The Aspire House McLean project began in 2018, when Bill Harrison, renowned architect and principal of Harrison Design, introduced aspire design and home CEO and Founder Steve Mandel to a developer he worked with called Artisan Builders. Mandel was immediately impressed, and planning began for a showhouse in this elegant suburb of Washington, D.C.
The residence, which adapts Palladian concepts of geometry, proportion and symmetry, is modern and light-filled, with vast windows to flood the space with sunlight. In order to make sure the interior design matched the caliber of the architecture, Mandel invited Mary Douglas Drysdale to be the design chair. Drysdale explains, “A talented group of designers and creatives from the Mid-Atlantic region displayed their skills to create a home that is a modern classic mix, referring to the architectural traditions of our region and to the lifestyle that people aspire to today.”
aspire design and home: How much time did you have to complete this room, start to finish?
Jodi Macklin: We were one of the last designers in but still had ample time to complete our space. We had about 6 months.
aspire: What was your biggest challenge? Did you have a Eureka moment during the process?
Jodi: Our eureka moment was when we realized what an important space the home office had become due to the COVID lifestyle. We agreed to do the space in December 2019 just months before the world changed.
aspire: What did you and your team accomplish that you thought would not happen in time?
Jodi: Nothing! We ended up having 9 months as opposed to 6 as the opening was delayed due to COVID.
aspire: What was your inspiration for this room?
Jodi: We decided we wanted to create a very colorful, modern space. It started with the Lyndsey Cowles wallpaper in a bold pattern and a fabulous color.
aspire: Did you step out of your comfort zone for this project, and if so, why?
Jodi: Yes, we have never used color the way we used it except in accents.
aspire: Is your preference for a showhouse a small space or a large space? Does one or the other provide a better opportunity to stretch your creativity?
Jodi: While it was a small space, it wasn’t necessarily the smallest space. There are powder rooms and vestibules that are much smaller. We enjoyed the size and it very much allowed us to stretch our creativity.
aspire: Describe the town of McLean in one sentence.
Jodi: Charming suburb across the river.
This or that:
aspire: Paint or wallpaper?
aspire: Hardwood or rug?
aspire: Beach or Mountains?
aspire: Saturated Color or Black and White?
Jodi: Black and White
aspire: Brunch or Dinner?
aspire: Midcentury or 18th Century?
aspire: Draperies, shades, or nothing?
Jodi: Simple drapery
Photos by Ron Blunt.
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