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Thumbnail Photograph of Interior Designer David Mitchell

This is the Blog about me, what I like, what I do and what I am interested in. As one of Washington DC's most popular and respected interior designers I get to do a lot. The idea of this Blog is to express my opinions and interests in the world of interiors, product design, food, fashion and current issues. I love living in Washington DC.


If you are looking for an interior designer to help you create a great living space that reflects you as an individual please checkout my website and contact me at David Mitchell Interior Design and check out our blog at David Mitchell Uncensored

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Talent: Artist Susan Noyes

I recently saw Susan Noyes exhibition at The Art Registry Gallery in Georgetown. After viewing her piece at the DC Design House that Liz Levin used in the entry, I was very excited to see more of Susan’s work. I love the graphic quality of her pieces and her use of negative and positive space was very intriguing. I had a chance to speak to Susan about her work and learned the following:

Tell me a little bit about your background and education?

I grew up in Richmond, where I studied art at John Tyler Community College earning a Fine Arts Certificate, and later an Associate’s degree. From there I moved to Harrisonburg with my husband who studied at James Madison University. I spent one year in the JMU art department, but was very unhappy there, so I withdrew. Jason finished his degree, and was offered a job in DC. We moved to Fairfax in 2001. I wanted to finish my education, so I enrolled at George Mason University. I received a BFA in fine art in 2003. I loved the art program, and I felt like I had much more to learn, so I decided to enroll in their graduate art program. My concentration was painting; however I discovered the medium of razor blades during the last year of the program. The professors were extremely supportive of the new medium and encouraged me to explore the possibilities. My thesis exhibition included paintings and a few razor blade pieces. I graduated in 2006 with a MFA.

Who is your favorite artist and how have they inspired you?

It’s so hard to pick just one; I’m inspired by many various artists for different reasons. But, if I can name only one, I would have to say Frida Kahlo. She had such a difficult life, and she poured her emotions out on canvas. Her artwork was moving and uncomfortable at times, but she was telling her story. She was brave, and her work focusing on identity and the personal narrative, paved the way for future women artists. I admire her because she was able to use art as an outlet for self expression which focused on her interior life. Her artwork was her therapy, and I relate to that concept.

What was your inspiration for your work?

My work is based on my life experiences. Some artists are motivated by the outside world, but I draw from my personal life. I don’t know how else to do it. I work with material that I know best, and that is what drives my work.

Talk to me a little bit about the process of creating the razor blade pieces?

I sit at the table in my studio with multiple types of blades, and I play with them. I move them around until I see a pattern or design that I like. When I’ve decided on the layout, I glue the blades down onto a piece of graph paper in small scale. This helps me get the lines straight, and to see how I want the overall composition of the piece to look. I then measure the design, with great accuracy. The graph paper is critical in getting my measurements correct. Once I have my measurements, I do the math to blow up the image. Math is not my strength, and I never thought I would be using it in my artwork. Next I have the frame built to size. I then stretch the canvas and prime it with glue. I draw a grid in pencil in order to keep my lines straight. I don’t draw every line, so some of the work is done by eye. I used to create the pieces all by eye, and that resulted in too many failed attempts. They wouldn’t line up properly. Finally, I start gluing down the blades.

Have you always worked with razor blades as your media?

No, I started out using soft pastels as my primary media. I did a lot of portraits, and that’s how I learned to draw. When I began classes at GMU, I used oils. I did a series of black and white paintings depicting myself in different situations and moods. Eventually, I grew tired of illustrating my emotions on canvas with paint. As I learned to pare down my content, I moved to razor blades. I also have quite a collection of various items that have personal significance that I use as media as well.

When I spoke to you at your show you mentioned your husband, how did he feel about you using razor blades as media? I have to be honest my boyfriend is terrified of knives and got a little freaked out when I mentioned to him how cool your art was. After he saw your work he became very fascinated.

Jason and I started dating in high school. I’ve known him over half my life, and he has always been very supportive of my artwork. He thinks the razor blade pieces are “cool”.

I noticed in your recent show that you had an installation that was prescription labels. What was the tie in to your razor blade work?

I’ve done pieces with pill bottles, medication, prescription ads, and cash register tape. I use any media that has personal significance. All of my work comes from the same source, and I choose the media that best expresses what I’m trying to convey.

What are you working on now? Any new ideas? Do you think you will continue to work with razor blades and evolve that work even more?

Currently, I’m taking a much needed step back from my work. I’ve been in my studio constantly for the past several months getting ready for the show with The Art Registry. It’s good to take a pause from working so I can reassess and think about the direction I want to go. I have many ideas brewing for my future work. I’ve toyed with the idea of painting the background of my pieces. Right now I’m interested in the plain canvas because it forces the viewer to look at shapes, both positive and negative. The pieces mess with your eyes depending on how you view them. The viewer can see patterns when focusing on the blades and other patterns in the canvas. I need to try painting the canvas, and see if the painting is a detraction. I’ve also discovered a way to turn the metal blades into beautiful colors. I want to explore that too. I’ve thought about layering the blades to create depth. I think my work with blades has endless possibilities.

Do you have any new shows coming up? Website? Blog?

I don’t have any shows lined up yet because my work at the Art Registry’s gallery will be up until July. I have applied to a couple of exhibitions taking place in late summer that I’m waiting to hear back from. You can stay up to date on my events and work by visiting my website (

For inquiries regarding the exhibition at the Art Registry, please contact Jessica Naresh,, or visit their website

Friday, April 15, 2011

2011 Smithsonian Craft Show

Just returned from the Smithsonian Craft Show being held this weekend at the National Building Museum in DC. It was amazing - I don't want to tell you how much money I spent!

The show has more than fifty new artists participating for the first time; many with a beautiful new approach to handmade objects. I think the excitement of the show has to do with the three outstanding women who served as the jury and selected the new group of artists.

Some of the work I thought was outstanding includes:

Mark A. Perry, a folk art sculptor. His imagery of the dog with the wheel is striking, and yes, I want one of them.

Christine Adcock, a maker of handmade baskets and bracelets that were mesmerizing. They made you think, "how in the world did he do this?" I know it is intended to be jewelry, but I bought a couple of pieces and will sit them on Lucite bases to use as sculptural objects.
Olen Hsu, a potter. His pottery was the most eye catching in it simplicity. From the ethereal blues to the amazing olive greens, his color palette fits into my interiors perfectly. I think I bought half of his booth. I also commissioned him for two large bowls for clients.
Once again, this was an outstanding show. Since it is going to rain all day tomorrow, what better way to spend your day. Oh, and while you are there at the Building Museum, check out the Lego exhibition and the exhibition about the World's Fairs.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coffee with Bill

I have this kind of Saturday ritual. I am always up early. I am up early everyday; not much of a late sleeper. On Saturday morning I take the time to make filtered coffee. Between boiling the water, grinding the beans and the drip it is about a 20-minute process…but, oh so worth it! I love coffee! After my first cup, I always check my friend Bill Cunningham’s weekly video column "On The Street." in the NY Times, to see what he is up to each week. Bill has been documenting the New York fashion and social scene for over 30 years. Filmmaker Richard Press and Philip Gefter have recently made a wonderful documentary of Cunningham’s life and determination to show real people in real cloths and real fashion. You can catch the film at either the E Street Theater or the Avalon Theater. Go check it out and let me know what you think.

And speaking of coffee, I have been buying a lot of coffee beans from small artisanal roasters in and around San Francisco. Here are 3 of my favorites:

Blue Bottle Coffee

Ritual Roasters

Bare Foot Coffee

All 3 of these have online stores so if you are coffee crazy like me these are 3 new coffee fixes for you to try.

Blue Bottle Coffee

Ritual Roasters
Barefoot Coffee

Thursday, April 7, 2011

DC Design House 2011, ‘One For the Guys.’

One of the things that I always feel is missing

from showhouses and shelter magazines are

spaces with a definite masculine point of view.

So, that was the starting point for creating

my room at this year’s showhouse. I had bought

this series of Olof Rudbeck’s bird prints about

2 years ago in Hudson, NY. I love them so much,

I really can’t sell them to a client. But, I thought

the beauty and simplicity of them would work so

well in this space. The bedroom has low ceilings

and small windows so I knew it would work for

my concept. I wanted to combine contemporary,

antique and found objects together and also to

explore a more textural and graphic use of

materials and fabrics to give the space a modern

American rustic look.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Faces Of DC Design House Press Day

Today was Press Day at the 2011 DC Design House, which is always great fun. You get to talk to people like the fabulous writer, Susan Dowell, all the home editors from the Washington Post, Eileen Demiere from Traditional Homes, Real Estate agent Ellen Wilner, writer Merlisa Corbett, Home and Design Editor Sharon Jaffe Dan, Carol Buckley from The Current Newspaper and Bloggers such as Jennifer Sergent, Leah Moss, Michele Ginnerty  and Lauren Liess. I would like to thank all the editors, photographers and fellow designers participating in this years showhouse and making it such a fun day.
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