The past few days have been a wonderful whirlwind! I flew to DC earlier this week to host a SFERRA party with Timothy and Mia Worrell at their beautiful bedding store Timothy Paul (photos to come). I was kindly invited by Mary Douglas Drysdale to stay at her home during my visit. It was such a treat to be a guest at the home of a designer whose work I have admired for more than 20 years.
Following the SFERRA party, Paul Hooker (President of SFERRA), Aaron Stewart (Creative Director), Malcolm James Kutner, (interior designer and my travel partner in crime) and I followed Barry Dixon to his home, Elway Hall, in Fauquier County for a late night supper and overnight stay.
Hands down Barry Dixon and his partner Michael Schmidt are two of the most gracious hosts that I have ever encountered. The 20,000-square-foot Elway Hall, which Dixon bought with his partner Michael in 1991, is a sprawl of rooms, libraries and bedrooms. There are no less than 17 fireplaces and 10 bedrooms . However, despite the size, Michael and Barry have created a a warm and welcoming family home.
The house was built in 1907 by West Virginia senator Johnson Newlon Camden, who partnered with John D. Rockefeller to start Standard Oil. The house was built for his only daughter, Annie Thompson Camden, and her husband, Gen. Baldwin Day Spilman.
In addition to being guardians of a magical historic home, Barry and Michael raise chickens, goats, llamas and a turkey. Before departing yesterday morning we went on an ATV ride to explore their 400 hundred acres of rolling hills. I will take interior photos on the next visit. In the meantime you can visit Barbara Sallick's beautiful blog for more photos.