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2013 DC Design House Unveiled

Annual event raises money for Children’s National Medical Center.

About two dozen of the area’s leading interior designers will show off their creations while also helping a local charity during the 6th Annual DC Design House. The Washington, D.C., Design House is an annual event during which the area’s top tastemakers collaborate to design a home and raise money for Children’s National Medical Center. The home is open to the public from April 14 until May 12.

The designer selection process is competitive and an invitation to design one of the home’s rooms is considered one of the most elite in the industry.

Jeff Akseizer and Jamie Brown, of Akseizer Design Group in Alexandria, were tapped to design the loft-media room. “It’s exciting to be part of such a wonderful cause and to share in the creation of a design house with such talented designers,” said Brown.

“We were able to work with the children of Children’s National Medical Center to create a black and white art wall featuring their works,” Akseizer added.

Andrea Houck, of A. Houck Designs in Arlington, designed the French modern bar and a side hall. She found the home’s new construction and large rooms to be one of the appealing features. “Inspired by exotic travels that take us away from the everyday, I created a young, fresh, chic French modern bar and side hall that elevate this area of the main floor to its rightful place,” she said.

Her space was small, which presented a design challenge. “[It] required extensive renovation to create a transformed space I would want to showcase,” said Houck. “I wanted to elevate the bar area to a level that was in keeping with the other first floor rooms of the house.”

The designer said the use of varied textures adds to the space’s aesthetic allure. “From the crinkle-textured waves of the fabric on the elegant bench to the sleek crispness of the acrylic waterfall console, to the organic beauty of the golden caramel onyx bar top, it’s the mix of these materials that I find exciting,” Houck said.

Arlington resident Allie Mann of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc., created the home’s Away Room. “Secluded, calm and serene, that’s the essence of the Away Room,” she said. “This space gives one the opportunity to write, reflect and escape. There is no sense of time or urgency here.”

Claire Schwab, of Claire Schwab Interior Design in Alexandria, was selected to design the master mezzanine and says her design strategy was influenced by nature. “We wanted that airy, fresh feel — a real retreat for outside the master bedroom,” she said. “There was an opportunity to make this space so much more than just a hallway. We began with a serene palette of light and natural tones and gentle blue/greens to create a sophisticated base atmosphere for our design.”

The space is narrow, which presented Schwab with her biggest design obstacle. “Narrow spaces can be a challenge, but selecting pieces with appropriate scale, employing thoughtful placement, and highlighting the propitious features of the house kept the feeling luxurious. One of our favorite elements is the antique Chinese Qinghai altar table sourced from a local shop. This piece, along with the fabrics on the ottomans, gives a global intrigue and individuality to the space,” she said.

Other features in the home include a marble foyer that leads to formal living and dining rooms complete with fireplaces and bay windows. The home boasts an infinity pool in the backyard, which can be viewed from the kitchen and breakfast room. The third floor loft has skylights, a wet bar and a balcony that offers views of the city’s monuments in the distance.

The DC Design House, which is on the market for $14.9 million, opens for public tours on April 14.