Flowered: D.C.’s Historic Anderson House

A tapestry-lined hall in the Beaux Arts-style mansion gets the floral treatment from Kristin Shockley of Lustre Theory
An opulent table filled with flowers and set on green velvet, set against the backdrop of Flemish tapestries at the Anderson House

Lustre Theory’s Kristin Shockley found the ideal location for her artistic vision at the Anderson House. Find design team credits and sources at the end of this post.


While the Anderson House in Washington, D.C., serves as the headquarters of the American Revolution Institute today, its stately opulence speaks to its original purpose. Completed in 1905, the house was the winter abode of American diplomat Larz Anderson and his wife, Isabel, who often entertained. Hosting grand receptions and dinners—with guest lists touting high-profile names such as William H. Taft, Calvin Coolidge, and Winston Churchill—came with the diplomatic territory.

Recently, Kristin Shockley, owner and creative director at Lustre Theory, a styling and creative studio, chose the venue as the location for one of her projects: a sumptuously styled table in a soaring hall lined by floor-to-ceiling Flemish tapestries.


view of a hallway at Anderson House in Washington DC, with one wall lined with tapestries, an ornate tray ceiling, marble tile floors, and carved dark wood around the doorways at the end of the hall


“I pulled my design inspiration for this table from a modern Asian influence,” Kristin says. “Once I saw where the color story was leading me, I selected this hallway on the second floor of the Anderson House for placement. The tapestries were the perfect backdrop for the colors and rich mood of the table decor.”

The lush floral display, which appeared to spring from the sylvan scenes portrayed in the tapestries, featured phalaenopsis orchids, garden and sweetheart roses, protea, eremurus, cosmos, scabiosa, bee balm ‘Lambada’, lisianthus, sweetpea, delphinium, mimosa, and fruiting branches of peaches, apples, blackberries, and raspberries.


Lush floral arrangements in antique Asian vases line a table set at the Andersen House. Creative direction by Lustre Theory


For the place settings, the design team chose modern-day pieces that mingled beautifully with antique Asian vessels from Antique Design Center in Norfolk, Virginia. An expanse of green velvet, used as the table covering, pulled it all together.


Place setting with coral-colored dinnerware patters, gold flatware, a green velvet bow around a botanical-print napkin, and a green velvet tablecloth. Creative direction by Lustre Theory


By Terri Robertson

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