Looking to freshen up your space this summer? In today’s post, our staff share their favorite summer-inspired decor picks from La Collection. Bring the long, lazy days of summer inside with one of these fantastic finds!

 

Hot Air Balloon

These hot air balloons remind me of summer through their playful colors and cheerful vibes. The colors inspire me to reminisce on my childhood family vacations taken during the summers, where we could venture out to the carnivals, fairs and festivals around Maryland.

 – Madeline Owens, Marketing Intern

 

 

Kettle Gourd Vase

This gorgeous pottery reminds me of summer because of its bright colors and patterns as well as its embracing shape. I imagine it on a blue veranda somewhere sunny with a warm breeze gently moving the rosemary…colors, scents…summer delights.

 – Sabine Roy, Owner

 

 

Maui Beach Nirvana by Marlene Alexander

This one is a no-brainier when it comes to summer decor. Beach scenes are the epitome of summer living!

 – Brendan Horman, Certified Interior Designer

 

 

Rose Sculpture

This elegant rose bud vase is perfect for housing summertime flowers to adorn any table top.

 – Jessica Whitehurst, Design Intern

 

 

Amaryllis, Large

I just love the vibrance in the red of these flowers. They just scream warmth, and what isn’t warm about DC summers?

– Lyle Ganz, Associate

 

 

Tenaya Lake on the Tioga Road, Yosemite National Park by Sue Fierston

Sue Fierston’s gorgeous watercolors remind me of times spent hiking with family and friends. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the great outdoors in the summer than with the picturesque Yosemite and great company.

– Abigail Youngstrom, Staff Designer

 

 

Vintage Bird Cage

This antique bird cage reminds me of the bird feeder and bird bath my husband and I recently installed in out backyard. I’m looking forward to lazy summer nights on the patio, sipping wine and watching the birds visit.

 – Jennie Crouch, Certified Interior Designer & Brand Coordinator

 

 

Vintage Water Can Floral Arrangement

Summer is all about gardening and flowers! I love capturing that essence in these preserved real flowers that would be the perfect accompaniment to a prominent console in the home.

– Jessica Watts, Associate

 

 

Three years ago, I decided, for several reasons, that I wanted to design and build myself a tiny house. Designing a tiny house is a fun and rewarding exercise, but it has its challenges depending on the format in which you’re working. I’m designing my house to fit inside a shipping container. This limits the width of the entire house to 8 feet across. Now imagine the thickness of insulated walls on either side, and in a cut through the galley kitchen, a 24-inch countertop on either side. This leaves very little room for much else in that area. While the countertops don’t extend the full 40-foot length of the house, there are some things to consider when the goal is maximizing usage of a small space.

With a central, linear circulation path from one end of my house to the other, it’s important to make sure that this space stays clear, so occupants can traverse the house. However, in a house with such limited space, it seems like a waste to devote that strip of floor space solely to circulation. I began to ask myself how many things have a temporary usage area? Think of the clearance a refrigerator door requires as it swings; the space drawers take up when they’re pulled open; the space in front of a sofa that you shuffle through to get to your favorite seat. If I could take all these areas that may otherwise have their own dedicated space in a house, and overlap them with my path of circulation, I can make the most of the space I have. If you want to get extra crafty, you can try to convert your remaining furniture that requires dedicated space into furniture that doesn’t!

The concept of transforming furniture never occurred to me until I was in college, and when I discovered Murphy beds, I was hooked on space-saving. Collapsing or folding furniture expands on the idea of multi-functional spaces and gives the user a chance to have a space serve one function at one minute, and another function the very next minute. In one of my older tiny house designs, I had a table that folded down from the end wall of the house and sat between two banquettes. Imagine a booth seat at a restaurant, where the table can fold up into the wall. When dinner was over, and it came time to relax, the table could be folded up into the wall. One of the benches had a hollow back that would descend into the seat of the banquette, revealing a wall-mounted TV. With an interior wall-to-wall dimension of 7 feet, the TV would still be at a comfortable viewing distance from those sitting on the opposite banquette. Just like that, a space can be transformed from a functional dining area into a cozy living room!

You don’t need to have a tiny house, or even a lack of space to incorporate smart space-saving designs. At the very least, overlapping occasionally used areas and utilizing transforming furniture will make your space more versatile and visually tidier. Do you use any techniques or special furniture to transform spaces at home? Let us know!

 

Brendan Horman is a Certified Interior Designer at SR/A.  He resides with his girlfriend, Alex, in Gaithersburg, Md., though, sadly, not in a tiny house. 

Design is unlike math and science. There is not one formula, one right answer, or one way to solve a problem. Working through a design challenge is by no means a linear progression, and critiques and teamwork are critical. The creative process is difficult to describe but essential to experience. As designers, we create, and therefore, we learn by doing—be it in a classroom or at an internship.

Like many students studying interior architecture, I understand the technical skills necessary to be an interior designer. We learn the software, understand codes, build our models, and challenge ourselves to make decisions that reinforce our concept. We know that design impacts the life, safety, and wellbeing of others. However, we rarely have opportunities to work on real-world projects. After graduation, adjusting from hypothetical to real applications can be intimidating. We remember the stages of design, the classification of materials, and the different types of construction documents, but we have not yet practiced them outside of the academic setting.

For these reasons and more, internships are imperative. Though we may not realize it, we learn so much through observation. By interning, we see design concepts evolve from conceptual drawings into three-dimensional spaces. In school, students present a final project and move onto the next one. We are not able to experience the phase of construction. In the real world, a “final” presentation is not really the end, and construction may not begin for a couple of years. Furthermore, firms do not just work on one project at a time. Instead, they juggle several simultaneously—all of which are likely in different stages of design or construction. Interns begin to understand the pace at which people must design in a professional setting. Perhaps it took a couple of days to select finishes for a school project, but in a real work environment we must make decisions more efficiently. Since design firms function as a team, everyone must submit their contributions on time so that the project can move forward. If possible, no one wants to be responsible for a project falling behind its deadline. After all, time is money. This is essential to understand upon entering the workplace after graduation.

Having been an intern at SR/A Interior Design for several months, I appreciate the benefits of an internship first hand. Due to its size, I have gotten to interact with everyone on the team and observe the true collaborative nature of design. When I am assigned a task, someone explains what I am doing and why. I am always learning something new. Every week, representatives visit the office and present their products. I took a materials course in school, but these meetings—in addition to working in the firm’s design library—greatly enhanced my understanding of materiality. In fact, many of the finishes that I selected for my graduate thesis were discovered while interning. SR/A also has a gallery filled with local art, and it has been great to see how a design firm is passionate about all aspects of design—be it the amenity spaces in their multi-family projects or displays throughout the gallery.

Now that I am wrapping up my graduate studies, I cannot imagine preparing to enter the design field without this internship experience. Supplementing your education with real-world applications from people interested in your training/development is imperative. DC is such a great design community, and I am excited to have gotten to work with such an amazing team at SR/A!

 

Jessica Whitehurst is a Design Intern at SR/A. She is graduating later this month with an M.F.A in Interior Architecture + Design from George Washington University. 

In being a part of Real Art on a Shoestring from the beginning stages, it was an incredible experience to watch the art collection and event all come to fruition. Lights were hitting each piece of art just right, there was a constant buzz and chatter of guests admiring each piece, and the room radiated with a festive spirit as we all appreciated original, affordable art together.

Real Art on a Shoestring was my first event since being with SR/A, and I witnessed over a hundred art enthusiasts join the SR/A staff and 20 participating artists for this opening reception at SR/A La Collection. Since the SR/A team always loves a party, we also took this occasion to celebrate the firm’s 15-year anniversary – Real Art on a Shoestring was a celebratory evening on all fronts.

To keep guests entertained, we added an interactive element to this event. We hung a large event sign in the middle of a moveable wall and entwined invisible fishing line all around the sign. When guests arrived, they were given a brightly-colored shoelace to hang anywhere, in any fashion, on the wall. The idea behind this element was to signify how art should be about community, fun, and creativity. The wall, now overlaid with multi-colored shoelaces, stands tall in our gallery as a real work of art representing community collaboration.

Along with watching the shoestring wall flourish as the night went on, I also enjoyed meeting and mingling with a lot of the artists showcasing their artwork. Sue Fierston – a painter and print-maker who “walks the line between realism and abstraction” – was definitely one of my personal favorites. It was as if she was painting a picture right in front of me while I listened to her detail the inspiration she experienced from Yosemite National Park. Another notable favorite of mine, displaying her art at La Collection, was Stefanie Stark. Stefanie’s paintings were a mixture of abstract painted florals and whimsical colors that emulated spring, light, and hope. After talking with her about her collection, she noted her hopes were for viewers to get “lost” in her paintings as much as she does. After standing and admiring her largest piece, “Watching Flowers in the Rain,” it was as if I was taken back to my childhood days, spending time with my parents, planting flowers in the garden, and listening to them instruct me not to overwater them (as I tended to do) – a semi-comical, yet special memory I have. Another showcased artist, Fabiano Amin, was a high-spirited and enthusiastic element to the event. His abstract pieces were displayed on one of the front walls in the gallery, and they were definitely catching guests’ attention as they entered the gallery.

Though the art sales from Real Art on a Shoestring made it a successful evening for our artists, the energy during this art opening alone made it a triumphant occasion that I am elated to have been a part of. It was a remarkable experience to have all of the puzzle-pieces come together for Real Art on a Shoestring, and I am very excited for the next event at La Collection. For now, I will enjoy and appreciate my workspace being so immersed in these inspiring art collections that will be on display through Summer 2018.

 

Madeline Owens is a Marketing Intern at SR/A Interior Design. She graduates later this month with a B.S. in Marketing and Supply Chain from the Smith School of Business at University of Maryland – College Park. 

There are many great benefits to cultivating relationships with reps and keeping up with the latest products on the market. Luckily, being intentional with the first will ensure the latter since reps are always well informed about the newest developments within the design world. Their knowledge, resourcefulness, and initiative can be key in helping you stay at the forefront of an ever-changing industry. With a well-established partnership, reps can become a considerable asset and effectively an extension of your design team.

The most obvious advantage to working with a rep is their depth of knowledge on their particular product which makes them a valuable reference when specifying. A rep can lead you in the right direction to pick the best solution for the current application and budget, provide install guidance, and work with contractors to ensure proper adherence to installation specifications.

Great reps not only offer quality products, but frequently provide additional services and support for your team. Once a relationship has been established they often readily assist in helping find reselection options if a product is discontinued or backordered, provide lighting packages with RCPs and specification documents, order extra assembly components, overnight a material or finish sample to your client, even help value engineer your design by suggesting similar alternative products that fit your budget. You may also find that with the right rapport reps are more willing to advocate on your behalf when problems arise with lead times, customer service claims, or other unexpected issues.

In addition, when given a friendly face associated with a name, your relationship with reps become more personal. They want to work together with you instead of simply providing a product and supplementary data. With a seemingly endless number of new and innovative products on the market, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start when you need to specify a product with specific constraints. By sending a concise description of the parameters and aesthetic you’re looking for, the best reps will respond with a list of optional products (from their lines, of course) that fit your request. And don’t be surprised if over time you find a rep you work with regularly is eager to have you be the first to see and get samples of the latest products, often before they even have samples available!

 

Abigail Youngstrom is a Staff Designer with SR/A Interior Design. She earned her degree in interior design from Baylor University in 2012. Originally from Texas, Abigail enjoys exploring all the sights and sounds of DC with her husband Nick.

Whether you are a designer or homeowner ready to tackle the next project, our design gallery, La Collection, is in the middle of a design hub that you just might want to take note of. Making the most of your time is critical when you have a million decisions to make for that renovation to take flight. There’s no doubt that having several resources steps away from each other can definitely be a BIG help to streamline the process. Nestled in close proximity to downtown Bethesda, this design rich district is located on Wisconsin Ave., in Chevy Chase (technically) and is just right around the corner from the Bethesda Row district. Join me on this virtual tour to discover these great resources!

 

Art & Decor

1. La Collection

Naturally, I had to start off with our gallery. Although I am prejudiced, it is definitely a resource you don’t want to miss out on! La Collection is the public retail gallery of SR/A Interior Design, a boutique commercial interior design firm owned by Sabine Roy. La Collection is a curated collection of antiques and vintage items designed to be an ever-changing source of inspiration to our customers. Find that special item to add interest to your space and check out the new collection of original artwork.

 

7020 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.560.3700

 

2. Marin-Price Galleries

Artwork is the finishing touch to any room. Browse through this prolific collection of artwork and you are sure to find a piece to fit any taste. Marin-Price Galleries has been in Chevy Chase for over twenty years, specializing in contemporary American artists, including Joseph Sheppard, March Avery, Robert D’Arista, Jeremiah Stermer, William Woodward Lee Newman, and many others.

 

7022 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.718.0622

 

3. Sloan and Kenyon

Love the excitement of an auction? Sloan and Kenyon may be your spot. They are committed to providing a world-class estate auction house for buyers and sellers of art, antiques and collectibles. You’ll find the auction house downstairs upon entering. If you enjoy hunting for the perfect piece, the upstairs portion of the building is filled with reasonably priced items on consignment. You have to dig through their vast collection of vintage treasures, but that is part of the fun!

 

7034 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.634.2330

 

4. Parvizian Fine Rugs

With so many rugs on the market today, finding a high-quality rug still makes a huge impact in a room (and lasts longer too). Every rug at Parvizian is chosen by Abdi Parvizian personally whose extensive experience in the rug industry leads him to choose the very best. Every rug sold is guaranteed for authenticity of origin and fine quality. If you end up with a rug from here, you’ll be among notable clientele including the White House.

7000 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.654.8989

 

5. Chevy Chase Design Center

This resource is new in town but sure to have a wealth of beautiful design related products that you’ll find hard to resist.  The Chevy Chase Design Center brings a mix of traditional and contemporary designs to the area, creating a center where architects, designers, and interior decorators can work with customers to create their perfect home décor.  They are open to the public too.  Their sizable space has everything from exquisite rugs and furniture to fine art and sculpture.

5510 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.229.4472

 

Kitchen & Bath

1. KBR Kitchen & Bath

KBR is ready and equipped to handle your kitchen and bath project.  They not only have a ton of samples to kick off the design direction, they are also a Class A, licensed and insured contractor serving the DC region.  KBR employs experienced designers, project managers, in-house professional crews, and office staff for complete client satisfaction.   Their expertise and resources ensure each project is done in a satisfactory, timely and excellent manner.

7008 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
888.952.7669

 

2. Kitchen & Bath Studios

This studio isn’t afraid to take on a luxury project and have created beautiful projects in thousands of luxury homes throughout the DC metropolitan area since 1993.    At their showroom you can see displays showing the latest trends in cabinets, countertops, appliances, and back splash materials.  Set up an appointment with one of five experienced designers and they’ll also work with your architects, interior designers, builders, and contractors to collaborate on remodel or new construction projects.

7001 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.657.1636

 

3. Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

Even from the street Jennifer Gilmer’s showroom is an impressive sight so there’s no question that you’ll find just what you need for a showstopper kitchen or bath.  From its inception in December 1997, Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd. has earned a reputation for innovative, high-end, luxurious kitchen and bath design, delivering quality products with exceptional service.  They create detailed drawings, provide product specifications, and job site binders that contain all the details necessary to assure seamless installation.

6935 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.657.2500

 

4. Poggenpohl

Poggenpohl offers cabinetry that perfectly compliment the modern home and have been around since 1892, so you can rest assured they know what they are doing!  Some of the kitchen firsts that are attributed to Poggenpohl are white lacquer kitchen furniture, ergonomic work-top heights, and the development of the kitchen island.  Technical expertise, materials of the highest quality, meticulous craftsmanship and trend-setting design go into every Poggenpohl kitchen.  Visit their studio where skilled designers share their valuable knowledge and are able to translate their customers’ visions on an ideal kitchen into reality.

6809 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.657.8618

 

5. Bray & Scarff

Appliance selections are a must for any kitchen project, and Bray & Scarff is an excellent resource for top of the line brands not carried at big box stores.  Each salesperson is a factory trained expert who continually receives manufacture training to keep abreast of latest models and features to better help guide you in finding the one that will fulfill all your needs.  They also have kitchen design consultants on staff to help you manage the entire process from planning permits, electrical, and plumbing to delivery and installation.

6801 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.654.4150

 

6. Galliher & Huguely Associates

Even with a storefront showroom, you’ll be surprised at all the ways Galliher & Huguely will be able to fit into your project needs.  For over a 100 years, they have been serving the nation’s capital for all of its building needs and has become a well-recognized name among builders, contractors, and homeowners.  Their departments include lumber, hardware, building supplies, masonry, doors, windows, millwork, and cabinets.  You can also get started on a kitchen or bath remodel project in their Chevy Chase showroom.   Their experienced design sales team can assist you with the design of a new kitchen, necessary field measurements for cabinets, windows, and doors, and make recommendations on which moldings and designer hardware would be best suited for your application.

4618 Leland St
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
240.396.6137

 

Tile

1. Architectural Ceramics

I never knew tile could be like artwork until visiting the Architectural Ceramics showroom.  There are so many selections that will leave you drooling and simultaneously inspired.  Architectural Ceramics, deemed “where the architects and designers shop” by Washingtonian Magazine, is a comprehensive tile and stone company servicing the design industry. This includes, but is not limited to, the homeowner, designer, builder, contractor, architect, and installer. Established in 1985, Architectural Ceramics is a family-owned and operated corporation.  Their employees take great pride in their expertise and enjoy working with clients through every stage of their projects to ensure the creation and fulfillment of a unique and striking space.

6807 Wisconsin Ave
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301.718.8343

 

Other Resources Nearby

  1. Pottery Barn: 4750 Bethesda Ave #31 / Bethesda, MD 20814 / 301.654.1598
  2. William Sonoma: 4824 Bethesda Ave / Bethesda, MD 20814 / 301.718.3071
  3. Mattress Firm: 6950 Wisconsin Ave / Chevy Chase, MD 20815 / 301.656.2941
  4. Mattress Warehouse: 6930 Wisconsin Ave / Chevy Chase. MD 20815 / 301.656.1570

 

Jessica Watts is an Associate at SR/A. She enjoys incorporating her background in high-end residential design into each of SR/A’s commercial projects. 

We are excited to announce the next exhibit showing at La Collection – Real Art on a Shoestring!  20 local artists in a variety of disciplines will be exhibiting over 100 pieces all priced under $750. Unlike typical art galleries, SR/A believes art displays best as it would in a person’s home – surrounded by furniture, accessories and antique treasures, so at the gallery you will see each artist’s collection paired with complimentary furnishings. We promise – owning original art is not out of your budget! All are welcome at the opening reception on April 26!