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Unforgettable Spaces

Local designers share their favorite home designs from 2012.

Designer, and Arlington resident, Allie Mann created this bathroom using subway shower tiles, porcelain flooring and bright marble counters paired with polished nickel fixtures. Mann says this bathroom was one of her favorite accomplishments in 2012 “because it blends casual comfort with casual elegance.”

Designer, and Arlington resident, Allie Mann created this bathroom using subway shower tiles, porcelain flooring and bright marble counters paired with polished nickel fixtures. Mann says this bathroom was one of her favorite accomplishments in 2012 “because it blends casual comfort with casual elegance.” Photo by Robert Radifera

Local interior designers spend their days mixing colors, accessories and furnishings to create chic and stylish rooms. As the new year begins, some local tastemakers look back on some of their most memorable accomplishments.

Nadia Subaran of Aidan Design names a light-filled Alexandria, kitchen as one of her top accomplishments for 2012. “This … kitchen was designed for an active family with small children and pets, so it was important to provide spaces where the entire family could gather, such as the breakfast nook and multi-level island,” said Subaran.

Storage options abound in the new space, which includes an adjoining butler's pantry. “The ample windows and doors let in plenty of natural sunlight, also important for this busy family,” said Subaran.

Evelyn Nicely of Nicely Done Kitchens in Springfield, fell in love with a Fairfax Station, kitchen she completed near the end of 2012. “I'm particularly proud of this one, because the remodel made a huge improvement in the [homeowners’] daily lives,” said Nicely. “[It] was not only outdated, but it wasn't functional and it didn't have enough storage.”

“I’m particularly proud of this one, because the remodel made a huge improvement in the [homeowners’] daily lives.”

— Evelyn Nicely, Nicely Done Kitchens

The new kitchen now includes a spacious refrigerator, double ovens and a cook-top with six burners. “Updated lighting highlights the custom cabinetry, while interior lighting in the glass cabinets and under cabinet lighting create the overall ambient effect,” said Nicely.

Potomac, Md., designer Sharon Kleinman’s 2012 masterpiece was the weekend home of a busy family that sits on an expansive horse farm in Mount Airy, Md. “This was a farmhouse that needed to be completely redone design-wise,” said Kleinman. “The client does a lot of entertaining with friends and family, so we gutted the kitchen to make plenty of room for multiple cooks.”

The remodeled kitchen is now a light, airy space with granite counter tops in hues of cream, gray and sand. “The prior cabinets were dark wood, but for the new design, we chose cabinets with a creamy finish,” continued Kleinman. “We decided to forgo a kitchen table and instead designed a large island that became the central hub.”

The curvaceous light fixtures that dangle above the island are made of iron and thick glass. “They are fun and have a sense of whimsy,” said Kleinman. There is also whimsy in the subtle horse theme that runs throughout the home, echoing the outdoor scenery.

The flooring on the home’s main level is made from wide-plank, distressed wood, and the living room was transformed into a space that serves as both a family room and an office. “Over the sofa there is a picture of a horse and rider. We used that painting — the bright red riding jacket and the camel colors — as the inspiration for the room,” said Kleinman. “The sofa is in a herringbone fabric, which we accented with chocolate pillows. We added red leopard print for a little bit of whimsy.”

Arlington designer Allie Mann’s top project was the bathroom she created for the 2012 DC Design House. “I love the bathroom … because it blends casual comfort with casual elegance, while incorporating many of the design trends I continue to see this year: subway shower tiles, porcelain flooring and bright marble counters paired with polished nickel fixtures,” said Mann, a project designer for Case Design/Remodeling, Inc. “Custom elements such as the window seat and striped walls add elements of uniqueness and style.”