An opportunity to experience a room by Mary Douglas Drysdale is not to be missed. Last Friday I had the chance to do just that at the Richmond Symphony Designer Showhouse. Mary designed the living room with a nod to America's past and an eye to the future. It is an unparalled combination of bold pieces and subtle, meaningful details. The result is an elegant, seamless room that is both welcoming and stunning.
A Great Dane sculpture by Mark Perry is the focal point above the fireplace - unexpected and enjoyable all at once.
A curved settee is paired with a monochromatic graphic pillow. The seating in the room was enveloped in Sandra Jordan's alpaca and curved and straight lines were balanced throughout the space. Artwork subtly referenced our nation's past and its future direction.
Here's Mary with the uber talented Tobi Fairley who created a stunning Stair Hall with traditional furniture treated with modern painted finishes and fabrics. I loved the color palette too - light blues with accents of red. Go here to see a rendering of the space.
My dear friend Anne with Mary - who was the epitome of graciousness. You may have noticed the bare feet. Depending on the shoes you had, the protective foot coverings could be a bit slippery. But this brings me to another element of Mary's design - pattern. The gorgeous patterned cognac floor with light and dark accents (hard to see in my photos) and the pattern on the curtains were designed by Mary. Tom Hickey of Rising Tide Inc. is the decorative artist that beautifully executed the floor design.

Is this all the photos?

Yes, I'm to say. When I attended the Gala, it was unclear if any photos could be used so I limited myself to photos of the designers (although as you see here I couldn't resist taking a few photos of Mary's room.) For bloggers attending Press Day, the only room allowed to be photographed was Mary's. Be sure to visit Jeanette's A Passion for Home in the next few days as she will likely have more images of the room to share.

Is it worth the drive if you live in DC?

Yes, many of the designers in this showhouse created fabulous, creative and inspiring spaces! Set on 8 acres on the James River, the gardens and landscaping are a treat unto themselves. The Designer House remains open through Oct. 11 - details here.