The story behind the attorney-turned-designer beloved by DC’s most stylish residents

Rich in history, Washington, D.C. is one of the country’s oldest and most beautiful cities. While D.C. is known as a mecca for politics, it also has a cultural background steeped in the arts—no wonder it is full of talented interior designers who bring D.C.’s historical charm into their client’s homes. From Georgetown to Kalorama, the city has much to offer in terms of coveted historic real estate, and residents often turn to decorators to bring their dream home to life. Among them is Darryl Carter, a renowned designer known by locals and out-of-towners alike for his keen sense of style and a portfolio full of some of D.C.’s most gorgeous homes. 

But design wasn’t Darryl’s first calling. His career in design began while he was working as an attorney and flipping real estate on the side. When one of those houses landed in Metropolitan Magazine in 1997, he knew his dream career had found him and began pursuing design full-time. Over the last two decades, Darryl has established himself as one of D.C.’s leading designers, having worked on homes, restaurants, hotels, and more across the city and beyond and finding his true passion in interior, furniture, and lighting design. 

While he can officially be considered a decorator, Darryl’s style could not be further from what comes to mind when you think of “decoration.” Across his portfolio, you will find rooms with little clutter, trim, and pattern. Rather, his designs incorporate a rich blend of neutral tones—from whites and beiges to browns and blacks—and an exquisite use of natural light that takes classic minimalism to the next level. Darryl’s use of natural elements like wood, industrial materials like cement and metal, and neutral yet substantial fabrics like linen helps create elegant spaces.

Darryl’s self-described style—as well as the title of his design book— is “New Traditional,” an aesthetic that strikes a unique balance between classic and modern. By incorporating antiques into his designs alongside more minimalist mid-century modern shapes, Darryl creates de-cluttered and timeless spaces that appeal to the eye and evoke calm. This refined and effortless approach has earned Darryl accolades across the design world, having been profiled in Architectural Digest, Southern Living, Washingtonian, and more. 

Beyond clients’ homes, Darryl is also an accomplished furniture designer who owns a storefront and design studio in D.C.’s trendy Logan Circle neighborhood and has designed a collection for Baker Interiors.


If you’re looking for design tips or more information on D.C. real estate, please contact us.


*Photo Credit: Tony Powell / Washington Life



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