Behind a crumbling brick facade and rusted security screens in the Shaw neighborhood of Northwest Washington, designer Darryl Carter is building his brand.
This fall, after a year-long renovation, a 19th-century commercial property will become a store and studio for Carter, one of the city’s top-tier interior designers. The property includes a two-story building at 1320 Ninth St. NW, parts of which are pre-Civil War, and a carriage house in back facing cobblestone Naylor Court. The rebuilding is painstaking, using architectural remnants and salvaged timbers to restore the structures.
“We are crafting something, not just building a drywall structure,” says Carter, a native Washingtonian who grew up in Bethesda. “It’s far more expensive to preserve something than to knock it down.”
Shaw is bubbling with clubs and artisanal sandwich shops. But the emerging neighborhood may still seem off-the-grid for a high-end design store.
Carter, 50, doesn’t do things in a conventional way, however. A lawyer by training, he said renovating and decorating were always his passions. He opened his own design business in 1998. He’s a regular in shelter magazines, has created paint palettes for Benjamin Moore and has written a book. (His second book, “The Collected Home,” is slated to be published in October.)