This year’s stay-at-home orders forced Northern Virginians indoors for months and brought to the forefront a statement as old as it is true: Home is where the heart is. With that came the realization for many people that it was time to update their houses, birthing a myriad of home projects and renovations. With redesigns fresh on Northern Virginians’ minds, it’s the perfect time for the Aspire House McLean Designer Show House to open its doors to the region.
Now hosting on-site tours (reservations required), as well as virtual tours, through Sept. 14, the Aspire House McLean is the region’s newest show house, featuring 29 regional and national designers, with seven hailing from Northern Virginia. The house itself was built by McLean-based Artisan Builders. Proceeds from the show house are benefiting the Aspire Design and Home Diversity in Design Scholarship, which provides scholarships for design talent from underrepresented communities to promote diversity in the industry.
Open Wednesdays through Sundays with just 18 guests allowed on-site at a time (guests are required to wear face masks at all times), the Aspire House’s team includes Northern Virginia-based designers Pamela Harvey, the founder of Pamela Harvey Interiors (family room); Josh Hildreth of Josh Hildreth Interiors (upper bedroom); Case Architects & Remodelers’ Allie Mann (upper bathroom); Michael Winn of Winn Design + Build (upper bathroom); Galiani Design Group’s Maria Galiani (lower billiards room); Paul Lobkovich of Lobkovich Inc. (his and hers dressing rooms in the master bedroom); and Masseria Chic’s Federica Asack (lower powder room vestibule).
Guests can expect the Aspire House to be “a bit edgier and forward-thinking,” says Mann. “I do not think it is like any other design house this area has seen before. More risks have been taken with the design and concepts.”
There are also international touches, courtesy of designers like Asack, who grew up in Italy. “The vestibule is the smallest room on the lower level and its function or purpose can be traced back to Roman architecture,” Asak says. “I lived the longest in Rome and I have an appreciation for anything classical. I capitalized on the origins of the vestibule and established a traditional space with a sense of intimacy and a bit of magic. There is a healthy balance of old and new, and a sense of international elegance.”
Galiani agrees, saying, “This home is a conversion between the classic elements of yesterday and the contemporary, clean design aesthetic of today. When you walk through this home it is like a breath of fresh air. After these last few hard months of the pandemic, we all could use a deep, clean breath of fresh air.” // Aspire House: 952 Mackall Farms Lane, McLean; $50 adults, $45 military and seniors