Notes from DC: National Building Museum

During my recent trip to Washington, DC I went to the National Building Museum, which is worth a visit just to see the skylit interior courtyard with its soaring ceiling surrounded by walkways on every floor along the perimeter. If nothing else, go in, grab a cup of coffee from the little coffee shop and rest your feet. In addition to the permanent collection, they are featuring an exhibit of World's Fairs from the 1930's which was a fantastic glimpse into the future as envisioned by architects and product designers of the past, and the exhibit Lego Architecture: Towering Ambition which featured 15 famous buildings made out of Lego. These were not little models --  the Burj Khalifa was at least ten feet high.

Connected to the exhibit was a room filled with Legos where all were encouraged to play and build. I walked in, and my first thought was, "Legos are in fact the greatest toy ever invented".  Kids were building imaginative and colorful skyscrapers, and many adults were quietly concentrating on their creations. I got the sense that the grownups were glad the kids provided a legitimate excuse for them to play too!

Nice tower, cute kid (oh yeah, he's mine!)

The bookstore was also worth a trip, with a huge selection of design and architecture books, as well as home accessories and products. I thought I had sworn off expanding my design book collection until I saw this:

The book is simply called Decorate, by Holly Becker of Decor8 and Joanna Copestick, who did one of my other decorating faves called The Family Home. The cover really caught my eye with its eclectic mix of pieces from a surveying staff (I have one and don't know where to put it) to a disco ball --  they were right next to each other and looked great together. Then I saw a quote about sustainable living by my friend Danny Seo, and decided that was a sign that it was OK for me to actually buy this book, which I did.

In addition to the great pictures of inspiring spaces, the book is well organized and covers a lot of practical ground. Happy decorating!