Interior Garden Rooms at the 2011 DC Design House

This year's DC Design House — which opens on April 9th — seems perfectly appropriate to help kick off our gardening focus on Apartment Therapy. The sprawling outdoor terraces boast impeccably plush green spaces, while quite a few of the indoor rooms celebrate the borderline-wild appeal of the natural world through whimsical and lush garden touches. A few of my favorite rooms at this year's showhouse display the abundant greens that make a Washington spring so appealing. With this year's delayed spring and subsequently dreary scenery, the garden-inspired indoor rooms were especially refreshing.

• 1-3: Whitney Stewart's garden room is more reminiscent of a plush potting shed than a traditional sitting room. Rather than going for the light and airy vibe of many sunrooms, she used Farrow & Ball's Saxon Green and Calke Green to play up the earthy elements of a spring garden. Just walking into the room makes you feel as if you've taken a deep breath after a rain storm. An inviting chaise tucked in among a tangle of potted plants adds just the right amount of romantic sophistication.

• 4-6: Lauren Liess's hideaway room evokes an immediate sense of both curiosity and relaxation. Subtle natural touches, such as the grasscloth wallcovering and layers of nature-inspired textiles, create an atmosphere of calm, while quirky touches such as the winding gallery wall and grand scale wingback chair — part of Lauren's new furniture line — bring in a sense of Alice In Wonderland whimsy. One of my favorite touches was the custom lamp designed by the talented Rick Singleton which to me appeared equal parts serpentine and flora. Its industrial-like parts gave it edge, while its winding pose lent it a life-like element. After weeks of following Lauren's progress on her blog, Pure Style Home, it was a treat to see the whimsical study in real life.

• 7-8: Camille Saum's dining room marries bold color with unexpected natural elements. The yellow and white painted floors — Farrow & Ball's Babouche and Pointing — and high contrast dining chairs are dramatized by whimsical touches of nature such as a living moss covered mantel nd tempered by the moody gray walls, Farrow & Ball's Light Gray. The high impact room appears both at once classic and edgy, daring and inviting.

For more information about the showhouse, check out the DC Design House Website. The home opens to the public on April 9th.

Images: Leah Moss

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