Meet The ASPIRE HOUSE McLean 2020 Designers: An Exclusive Interview With Lenore Winters

Detailed panel moldings provide the perfect backdrop for the decorative wall finishes that Lenore Winters of Lenore Winters Studios is creating in the Gallery at ASPIRE HOUSE McLean. The subtle linen weave technique used on the walls, along with the moldings, create framing for the art that will be on display. Learn more about Lenore’s plans for her space in an exclusive interview with Sherry Moeller.


Rendering of the Gallery at ASPIRE HOUSE McLean with design and decorative wall finishes by Lenore Winters Studio. Rendering by Roberta Marovelli.

Sherry Moeller: Describe your room at the show house. How did you come up with the concept and what’s the backstory?
Lenore Winters: In designing the Gallery area, our primary intent was to provide the best background that would showcase the artworks to be displayed. Having that element as our primary focus, the design was carefully edited to respect and enhance the visitors experience of each individual artwork.

SM: What’s a favorite element you plan to incorporate into your space at the ASPIRE HOUSE McLean?
LW: Luckily for us, the Gallery has beautifully detailed panel moldings designed by Mary Douglas Drysdale. This detailing became a natural frame for the art. On the main panels where the art will hang, we chose a painted decorative finish in a subtle linen weave technique. It will act as a neutral textured background on which to hang art. The few furniture pieces were chosen for their sculptural forms and accented with jewel toned fabrics reflected in the artworks. The touch of color acts to move the eye around the Gallery and to bring focus back to the art. We are also working with Knightsbridge Interiors for upholstery and drapery, as well as Salvations Architectural Furnishings for custom benches.


A library featuring a red lacquer glaze finish creates a vibrant backdrop for books and artwork in the room. Photo by Matthew Kleinrock.

SM: What projects have you done in the past that most resemble or relate in some way to what you plan to design at the ASPIRE HOUSE McLean? Or is this a completely different concept?
LW: In the past we have been very fortunate to collaborate with clients and designers on rooms that hold wonderful art collections. It has been exciting and an extreme honor to walk into a room that we have finished, and to see a Monet, Rothko, or Basquiat hanging on “our” walls.

SM: Have you participated in other show houses and why?
LW: We have had the privilege to collaborate with many design talents in show houses through the years. The creative process is at the heart of why we choose to participate. Amongst art and design professionals lives a mutual respect of the craft that brings out the best in all of us who dedicate our creative lives to this industry.


The showroom of Lenore Winters Studio displays an array of decorative finishes and painted furniture. Photo by Teague Clare.

SM: What’s next for you design wise—are there some projects you’re particularly excited about? Are there any projects you’d love to tackle, sort of a design bucket list?
LW: The current project I am most excited about is collaborating with my husband, George Hemphill, on the interior of our newly renovated home. It’s a bucket I finally get to kick around after planning it for 17 years!

Proceeds for ASPIRE HOUSE: McLean will benefit the ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME Diversity in Design Scholarship Fund. Click here to learn more, and purchase tickets for the event; opening August 21 through September 14, 2020.


About the Designer | For more than 30 years, Lenore Winters of Lenore Winters Studio has been committed to providing superior, high-end decorative painting services in the Washington, DC area and throughout the United States. Timeless, subtle finishes that bring harmony and understated elegance to interior spaces are the hallmark of our treatments.


Sherry Moeller is a contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine, see more of her work here.

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