The Best Seat in the House
It has been observed by those who study domestic life that no matter how huge or handsome the house, the people who live there tend to gravitate to just three rooms.
I found my hangout spot at the D.C. Design House within three minutes of walking in the front door: a bay window at the end of the kitchen overlooking the sheltered back yard. It is a space just large enough for a painted wooden table (19th-century French, as it happens, but a more humble pedigree would be fine), a chair upholstered in my favorite green (Sunbrella fabric, so it's practically indestructible), an oddly perfect little lamp (a rewired and polished-up flea market find) and gauzy white linen shades filtering the morning light.
The bay was too small to serve as an eating area, says Arlington designer Michael Roberson. But it proved large enough to bring the kitchen's hand-glazed custom cabinetry and honed marble down to earth. If I lived in this fine, three-story house, this is where I'd start and end my days.