The Kimpton Hotel Monaco in downtown D.C. is visually stunning, inside and out. I will be focusing solely on the interior here though, specifically the bathroom! You may find this odd if you have ever visited the hotel because there is A LOT to take in. From the green glass chandeliers in the lobby to the more industrial modern decor of the hotel’s restaurant Dirty Habit (the back bar is amazing by the way), there is no shortage of things to look at.
Let me give you some backstory before moving into my amazing sink epiphany! The last time I went to the hotel was to visit the bar inside the recently redesigned restaurant Dirty Habit, which used to be Poste (a downtown staple). I was struck by the decor and how amazing the service was. The drinks were delivered speedily and the faux (hopefully) alligator covered chairs made me feel particularly sleek and sophisticated. I ordered at least two glasses of rosé there on top of the two I had prior to our arrival at this spot so by the time we were leaving I was feeling extra fancy free! Oh well, I blame SaturYAY.
Before we left I needed to pop into the ladies room so I made my way up the stairs and after all business was tended to I went to wash my hands. There in front of me was one of the most beautiful sinks I have EVER seen! I almost didn’t want to wash my hands in it, it was too gorgeous! I’ve seen beautiful fixtures that made me stop in admiration but the sinks in the women’s restroom in the Kimpton Hotel Monaco take the cake.
Why do I love this sink so much? It is sleek and modern but also features organic shapes that bring warmth into the space. The sink of wonders also speaks to the importance of being detail oriented in a design approach. A ton of thought and physical labor went into shaping the main lobby of the hotel into a unique masterpiece and it is clear that the same care went into the bathrooms! High style and design don’t just stop with the rooms that have the most traffic. Themes must be carried throughout a space (even if your theme is a lack of one, like painting each room a different color).
A sweet angel woman walked into the bathroom while I was taking this photo and looked at me like a lunatic but said nothing. Don’t let this strange behavior be all for naught and go visit the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, Dirty Habit, and the bathroom ASAP!
My favorite color is, and has always been, blue! I love all of the different shades that can carry me from the sky to the sea and across continents. I’m not super into astrology but perhaps my love for this color is connected to my being a water sign but who knows. For me, a rich blue breathes life into even the most uninspired setting so I thought for my first true home design post I would pull in one of my favorite variations of the color, teal! While I know that teal is an impactful blend of blue and green, I’ve pulled in solidly blue accents to compliment the focal point.
This layout is my take on a comfy-cozy family room designed around a gorgeous teal sofa! While this sofa is a bit bohemian in this color and velvet fabric, the shape lends itself to many styles of complimentary decor that I played around with here. To ground the room I selected grey accents including a rug with a pattern that still has a touch of whimsy to it, a sturdy coffee table that isn’t too dense next to the large sofa, and a small side table with more of a silver finish that allows light to pass through. I wanted the items in the immediate area around the sofa to help lighten up the bold and cozy piece!
For lighting I chose a table lamp with a teal base and simple shade to continue the theme and pull in subtle gold accents. I LOVE to mix metallics but for me there must be one primary metallic (in this case, silver) and one accent metallic. In contrast to the table lamp, I chose a floor lamp with silver finishes and a “crystal bead” shade to add some dimension to the space and throw light throughout the room.
As far as additional seating goes, I chose a striking true blue velvet chair with gold studs to both balance the room and pull in another rich blue shade. The idea is to create an inviting sea of blue without being overwhelmed by the color. For wall decor, I wanted to bring in some organic but polished pieces. I am absolutely obsessed with all animal themed decor (think bird prints, ceramic horns, NOT real animals just to be clear) so the silver buck head drew me in. The floral painting brings in a pop of pink, orange, and green to add interest to the teal themed room. The agate coasters are a great way to continue the theme in a small way and are honestly, just beautiful and fun to look at!
To this mix I would also add some fun throw pillows in shades of grey or lighter blue (or even a deep green!) and a big ol’ mirror on the wall! This family room is meant to be warm and inviting, but also chic. To me chic NEVER means cold or sterile feeling and I love a thoughtful use of color. If you like this, there are more ideas brewing where this came from so stay tuned!
A couple of weeks ago I ventured out on a Saturday afternoon to go to my first real crab boil! I’ve attended many a crawfish boil in my day, with the occasional crab thrown in, but never an exclusively crab event. Let me tell you, de-shelling a crab requires some SERIOUS skill, but I’ll get into what I see as an epic battle with the crustaceans in a bit. I was super excited because this amazing restaurant in Petworth called Alfie’s was doing an all-you-can-eat Maryland crab extravaganza for $35, plus specials on their tasty fruit crushes! So in the spirit of adventure some friends (who have ample crab boil experience) and I headed over for some solidly food and beverage oriented fun, one of my favorite kinds of fun to be honest.
We get there, settle into our table, and the crabs roll out on a huge lunch tray with corn on the cob (my fave). I picked one up and turned it over in my hands trying to figure out where I could possibly begin this process. I quickly realized this would be nothing like peeling a crawfish OR like eating king crab legs and panicked.
After a thorough step-by-step how-to from my skilled crab demolishing friend next to me, I realized the de-shelling is methodical to some extent. A little pop on the bottom of the crab, a boop or two on the top, and huzzah crab meat! And then the legs! Once I started using the crab hammer (gavel? crab destroyer?) on those it was smooth sailing. Despite being told exactly how to do it and enjoying the process overall, I still managed to only eat roughly three crabs to my male counterparts twelve or some other ridiculous number and my hands were cut to pieces. Battle wounds! Who won this test of strength and courage? Most definitely the crabs.
It was a lot of work for what sure seemed like a teensy bit of crab meat, but trying something new is always worth a little discomfort! To break it down, I lost this battle due to my own foolish mistakes:
Wearing a blindingly brightly colored Lily Pulitzer Dress. No regrets though, Lily is for every occasion and I’ve always got a stain remover pen on me like a goob!
Acting like a lesser species and not using all the tools available to me for attacking my hard-shelled foe from the beginning.
Andddd not wearing gloves on my delicate hands (I know that literally no one does this but my experience would have been significantly improved with gloves).
This all being said, I am not a total princess and really enjoy getting into the nitty-gritty, but these little buggers threw me for a loop. Plus, don’t cry for me, my vodka filled grapefruit crushes during this process did a LOT to quiet my ego over being bested by a tray of crabbies!
One of my favorite things about living in D.C. is the blend of the old and the new. I can begin a walk taking in the historic charm of Georgetown, careful not to trip on the unpredictable brick sidewalks made treacherous by years of wear and growing tree roots, and end up on K street peering up at stories of mirrored glass and ever busy tower cranes, in no more than 15 minutes. This blend creates an environment where everyone who visits can find something that makes them tick visually.
For me, D.C. is also a wonderful balance of north and south. Yes, the D.C. hustle is VERY real but it is still nowhere near the level of a city like NYC. There is still room here for the leisurely pace of a southerner and across the board, people in this city love to leave work early for happy hours! Work hard. Play hard. From a design perspective I see influence from everywhere here; a home that looks like it could have been dropped in right from New England or ironwork so intricate that seems it could only exist on a New Orleans French Quarter balcony. I am head over heels for this bevy of styles and feel inspired by this city that is still south of the Mason-Dixon but allows me to draw inspiration from another region.
It is not to be overlooked that D.C. is also an international melting pot. Every time I walk or drive on Embassy Row I get a kink in my neck from staring at the buildings and trying to identify who they belong to. I often try to do this by identifying the flag waving out front but I’m not so great with flags apparently so the google machine it is. My point in sharing this is to express that I love to try to keep my eyes wide-open to see the opportunities for creative inspiration that D.C. has to offer from all over the world.
I am so excited to share all of my ideas with you!