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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.

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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:

Fireplace

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

Do you love reclaimed wood, but not the prices? Go with me on a field trip to the lumber yard to explore the alternatives. Also, learn why wood from the lumber mill is so much more affordable than retail outlets.

The kitchen is the most important room in most family homes. In vacation homes, kitchens rank high as a priority for renters. When you can, investing a little bit more in a kitchen is always a good idea.

I love to cook. And, I actually cook 4-5 nights a week. One day last week, I was exhausted after a very long night. It was early. My son woke up an hour earlier than he should've so I spent the 6am hour trying to get him back to sleep. After that was done and I washed my 6t...

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...

Confession. Even when I'm dieting or just eating healthy, I have to end my day (and sometimes most meals) with a little something sweet. If you haven't made my favorite Superfood Muffins, definitely give those a try  There are times when only a cookie will do. 

Last night was one of those times!

Based on my favorite food bloggers' recipe, here is the cure for the semi-healthy cookie craving.

Ingredients 

cup creamy peanut butter, room temp.

2/3 cup brown s...

I used to go to church a lot more than I do now. Over the years, I have heard one of my favorite sermons preached on 2 separate occasions by 2 different preachers. While it makes me wonder if the sermon is downloadable on the internet somewhere, I have to give credit where credit is due. It's a heck of a message. The title, in both cases (he he!), was "Thank God for Closed Doors." The premise was simple. There is a reason why we don't get what we want in the world. Because...

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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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