When I visited the DC Design House last April, I had no idea it would lead me to Sandra Steele, the Press Liaison to this not-for-profit corporation.
Ms. Steele is the proud owner of the Loft at AI, based in Frederick, Maryland. Although I am a native northern Virginian, I admit I have never taken the time to visit Frederick, a place that is only a stone's throw from my home.
On Saturday, I made may way to Frederick and the Loft at AI. I must say, if I had a pick-up truck at my disposal, I would have come home with many-a-souvenir.
For example, I am entirely in love with this sofa.
The two floors that showcase antiques, artwork, casegoods from designers and design homes are happily displayed in a former cigar factory. Jennifer Sergent, author of DC by Design, has made her way to this shop with great admiration for what is underneath this historic roof.
The piece below was recently sold to a top DC designer. Perhaps we will see it in a magazine one day?
According to Ms. Steele, it is a Slant top Display Cabinet and would have no doubt been in a fine watch and jewelry shop in England. It dates to circa 1860, mahogany, felt lined and the top lifts up on a wooden dowel for access. Great for a collection of pocket watches, jewels, intaglios, cuff links, and /or whatever your fancy may be.
Having visited a lake house recently, I see this armoire as the ideal fit to such a home.
I am attracted to this sculpture. With an interest in neoclassism and busts, I see this piece as a modern twist to a traditional design aesthetic.
Ms. Steele also accepts custom-made furnishings that are dismissed by clients of well-known designers. Take a look at this extraordinarily large table, as an example:
Beneath the table is a coffee table designed by Niermann Weeks, a style that is no longer being manufactured.
I love Ms. Steele's sense of style as well as her creativity to take items and turn it into a functional piece of furniture. Faux bois and re-purposing is very hip right now, so to see the possibilities amaze me.
I am frantically attempting to figure out how I can incorporate this table into our own home. My thoughts are how it would make an ideal piece of furniture next to a chair where I could set a glass of wine as well as a TV remote or magazine in the most stylish, unique way.
With a passion for traditional, I was completely captivated by this Hepplewhite Sideboard.
I am an admirer of urns, so can you imagine the excitement I felt when I came across this sideboard. The details do not go unnoticed. I had to look twice when I discovered this sideboard is worth nearly $9,000 and retails for $1695. It makes me want to re-decorate our dining room.
Now that I have experienced The Loft at AI, I must return to Frederick, with a pick-up truck. There are so many treasures in this shop. I was overwhelmed with the choices, the possibilities.
To have discovered a resource such as this, is like finding gold at the bottom of a river. Before our first snowfall, I plan to return to this shop, seeking a piece of gold in this treasure trove.
You must see this shop for yourself.