The finishing touches are being put on Chateau Peyrenc de Moras, the Potomac estate that has been selected for this year's National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Decorators Show House. More than 30 area decorators have applied their talents and visions to individual rooms in the residence.
This is the 32nd year for the NSO Decorators Show House Tour, and it is the most successful fund-raiser for the group. According to Teresa Paul, "It raises about $300,000 each year. It's our biggest fund-raiser. We will have about 15,000 people come through during the month it's open. This is one of the oldest and biggest [showcase homes] in the country."
Funds raised from the tour are applied to educational and community outreach programs for the NSO.
"A lot of people come and look at the house to get decorating ideas for themselves. If you are in the market for a designer, it's a great place to see the work of 30-some designers, all in one place," said Paul.
The home selected each year for the event must meet several demanding physical requirements. "It has to be at least 10,000 square feet and unoccupied for seven months. We find it's often a house that's for sale," said Paul.
Chateau Peyrenc de Moras is modeled after the Rodin Museum in Paris, France. It features twin flying staircases in the foyer entrance, Corinthian columns and pilasters, and reverse-corner panel moldings. The main, two-story, double-archway foyer is an adapted rendering of the entrance in the Theatine Church of San Lorenzo in Turin, Italy.
THE 13,000-SQUARE-FOOT, French-style home has seven bedrooms, eight bathrooms, two libraries, and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools.
Designers originally toured the residence several months ago and then bid on the rooms they were most interested in designing. Barbara Hawthorn, with Barbara Hawthorn Interiors in McLean, was given the opportunity to work on the indoor pool and its immediate surrounding area. Her design pays homage to Coco Chanel with simplicity and classic style. Her design uses the debut of Niermann Weeks' feather chandelier and Lucite dressing tables from Allan Knight.
Hawthorn said, "All the fabrics and floor coverings are suitable for indoor/outdoor use and are easy to clean. It's a tribute to Chanel's legacy of simple elegance and enduring classic style."
According to Paul, the "lines are clean, graceful, whimsical; colors are neutral with bold accents producing wow factor with style and restraint."
Gwen Seidlitz, with Sage in Vienna, decorated the family dining room. "I walk into a room, and it dictates a feeling to me," said Seidlitz. "The owner evidently likes to spend a lot of time in there, so I took that into consideration. It's cozy, with special elements, soft warm tones with rich neutrals," explains Seidlitz. "There's a tone-on-tone feeling that's very warm."
Seidlitz is doing the NSO home for the second year and said there's intense competition among the designers for the rooms and to create the most spectacular room. "There's a lot of politics involved in this house, as you can imagine," said Seidlitz.
Interior Impressions of Bethesda, under the direction of designer Marilyn Poling, undertook the main dining room at Chateau Peyrenc de Moras. Poling, in business for 25 years, uses the NSO house as a way to showcase her talents to potential clients. "I usually do them as a form of advertising," said Poling.
"Some houses appeal to you, some don't. It wasn't the house in this case, it was the room," Poling said. She left the panel molding in the room but added elements, such as pearlizing the ceiling, to make the room stand out while being "a very understated room."
Nearly all the design elements in the house are available to the public. "Generally everything that's in the house is for sale," said Paul. Designers bring in their own objects to complete their scheme. A portion of the profits from the sale of those items goes to the NSO.
Chateau Peyrenc de Moras is located at 9121 River Road, Potomac, Md. The tour will run from Oct. 3- 31 and is open on weekdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and on weekends from noon-5 p.m.. Advance tickets are $15, $20 at the door. A list of select sales locations is available on the Kennedy Center Web site.
There are two restrictions for visitors: No children under 8 are allowed, including infants, and spike heels are prohibited.