Washington, DC

by Prince Of Petworth January 13, 2012 at 2:30 pm 7 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user ewilfong

Jessica Bonness runs JGB Interiors and writes at Paint It What I Tell You.

I was perusing the forum this week and noticed several questions pertaining to interior decorating and general home stuff, which is awesome. I took a crack at posting my suggestions and hope others do, too. There are recommendations on here that are new to me (always need a good carpenter…) so I’m finding it really resourceful.

Cheap framing shop? This poster seems to be looking for “just a very basic frame,” which I interpret to mean no mat. If you have an odd-sized piece, this can be a tough and expensive search. One thing you can do is find a frame that’s just slightly the wrong size (so, if your piece is a weird 22 x 33.5, you may find a frame that’s 24 x 36, or 21 x 33). If your off-the-rack frame is smaller than the piece, you can carefully trim the artwork to fit it (use a straight edge and a knife for this). If the frame you find is larger than the art, you can try to purchase a mat to cover up the space. You can also cut your own mat out of a large piece of mat board (available at art supply stores); again, use a knife to cut…not scissors. Mat board is typically white-ish, but you can use paint to change the color (house paint, acrylic paint, wrap it in craft paper…anything goes). If all else fails, try a custom site like American Frame to build your own frame as cheaply as possible, or start clipping those 40% off Michael’s coupons.

Fine Art Auctioneer? Somebody’s got a lucky friend who wants to sell a seemingly valuable painting. PoP advises Weschler’s, which is a good idea. Also, you could try popping into your neighborhood art gallery (never mind what they specialize in) and asking for a referral.

Custom Interior Doors? Try Community Forklift in PG County (no, it’s not very far). And if you go the custom route, be SURE to check out the carpenter’s previous similar projects to make sure you like what they do.

Window Shades/Blinds? Lots of good advice here. Personally, I like to refer economizing clients to Select Blinds. Don’t be fooled by the website’s urgency: there is ALWAYS a 30% off sale. But do be sure to request a sample set (which they express-mail to you) before ordering; if you don’t, they won’t allow a return.

Someone in need of Wood Furniture Refinishing has two recommendations already. Another person looking for an Upholsterer in DC has a few sources to check out. Someone else is searching for Marble Thresholds. Anyone else have ideas?

by Prince Of Petworth July 15, 2011 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

Jessica Bonness runs JGB Interiors and writes at Paint It What I Tell You.

West Elm’s Pop-Up Store opened Thursday in Georgetown at 3333 M Street NW.

A far cry from the hulking behemoth of organic bedding and chocolate-wood veneers that used to exist downtown, this is West Elm‘s littlest store and arguably their most charming one. As such, it carries a limited amount of furniture and focuses instead on their collection of textiles and accessories. You’ll find a lot of one-of-a-kind items here: hand-printed ethnic print pillows, vibrant throws made from recycled saris, and gleaming glass mosaic wall decor from India that’s traditionally used to panel elaborate buildings. There are also tons of soaps, candles, and little items that you’ll probably be happy you purchased on an impulse. I got a candle in my little gift bag that smells so good, even my husband approves: Paddywax’s “Library” scent.

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by Prince Of Petworth May 3, 2011 at 11:00 am 22 Comments

Jessica Bonness runs JGB Interiors

I was thrilled last week to hear that Trohv, a new home and gift store, was finally opening at 232 Carroll Avenue NW! It’s just one convenient block away from the Takoma Metro stop on the red line, and it’s open Monday – Wednesday 11-7, Thursday – Saturday from 10-8, and Sundays from 11-6.

Trohv carries all kinds of home goods that run the gamut from reclaimed to whimsical to mod to eco-chic. So often I walk in all-the-rage home stores and leave thinking, “I could pick these things out and find a far more interesting range of items.” Well, I left Trovh last weekend feeling like it would be such a challenge to put together a store with as many awesome, one-of-a-kind, reasonably priced and neat-looking items as they have crammed into their space. It’s a store with an incredible range of tastes, and items that many varied budgets can accommodate. I can’t wait to take my clients here AND recommend it to some of my starving artist friends.

They offer furniture — from sofas to occasional tables, decorative accessories, books, kitchen gadgets, art, stationary, some clothing, and they even have a sizable kid and baby section. I wasn’t kidding about the decent prices: this super comfortable sofa, as pictured, was about $1,200.

When you walk in there is stuff galore, but because the space is so large and gloriously warehouse-y you don’t get anything close to that claustrophobic feeling you get in some overstuffed home stores. I could have walked around for another hour looking at their little trinkets and accessories. Here are some of their offerings that I photographed on Sunday:

If you find yourself up in Takoma, or feel like taking a 15 minute ride up the red line from downtown (yes, it’s really that close), I’d definitely recommend swinging by. I should mention that the owners of Trohv have another store in Baltimore that now goes by the same name but formerly was called Red Tree.

by Prince Of Petworth September 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm 21 Comments

Jessica Bonness runs JGB Interiors and will answer PoP reader questions about decorating and design. If you have a question send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com and write ‘design question’ in the title.

“I have a design question! We live in a Wardman style row home with a large bay window in the living room. I love the light the bay window provides but we are having trouble figuring out how to arrange the furniture. In addition to the bay window which takes up one wall, we have an oversize opening to the hallway on another wall, the same opening to the dining room on a third wall and a large fireplace on the forth wall. We must keep the 52 inch tv in the room, which is currently in a corner across from the bay window. We have the sofa in the bay window right now but it doesn’t give us enough seating to entertain. (And only allows for one person to stretch out to watch tv!) Do you have any suggestions about what furniture would be better or how to best arrange the furniture when there is no wall space? Thanks!””

Jessica responds:

You could do a couple of things to maximize your seating with this wall-less floor plan.

First, you could get a modified sectional sofa. Not necessarily a huge 7-piece monstrosity, but more like a sofa with a chaise built in. Lots of retailers have “apartment sized” furniture – Crate and Barrel has some great options, like the City 2-Piece Armless Sectional – and the sectionals in this category would be a good fit without taking up too much space in the room.

If you’re keeping your furniture, I’d probably put your existing sofa in the middle of the room and place some armchairs or a bench opposite it. If you can fit two more small chairs next to each other in that bay window, you can define the area with a small rug and create a place to read a book or sit while you’re not watching television. You might even have room for a tiny table or a cube.

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by Prince Of Petworth September 15, 2010 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

What do these things have to do with a fireplace?

Jessica Bonness runs JGB Interiors and will answer PoP reader questions about decorating and design. If you have a question send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com and write ‘design question’ in the title.

Fall is (almost) here, which means a lot of socializing is going to be shifting from the pool to the fireplace. But what if your fireplace is ugly? Or what if your fireplace doesn’t work? Or what if you have an 18 month old like I do, and you’re afraid to light a fire that he can access for fear that he’ll throw himself into it “for fun?”

Here are some ideas to keep your hearth glowing throughout the colder months…at least with style.

1.) Do a mini-renovation: If you’ve got an anti-interesting fireplace – you know, flush with the wall, no molding, no mantle – try running with that. Paint the fireplace wall, or a vertical column of it, with chalkboard paint. Use mosaic tile like the kind typically seen on a kitchen backsplash. Mount pictures ledges over the opening to create an alternative mantle, and place art and curios on them. Just make sure your applications are as heatproof as they are stylish.

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by Prince Of Petworth September 12, 2013 at 2:30 pm 2 Comments

3222 M Street, NW

The following was written by PoP contributor Jessica Bonness. Jessica runs JGB Interiors and writes at Paint It What I Tell You.

It’s a pretty average Home Goods, which means it has a ton of extremely reasonably priced furniture, lamps, bedding, accessories, and aisles upon aisles of kitchen gadgets and random food-finds. I think it’s a great resource for people who live in a city, because they stock a lot of small pieces of furniture that fit little apartments nicely.


A few of my favorite finds are a “soda crate” that inexplicably says “cream cheese,” a huge planter that looks bronzed and antiqued but is actually pretty lightweight, some cute canisters, great colorful barstools, and a truly neat wooden sofa that is not cheap at $599, but it is surprisingly pretty comfortable. In the toy section, I found a few Bruder brand toy trucks that my son loves; they usually retail for close to $80 but at Home Goods they were only $29.99.


I encourage clients to go here a lot if they are on a budget or running out of their budgeted funds; now they don’t have to go as far. I will definitely be back for myself.

The one thing that’s really different about this Home Goods location is that it shares a space and registers with TJ Maxx, which seems to have a lot of designer clothing. I didn’t peruse that part of the store, but it looks like it would be fun to explore another day.

by Prince Of Petworth April 2, 2012 at 10:30 am 35 Comments

The following was written by PoP contributor Jessica Bonness. Jessica Bonness runs JGB Interiors and writes at Paint It What I Tell You.

As I’m sure many in PoPville may have already discovered while out and about this weekend, Reincarnations Furnishings at 1401 14th Street, NW (at 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue) is closing because they have lost their lease. Their unique, often one-of-a-kind pieces, will surely be missed. I frequently brought clients here to choose a piece of art, a quirky accessory, or shop for that one thing that’s missing from their space; we always found something, whether or not it was what we came in for. Reincarnations has always had good turnover of items, and their selections tend to be on a more affordable spectrum; as one of the first home and design stores in the now swanky and quite expensive 14th Street corridor, they held strong to their original concept. They really do have something for everyone.

According to the store there are currently no plans to relocate or reopen, as the future of the store remains to be decided. However, options are aplenty. In their own words, “We’re called Reincarnations – say that!” So I am, and I very much hope they find another place to do what they do so well, and soon!

Right now everything in the store is 20% off. As things get closer to closing, I’m sure the prices will dip further. This weekend there were tons of discounted chairs and rugs in the back room downstairs. You’re sure to find some great deals, and while you’re there, please wish them well for the future!

Ed. Note: Longtime neighbor Playbill Cafe closed in Sept. 2011 at 1409 14th St, NW.

by Prince Of Petworth December 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm 27 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

“Dear PoP,

I’m looking for an interior decorator/designer to help me with my first home. As most everyone, I’m on a budget — under $5k. I’m looking for someone that works with small potatoes clients like me who want to come up with a design “plan” and implement it on my own. Unfortunately, most of my internet searching has come up with major design firms I can’t afford. The American Society of Interior Designers web site came back with pages and pages of results, and I just don’t know where to start. I’m hoping some of your readers can recommend decorators they’ve worked with in the past. Also, I’m wondering if I can get some pricing info from your readers — I don’t have a clue what a decorator’s services should cost!”

You can check in with occasional PoP contributor Jessica Bonness Anyone else have some suggestions? Rough cost estimates, etc.?

by Prince Of Petworth August 31, 2010 at 11:30 am 29 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user JosephLeonardo

Following is a new guest column by Jessica Bonness of JGB Interiors. Jennifer will answer PoP reader questions about decorating and design. If you have a question send an email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com and write ‘design question’ in the title.

“Dear PoP,

Following up on your posting about Design Within Reach, I’m wondering if your readers know of good places to buy furniture without breaking the bank. I’ve recently bought a new house, and I’m trying to find a dining room set, sofa, etc., but not looking to shell out $3,000+ for a sofa while still looking to get some quality furniture.”

Jessica responds:

I’ll share a couple of things you need to know about buying sofas, the most important of which is this: you don’t need a $5,000 couch any more than you need a $50 cheeseburger. Sure, there are huge differences in the craftsmanship of a $250 loveseat and a $17,000 Italian sectional. And yes, the loveseat will probably start to creak and get torn up by your girlfriend’s cat while the expensive sofa will last 100 years. The thing is, you probably don’t even want a sofa to last that long. Luckily there are tons of pieces in the $800 – $2,000 range that are durable, great looking, and available right here in DC.

I always advocate mixing pieces from several stores and price ranges, and think it’s great to have some Ikea bookcases mixed in with a Mitchell Gold couch, thrift store coffee table, lamps from your mom’s house, and $600 painting you fell in love with on vacation.

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by Prince Of Petworth January 4, 2016 at 10:35 am 23 Comments


Our friends from ATTIC DC (online resource for finding furniture from local stores and the same folks who accurately reported Millennium closing on U Street) share the sad news:

“Next up is Trohv in Takoma [232 Carroll Street, NW]. They’re planning to close for good in mid to late January. They’re starting to offer discounts etc. Their original Baltimore store will remain open.”

Update: Official announcement from Trohv:

“Hi Friends and Neighbors!

We hope the holidays have treated you and your families well. As we enter the New Year, we have news about our DC shop. We’ll keep it short and sweet. We’ve loved being a part of the DC and Takoma communities. We’ve met 1000s of great customers and supported more than 150 local artists during our nearly five years being open in Takoma. To the Takoma community specifically, thank you for welcoming us, appreciating the store, and letting us participate in various ways in your amazing community. Despite how much we’ve loved being part of the Takoma/DC community, the DC shop hasn’t met our hopes and we’ve decided to close the DC shop in order to focus on our Baltimore location.

Our DC shop’s last day for business will be on or around January 17, 2016. Beginning on January 4, we will have a store-wide closing sale where we’ll mark down items ranging from 20-80%. We will be selling pretty much everything, including store fixtures, displays, lighting, and various materials for a wide-range of potential projects. The one exception for sales, as usual, will be on artist-made consignment items. We’ll be offering discounts on those items as agreed to by the various artists. All sales will be final. (more…)


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