What: D.C. Apartment Therapy Design Evenings Who: "Mid-Century Madness: Exploring DC's Love Affair with Mid-Century Modern," with Suzanne McLees (center), Michael Shapiro (right), Rob Chapman (left) Where: The Dunes When: September 27, 2011 RSVP: 47 Organizer: Desiré Greene September's Apartment Therapy Design Evening paid tribute to the wildly popular design period from last century's mid-century, a style that particularly resonates with DC-area residents. The discussion, lead by organizer Desiré Greene, featured an expert panel representing both Mid-Century Modern (MCM) architecture and furnishings: Robert Chapman, purveyor of MCM furniture, Suzanne McLees, former northeast director of Design Within Reach and resident of the modernist community Hollin Hills, and Michael Shapiro, blogger, realtor and MCM architecture expert. Each panelist had a true passion for the period - lauding its genius and frowning upon knock-offs and potentially tasteless reinterpretations. Suzanne advised that it would be better to save your money for an authentic MCM piece than to purchase a low-quality copy. In fact, craftsmanship and durability ranked highly among MCM's celebrated attributes; "Buy once, buy right" and "investment" were two common themes throughout the night. However, the evening was not without a healthy exchange of opposing thoughts and ideas. The group even challenged the very notion of comfort. In response to a suggestion that MCM sofas may not be the most comfortable, Robert proposed that the idea of comfort may also be a matter of taste. Aside from furniture, the group talked MCM architecture throughout the region. Michael shared his thoughts as a specialty realtor and warned against renovations that are in opposition to the architectural intent of a MCM property. In fact, the panel generally agreed that major reno to such a home is a no-no. The panel concluded with updates from each panelist:
- Robert Chapman is planning the grand opening of his new Georgetown shop and gallery, Archer. He will specialize in 20th century design and art.
- Suzanne McLees is busy working on next spring's Hollin Hills House and Garden Tour.
- Michael Shapiro continues to blog about MCM architecture and help spread awareness.