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D.C. Design House 2009 - Let There Be Light, White and Blue in the Library

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

The dark colors, heavy curtains and tufted leathers typically associated with libraries have no place in Sarah Wessel's light and airy space, which is dressed in a pale palette of blue, white and beige. "It's springtime," the D.C. designer says about her color choices. "And with the economy . . . it's already dark enough."

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The light blue walls, painted in Skylight by Farrow & Ball, are a serene backdrop for a grouping of green-filled terrariums on the mantel, a pair of sustainably made wing chairs covered in a linen damask, parchment-colored sheer wool window treatments, a dramatic 12-light metal chandelier and a 19th-century English oak secretary, which displays a collection of white ironstone plates. The pale blue also contrasts nicely with the two-tone crown molding, which Wessel painted off-white and tan (White Tie and Buff from Farrow & Ball). "If it was all white, you wouldn't notice the detail," she says.

To accentuate the room's 12-foot height, Wessel installed two pairs of custom built-ins that extend from floor to ceiling. The shelves display accessories and art from local shops Cote Jardin and Susquehanna Antique Co. The cabinets provide storage and cleverly conceal a bulky radiator. Also clever: The designer chose a metal grate for the radiator cabinet door in a pattern that echoes the shapely form of the room's cloverleaf ottoman.

Terri Sapienza


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