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)PIKERGIERH'SQJSVX Susanna and Jack Quinn meld formal with welcoming in their Wesley Heights house BY VIRGINIA COYNE FAMILY PORTRAIT BY TONY POWELL HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOSEPH ALLEN


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s you walk through the door of Susanna and Jack Quinn’s graceful Wesley Heights Colonial, it’s the scent that draws you in. The Rigaud Cyprès candle burning on a nearby table is the same fragrance Jacqueline Kennedy reportedly burned at the White House. The smell is classic, warm and inviting — a perfect mirror to the rest of the couple’s abode. Susanna, founder of the on-demand beauty and fitness app Veluxe, which brings hair stylists, makeup artists and personal trainers to your door, and Jack, former White House counsel to President Bill Clinton and co-founder of the strategic communications firm QGA Public Affairs, have created a home that is steeped in family history and filled with heirlooms, yet is far from stuffy; the perfect place to entertain Washington Alisters or have intimate tête-a-têtes with their closet friends. When they moved into the house in 2005, the couple sought the help of interior designer Lavinia “Vin” Lemon. “Our vision was to combine the formal furniture from Susanna’s grandparents with new comfortable seating, carpets and fabrics, ” Lemon says.“I think we have successfully created a warm family home and an elegant space for entertaining.” Friends agree. “A lot of nice houses feel like museums, but theirs doesn’t,” says CNN Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. “It’s sophisticated enough for Susanna to host spectacular dinners in her fabulous dining room, but it’s casual enough for me to feel comfortable bringing my young son for a play date with theirs — and plopping down on the floor to play with them.”

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PREVIOUS PAGE (clockwise from top left): A red Janine Pol painting over the fireplace sets the tone in the formal living room. The silver box and trays on the coffee table are all family heirlooms except for one box with a poem engraved, which Susanna gave Jack for a wedding anniversary. Fabrics in the room and throughout the house come from Cowtan and Tout, Old World Weavers, Zoffany and Bergamo, with carpets from Stark. The dining table belonged to Susanna’s grandparents, Sen. Mike Monroney and Mary Ellen Monroney. The couple’s bedroom opens up to Jack’s book-lined home office. Susanna shops for fresh flowers and makes her own arrangements weekly. A first floor powder room features art by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and a marble vanity from Waterworks.

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Bash is a regular in the dining room, where Susanna holds court over her off-the-record women’s media dinners about once a month. She invites an elected or administration official along with a dozen female journalists, each of whom get a chance to grill the guest of honor before the tables are turned on them. According to Susanna, many a politician has talked war and peace at the same visibly worn dining table, which once belonged to her grandparents – Sen. Mike Monroney of Oklahoma and Mary Ellen Monroney. Susanna says the Monroneys entertained the likes of Lyndon B. Johnson, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower around the same table — a table where her father would do his homework and count his baseball cards as a young boy. “You can still see the scratches in my dining table from when my Dad was cutting his baseball cards,” Susanna says. “I feel like refinishing it would erase some of the wonderful history that it holds.” The prominent sideboard and silver service are also Monroney family pieces, but the muted murals, painted by French artist Christine Meyers, depicting Lake Como in northern Italy, were Jack’s brainchild. “What better room to evoke the taste of Italy than the dining room?” says Jack, who wanted to surround himself with images of a region he loves to visit. “Susanna and Vin were worried that the murals would be too much for the room, but I thought the neutral colors would make it work.” Although the dining room is muted in tone, the formal living room boasts red accents. A vibrant red floral painting over the mantle by another French artist, Janine Pol, anchors the room.The same color in the rug and the curtains complements the art. “I love rich fabrics and colors but mixed with neutral walls — think Miles Redd on a light sedative,” Susanna says, referring to the famed interior designer know for his whimsical, sometimes over-the-top, color-infused rooms. The front hall features another splash of color — one of many paintings the Quinns own by Sante Febased artist and abstract expressionist Stephanie Shank,

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who boasts on her website that her works are in the Quinn’s private collection as well as that of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. A signed lithograph of a painting by Sen. Ted Kennedy graces the wall next to the marble Waterworks vanity in the powder room. The piece was a wedding gift to the Quinns from the senator and his wife Victoria. Upstairs is the real “sanctuary,” as 15-year-old daughter Jocelyn describes it. Her meticulously maintained room is filled with mementos, including photos of herself with close family friend Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, with whom Jocelyn developed a special bond as a young girl. She continues to correspond with him to this day. Two-year-old son Storm’s room is also desgined to showcase heirlooms and gifts, including a pillow Susanna had made from her father’s St. Alban’s sweater and a Tiffany’s fire truck cup and saucer, a gift to Storm from New York Rep. Joe Crowley and his wife Kasey, and a nod to the heroes of 9/11. The Quinn’s own spacious bedroom opens up to Jack’s home office – they knocked a wall down to the adjacent

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room — so the busy lawyer-lobbyist doesn’t need to walk downstairs to begin his work day. “I love my home office, and I love the way Susanna and Vin decorated the bedroom, so it struck me as a fine idea to take down the wall and make one big space to accommodate both purposes,” Jack says. “ We both work quite late and get by with not enough sleep, so there’s no issue there.” Susanna, whose business launched Jan. 15, has found herself answering emails into the wee hours of the night from eager potential clients waiting to try the services Veluxe offers. She has her own home office down the hall — a light-filled walk-in dressing room she has repurposed as a work space. The room is filled with built in shelves, a favorite design trick she’s used throughout the house; she’s added doors over the shelves and racks to remove distraction. Designer handbags are artistically arranged on shelves around her computer. But it’s not all work, all the time at the Quinns’ house. The family also knows how to play. In warmer weather, you’ll find all of them outside swimming in the pool or putting golf balls on the small green they’ve installed off the back patio. And then there’s the former home theater in the basement they have reincarnated as a playroom for both Storm and the adults — vintage Pacman and pinball machines sit alongside their son’s toys. The movie posters from the home theater remain, though “Finding Nemo” hangs on he wall now, too. “The scary poster of ‘The Perfect Storm’ had to make way for the real Storm and a toddler’s perfect playroom,” Jack says.

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PREVIOUS PAGE (clockwise from top left): Murals on the wall in dining room depict scenes from Lake Como, Italy by decorative painter Christine Meyers Movie posters found on eBay by Jack hang on the walls of the former home theater, now a basement playroom. THIS PAGE (clockwise from top left): Susanna’s dressing room doubles as a home office. She calls the corkboard on the far left her “mood board” and says it’s one of her favorite things in the house. She keeps her calendar there, as well as letters from her husband, thank you notes from friends and artwork from her children. Son Storm’s room features a wall of built-in shelves filled with gifts and mementos. Family photos by photographer Tony Powell fill the table in the front hall. The art is one of many paintings the Quinn’s own by abstract artist Stephanie Shank.

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Inside Homes  

Susanna and Jack Quinn From the March 2015 issue of Washington Life Magazine

Inside Homes  

Susanna and Jack Quinn From the March 2015 issue of Washington Life Magazine