Last week I rode the train down to DC to attend the opening of Room & Board's new store in a cool and upcoming part of town - the U Street Corridor. I'm familiar with the furniture, but it looked even better inside the new store, a beautifully renovated former car dealership from the early 1900s. There were also many small design details that I photographed for future reference and to share with you. Check them out and bookmark them for your dream house. I am. :-)
1. The Top Floor Deck and Railing
Having built a new floor on top of the roof, the store was able to create a set back outdoor space with marvelous views of the city. While the glass and steel railing is a stunning (but expensive) solution, the cedar decking is a stunning and affordable solution. These non-clear cedar pieces (much cheaper than clear cedar) are fastened underneath so that no nail or screw holes appear. The ends are also not staggered, giving it a more modern look. The look is clean, the wood soft under foot and the scent of fresh cedar was everywhere.
2. Eames Shells in Black on Black Floor
I'd never seen the Eames shell chairs with dowel legs in black before. I thought they were very fresh, especially against the dark stained floor. For the record, however, I thought the white shells against the black marble downstairs were also very fresh. It's all in the contrast.
3. Endgrain Floor with Dark Stain
Doing a floor with endgrain wood blocks is not new, but not often seen, though R&B has done it in other stores. These were particularly nice, however, with a fresh warm stain. I would love to do this in a house. I dug up a little history on this type of flooring as well: "The basic theory of Wood Block Flooring is centuries old. The ancients used the end-grain of logs as "chopping blocks" because the tough end-grain surface could withstand the pounding of hammers without splintering. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, end-grain wooden blocks were first used in the USA for paving streets." via Kaswell
4. Hi Jill and Jill!
I had to include this sweet pic of the two Jills - Jill Byrnes and Jill Linville - who invited us. Obvious disclosure - Room and Board is one of our advertisers and we've been working closely with them to build interesting and successful campaigns for a few years now. That said, we'd never seen so many Minnesotans in summer dresses before! They looked great. :-)
5. Wood Hand Rail on Metal Banister
What do you do when you need a strong metal banister, but don't like how harsh and cold it is? Soften it by adding a wood hand railing of course. The banisters in the store were really standout architectural details and totally distracted you from the fact that the stairs were really heavy duty metal at heart. The wood also shifted from walnut on the lower floors (dark) to a light oak (lighter) on the top, sunny floor.
6. Unusual Colors & Textures on Sofas and Ottomans
This ottoman can look really boring, but in this custom cow hide it makes this room. I think this is the Lind. And this sofa stood out to me of all the ones in the store for its bright, tweedy red fabric and Mad Men style. It's a Reese in Spice.
7. Tight Weave Sisal Against Wegner Chairs
Sisal has a great look when used properly and can be very affordable. This tightly woven, boucle-style weave is one of the cheapest weaves you can buy and it looks so great, summery and sharp against these classic Wegner Wishbone Chairs in light oak. The sisal here is rolled out and glued to the floor (for wall to wall), so it doesn't move under your feet.
8. Grey Gravel (not white!) Outside
I'm a big fan of gravel outside, and most people usually go with the many shades of white that are easy to find - or they do grey slate gravel, which is really hard on the feet and BORING. Here the store designers are using grey pea gravel that I'd not seen before. Gentle on the feet, the darker tone cuts down on glare and blends in more easily to the plantings all around. It's less formal - more casual - a nice touch.