Name: Colman Riddell
Location: Georgetown; Washington, DC
Size: 1,700 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years; Owned
Colman's house first appeared on Apartment Therapy last December. Having made several changes in the past year, she invited us to revisit the converted stable — which dates back to the 1850s — for a full tour.
Colman, a nurse-turned-decorator, shares the home with her husband, two children, and their Boston Terrier, Pim. Recently, she's completed several projects, including an envy-inducing kitchen update (cherry stained cabinets got fresh coats of Farrow & Ball Pointing; sugar white marble counter tops were installed; that chic boa wallpaper — originally intended only for the ceiling — went on the walls).
Additionally, Colman had the entry painted by DC-based decorative painter Deborah Weir, and she covered the popcorn walls (yes, popcorn walls) in the dining room with grasscloth — a stylish, lower budget alternative to re-plastering.
Colman admits that she could stand to have a few extra square feet, but the former stable feels more cozy than cramped, aided in large part by the expansive double height ceiling in the living room. Light floods in through the stained glass windows — which were added to the house in the 1970s and are rumored to have once belonged to the Iranian Embassy — and I couldn't help but laugh and nod in agreement when I read this comment on the original post: "Stained glass windows and 30 foot ceilings? I want to be a Georgetown horse."
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Neutral with global artifacts.
Inspiration: Travel, Book Hill antique shops in Georgetown, City life, Designers John Saladino, John Dickinson, Vincente Wolf, and Nancy Braithwaite
Favorite Element: The double height ceiling in the living room.
Biggest Challenge: The double height ceiling in the living room. Just kidding. STORAGE! Biggest challenge is fitting a family of 4 into a pied-à-terre!
What Friends Say: "Wow, what a surprise! In Georgetown? Who knew?" "Was this a church?" Strangers say, "Is this a bar?"
Biggest Embarrassment: The popcorn surface of the living room walls. Re-plastering was not in the budget. I covered the popcorn surface in the dining room with grasscloth.
Proudest DIY: Framing. The large living room medical prints of skulls came from eBay, and I framed them at the You-Frame-It. I also framed the Gendron Jensen animal bone sketches in the dining room.
Biggest Indulgence: Lighting. I don't really consider an indulgence, but a necessity on many levels.
Best Advice: "BUY THIS HOUSE!" from my parents.
Dream Sources: Holly Hunt, Dennis & Leen, Darryl Carter's store in the Shaw neighborhood of DC, Marston Luce in Georgetown, Oly Studio.
Resources of Note:
- Sculpture – the lovely and fabulous Colorado sculptor, Claire McArdle
- Rug on stairs – Georgetown Carpet
- Wall color – Farrow & Ball Shaded White and Slipper Satin; painted by decorative painter Deborah Weir
- Hanging light fixture – Visual Comfort
- Rug – Georgetown Carpet
- Wall color – Benjamin Moore Ballet White
- Stained glass windows – apparently installed from Iranian Embassy in the 1970s
- Chairs in front of radiator "desk" – Lorts
- Mirror over fireplace – was here when we bought the house
- Blue/grey chair to right of fireplace – designed by architect Bobby McAlpine
- Table under windows – custom
Club chairs in corner – TCS (trade only)
- Chandelier – Currey and Co.
- Sofa – Martha Stewart for Belfort
- Oval mirror next to sofa – Lucketts Antiques
- Chairs in center of room – TCS
Ottoman – custom design by me, fabricated by upholsterers, Looney and Sons
- Chairs – imported from Beijing
- Corner cabinet – belonged to my grandmother
- Mirror over bar – Ekster Antiques
- Chandelier – Visual Comfort
- Wallcovering – Thibaut grasscloth
- Wallcovering – Boa by Osbourne & Little
- Ceiling light fixture – Visual Comfort
- Cabinets – Farrow & Ball Pointing
- Wallpaper – Thibaut stripes
- Mirror – Oatlands Antique Show
- Ceiling light fixture – Visual Comfort
- Window treatment – fabric from Groundworks, I made it
Bedding – Matouk
Bedside chest – Wisteria
Lamp – Visual Comfort
Mirror over chest – Wisteria
- Rug – needlepoint rug by Stark
Bunk beds – Atlantic Bunk Beds
- Wall color – Banjamin Moore chalkboard gray; trees by decorative painter Deborah Weir
- Window treatment – fabric by Lee Jofa, CT Design workroom
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