Local Designer Honored

Local Designer Honored

Alexandria tastemaker blends a variety of styles.

Old Town Alexandra-based interior designer Anna Kucera has a knack for helping her clients turn their fanciful ideas in to concrete realities.

"Getting to know my clients and looking for areas where I can create solutions for them is the first place I begin," said Kucera, who lives in the Belle Haven section of Alexandria. "I purposely don’t ascribe to a signature style because my design philosophy is to interpret a client’s aesthetic preferences and help them bring their style to life. By guiding them to experience their surroundings in a new way, what they love about their home is enhanced."

Kucera was honored for that talent recently when she received a 2014 Best of Houzz award for customer satisfaction. Clients who know her say the award is well deserved.

Ideas for a Spring Home Spruce Up

"A refresh of art and accessories is a great way to welcome spring into your home. Think color and brightness. For example, swap out your sofa pillows for ones with an unexpected color. Place small bud vases throughout your home and as blossoms appear around your yard, simply place one here and there. Display your children or grandchildren’s colorful art in a prominent place. Change the arrangement on your mantel or dining table by adding spring green candles and a bowl of pebbles with moss."

— Anna Kucera

Kucera designed several rooms in the Alexandria home of Susan McLeod. "Anna’s integrity is evident in everything she does, from her family, faith friends and most importantly her works. Her ethics seem to be the foundation from where everything else is built," said McLeod. "It is nice as a homeowner to be able to trust a designer. She’s easy to communicate with and listens very well. If she doesn’t understand a vision that I’m trying to get across to her, she asks the right questions to be able to get out of you what you like and what you don’t like. Anna designed window treatments, selected paint colors, wall paper, helped with fabrics for upholstery and made carpet selections."

Kucera, who has a master of fine arts in interior design from The George Washington University, applied her design ideology to the living room of a home in Mount Vernon. "My client grew up in Williamsburg, Va., and had several lovely traditional pieces of furniture given by her mother that she wanted to incorporate into her new home," said Kucera. "While my client’s aesthetic is steeped in traditional style, she and her husband sought a current look for their young family. We blended the traditional furniture forms with a fresh color palette incorporating a variety of texture and pattern."

The designer used whimsical accessories, "pops of unexpected color and personal photos" to design a space that reflects the family who lives there."

In Old Town Alexandria, Kucera redesigned a master bedroom for a client who wanted to create an elegant space without compromising comfort. "My client requested a sophisticated, yet comfortable retreat in her master bedroom. She longed for a space that is soothing and feminine," said Kucera. "The room has a vaulted ceiling and lovely natural light. To accentuate the high ceilings and beautiful windows, I designed a bed canopy and corresponding drapery panels."

Kucera used window treatments to help create ambiance. "Beneath the drapery panels are translucent natural woven shades, which diffuse the intensity of sunlight while still allowing light to flood the room during the day," she said. "The drapery panels may be closed for both privacy and light control."

Chic accessories make the room a comfortable retreat. "Swing-arm lamps are mounted above the bed for bedtime reading. In the corner of the room is an upholstered rocker with an ottoman, which offers an additional cozy spot for reading and relaxation."

Julie Duke, of Alexandria, is another satisfied customer. She met Kucera shortly after the 2011 earthquake rocked the Washington, D.C. region. "My house was severely damaged …including collapsed ceilings and buckling floors," said Duke. "Anna came in and helped me negotiate not only the reconstruction of my home, but then once the construction aspect was done, we set about redecorating room by room. It was a two-year process. She was so professional, listened so well with regard to my taste and worked with the existing things in my home that were salvageable."

Kucera may appreciate the award and her clients’ praise, but, she says, "The best compliment to my work is when a client hears … a friend [say], ‘This is so you!’"