When you embark upon renovating a Washington, D.C., residence that just so happens to have been originally designed by famed interiors firm Parish-Hadley in 1962, the first thing you decide to change is . . . absolutely nothing. At least, that’s the route Jennifer Beek and Georgie Hambright of J+G Design took after crossing the threshold of this time capsule of a home.
“We were told the apartment had not been touched since the ’60s, so we braced ourselves for the worst,” Beek says. “And as the real estate agent tried to distract us from how ‘old’ the apartment was, we were in total awe as we walked through the work of the late and legendary Sister Parish and Albert Hadley.”
Hambright adds: “While the apartment had to be gutted, we knew right then and there that Parish-Hadley would be the inspiration. It was almost like a historic preservation project. We wanted to resurrect the design, using as many of the same vendors as we could — but in a fresh and contemporary way.”
With their design blueprint in place, the duo set out to uphold the integrity of this preserved apartment that was nestled in a Frederick H. Brooke’s Beaux-Arts building. Luckily for Beek and Hambright, the homeowners were none other than Beek’s parents, who were more than happy to restore this beauty and give it a modern life steeped in tradition.
Photos by Patrick Cline
“For this project, the writing was on the wall, and we knew what we had to do,” Beek explains. “In its original state, there were some signature Parish-Hadley staples that we wanted to preserve: the corrugated lacquered walls painted in Benjamin Moore’s Teal Ocean in the entry, the hand-painted zigzag floors and the custom Zina Studios fabrics and wallcoverings. However, we were going to implement everything in an entirely new way.”
“Throughout the home, there are bits and pieces of this intense teal hue, but then we went all out in the library and lacquered the entire room in Benjamin Moore’s Summer Basket Green. We wanted the space to be vibrant and fun, a place that would draw guests in. Everyone loves hanging out in that room,” says Beek.
Here, an Avery Boardman sleeper sofa covered in a Harlequin fabric and paired with Rubelli pillows anchors the space. Acting as a supporting cast are mohair club chairs, Barbara Barry for Circa Lighting sconces, a Michael S. Smith mirror from John Rosselli, an Aerin globe pendant and a vintage Lucite coffee table.
The formal dining room is an entertainer’s dream, grounded by a Ferguson-Copeland table adorned with Herend china designed for Queen Victoria. An antique chandelier hangs above the round table, which is surrounded by antique dining chairs covered in John Robshaw fabric. A Matt Camron rug runs underfoot.
Beek says her parents wanted the apartment to exude glamour in the formal entertaining space as well as the private living quarters. “We tried to achieve this through different finishes and materials, such as antiqued mirror, Lucite, metallic wallcoverings and special custom finishes from Alpha Workshops. The spaces all really flow from one to the other, both architecturally and aesthetically, which is conducive to their entertaining needs.”
Adjacent Sitting Room
Featuring a continuation of the chevron-patterned floors is another petite perching space grounded by a Zina Studios banquette adorned with a Samuel & Sons fringe and Miles Redd for Schumacher pillows. The side-by-side coffee tables are from Worlds Away.
“Since the kitchen is right off of the dining and living rooms, we wanted to continue the zigzag floor, but we installed it in cork!” Beek explains. “Cork is fabulous for a kitchen because it is durable and antimicrobial. Instead of doing your typical brown cork, we thought we would tie in the dark teal. The flooring people were not fans of ours after learning they had to make all those cuts, but it was so worth it!”