Randy's Retro Redux

Randy's Retro Redux

Jul 13, 2010

Welcome to Annie Lou from DC; a blogger trying out for a place on the Apartment Therapy editorial team as a House Tour Contributor. Enjoy her work!

Name: Randy & Gladys & Bobby, two almost identical but unrelated cats.
Location: 16th Street Heights — Washington, DC
Size: 3,000 square feet
Years lived in: 1

Randy bought his 1920's Wardman-style row house last year from the relatives of the original owners. The seller told him that in the attic they found books written by Teddy Roosevelt and inscribed to the first owner, who was Roosevelt's butler at the White House. There's no way to prove this but either way it fits in with Randy's love of historical tidbits and objects.

After just a little tweaking the place is perfect for Randy's great dinner parties and his collections. Though he plans to renovate the kitchen, as it stands now with its Julia Child-style pegboard it's just big enough for equipment and room for him to cook (using lots of throw-back recipes). The dining room invites lingering over long meals and exploration of his readily-at-hand books. And his collections of old portraits, paint by numbers, animals scenes, and commercial signs have the run of the house and blend in well with the feel of the original moldings, layout, and general character.

Randy has a great eye and just as good a sense of humor, which is apparent here. Around very corner and on every surface is something slightly or subtly funny and even though not one spot is left unfilled Randy has arranged it all in such a way as to still give an atmosphere that's open, orderly, and intentional.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Flea market eclectic

Inspiration: Old photos of artists studios and salons; lodges; Victorian smoking rooms and dining halls; I like things that are solid, have passed the test of time, and feel like they will last for generations more.

Favorite Element: HI like just about everything my dining room—the mismatched bookcases; the "baronial" table which opens to 8 feet; the animal and landscape paintings

Biggest Challenge: Having patience to do one project at a time and only what I can afford

What Friends Say: One of my friends has a "man room" in his house – he and his wife day that my whole house is a "man room"; someone else once told me that they thought my taste was "Hemingway's attic"

Biggest Embarrassment: When I moved in the entire kitchen – walls, ceiling, cabinets, and doors were painted high gloss neon pink. The pink is mostly gone, but I'm stuck with the pink marble formica and forty-year old appliances until the next round of renovations.

Proudest DIY: Installing wooden blinds on 9 windows without a power screwdriver (may also be my dumbest- and biggest waste of energy-DIY).

Biggest Indulgence: The kitchen – when it happens. I love to cook and the kitchen will be central to the social space of the house.

Best Advice: I'm doing this out of necessity, but I think that it's really important to live in a space before you begin to renovate and change it. There are a number of things that I thought would be good ideas when I moved into the house that I wouldn't consider now.

Dream Sources: I love Goodwood, the Georgetown Flea Market, estate sales in DC area.

Resources of Note:


    • Exterior, I have no idea what brand the painters used. I had them match Farrow and Ball colors. Interior, The only rooms that I have painted are the green room upstairs, the kitchen and the blue room downstairs. They are all Mythic matched to Farrow and Ball colors.


    • Literally nothing is new in my house except for the mattresses. The majority come from Georgetown Flea Market, Upscale Resale, Good Wood, Craigslist


    •All over the place --estate sales, 26th street Flea Market in Manhattan, Brooklyn Flea, Miss Pixies, Broadway Antique Market in Chicago, Edgewater Antique Mall in Chicago.

Thanks, Randy!

Images: Annie Lou Berman

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