In D.C. Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District. See previous dream days from Mayor Muriel Bowser, BYT’s Svetlana Legetic, Story District’s Amy Saidman and more.


Maggie O’Neill spends half her day designing the look and feel of restaurants and bars in D.C. The other half she spends dripping paint onto wedding dresses, pouring glitter on bingo cards and folding paper into intricate flowers. “I just wish there were more hours in the day,” says O’Neill, 40. Swatchroom, the studio she co-founded in Shaw, is behind the stylish interiors of Morris American Bar, Sakerum, Provision No. 14 and other D.C. spots. On her own, she’s responsible for colorful modern pieces at her pop-up, Color, in Dupont Circle, including canvases and high heels splashed with bright paint. On her dream day, the D.C. native is off to see some art instead of making it, for once. Fingers crossed she gets some inspiration for her next big, colorful project.

I’m a coffee lunatic. I would go over to Compass Coffee and grab their mint cold brew that I’m obsessed with; then I would have a Smoked and Stacked breakfast sandwich. If I could eat breakfast and brunch all day, I would.

I would probably then head to the National Portrait Gallery. The light in the atrium in the morning is like silly beautiful. Forget about the fact that there’s all the artwork there too. If I could take my runny egg sandwich and my mint cold brew and I could go sit there and enjoy it, I would do that. I would do some brainstorming there, maybe, but that sounds so Gwyneth Paltrow-Goop aspirational. I don’t know if that’s really my life.

I would go shopping, which sounds so glorious, at any vintage clothing store. Right now I love Buffalo Exchange. I used to go to Meeps in Adams Morgan all the time. I get inspired by items: To me, it’s like going to a museum.

I would head to The Wharf and I would eat at Hank’s Oyster Bar: some oysters and a lobster roll and a delicious glass of white wine and fries until I can’t breathe.

I’m going to Artechouse, where you can veg out. They have the giant beanbags. For me, it’s better than a movie. It’s immersive digital art; there’s a million different ways you can look at it. I think it’s pretty dreamy.

I think it’s cocktail hour. One of my all-time favorite cocktails is the Mayahuel at Espita. It’s basically a margarita with mezcal, but it’s not a margarita. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s decadent — I think about it all the time.

Right now, Poca Madre is my dinner of choice. There’s a mole dish, they have this “not guacamole,” everything’s good. They have a risotto that’s amazing. There’s an amazing dessert — I don’t typically remember a dessert to the extent that I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s called a suspiro; it’s a twist on a Peruvian dessert. It’s like somebody took cereal — I’m butchering this and they’d probably be very upset by this — and put it in a bowl with the most delicious ice cream. I could just have that for dinner.

Eighteenth Street Lounge would be a good time. Live music or any ability to just go shake it somewhere would be great.

I would then go stay at some delicious, glorious hotel — something ridiculous.