House Tour: Richard & Robert's Orange, Purple & Green Oasis

House Tour: Richard & Robert's Orange, Purple & Green Oasis

Rachael Grad
Oct 9, 2008

Names: Richard and Robert
Occupations: Richard is a sound artist and co-owner of Millennium Decorative Arts, Robert is a graphic designer
Location: Park View / Pleasant Plains, Washington DC
Size: 2,100 sq.ft.
House Syle: federal style built in 1914 (originally built for Howard University faculty and staff)
Years lived in: Robert has owned for 7 years; Richard for 2 years


Robert and Richard love secondary colors and have used green, orange, and purple to brighten up their home. Richard adores mid-century modern decor (he had shopped at Millennium Decorative Arts long before he became a co-owner of the store) and when first living together, Robert felt that he was "suffocating with teak." So Richard and Robert have worked to mix up the warm teak wood with other styled pieces...



Richard loves switching out pieces with Millennium stock, but one constant is always the George Nelson case study sofa, which Robert loves. Before living with Richard, Robert had a decor rule: each room could only have three pieces of furniture and one piece of art. Richard's love of vintage furniture and rare decor has encouraged Robert to change his rule. Robert has influenced Richard to branch out from having mostly teak, mid-century modern pieces.

Sadly, the 1914 federal-style house was gutted in the 1980's and stripped of its old moldings and trims. The fireplace screen is the only original element left. But the stripped down house allowed Richard and Robert to play with color and design. Both Richard and Robert are designers and very process-oriented. They believe that "good design is neurotic," a motto that goes along with their art collection. The theme of the art collection is obsessive-compulsive minimalism. Each piece was created with obsessively repeated actions and marks.

AT Survey:

Style: minimalist, mid-century modern, Bauhaus, playful color.

Inspiration: clean, refreshing, pretty, orderly, and comfortable. We don't want an overload.

Favorite Element: for Robert: the garden and the colors. For Richard: the living and dining rooms. I always have one mint green wall in my home.

Biggest Challenge: the fireplace mantel.

What Friends Say: Where's all your stuff?

Biggest Embarrassment: the kitchen and the front porch. We never improved the front of the house, which has kept us from being robbed (unlike our other houses on our block). We have kept the window bars as a security measure but have a little oasis inside. We're also embarrassed about the interior doors and doorknobs.

Proudest Element: it's clean. Also, the art.

Biggest Indulgence: rare pieces like the aluminum chess set and the art.

Proudest DIY: "That's like asking what child I like most!" If pressed to choose, the upstairs carpeting and painting, and the tile floor in the basement (which took over a month).

Dream Source: an amazingly beautiful and efficient all-white kitchen with cement counters and bamboo floors. All the appliances would be hidden and blank. The range and all appliances would be covered up. It would be a perfectly clean, pristine kitchen.



Appliances: LG fridge

Hardware: Design Within Reach house numbers.

Furniture: ( almost everything is vintage)
- living room: Knut Hesterberg "Propeller" Coffee Table; George Nelson daybed from Design Within Reach; Danish Chairs (designer unknown); Hans Anderson side table from eBay; mini Danish chest from Millennium

- Dining room: vintage harry bertoia side chairs; Arne Vodder sideboard from Goodeye; Danish teak expanding bar from ebay: silverspringauctions; Arne Jacobsen swan chair; Johannes Andersen dining table from Retrosquad in VA

- Basement: sofa from dentists office; pair of Rolf Rastad och Adolf Relling armchairs from GoodEye; craft associates table from Millennium; Lane cedar chest from Robert's mom

- Robert's office: orange Cubits shelving by Design Within Reach; tambour door storage units; Harry Bertoia diamond chair for Knoll from Good Wood; Lovig bench; Aeron chair by Herman Miller

- Richard's office: Ole Wanscher desk by Haslev from Retrosquad in VA; Hans Wegner sideboard from Cantilever Modern; Danish hutch top as book case from a yard sale; Arne Jacobsen grand prix chair picked up in Montreal; Eames aluminum group chair by Herman Miller

Bedroom: CB2 bed; Poul Dineson chest

Back patio: Bertoia diamond chairs from Craigslist; handmade hammock purchased in Brazil; hand-tiled Burke dining set from Mom and Pop Antiques, DC

Front porch: orange 60's chairs from Take It or Leave It in Laurel, MD

- Living room: Fog & Morup pendant lamp purchased in Switzerland; Laurel Mushroom floor lamp; unknown Danish teak and white cased glass floor lamp purchased in Montreal; mushroom table lamp by Lisa Johansson-Paps for Littala from Sturgis Antiques, Baltimore )

- Dining room: purple Louis Poulsen PH-5 lamp found through Craigslist; mushroom table lamps by Lisa Johansson-Paps for Iittala bought at an estate sale

- Basement: walnut lamp from Mod Life Home in Chicago

- Robert's office: Gerald Thurston for Lightolier "cricket lamp"; ceiling light from IKEA; Geneva aluminum floor lamp by Frandsen

- Richard's office: unknown teak and plexi lamp from Ruff 'n Ready, DC; Tapiovaara swag lamp purchased in France

- Bedroom: Kalmar chrome tube lamp from THE STREETS OF WILLIAMSBURG; Swiss visor lamp purchased at mid century shop in Koln, Germany; pendant lamp by IKEA

- Living room: Judith Seligson; Linn Meyers; Isabel Albrecht; Adam Fowler

- Dining room: Seth Adelsberger; Travis Childers; Linn Meyers; Michelle Kong

- Basement: Jose Ruiz

- Foyer: Martin Brief

- Robert's office: Andy Moon Wilson; Richard Chartier; Marc Pessin; Chad Yencer

- Richard's office: vintage 1950s medical ear teaching chart; Steve Roden

- Bedroom: Josef Albers; Javier Cuellar; John Pearson

Window Treatments: Select Blinds

Accessories: Alcoa Austin chess set from Planet Glass; chrome Ceasar Stoffi modular candlesticks by Nagel, West Germany; Grillery Grill from Grill Works; Desolation door hangers that Richard and Robert inspired by Linda Hesh

Thanks, Richard and Robert!


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