A Georgetown Jewel

living room
The living room sets the tone for Crocker’s airy, uncluttered vernacular. Two tall armoires, faux-painted to underscore the designer’s love of Gustavian style, showcase her collection of blue-and-white porcelains. The lozenges on the mantel feature busts of composers Wagner, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky. An antique Venetian mirror hangs above.

Conversations with designer Barbara Crocker are peppered with almost audible exclamation points as she focuses on her favorite things: creating inviting spaces, bountiful cooking, stylish entertaining, and Georgetown University. As a graduate of the school, a parent of three alums, and a university board member, Crocker commuted from Florida for years to participate in Georgetown’s activities. In 2005, however, she moved to D.C. permanently and began renovating a small house located in the town’s West Village for herself and student-daughter Sarah.

“Owning this little house reinforced my love affair with historic Georgetown,” says Crocker. She was drawn to the 1798 two-bedroom structure for its original wide-plank wood floors and deep garden. Finding it, though, was serendipitous, since the designer wasn’t in the market for a house. “A realtor-friend showed me the home even though I wasn’t looking. I had thought I would eventually make the move and look for a one-floor apartment with a parking garage and concierge service. This is the exact opposite: a four-story, 19th-century house with lots of steps and no parking. I loved it so much that I made an offer on a cocktail napkin two days later.”

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