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Georgetown House with Classic Design

Color and patterns mix in this designer's Georgetown home

Written by Candace Ord Manroe
  • Gordon Beall

    David Herchik isn't one of those designers whose signature style asserts itself as loquaciously as a Louis Vuitton logo. Look carefully at his work, though, and certain themes emerge. "I'm a big advocate of mixing strong pieces of furniture together, with each piece having its own bold lines that are a blend of both curves and rectilinear motifs," he explains. Proof of that approach is his recent design of a venerable Georgetown home overlooking the Potomac.

    Built in 1911 for the two sisters who founded the Georgetown Garden Club, the house has aristocratic bones that demand their due. "The design had to be fitting for the grandeur of the architecture," David confirms. His floor-to-ceiling draperies, rich silk damasks and cut velvets, custom rugs, and oversize lighting, along with a few well-edited antiques, all honor the architecture. "At the same time, I wanted spaces to feel really soft and elegant," he says.

    The best means to that end was color. "The palette of yellow-gold, cream, and slate-gray gives the design a soft sophistication," explains David, who used the colors to weave together the large formal living room and the adjoining dining room, repeating the living room draperies' embroidered silk on the dining room walls.

    Yet however beautifully executed, color isn't too reliable for revealing whether a design is David's--he is as comfortable wielding intense, saturated hues and jewel tones as he is the softer classics that he used in this home. (One look at the rich garnet walls and bright accompanying hues of the lobby he designed in last year's Washington Design Center Showhouse proves his attitude toward color--it's all about what's appropriate for the location, client, and even his own mood. And BTW: He's contributed to 13 showhouses.)

    Because of its articulation of the fluid and the linear in tandem, neoclassical, not surprisingly, is David's favorite design period. "I love it because the pieces really relate to a mixing of the genders--they're not too hard, they're not too fluffy." Neoclassical references appear not only in his residential work, but in most of those 13 showhouse rooms, as well as in his Capsule Collections furniture.

  • Gordon Beall
  • Gordon Beall

    Mirror (custom, based on design by David Herchik): Edward Ferrell+Lewis Mittman, 212/888-5580,
    Table under mirror ("Standard Stafford Table" #225): Rose Tarlow-Melrose House, 323/651-2202,
    Table lamp ("Athena Alta Lamp" #80048): Donghia, 914/662-2377,

  • Gordon Beall
  • Gordon Beall
  • Gordon Beall
  • Gordon Beall

    Pedestal table (custom, "Rent Table" #11-0703-C): David Iatesta, 410/604-0360,
    Hanging lantern: antique.
    Area rug ("New Oriental Hand-Knotted Tibetan," #NOT268719A); rug on stairs ("Squared Circle" with carving/Taupe and Cream): Stark Carpet Corp., 212/752-9000,
    Wall paint ("Coconut" #C336): C2 Paint,
    Art in stairwell (by Richmond Burton): Cheim and Read Gallery, 212/242-7727,

  • Gordon Beall

    Bed (custom, "Eaton Bed," king size #50223): Donghia, 914/662-2377,
    Bed fabric ("Elsa"/Seine #2020-02): Brentano, 847/657-8481,
    Bedding: Abrielle Fine Linens, 202/364-6118.
    Mirrored cabinet with decorative design: Mitchell Yanosky Custom Furniture Finishes, 410/467-2211,
    Table lamp ("Wabi Sabi Alt Lamps"/Crème #80059): Donghia, 914/662-2377,
    Drapery, pillow on chaise ("Tying the Knot"/White #8300-00): Bart Halpern Inc., 212/414-2727,
    Art behind bed (Three Seconds with the Masters-Reaching, 2008, archival print, by James Osher): Addison/Ripley Fine Art, 202/338-5180,
    Wall paint (custom): Donald Kaufman Color,
    Ceiling and trim paint ("America's Cup" #C064): C2 Paint,
    Carpet (custom, "Rosettes"/Brown, Blue, designed by David Herchik): Stark Carpet, 212/752-9000,
    Daybed: antique.
    Daybed fabric ("Flow"/Robin's Nest #5057/04): Pollack, 212/627-7766,

  • Gordon Beall
  • Gordon Beall