Friday, May 20, 2011


Tricia Lilly and Victoria Michael  Photo by Judith Beerman
By contributor Donna Shor
Jeff Wilson’s not afraid of heights—in fact he loves them, especially when topped by a handsome penthouse.

He has a thing for penthouses and he made that clear at a celebration Tuesday night when, with the help of p.r. gal Victoria Michael, he launched his company “Life at the Top” dedicated to finding that just-right penthouse for each client.

Jeff’s doing this with the powerful help of an online database of area penthouses. It is so constantly updated that it includes “hidden” ones not yet listed on the market. Clients can painlessly glide through detailed views, noting amenities available and seeing complete information on properties they fancy.

The launch party was appropriately held in a prestigious penthouse, the art-filled home of Evelyn and Philip Avery. Evelyn has spent the last twenty years as an art dealer and guests wandered through the rooms enjoying the 250 paintings displayed on her walls, complete avec prices.

Barry Dixon and Evelyn Avery 
Photo by Judith Beerman

“I’ve just come into the twentieth century” said Evelyn, who is known as a specialist in 18th and 19th century art. “And now I’m doing today’s as well. I’ve become increasingly interested in contemporary Russian art, as well as the modern Europeans.”

One focus of attention at the party was a fellow southerner and longtime friend of Evelyn, interior designer Barry Dixon, with whom she has made annual buying trips to Europe. He held court on the home’s long balcony with its panoramic view sweeping from downtown Washington to the National Cathedral and beyond.

A much sought-after designer for many notable homes, personable Barry is the darling of the design magazines, a frequent lecturer on design matters, and a featured guest on TV and radio who is often profiled in print. Many questions focused on Elway, the remarkable home on his 4000-acre Warrenton property, where he lives and designs.

Wines by Raz Razvani and hors d’oeuvres by Hudson were appreciated by the guests, including interior designer Adrian Small, Sotheby’s Maggie Shannon, Linda Roth Conte, Robert Karz, CNN’s Edie Emery,  architect Christy Schlesinger, and famed portrait photographer Philip Bermingham..