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A jazzy Sunday afternoon at the Bravermans

October 25, 2011

Cole Porter beckons. It’s noted Washington pianist Sheila Davis playing classic jazz melodies on that stunning ivory piano in the Braverman living room. As the 40 guests stream in, passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails from 42 Degrees Catering create the perfect recipe for an autumn afternoon.

Bonni, Tom Murphy, Chichie, Sheila Davis, Mercedes Menocal Gregoire, Jon and Donna Gerstenfeld (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Bonni, Tom Murphy, Chichie, Sheila Davis, Mercedes Menocal Gregoire, Jon and Donna Gerstenfeld

Manhattan decorator turned Georgetowner, Bonni Braverman has brought her classic contemporary design firm to the East Village. The flat she shares with husband Leonard and toy poodle Milli, is in an historic 1920’s restored car garage. Flooded with sunlight and 12 foot ceilings, the space offers expansive views of Rose Park.  With Bonni’s signature touches of modern sculpture and bold paintings set against a neutral palette, she has created a vibrant and cozy setting, perfect for an afternoon of jazz and conversation.

Chichie, Bonni and Eleta (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Chichie, Bonni and Eleta

A chance to catch up with old friends and check out Bonni’s latest D.C. projects, friends have flown in from New York to celebrate. Manhattan broker, Mercedes Menocal Gregoire hadn’t seen the Nigel Conway, Bonni’s latest acquisition from this Santa Fe artist.  

Leonard Braverman, Elena and James Hill and Bonni (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Leonard Braverman, Elena and James Hill and Bonni

Elena and James Hill mingle with old friends and Georgetown neighbors, including Perry Bird and Richard Martin, Christine and Colin Linsley.

Richard Martin, Christine and Colin Linsley (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Richard Martin, Christine and Colin Linsley

Perry Bird, Bonni and Leonard, Mercedes Menocal Gregoire and Richard Martin (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Perry Bird, Bonni and Leonard, Mercedes Menocal Gregoire and Richard Martin

Jeff White and Leonard Braverman (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Jeff White and Leonard Braverman

Allan Fox samples appetizers with Leonard of 42 Degrees (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Allan Fox samples appetizers with Leonard of 42 Degrees

Groomer extraordinaire Chichie and her daughter Aleta, share family tales, canine included, with Braverman cousins Harriette and Allan Fox.

Allan and Harriette Fox with Treena and Jeff White (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Allan and Harriette Fox with Treena and Jeff White

Spotted at the party were Washington Fine Properties’ Terrell McDermid and husband John, The Georgetown Dish publisher, Beth Solomon, along with writer Kate Blackwell and Felix Jakob.

Kate Blackwell and Felix Jakob (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Kate Blackwell and Felix Jakob

Stephanie and Robert Abraham with the hosts (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Stephanie and Robert Abraham with the hosts

Bonni and Milli after the party (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Bonni and Milli after the party

About Bonni Braverman Interiors:

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

After training with Josef Pricci, the iconic Manhatten decorator who began his career as a jewelry designer to Cartier and Van Cleef, was best known for his classic rooms filled with  English antiques, blue-and-white-porcelain and overstuffed needlepoint pillows.

Striking out on her own in 1998, Braverman, with a keen eye for curated accessories, her access to fabulous fabrics and the finest furnishings, was a favorite choice for chic Manhattenites looking to renovate a brownstone or update a pied-à-terre.

Now with offices in Washington, D.C. as well as New York, Bonni is uniquely poised to tackle a downtown loft or a Georgian townhouse renovation.


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Designing Washington: Georgetown reception to celebrate National Building Museum exhibition

October 23, 2011

What better place to preview an exhibit of unbuilt design projects for the nation’s capital than at the exquisitely built Georgetown residence of Dr. Tina Alster and The Honorable Paul Frazer. Originally owned by American author, Herman Wouk, the home has been completely redone by Jacobsen Architecture.

Dr. Tina Alster and The Honorable Paul Frazer (Simon Jacobsen at left) (Photo by: Stacy Adamson) Dr. Tina Alster and The Honorable Paul Frazer (Simon Jacobsen at left)

Dr. Alster and Paul Frazer welcomed architects, designers and friends October 19 for an evening of cocktails in support of Unbuilt Washington, the National Building Museum’s new exhibition of remarkable architectural and urban design projects for Washington, D.C. that were proposed, but for a variety of reasons, never built.

Tommy Wells and Jeff Potter (Photo by: Stacy Adamson) Tommy Wells and Jeff Potter

Cherished architectural landmarks, indelibly etched in our brains now. Imagine if this were the U.S. Capitol?

1792 plans for the U.S. Capitol (Photo by: Maryland Historical Society) 1792 plans for the U.S. Capitol

Unbuilt Washington at the National Building Museum opens November 19, 2011 and runs through May 28, 2012.


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I'll have the Pattie Lynn special

October 17, 2011

I know I’m in the minority. Never liked spa treatments, massages, mani-pedis, or facials.  Not that I didn't need the relaxation and pampering. Simply, I preferred to do my own nails and see the best dermatologist on the planet  for ‘tune-ups’ and ‘spackling’ as often as I could afford. In between, I followed the regimen Dr. Tina Alster recommended, and tried to stay out of the sun.

Until  now. When she launched her own line of skin products last month and brought in the best aesthetician around, I could not resist.

As marketing and media relations director, Andrea Rodgers explained, “Dr. Alster redefined the idea of a spa. SKIN IS IN is more results-oriented and medically based. The facial treatments and procedure are an extension of her practice.”

Pattie Lynn Pumphrey, Andrea Rodgers and Wendy Burton (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Pattie Lynn Pumphrey, Andrea Rodgers and Wendy Burton

Sunny and bright as the décor, Wendy Burton greeted me at the door, offering a Perrier.  The walls are pristine white, with SKIN IS IN-filled canisters in primary colors (coded to skin type) adorning the walls. In a slight southern accent, aesthetician Pattie Lynn Pumphrey, petite and radiant, ushered me into a private room filled with ultrasonic equipment, aromatherapy and soothing music.

As soon as I changed into a gown and reclined on the facial bed, we started with a deep cleansing. Her gentle fingers massaged my face and neck. Steamed towels with a hint of lavender essence were applied to lock in moisture.

Once my face was free of make-up, it was time to analyze. No surprise. “Dry, sun damage, congestion in the T-zone.” We talked about a treatment that included some products I was already using (clearly not often enough) and a suggestion for a more hydrating cleanser, eye and neck-firming cream.

Next, a customized Microdermabrasion. Think light sanding with a wand that reinvigorates the face, and minimizes pores, exfoliating the top layer of skin to give an all-over glow.

Another massage, this one included the neck and décolletage. Relaxing and stimulating at the same time.

Cucumber and Vitamin C. No, not a smoothie but a hydrating mask that smelled like a day in St. Barths. Aaah , more steaming lavender-scented towels.

Color-coded SKIN IS IN adorn the walls (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Color-coded SKIN IS IN adorn the walls

As I relaxed for about eight minutes, Pattie Lynn slathered my hands and arms with moisturizing cream, then warm towels covered my arms.

What followed was a brief LED (light emitting diode) procedure “using variable wavelengths of light to gently reduce the effects of sun exposure, pollutants, and stress.”  As Pattie Lynn told me, “The flashing lights reduce redness and promote healthy healing.”

More warm towels.

“I’ve always had a passion for skin,” Patti Lynn said. She knew Dr. Alster’s reputation when she sought out the right place to work her magic. “That was five years ago. "Until SKIN IS IN opened, I was a medical aesthetician for WIDLS (Washington Institute for Dermatologic Laser Surgery), her practice upstairs. It’s a fabulous establishment, and I’m so proud to be working for Dr. Alster."

Leonard Cole begins his monthly ritual (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Leonard Cole begins his monthly ritual

As we were wrapping up, exchanging make-up routines, a Pattie Lynn regular arrived. “Grinning from ear to ear, Leonard Cole, also a long-time client of Dr. Alster's said, "I come every four weeks. Just love the way my skin feels and looks. I’m totally relaxed.”

SKIN IS IN is not just for faces. Treatments include body sculpting and contouring, and a new laser procedure for thinning hair.

I’ll be back.

SKIN IS IN is located at 1430 K Street NW. Tel: 202.628.8855


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