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Q. Monique Allen is a Washington, D.C. based residential interior design and lifestyle blog dedicated to capturing and chronicling my experience as a first time custom home builder, consultant on design projects, and consumer of all things "mountain modern" including furniture, fabric, accessories, lighting, and more.



The romance of a cabin in the woods has always had a certain allure to me…fresh, cool air, long range mountain views as far as the eye can see, the sunset in the colors of a subdued rainbow…the magic of it all has lured me again and again to visit cute little rustic retreats and mega mountain mansions in the sky.

The idea of a place of serenity and refuge finally became so irresistible that I dove in head first to building my own little slice of mountain paradise. But the...

Last weekend, we made the 3 hour drive from DC to Wintergreen, VA to meet with our contractors and do our own low voltage electrical wiring. It was a really full weekend with more work than leisure but my daughter and I managed a girls-only dinner where we talked about boys and school and a movie on the lawn where we cuddled in a blanket on what ended up being a really chilly summer night in the mountains. It was one of the highlights of our trip and one of the reasons why...

I wish we all had free access to the awesome software that Joanna Gaines uses in Fixer Upper. It would be amazing to see 3D images of a space before making any changes or buying furniture. But, that's just not an option for design enthusiasts like me. I'll bet it isn't for you either!

I have loved design forever. I didn't want to choose it as a career but I've taken my fair share of classes. Many years ago, I moved into a hip, newly renovated condo in Atlanta on t...

For those who have been following along, you will notice that we have made major progress on our custom vacation rental. I'm thrilled that the house has finally come out of the ground. 

The purpose of our visit was to walk through the interior of the house to show the builder our furniture layout so that he can accurately place the HVAC and electrical wiring/outlets. We thought this would take an hour or so but it took nearly 5 hours! The level of detail that we had to comm...

About a year ago, we renovated our home. It was the kind of renovation that requires you to move out for several months. Serious. We took the house down to the studs and rebuilt every room except the kitchen and the master bath - both of which had been redone several years ago. The renovation was well worth it!

Here are a few highlights:


The fireplace is the focal point of the room. We choose the warm, neutral stacked stone for the upper section of the fireplace and...

Are you building or renovating a home? Well, me, too! If you're anything at all like me, it feels just a bit overwhelming. Once you've found the contractor, the lot, the plans (not necessarily in that order) and the building process has started...then what?! Most of us are not onsite swinging a hammer so it feels a little abstract. I am not one to sit on the sidelines and wait for the contractor to give me a week to make an important design decision. Nope. Not gonna happen...

I've been blogging for a few months and there is one house that's missing from all of my posts...mine! Welp, that changes today. Why? Because my husband has created a masterpiece that I'm really excited to share. No, it's not mountain modern nor a project in a flip, but it's serious eye candy. So let's dive in!

Everything that you see in this closet is custom made by my handy husband (with a little input from me, but it's his design and carpentry skills).  When we reno...

Let's face it. You are unlikely to find everything you want in an existing home. Whether it's your primary home or a vacation home like the one that we are building, nothing compares to getting exactly what you want (that goes for everything in life!). Here are 5 reasons why I think that anyone who is considering home ownership should at least think about building.

1 - Financing is comparable to traditional financing - Most people believe that building a house is more expen...

Let’s be clear, I am a design enthusiast, not an interior designer. Yes, I’ve taken a class or two and decorated a handful of houses, but I’m not a professional (I just blog like one - ha!). Hey, that’s ok! I work in institutional investment management and I love it! In addition to building and decorating a new vacation home and rental for my family in Wintergreen, VA, I have a number of finishing touches to make to our current home – a 100 year old rowhouse in the heart o...

Let's face it. There are a myriad of flooring choices - carpet, tile, wood, concrete and more! For our vacation rental, we quickly narrowed our search to wood floors for the main living and sleeping areas. Why?

  • Wood floors complement the overall style of the house

  • Wood is typically the flooring of choice in comparable homes in our area making our home competitive for rentals and a future sale, if we ever decided to list the property 

  • For a high end home with l...

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Q. Monique Allen

Have you ever felt like there is something really special that brings you joy that you simply don't do enough of? I'm not sure what that might be for you, but for me, it's feeding my passion for interior design, furniture and the arts (all of them - visual, performing, culinary...). With a full time career in financial services in Washington, DC, a bustling family, a demanding schedule (and the list goes on), it's tough to find time for things that you love! But, I've committed to MORE. More inspiration...more hands on expression of my own creativity...and more beauty in my world. As I explore and expand my own space and fill it with chic "mountain modern" design, experiences, and ideas, I look forward to using this lifestyle and design blog to share them with you.

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@2015 Q. Monique Allen

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