conceived a luxurious, 10-by-10-foot spa on a compact Aldie, Virginia, property. Embellished with sandblasted marble and specialty tile, it’s sheltered by an overhead structure and concealed by a fir wall. “Privacy and protection from the elements were at the top of the list,” says landscape architect Kevin Kurdziolek. “The structure above provides a refuge from summer sun and light rain.”
Landscape Architecture & Contracting: Pristine Acres.
An Annapolis refuge boasts an ipe veranda with a fireplace, pavilions and a pool rimmed in bluestone. “Privacy was a major concern,” says Michael Prokopchak of Walnut Hill, the landscape contractor. “To resolve this, cryptomeria, Nellie Stevens hollies and arborvitae were strategically placed along the property line.”
Landscape Architecture: OVS. Landscape Contractor: Walnut Hill Landscape Company. Photo: George E. Brown.
Designing a raised spa beside a pool in Great Falls, says Surrounds landscape architect Chad Talton, “visually delineated the pool and rear garden and created additional viewpoints to enjoy.” A sheer-descent waterfall provides ambient sound and a spot where kids can frolic in the falling water.
Landscape Architecture & Construction: Chad Talton, PLA, Surrounds Inc.
SET IN STONE
Tasked with integrating an existing pool into an updated Chevy Chase, Maryland, backyard, Wheat’s Landscape took cues from the home’s modern architecture. To break up large expanses of hardscape, the team surrounded the pool with paving stones set in turf. “Using similar materials in a different way helps define various areas but link them together in harmony,” points out Wheat’s Mark Finlayson.
Landscape Design & Contracting: Mark Finlayson, Wheat’s Landscape.
LAP OF LUXURY
Part of an elaborate Bethesda project by Fine Earth, this spa boasts Western Maryland stone walls, a bench for relaxing and marble facing on its vanishing edge. When selecting materials, president Joel Hafner warns that certain types of stone, including Indiana limestone, can grow soft and peel due to winter freezes and thaws.
Landscape Design & Construction: Fine Earth Landscape, Inc.
A striking poolscape by Lewis Aquatech in Aldie, Virginia, boasts a comprehensive outdoor lighting plan. “Lighting can be one of the most important aspects of a landscape,” says principal Don Gwiz. “During evening hours, soft landscape lighting is nothing short of magical. It provides a warm and inviting ambiance that calls us outdoors, creates a mood and adds inter- est and intrigue to any setting.”
Landscape Design & Contracting: Don Gwiz, Lewis Aquatech.
Last year, nearly a half-million recreational vehicles were sold in the U.S. RVs come in a range of styles and sizes, from bare-bones campers to moveable mansions. Bethesda architectural photographer Anice Hoachlander and husband Peter Hobby, a consultant for USAID, recently decided to find a roving home of their own. Previously the owners of a sailboat and an escape on the Chesapeake, they wanted to see more of the U.S. and Canada.
“We started looking online, but stock brands weren’t quite our style,” says Hoachlander. Then they discovered the perfect solution: Ready Set Van, a New Jersey workshop that outfits new and used vans with clean-lined, handcrafted interiors. “Their mantra is that if you wouldn’t want something in your house, it shouldn’t be in your van,” she says. She and Hobby bought a new Dodge van that was delivered to New Jersey and two months later, drove off in a gleaming Basecamper model. To accommodate photo shoots, Ready Set Van customized the vehicle with a clear plexiglass platform, installed over its solar panels.
Its open-plan layout, stainless-steel appliances and wood finishes spoke to their modern aesthetic. Amenities include an induction cooktop, LED lighting, heating and a/c, a built-in loo and a heated outdoor shower. Solar panels can power the interior for two or three days at a time; lithium batteries can also be charged via the engine through a separate alternator if needed. Unlike oversized RVs, the nimble, 19-foot-eight-inch-long van can be legally parked nationwide. “We love camping but want to experience cities too,” Hoachlander notes.
The couple recently took their maiden voyage to the Finger Lakes. “It’s not hard to drive and handles the highway well,” says Hobby. “We were also on some narrow back roads, and it did them well too.”
Ready Set Van’s Ben Fraser says he founded the company to “create a modern, Manhattan-style pied-à-terre on wheels. It’s our mission to build truly beautiful homes that also enable great adventure.” Builds start at $38,000, plus cost of van. readysetvan.com
The Smithsonian Women’s Committee has reimagined its annual Craft2Wear show. The rebranded event, Craft: Fashion + Home will not only feature wearable art, but also an array of artisan-made home furnishings—from lighting, ceramics, glass, silver and dinnerware to rugs, pillows and throws.
Held at Washington’s National Building Museum from October 5 to 8, the show will feature between 70 and 80 exhibitors, according to interior designer and event chair Susan Vallon. “We’ve strived to bring many young designers to this year’s show, with good price points,” she says. “It’ll be a great venue for early holiday shopping.
“On the fashion side,” Vallon continues, “attendees will find imaginatively designed jewelry, apparel, bags, hats and coats.”
The event will kick off with a benefit gala on October 5, when partygoers can preview and purchase artwork. Proceeds of Craft: Fashion + Home support the educational, research and outreach efforts of the Smithsonian Women’s Committee. Visit smithsoniancraft2wear.org
DC-based fashion designer and style guru Ron David Edwards has opened a third boutique, Ron David Studio, located in Potomac’s Cabin John Village. Look for a curated mix of retail finds and accessories with a definite edge. Fall arrivals (pictured) include a striped knit dress ($198) and powder blue tote in woven leather ($300). rondavidstudio.com
Integrated with Alexa, Netatmo’s Personal Weather Station enables users to track weather and air quality on a micro level. With accessories to measure wind, rain and indoor conditions, the device shares data via smartphone, tablet or computer. Custom alerts manage household activities, from taking in plants before a freeze to turning off sprinklers when it rains. $180; netatmo.com
HIGH-END SOUND ON THE GO
Devised in collaboration with Danish-Italian design duo GamFratesi, Bang & Olufsen’s new Beosound A5 speaker marries Scandinavian style and cutting-edge technology. The portable device delivers 12 hours of play and 280 watts of power, filling large rooms with 360-degree sound. Available in two colorways; natural aluminum is pictured with a woven-paper-fiber front and an oak handle. From $1,049; bang-olufsen.com
Flite, the Australian maker of electric hydrofoils, has debuted Flitescooter, a new model aimed at novice riders. A forward-facing position and the addition of removable handlebars help maintain balance; the large, inflatable board provides extra buoyancy. A built-in, thumb-controlled throttle safely propels the scooter, which lets riders coast on the surface or, when ready, begin to foil (pictured). $12,995; fliteboard.com