Springtime in Virginia and Washington D. C. is absolutely beautiful. Recently we were fortunate enough to travel to both places for a little business and pleasure.
Full of some of our nation’s most historic landmarks, Virginia lends itself to those who enjoy houses full of history, notable gardens and significant decorative arts. We did our best to see as many of these as possible while we were there. From beautiful estates to art galleries and everything in between, our trip was a wonderful source of inspiration.
We started in Old Town Alexandria. A beautifully preserved historic district, Alexandria is home to the Old Town Boutique District and is full of great restaurants, quaint shops and galleries. You can find small but beautiful details all over the town like the charming pineapple finial in the photo above.
A trip to the area is not complete without dining at The Inn at Little Washington. Although the service on the night we visited was slow, Patrick O’Connell’s incredible and innovative menu did not disappoint us. Each course was more delicious than the last!
If you find yourself in Little Washington, be certain to visit R.H. Ballard. This charming shop has everything from unique home décor and original art to men’s and women’s accessories. It is virtually impossible to leave there empty-handed.
We had visited James Madison’s Montpelier a few years ago, but were happy to visit again as they are always adding to and improving the collection, mansion and grounds. The home of President James Madison, Father of the Constitution, and his engaging wife, Dolley, the Montpelier estate is certainly worth the trip.
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville was designed and redesigned and built and rebuilt for more than 40 years. Thomas Jefferson referred to it as his “essay in architecture.” We have visited Monticello several times and always see something new when touring the estate and its beautiful grounds. Jefferson’s amazing vegetable garden functioned as both a means of food and also as a laboratory where he grew 330 varieties of over 99 species of vegetables and herbs.
In Charlottesville we stayed at the lovely Farmington Country Club. The blooming dogwoods frame their beautiful pool, and their enchanting landscaping adds to the picturesque setting. The Peony Garden in particular is beautiful in the spring, with peonies of all different colors and forms in full bloom.
While in Washington DC, we made it a point to visit The 2015 Annual DC Design House in McLean. Built by Artisan Builders and designed by Harrison Interiors, both of whom we worked with on a project in Virginia a few years ago, the 8,869 square foot home showcased top area designer’s talents in an effort to raise money for the Children’s National Health System.
One of our favorite rooms in the house was the nursery, designed by Nancy Twomey of Finnian’s Moon Interiors. The custom enameled wall shelves were a unique and eye-catching addition to the space. The clever design can easily transition from nursery to a more grown-up room as the little darling grows.
The patio of the Design House was the inspiration of our talented friend Skip Sroka. The outdoor space he created using a classic blue and white color scheme is stunning. The landscaping for the house was skillfully executed by another gifted friend of ours, Charles Owen, of Fine Landscapes Limited.
When shopping in DC and Georgetown, our favorite spots to visit are Darryl Carter, Marston Luce Antiques, and Hemphill Fine Arts Gallery. Below are a few of our favorite finds from this delightful spring trip; we look forward to returning soon!
“Architecture is my delight, and putting up and pulling down one of my favorite amusements.” – Thomas Jefferson