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At Home With Tricia Huntley

June 11, 2018

Tricia Huntley and Victoria Reis, Co-founder (Executive & Artistic Director) of Transformer Transformer (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Tricia Huntley and Victoria Reis, Co-founder (Executive & Artistic Director) of Transformer Transformer

As part of the 11th season of DC-based Transformer's Collector's View series, Washington art lovers gathered Thursday at the Foxhall Village home of Tricia Huntley for a reception to view her private collection of contemporary art.


The very special evening connecting and promoting emerging artists highlighted the intersection of architecture, design and art.

A vintage Sputnik chandelier takes center stage in front of a colorful silk folding screen in the Master dressing area. (Photo by: Judith Beermann) A vintage Sputnik chandelier takes center stage in front of a colorful silk folding screen in the Master dressing area.

As Huntley told her guests, "First and foremost, I'm an interior designer. But I love art and collecting. Mixing is important, different genres, with a balance that's not overwhelming, but the art should be noticed." 


A full service interior design firm, Huntley & Co. has been creating stylish interiors since 2006. 


She received her master’s degree in interior design from George Washington University and holds an undergraduate degree in photography and art history. With classical training, Midwestern roots and fashion-forward sensibility, Huntley and her team have completed projects throughout the U.S. and Europe. Her elegant designs include The Huntley Sconcea modernized version of an antique oil lamp.


The designer's mid-century Cape Cod home has been transfromed with eclectic and daring signature touches. Over 50 guests enjoyed cocktails and hors' doeuvres as they mingled with friends and toured the collector's home and garden.


Whether it’s a contemporary steel and abaca paper wall installation covering the living room wall or a vintage Sputnik chandelier taking center stage in front of a colorful silk folding screen in the master dressing area, Huntley's bold and whimsical approach is in full display as she  commingles work she loves. 

Many of her favorite pieces have been sourced locally, specifically Dan Treado's  Kiss Your Dentist, 2004 purchased at Addison/Ripley Fine Art Gallery and a bust of Venus purchased through Doyle auction house.

Judith Beermann

Dan Treado in front of his work Kiss Your Dentist, 2004.

Judith Beermann

Amy Kuhnert of Murphy Kuhnert Art Consultants (and husband) with Samira Farmer of Doyle. 

Judith Beermann

Christopher Addison with bust of Venus (purchased through Doyle auction house). Painting Untitled (Shrink), 2006 by Gail Vollrath.

Judith Beermann

Large scale abstract oil and mixed media on canvas.  Artist unknown. vintage Lucite Kagan chair

Untitled 1, 2014  by Larry Cook (Photo by: Huntley & Co.) Untitled 1, 2014 by Larry Cook

Tricia Huntley and Allison G. Marvin of Sightline (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Tricia Huntley and Allison G. Marvin of Sightline

Guest bedroom featuring wall-to-wall drapery and a contemporary light fixture resembling an anemone. (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Guest bedroom featuring wall-to-wall drapery and a contemporary light fixture resembling an anemone.

(Photo by: Huntley & Co.) "Unspeakable" (Guernica Sketch 5), 2016 by Leslie Holt

Judith Beermann

Tricia Huntley with Tim & Dana Rooney.  Dana is also a collector and Transformer board member.

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Simon on Jacobsen Architecture

June 6, 2018

O_K+Apartment+9 (Photo by: Anice Hoaklander) O_K+Apartment+9

Earlier this week, I had a chance to sit down with founding partner of Jacobsen ArchitectureSimon Jacobsen in his Georgetown home. Along with his father, Hugh Newell Jacobsenthis internationally acclaimed firm is best known for its custom residential, commercial and institutional architecture, interiors, furniture and lighting design. And Simon has been a longtime contributor to The Georgetown Dish.


TGD: Can you give our readers a sneak peek at some of the projects included in your fourth book, coming out later this year? 


SJ: The new book with the wildly exciting title, Jacobsen Architecture, The work of Hugh Newell Jacobsen and Simon Jacobsen, 2007-2018 will encompass the projects from our partnership together in that period. We had dizzying variations of projects in that time from very little things, to very large things. But the ‘duo-graph’ is going to cover the unique changes and developments when Hugh Jacobsen, one of America's most sought after architects, abruptly disbanded his practice to start a new one with his handsome, charming son, Me. There will be commentary about how we navigated design challenges while working in very far-off and difficult climates, how are two personalities managed the give and take required in a partnership, especially father and son. Hugh often says “My library is filled with the tragedies of fathers and sons working together, but you will not find this one there.” Impossible design regulations and code requirement in Nantucket to laws of physics problems in Rockport, Maine (Stein2) are just a few of the many difficulties any architecture firm will face.

 Stein2 (Photo by: Robert C. Lautman) Stein2


TGD: What is your impression of how this city has changed in the last 25+ years? Your respect for and nostalgia about historic buildings being torn down is well known. Anything in particular you'd like to comment on?


SJ: Washington from it’s beginning is a city of constant ebb tide of change.  One of the periods that saw the greatest length of cultural and change was after World War I and again after II when after fighting years of foreign wars and living in European inspired buildings, the city and our country as a whole had had enough. The Washington and their leaders started the long process to disassemble the icons of monarchy based influences of architecture. We saw first-hand what happened at the end of WWII and the citizens, starting a new life ofter all of the hardship and tragedies that war brought to everyone, moved to the suburbs and invented the strip malls and big box grocery chains. This killed many American cities across the country, but Washington was the most profound in my opinion.

Bray+House+Snow (Photo by: Jacobsen Architecture) Bray+House+Snow


TGD: What have been some of your greatest building challenges around the world in terms of historic preservation, dealing with local building laws, geography, climate, etc.?


SJ: The book is going to look closely at our preservation of several important buildings, but the greatest test was Bray House in Maine. Built in 1662 when coastal Maine was considered Massachusetts Bay and the territory of New York, a single two story building was erected by John Bray, a loyalist to Charles II. This little nondescript dwelling of 1,800 square feet would be added onto over the next 300 years and would be swallowed up by additions and adjoining buildings to the point where one could not distinguish the original house. In fact, many of the townsfolk were under that impression and even went as far to assume the 1955 additions were from the time Charles The Second. In 2015, the structure was in serious decay and alarmingly had no historic protections to prevent anyone from  taking it down or turning in a Hobby Lobby. We were hired by two celebrity chefs who consulted with me prior to buying it. Although they are patient and highly decent people, I realized while I was standing in the cool Maine maritime breeze, that I had about 45 seconds to come up with a scheme to not only save the building, but also add another 10,000 square feet to it and not repeat it’s history of one bad idea after another. The design that we see today is that same conversation where one has to sing for his dinner.


Looking back I recall being sure they were not going to hire me and that I had ‘laid an egg’, as Hugh would often say about not giving the best pitch to a client. A week later I got the call and I turned to a colleague and said “Oh no, now we have to build this thing.” 

Nantucket residence (Photo by: Jacobsen Architecture) Nantucket residence


Because history is so important to know in architecture, there is an interesting detail to the modern chimneys on the new buildings we designed; they have the distinctive painted black chimney tops on them. This goes back to the American Revolution and the War of 1812 when American loyalists to the King would signify to other loyalists and to the British Navy anchored just 200 feet away, that they identified themselves as subjects of The Crown.

Simon Jacobsen (Photo by: Jacobsen Architecture) Simon Jacobsen


TGD: In terms of what your clients are now looking for in a Jacobsen house/project, has that changed over the years as your international reputation has grown?


SJ: Hugh likes to say, “There is only one firm in the world that does what we do…” and he is right. Because of that, we do not appeal to everyone. But the clients that do commission us for our distinctive work are people who already know our design ethic. Rarely to we have an interview with a person who says “So, what do you do?” or “I am really looking to build something in the style of High Mongolian Renaissance.”

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Vintage By Design

June 5, 2018

You probably know this designer's dazzling behind-the-scenes work from the annual Washington Winter Show and Washington Mardi Gras. Jonathan G. Willen's new company, Vintage Affairs, Vintage By Design, LLC, gives clients a chance to showcase their personal style, whether it's for a bridal shower, wedding, corporate event or celebratory dinner.


"Tradition and generational history are often important parts in telling their story," explains Willen. "I often encourage folks to find pieces within their family heirlooms that can be worked into tables capes or furniture pieces that can be worked into the atmosphere of events.  


The story starts with the invite and ends with the thank you note is Willen's approach. This event planner extraordinaire was looking for an opportunity to be more creative and have a fun set of furniture, props and china that he could incorporate into everyday events when he first discovered Vintage Affairs.

(Photo by: vintageaffairs.net)

"I fell in love with the farm tables, the 100-200-year-old barnwood distressed naturally and reclaimed by our craftsmen just lend themselves to both wild fields and five-star hotel ballrooms. They can play against vintage or modern furniture, they're versatile, and their beauty speaks volumes. I often ponder what stories the wood could tell us having stood somewhere for 200 years."

(Photo by: vintageaffairs.net)

With inspiration coming from everywhere, Willen often sees something sitting on the side of the road, perhaps an old settee or a pair of shutters and knows exactly how best to reuse them.

(Photo by: vintageaffairs.net)

Modern mixed with vintage is his mantra. And elegance is a must in every detail. Lush tables where guests catch scent of the floral arrangement, the aroma of the meal, and hear the music playing. All senses addressed with visaul delights carefully positioned from every angle of the room. "Always leave them (the guests) wanting more," adds Willen. 

(Photo by: vintageaffairs.net)

Plan a visit to Vintage Affairs showroom and check out their great finds here

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