The Eye of the Beholder

When architects and interior designers—or any creative professional, really—works on a design for many months or even years, there are certain elements that we remember or revere in our portfolios—but that’s not to say others prize the same details.

For that reason, we’re always taken with what draws attention in the press and on social media. In the past two weeks, we were flattered to have our work called out four times for features on Dering Hall and Elle Décor.

Here’s why we think the editors might have noticed these spaces in their reviews on home gallery walls; picture windows and skylights; clever hallway seating; and marble bathrooms.


23 Baths With Decadent Marble Tubs
By Elle Décor

“Transform your bathroom into an in-home spa.”

See more photos of this home here.   All photography by Anice Hoachlander

“Wall paneling adds texture to this bathroom with a marble-decked tub,” the feature states, and we couldn’t agree more. Marble is used most often in highly formal spaces, but it can also carry a soft, old-fashioned look as it does here in this shingle-style house in DC. The paneling, greenery, and the soft, beveled-edge detailing on the washstand and tub deck could easily relate to homes built at the beginning of the last century. And while most marbles have cool gray veins, the soft, warm cocoa hue of the veins in this thick Calacatta Gold marble give it a casual and unpretentious air.


30 Stylish Home Galleries
by Dering Hall

“Home galleries can both enhance an aesthetic and add a personalized touch to a home like no other.”

See more photos of this home here.

BVA interior designer Miriam Dillon covered this DC den in a rich, high-gloss peacock blue. Bold color and sleek walls go a long way toward making the client’s artwork pop here, she says. She further highlighted the pictures by pulling their colors into the upholstery and accent pillows. The room reminds BVA Principal Ankie Barnes of a Vermeer painting, with a clear light source coming from the side of the composition. The high-gloss walls then help to bounce the light around the room, he says. He also notes that the saturated color makes the room read as a photo negative, “so the lighter-color moments of calm are the pictures on the wall,” the opposite of a more typical home gallery where the artwork provides all the color and energy.


Picture Windows & Skylights
By Dering Hall

“Picture windows and skylights are often used by architects and designers as a tool to let natural light flow into a home because it makes an interior feel more spacious and expansive.”

See more photos of this home here.

This family room is part of an addition built onto an older home. The owner is a photographer, so he requested abundant natural light to suffuse the new space. That’s why large windows and transoms punctuate the walls, while a skylight frees this new first-floor space from the weight of the older home’s upper floors. And while it feels like you’re floating over the home’s lush backyard and pool, the double fireplace and dark floors nonetheless ground it within all that light.


Clever Hallway Seating Ideas
By Dering Hall

“Seating in the hall is a great way to create special areas in your home to relax, and to maximize on unused space.”

See more photos of this home here.

This gallery design is one of our favorites. The lanterns mark an axis between French doors in the foreground and the lovely window at the home’s entry, which is to the left of the chaise. “Walking along a well-recognized axis is a very comfortable way to move in any built environment,” Ankie says, adding: “People love to walk toward the light.” Adding the chaise and small table at the end makes a satisfying destination in itself, while the table placement provides a subtle deflection toward the front door.