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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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This past weekend, I had the lovely occasion to visit Pippin Hill. This is the place that you see in all of the local wedding magazines with blushing brides walking barefoot through grapevines. In fact, it was named a top wedding venue in 2018 by Brides Magazine. There is something charming and ethereal about the vineyard as a backdrop for exchanging heartfelt vows. There is a little magic in those rows upon rows of gorgeous, sunlit vines.

For all of us who did not have the...

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...

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...

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...

What an exciting time! Many families dream of a second home by the water, in the mountains, on a farm or a location that is simply away from it all. However, a second home is a major investment of both time and money. To make owning a second home more affordable, many homeowners, like me, buy or build a vacation home with rental income as a secondary priority. If you fall into that category, here are 4 easy steps to improve your income and secure your investment. 

1 - Choos...

This holiday season I have devoured photos of mountain and lake retreats all decked out for the holidays. Most homes were decorated in a minimal but tasteful style. This makes perfect sense to me because I can't imagine having to haul holiday decorations to a second location or attempt to store boxes upon boxes of bulbs, lights and bows. Nope. Simple is best.

The team that is working on the house just updated me on its (somewhat) slow process. Apparently, the engineers...

For years I've loved the mountains. The majesty of rolling hills towering over deep, secluded valleys has a way of grounding me. Being amongst the mountains is a constant reminder of just how small each of us are and how big and impressive our world is. I am always trying to get back there...


For nearly 10 years, I've had a home in the mountains at the top of my bucket list. Until now, it simply wasn't possible. The stars have now aligned. This past summer, I worked with a...

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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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