Before & Afters from DC Design Pros

One of the most satisfying parts of any project is comparing the Before & After photos. A glimpse through my photo folder of the 2010 DC Design house made me marvel at the transformations that took place in just a month!

As the designers of this year's DC design house prepare to get started on the new house later this month, it's fun to peek at the progress made in last year's showhome. Every year, the house chosen is one with great potential and stunning architectural details, and last year's beaux arts mansion was no exception. Even so, jarring color choices and dated finishes left something to be desired — some of DC's best designers were up for the challenge!

• 1-2: Rose DiNapoli of Morris DiNapoli transformed the dark and dated room into a restful but sophisticated study. In addition to changing the color palette, removing the cabinetry and adding wainscoting created an open and cohesive feel in the small room.

• 3-5: Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey of SCW brought out the subtle drama of the foyer, staircase, and upstairs hall. The chic striped wallpaper, bold paintings, and stunning light fixtures added an unexpected punch while still having it relate perfectly to the feel of the rest of the house.

• 6-7: Michael Hampton transformed the dramatic guest room into a tailored but sumptuous bedroom. His subtle color choices and swathes of fabric brought out the room's softer qualities. The drapes behind the bed made the whole room seem more refined.

• 8-9: Sally Steponkus swathed the master bedroom in crisp and inviting neutrals which transformed the once dark space into a luminous retreat. Her subtle patterns gave the traditional space and furnishings a clean and upbeat feel, all the while exuding a sense of relaxation.

• 10-11: I was especially interested to see what Nestor Santa-Cruz did to the boldly faux-finished reception/sitting room. In past design houses, he has left large parts of the previous ornamentation in place and creatively incorporated it into his new vision. Such was the case with this room. Although he painted over the celestial ceiling mural, he left the faux-stone walls and ceiling grid untouched and worked around them, creating a sleek urban room.

• 12-13: Kelley Proxmire revived the upstairs family room with deep browns and crisp whites. The high contrast color choice, graphic upholstery, and youthful artwork lent a fresh air to the once tired room.

• 14-15: Frank Babb Randolph transformed the grand living room into a serene and sophisticated gathering spot. Although he swapped out the electric peach wall color for a restful gray, he infused parts of the room with bold hues reminiscent of the previous room's palette. Frank's color choices made the most of the fabulous light and beautiful architectural details of the room.

Keep an eye out for more details on the 2011 DC Design house!

Images: Leah Moss