Speakers Table

An Architect Takes Down the Walls in the West End

November 29, 2012

When Steve and Helene Bayder moved into their two-bedroom condo in Dumbarton Place, an office building turned luxury residences between Georgetown and Dupont Circle, in 2006 they didn’t expect to renovate. But the couple felt they were constantly running into walls, which divided the home’s 1,600 square feet into several different rooms.


So, the couple reached out to architect Andreas Charalambous of U Street-based Forma Design to completely rethink the space.

First, they decided that walls needed to come down. A sunroom offered a bright nook, but kept some sun from hitting other rooms. The architect took down the walls, opened up the floor plan of the living room, dining room and kitchen, and allowed a flood of light to enter the main living area. The resulting renovations also allowed the dining room to open up to the outside.

(Photo by: Shilipi Paul)

(Photo by: Shilipi Paul)

Next, built-ins and extra storage were created to house the Bayder’s belongings. The couple previously lived in a large home in the suburbs. “The bedroom has no furniture,” Steve told us, just a bed, a closet and built-ins. The second bedroom is optimized to be an office.

With the renovations, the unit exuded a much more modern feel, and in 2009, it won Washington Spaces “Best of Interior Design” competition. The Bayders wouldn’t be selling the home, but they have retired and heading to a warmer climate.

Open house is this Sunday, December 2nd from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Condo is at 1414 22nd Street NW, #44.

Contact Richard Newton of Washington Fine Properties for more information.

Written by Shilipi Paul of Urban Turf

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Horton's Kids Give Thanks and Give Back Gala

November 15, 2012

Horton's Kids Give Thanks & Give Back Gala was held Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at House of Sweden with Jon Scott, Co-Anchor for FOX News "Happening Now" coming down from New York City to serve as emcee.  Over 200 people attended raising $100,000 to support Horton's Kids programs.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke to the significance of non-profits such as Horton's Kids telling a story about how a program similar to Horton's Kids provided clothes, food, and educational mentoring to his father as a boy and how his father then brought him up to believe in the opportunities a good education provides.  Secretary Duncan also addressed the importance of strengthening the D.C. public school system so that every single school in D.C. will be a great public school and become a great urban school system recognized world wide.  His father taught him from first-hand experience that if children are hungry it is hard to learn.  On that note, Secretary Duncan encouraged everyone to reach a little deeper into their pocket to support Horton's Kids.

Horton's Kids Board of Directors: Dan Walsh; Liz Dougherty; and Mary Ellen Matheson (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Horton's Kids Board of Directors: Dan Walsh; Liz Dougherty; and Mary Ellen Matheson

Dan Walsh, president of the Horton's Kids Board of Directors, reviewed the significant progress of Horton's Kids, including the make-over of the community resource center with support of First Lady Michelle Obama, Microsoft, Home Depot, and the Food Network.  Walsh also gave the Horton's Hero Award to the Give Thanks & Give Back event founders and Horton's Kids Board Members, Liz Dougherty and Mary Ellen Matheson, noting that the event has grown in size and donations over the past four years.

Jenny Zinn of The Magic Wardrobe got many Georgetown businesses to contributed to the silent auction, including: The Dandelion Patch; Macaroon Bee; The Magic Wardrobe; Salon Pejman; Ella-Rue; Potomac Wine & Spirit; Filomena's; Lush; Cafe Bonaparte; The Boomerang Boat; and a photo shoot styled by Jenny and photographed by Liam Gideon.

Jon Scott, Co-Anchor for (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Jon Scott, Co-Anchor for "Happening Now" on FOX News

A private bourbon flight tasting for you and your guests at Jack Rose Dining Saloon sparked much interest and conversation. Georgetown photographer, Tom Quiggle, donated his photography services; JSWGroup and OtimWilliams donated their PR services; and House of Sweden provided a budget-friendly venue.  Wine Spirit Wholesalers of America and National Beer Wholesalers Association donated the wine, spirits and beer for the event.

Event Co-Chairs include Lawton and Craig Cummings; Liz and Paul Dougherty; Fernanda Fisher; Juleanna Glover; Kelly and Joh Lugar; Mary Ellen and Colvin Matheson; Emily and John Pappas; Madeline Ramos; Liz and Dave Roberts; Janine Schoonover; Hannah and Mark Simone; Bill Starrels; and Jim Wilcox.

Allison Remsen, Vice Chairman of Horton's Kids Board of Directors; Lisa Peri, Development Director of Horton's Kids (Photo by: Janine Schoonover) Allison Remsen, Vice Chairman of Horton's Kids Board of Directors; Lisa Peri, Development Director of Horton's Kids

Horton's Kids Community Resource Center provides nutritious meals and healthy food; family education and empowerment; career and life skills; school uniforms and supplies; clothing and shoes; holiday celebrations; and educational advocacy.  To make a donation or contribute food to the food panty for the Holiday season, please contact Lisa Peri, Director of Development, at 202.805.3475.  Horton's Kids is a recipient of The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.


Written by Janine Schoonover, CEO of JSW Group


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The Most Important Poll Number of 2012

November 8, 2012

The most important poll number of the presidential election was not the trial heats between President Obama and Mitt Romney, the day-to-day match-ups that political junkies followed obsessively during the long, brutal months of the campaign. The most important number was Obama's job rating. It was the magic figure that predicted the final  outcome.

According to latest returns, Obama captured 50.3% of the popular vote. His job approval rating going into Election Day, according to the Clarus Average, was 50%.

Obama's approval rating held steady at 50% between Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, not varying one point. Polls taken during the entire month of October--with its campaign ups and downs, attention-getting debates and a massive natural disaster--showed the president's job approval rating at about 50%, never dipping below 49%.

Even when Clarus poll averages reported Romney a couple of points ahead of the incumbent in mid-October, with the GOP challenger working his way out of a slump and gathering new momentum, Obama's job rating stood stubbornly at 50%.

In the end, no matter what either campaign did, this race was a referendum on Obama's job performance. Ironically, that's what Republicans always wanted and Democrats always feared.

Now we know.


Written by Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan polling company. Ron teaches at George Washington University and is a resident of Georgetown.

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