A Delightful Day of Design & Inspiration at the new DC Design Center

The Open House at the new digs for the Washington, DC Design Center was spectacular! There were lots of opportunities for attendees to enjoy many facets of interior design and be inspired through discussion panels and the beautifully decorated showrooms.

One of the more inspirational discussions was on the topic, “Is Luxury a Bad Word?” The panel was moderated by Robin Gordon, VP of Marketing for Duralee and consisted of well-known hosts in the design world: Newell Turner, Editorial Director for the Hearst Design Group (publishers of such magazines as House Beautiful, Veranda and Elle Decor among others); interior designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd of Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interior Design and showroom; and Charles Hare, Director of UK-based luxury silk specialists James Hare. Eileen and James both have gorgeous design collections represented by Duralee.

Duralee Discussion_casartblog

This was a well attended conference with a captive audience and very thoughtful discussions were asked afterwards. Here’s a brief synopsis with some exceptional quotes that were jotted down:

Duralee Panel_casartblog

Robin Gordon (RG) started out asking what the word ‘luxury’ meant to the panel members?

  • Newell Turner (NT): “Luxury is a state of mind.
  • Eileen Kathryn Boyd (EKB): Clients should have “permission, to be allowed to live with luxury.
  • James Hare (JH): “Luxury is in the eye of the beholder and creates a mutual ‘experience’ between producer and consumer, which can lead to an exclusive partnership with a customer.”

RG asked what is the role of the designer in regard to luxury?

  • NT: The role of the designer is to ‘teach’ about luxury. Wasteful luxury is shameful. Need to appreciate the reason something is luxurious. An educated consumer understands why something costs more with quality.
  • EKB: The designer’s ideas (and resources) are valuable and should be treated as such. Luxury needs to stand out to justify the cost. She budgets the whole project with at least one luxury piece because not everything needs to be so costly and less luxury is more.

RG: Prior to 2007, items were more about those that lasted. Now, there is a disposable mentality in society. Currently, there are many levels of luxury. What was once a concept perhaps afforded by a few is now available to more because everyone’s idea of luxury can be different and accepted as diversity. Luxury is definitely a personal experience.

Closing thoughts:

NT: “Luxury is not a bad word.” Think about how much disposable income people put toward fashion, buying cars or eating at restaurants. One does not live in their car and the experience in a restaurant is only temporary and yet some people’s homes are lacking the same attention. Getting people to experience a showhouse can lead to a profound change in their perception for how people can live. Similarly, design magazines can give access and exposure to those examples that get people to take care of their homes. In fact, simply appreciating the fact that having a ‘home’ is a luxury. It makes sense to treat it with care. {So well stated}

Gorgeous Duralee tassles_casartblog

Just look at these sumptuous Duralee tassels

EKB: “One should look [and feel] as good in your house as what you wear. Everyone has a personal color story. A luxury investment to a house ‘completes’ the look as long as it is curated.”

JH: There is certainly a dual role with fashion playing into trends that is later seen in interior design. His company bridges both worlds. {A previous blog post}

Questions and Observations from the audience:

Brenda Saget Darling, Associate Publisher House Beautiful: The younger generation should consider at least 2 – 3 ‘splurgeworthy‘ items that are a valued investment rather than all temporary or throw away, mass-produced pieces. {Be on the lookout — splurgeworthy will be the next-new coined catch phrase}

EKB: These will stand the test of time and can be reupholstered, reconfigured or even repurposed, handed-down or even sold. They increase in value over time, not depreciate.

RG: It seems like entertaining at home is a lost art, with the trend for things being disposable, getting the latest gadget or appliance but not necessarily sharing with others. {This is a future blog post}

EKB: It’s the mentality of instant gratification. Whereas, two well-made tables can change over the course of one’s different stages in life (e.g from small apartment renting to living room side tables to bedroom tables, etc.). {We have a video about this}

Paul Fogg: “A luxury purchase is a lifetime investment of enjoyment.” {good one Paul!}

Paul Fogg_casartblog

Paul Fogg gives insight

All agreed that luxury purchases can lead to ‘sustainability,’ if taken care of, not tossed, appreciated, reused and even handed down to another generation, so they will continue to be grateful of the quality, time and attention to detail in the making of something that can last a lifetime or more.

Newell_Eileen_with Duralee backdrop_casartblog


It was an honor to meet Eileen Kathryn Boyd

The day didn’t end here. With designer friends in tow, Randi Guthrie of Homes by Randi, Barbara Dieker of Restyle Your Space and Ann Principato, Casart coverings Sales Representative, we attended more lectures and showrooms. We were treated to tidbits of delicious food and mid-afternoon libations (if you chose). We even caught ourselves in the spotlight at the American Eye showroom.

Barbara Dieker_casartblog

Barbara Dieker


Randi & Ann enjoy the home-like settings

Gals at American Eye_slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Barbara, Ann & Ashley

One of my favorite visits was to the Holland & Sherry Showroom where Cory Barber and his design crew were demonstrating and allowing hands-on designing of hand-painted wallcoverings for the new Archetype line. This was truly inspirational. I loved the textures of the wallcoverings that were achieved from the thick painted glazes in a multitude of different finishes — a decorative painter’s dream job to be creating and painting all day long. Casart coverings has a different approach but starts with the hand-painting and digital manipulation of designs for patterns that are then printed for affordable but ‘luxurious’ and lasting wallcoverings that are also customizable and reusable.

One of the H&S designs_casartblog

Getting even more inspiration from the many fabric swatches at Pindler, not to mention the delicious, homemade, raspberry-cheesecake cookies that we sampled.

Some Pindler Fabric Swatch Inspiration_casartblog

For more information about the Washington DC Design Center, go to their website along with Jennifer Sergent’s early review of the new showrooms via DC By Design. and her most recent Overheard at the Washington Designer Center post, about the day’s earlier events.  Seeing one of the pictures from that post, I realized I know this popcorn. We love the shop being right around the corner and used it for my son’s welcome gifts for out-of-town attendees to his wedding. Kudos to Popped! They are going gangbusters, and I’m happy to spread the word and share the love of the new Design Center.

Popped pop corn on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Look What’s Popping Up Everywhere

Spring is nearly here and we have to get through a bit of rainy season before flowers start to bloom. However, you can see poppies and other botanical art popping up all over the place. At least we still don’t have this type of dichotomy — snow falling while tropical dresses grace shop windows.

Window Dressing Dichotomy on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Window Dressing Dichotomy

Soon enough we’ll have real flowers but in the meantime, we predict you’ll be seeing a lot of them a lot sooner everywhere else.

Look at this beautiful poppy rug as art work by Grand in Road.

Grand in Road_poppy rug art_casartblog

We have had a tendency to reference Grand in Road lately because we are liking their new-found look and philosophy.

We agree that the outdoors as well as indoors should be looked at differently — with art and personality in mind to create ambiance and interest.

Grand in Road_outdoors art_casartblog

We like the bold statement artwork they are featuring, with its quirky and colorful nature. We also like the handpainted look to this printed giclée, Bessie Cow below.

A 36″ square print is on sale right now for $153, discounted from $189.

Grand in Road_Bessie_casartblog

Grand in Road_Bessie detail_casartblog

We have similar work with a ‘handpainted’ quality by artist Ann Alger, who’s created a Bloom series of botanical artwork with photographic digital manipulation. Although ours is not on sale at present, it comes in a variety designs and sizes. The closest size to the one above is 36 x 24 for as low as $41, as seen with the Peony in Pink.

Ann Alger Peony In Pink_for Casart coverings

White and Pink Peonies has a more muted color and there are many others to view on our website.

Ann Alger White & Pink Peonies_for Casart coverings

We have other flowers that never fade or need watering and make an artistic and spring-like, decorative statement.

Casart Peony comes in assorted colors and in a pattern

Casart Peony comes in assorted colors and in a pattern


Casart design, with or without wording, in different varieties

If you’re as crazy for a floral pattern as we are, go overall flowers, with Flower Power.

Flower Power - reusable wallcovering on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Flower Power – reusable wallcovering

Our other prediction where you’ll see flowers popping up is in fashion. We love this flowy, floral dress.

Spring floral dress on slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

You’ll see many tropical, floral dresses in the market. Must be coming from the long winter we’ve had and wishing spring was already here. Only 2 days to make it official!

Tropcial floral dresses on slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Happy Spring!

Transforming Your Furniture is Easy

We recently participated in a Casart demonstration at Evolution Home, Alexandria Virginia’s premier vintage retailer. We wanted to show how easy it is to use Casart wallcoverings on more than just walls. Furniture pieces that were selected were completely transformed.

Here are a few pictures to show how different the pieces looked after we applied Casart, self-adhesive wallcovering using designs from the Libby Langdon Collection. Granted, wallpaper is not a traditional or first-thought-of-way to refinish furniture — but certainly an easier way than paint or other solutions — especially self-adhesive, peel and stick wallcovering that you can DIY (do it yourself).

EEV Home Demo Before_2357

Pieces of furniture before applying Casart

Casart coverings demonstration at Evolution Home

Casart coverings demonstration at Evolution Home

Here are some easy-to-do, furniture transformation, before and after photos.

Casart coverings, Evolution Home, LEvolution Home Tabledop furniture transformation

This painted metal table needs some attention. What’s the easiest thing to do? Casart DIY wallcoverings!

We simply placed the wallcovering beneath the glass table top section of this painted metal table and rested it on the lip that holds the glass top.

A glass tabletop is easily transformed with Libby Langdon Groovy Gate_Casart reusable wallpaper

A glass tabletop & table is easily transformed with Libby Langdon Groovy Gate Casart reusable wallcovering

EV Home Cabinet Before

A glass front cabinet could use a little oomph to stand out.

Casart coverings, Evolution Home, Libby Langdon Chic Chevron, Cabinet furniture transformation

Voilá! Chic Chevron from the Libby Langdon Collection is used on the vertical to transform the look of a glass front cabinet

We like the side movement of this Chic Chevron “zig-zag” for this piece rather than the conventional up and down pattern. Now the piece is modern-vintage.

Even “disfigurations” in furniture can be concealed with Casart wallcoverings.

Casart coverings, Evolution Home, LEvolution Home Tabledop furniture transformation

Etagere needs some transformation. See those paint globs and scratches?

The Libby Langdon Groovy Gate pattern completely camouflages any imperfections. Wow!

Casart coverings, Evolution Home, LEvolution Home Tabledop furniture transformation, Libby Langdon Collection, Groovy Gate

Don’t see them now! Casart camouflages. Libby Langdon Groovy Gate Hampton Beige was used.

Casart coverings, Evolution Home, LEvolution Home Tabledop furniture transformation

An oval table at Evolution Home could use a transformation with Casart removable wallcovering

Libby Langdon Lively Lattice in Icy Blue was simply adhered on top of the glass on the table. We used the oval shape of the glass to trace and cut out the piece. This way, you can see where the pattern will align.

EV Home_Oval Table After Libby Langdon Lively Lattice Casart reusable wallcovering

Oval Table After Libby Langdon Lively Lattice

EV Home Jewelry Cabinet Before

Jewelry Cabinet Before

It was a lovely jewelry cabinet before but now stands out more with a Casart backing. Libby Langdon’s Lively Lattice in Icy Blue was the chosen pattern for this piece and placed on the inside of the glass door.

Evolution Home Jewelry Case After Libby Langdon Lattice Casart reusable wallpaper

Jewelry Case After Libby Langdon Lively Lattice

You can see the all of the finished furniture pieces below. They all look great!!

Oh, we didn’t forget about the walls; we used a custom rust Khatacross from the MoRockAnSoul Collection on the back teal wall as a complementary color. It could be used as an accent piece.

We also used both our natural Faux Tortoiseshell on the black side of the screen and the Libby Langdon Groovy Gate in Midnight Navy on the white side of the screen (see first photo), to give two completely different and very versatile looks. We just flipped the screen around to show both sides. We like pieces that change and are multi-design functional.

Evolution Home After Transformation with Casart reusable wallcovering

After Casart coverings transformation

Casart covering demonstration at Evolution Home

The Casart Crew hard at work

Casart coverings demonstration at Evolution Home

Participants use Casart coverings at Evolution Home

Let us know how you use your Casart wallcoverings!

Comment below with your creative, decorative techniques using wallpaper.

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