Meet The ASPIRE HOUSE McLean 2020 Designers: An Exclusive Interview With Olvia Demetriou

Creating both a dramatic and subtle space, Olvia Demetriou, FAIA of HapstakDemetriou+, is designing the Wine Bar at ASPIRE HOUSE McLean to feel like an evening out on the town, but with the comfort of being at home. The exotic, charcoal-black marble focal wall and smoky gray wood veneer along with seductive lighting will make this Wine Bar one to remember. Demetriou shared more insight into her design in an exclusive interview with Sherry Moeller.

Rendering of the Wine Bar at ASPIRE HOUSE McLean by Olvia Demetriou.

Sherry Moeller: Describe your room at the show house. How did you come up with the concept and what’s the backstory?
Olvia Demetriou: The Wine Bar was conceived not as a storeroom for wine, but rather as a destination place to celebrate wine as a shared social activity. Our concept was to make the Wine Bar feel like a glamorous escape – perhaps enough to get dressed up for within the comfort of one’s home. Designed to standout as unique, we chose to make the room seductively dark and atmospheric with a dramatically-lit feature wall.

The room features luxurious materials, including smoky gray, stained-wood Maya Romanoff wallcovering, stained oak ceiling, and a richly-veined, black marble counter to create high contrast and drama. Each wine bottle is held on steel pins so that the bottles appear to float off the faux, white marble focal wall. The bar is flanked by two tall black and ivory lacquer display cabinets featuring the owner’s collection of glassware. The atmospheric palette of the room accentuates the wine feature wall and provides a rich contrast to the pale white oak flooring.

The statuary marble in this Amenities Bar by Demetriou, which is located in a condo building in the Shaw neighborhood of DC, is similar to the faux-painted look of the focal wall in the HapstakDemetriou+ Wine Bar at the ASPIRE HOUSE McLean.

SM: What’s a favorite element you plan to incorporate into your space at the ASPIRE HOUSE McLean?
OD: It’s a tie between the Maya Romanoff’s Grand Ajiro Coffers – a wood veneer marquetry, both dramatic and subtle, and the Grigio Carnico polished marble, which is an exotic charcoal black marble with beautiful veining. We designed the backsplash to extend up high so that the marble is prominently featured.

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?
OD: Two recent luxury condominium amenity bars are similar to the Wine Bar at ASPIRE HOUSE McLean. One is the bar in a Social Amenities Room at West End in DC and the second is an Amenities Bar in DC’s Shaw neighborhood that has similar statuary marble that we’re using for the focal wall in the Wine Bar.

SM: Have you participated in other show houses and why?
OD: We were invited to participate in the Washington Design Center Hall of Fame 2010 Design House, where we designed a bedroom suite with bath.

This HapstakDemetriou+ Social Amenities Room Bar at West End in Washington, DC is similar to Demetriou’s Wine Bar concept for the ASPIRE HOUSE McLean.

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?
OD: We are about to launch the construction of two very large restaurants in DC: one is near Eastern Market and the other is on Pennsylvania Avenue. These have been on-the-boards for a year, as they are both highly complex concepts. We are working on a contract for a boutique hotel in a historic structure and are also shortlisted for a multi-use project in downtown DC. After having just completed a large apartment renovation redecoration in Palm Beach, we are excited to begin a new project in Miami. Although we are known for our restaurant designs, I love designing hotels, trophy office lobbies and ground-up homes.

Bucket list projects include designing a vacation home in a remote, dramatic and unique landscape, a museum structure that incorporates landscape, sky and water, and a resort and spa in a beautiful landscape.

About the Designer | Olvia C. Demetriou, FAIA, of HapstakDemetriou+ is considered one of the Mid-Atlantic’s preeminent architects and has been credited with pioneering Washington’s burgeoning hospitality scene. In addition to hotels and restaurants, her award-winning high-end residential projects, multi-use and multi-family, galleries, offices and retail projects propelled her to become the youngest Architect ever elected to The College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects as well as a Founding Member of The Washington Design Center Hall of Fame. A graduate from The Cooper Union School of Arts & Sciences, she has 39 years of experience, 31 years at the helm of her own firm. Responsible for cutting-edge design and management of large- and small-scale projects, her design solutions are bold and imaginative with an emphasis on dramatic and sculptural forms, evocative lighting, sensual materials, and inventive detailing.

HapstakDemetriou+ is an architectural and interior design firm that brings together the design powerhouses of Demetriou and Peter F. Hapstak, III, AIA, whose careers have long been celebrated for their innovation and timelessness. HapstakDemetriou+ has received numerous awards, including the Business Week/Architectural Record Award, the International Interior Design Association Awards, the American Institute of Architects Awards, The American Society of Interior Designers National Awards, The American Institute of Architects Catalyst Award, as well as the GSA Honor Awards. The work has been featured on Fox Television and in numerous publications, including Architectural Record, Business Week, Interior Design Magazine, Interiors, Architectural Digest, Rizzoli’s Private Washington, World Architecture, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Metropolitan Home, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, and numerous local publications. The full-service firm was included in Interior Design’s 100 Rising Giants and the Interior Design’s Hospitality Giants.

Sherry Moeller is a contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine.

Proceeds for ASPIRE HOUSE: McLean will benefit First Responders of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn more, and purchase tickets for the event; open August 21 – September 7, 2020.

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