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.”