House Tour: Anna & Dan’s White House Laundry Loft
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Names: Anna and Dan
Occupation: co-owners of Goodwood DC; Anna is also a co-owner of the interior designer firm “Old School Interiors”
Other Occupants: cats Mouse and Doddy (18 and 19 years old)
Location: Logan Circle, Washington DC
Building Type: industrial building built between 1890 and 1911; functioned as an upscale laundry facility whose clients included the White House
Size: about 2000 sq.ft.
Lived in: owned for 7 months; lived in for 5 months
Almost every day, Anna and Dan wake up grateful to be living in The Louise Hand Laundry Loft. The building is rich in history, glamor, and legend. The industrial space was built to house a laundry facility, which cleaned White House laundry from the Roosevelt through Kennedy administrations. DC architect Robert Lewis and artist Sanford Shapiro bought it in 1979 and revamped it for residential use. Anna and Dan have heard great stories about their home: the basement once housed a shower for 12 and was famous for its wild parties in the 1980’s! Anna now uses the space as her closet/dressing room.
Anna and Dan are constantly reminded of the industrial beginnings of their home – they have become used to the noisy systems in their home, which they say sound like a rainforest. Born and raised in the DC area, Anna’s grew up appreciating antiques and history because of her grandmother, who was born in the 1800’s, and her Spanish mother, who gave birth to Anna in her 40’s. Anna has a strong love of nostalgia and she and Dan found the perfect historic building to make their home. Anna and Dan always wanted the kind of house where people just pop by and they’ve found it.
Read more about Anna and Dan in The Louise Hand Laundry Loft: At Home With Old-Time Industry; A Laundry Building Near Logan Circle Cleaned Up Well (The Washington Post, March 21, 2009)
Our Style: bo-ho Moroccan disco
Inspiration: The building itself.
Favorite Elements: Dan: the flow of the place and one-level living with the courtyard right off the main room. With so much industry to the place, you can tone it down. Anna: the light, soaring ceilings, and neighborhood.
What Friends Say: when can we come back?
Biggest Embarrassment: the cat litter section. We plan to put up a beaded curtain or screen to hide it.
Proudest DIY: the way the plan was executed. The space spoke to us and we knew what to do next. The bathroom for Anna come out just as we wanted and the dressing room in the basement was a girlhood fantasy made real.
Biggest Indulgence: it’s coming: peacock blue leather upholstery dining room chairs.
Best Advice: Make do with what you have and find and make it beautiful (from Anna’s mother).
Biggest Challenge: getting the concrete floors right. We had a great architect but we had to keep everyone on the same page. We knew the building had great bones and a story, and we wanted to honor the place.
Paint Colors: Farrow & Cornforth White in the main space and Elephant’s Breath in the den
Furniture and Accessories: couches from Craigslist, Knoll club chairs; the rest from estate sales and auctions
Wallpaper: Farrow & Ball
Appliances: Bray and Scarff; kitchen sink from The Brass Knob backdoor warehouse
Doors and Fixtures: doors from The Brass Knob backdoor warehouse; new HVAC duct from AWOYERA in Baltimore
Bathroom Fixtures: bathtubs, sinks, toilet from Vintage Tub; medicine cabinet and towel bars from Restoration Hardware
Lighting: fans and recess lights from Illuminations, Inc. We found the big lantern in the main room at an auction. Artisan Lamp in Cleveland Park hooked up all our finds and helped us with the hand-painted finishes and designs. The round fixture on the wall in the main space came from a bank in Philadelphia. The three pendants lights in the kitchen: the shades came from the Brass Knob, the black wire from Home Depot, and the spiders and caps from Artisan Lamp, who also put them together. The rest of the lighting is from Home Depot.
Floors: in the bedroom Brazilian walnut wooden from Lumber Liquidators
Tile: white stove tiles from Home Depot
Plants: Garden District
Art: the two portraits in the office are by Ken Marlow and Jose Mendez (from Miami); other art in the office by Matt Sesow, a local DC artist; the rest was bought at the Georgetown flea market and the Norfolk, Virginia museum’s holding sale
Window Treatments: Pella Windows; see-through curtains from Island Blinds
Rugs: Capitol Carpets on 14th Street. The den rug is made from remnants that were sewed together. The other rugs we picked up at estates and auctions.
Thanks, Anna & Dan!
(Images: Rachael Grad)