Monday, April 10, 2017
A D.C. Delight
To me, some of the most memorable homes featured on the pages of Architectural Digest are those Seventies and Eighties-era nighttime apartments. I call them nighttime apartments, because not only were they presumably photographed at night with curtains usually drawn and interior lights blazing, but also because it's obvious that these apartments were decorated to look their best at night, when the homeowners were either relaxing after a long day's work or entertaining guests. And although these apartments were usually minimal in size, they were impactful in style. In these sophisticated dwellings, pretty much everything was top-notch, including art, fabrics, and furniture.
I've written about many of these apartments in the past, and to the mix I add this one, which appeared in the March 1983 issue of AD. The home of designer John Irelan, the apartment was located in one of Washington, D.C.'s "grandest beaux arts buildings." Here, choice antiques and traditional furnishings were updated by clean, almost restrained backdrops in some rooms and richly-colored walls in others. Neoclassical-style chairs and Asian antiques rubbed shoulders with modern upholstery and contemporary art, while patterned fabrics, used skillfully as accents, were not allowed to run riot over their more subdued compatriots. On the whole, the effect is one of balance and harmony, made all the more interesting thanks to a few dramatic flourishes of color and light. What more could you ask for in a nighttime apartment?
Photos from Architectural Digest, March 1983, Peter Vitale photographer.