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Town Square | Local interior designer to hold sample sale

(Courtesy of Angie Seckinger)
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Interior designers not only see things differently than people with an untrained eye for design, they also have access to fabric and home furnishings that are only available to those “in the trade.”

For at least one day, that will change. Interior designer Kelley Proxmire, known for her “tailored traditional” interiors, is holding a sample sale of designer furniture and accessories that will be open to the public. Proxmire loves to mix traditional pieces with unexpected finds, so the sample sale should feature a variety of items and styles. The 3,000-square-foot warehouse is filled with designer furnishings and accessories from Hickory Chair, Lee Jofa, Schumacher and many more companies.

The Open House Sample Sale will take place Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the DNS Warehouse at 4229b Howard Ave. in Kensington (behind Hollis & Knight).

For decorating advice from Proxmire and other designers and home stagers, check out Thursday’s Local Living section.

Share your morning coffee with an antelope

If your favorite TV shows run on Animal Planet and your favorite recent movie was “We Bought a Zoo,” the home at 1315 Dasher Lane in Reston may be your perfect retreat.

The house backs to the Reston Zoo where you can see antelope, buffalo and other animals as they graze in the grass fields. In addition, the National Wildlife Federation has certified the home’s back yard as a national wildlife habitat.

Just in case you want something besides animals near your residence, the home is within walking distance of Lake Fairfax, a 10-minute drive to the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and 2.5 miles to the new Wiehle-Reston East Silver Line Metro station.

The six-bedroom, 4.5-bath home has nearly 5,000 square feet of living space, including a lower-level bedroom with a full bath, kitchenette, media room and walk-out to a patio. The home is priced at $948,900.

For more information, visit or contact real estate agent Debbie Miller of McEnearney Associates at 703-241-0223.

Upscale furniture store moving to D.C. Design District

Calligaris, a contemporary Italian furniture store located in Friendship Heights, is joining the movement of upscale design stores relocating to Georgetown’s Design District.

The store is moving to a more-than-5,000-square-foot showroom at 3328 M St. NW, part of Cady’s Alley. Both the Friendship Heights and Georgetown locations will be open during the move, with a grand opening slated for Oct. 1 in Georgetown.

Calligaris, created by the late Antonio Calligaris in 1923, has been transformed from an Italian wooden and hand-woven chair business into an international brand producing every type of furniture.

The contemporary style furnishings follow a “smart design” philosophy, with everything attractive but also versatile and meant to simplify everyday life.

There are more than 70 Calligaris stores around the world. In Georgetown, Calligaris will be part of the many design stores operating in the EastBanc/Jamestown Georgetown Renaissance portfolio of properties, including Contemporaria, Donghia, Design within Reach, Baker Furniture, Boffi-Maxalto and Bulthaup.

An affordable way to build a custom home

If you’ve ever wished you could build a custom home but assume that fantasy is reserved for the wealthy, think again. Some residents in the D.C. area have turned to to search among the site’s hundreds of home designs to find one that matches their desires and their budget.

Future homeowners can save money by avoiding hiring an architect and opting to pay for a plan from the site and then hiring a builder to create it for them. According to, the average price to hire an architect to design a house plan is $8,500.

Vincent Santmyer, who owned land adjacent to his home in Lovettsville, Va., said he paid $1,000 for a reproducible design plan from and then about $315,000 to build the house. (A set of five copies is even less costly at $580.) The Craftsman-style home, which has four bedrooms, two baths, oak floors and granite counters and both a front and back porch, took about three months to be built.

Plans are also available for remodeling projects. Visit the site for more information.

Michele Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at and put “Town Square” in the subject line.