Jamie Brown

Rooms with a muse

Rooms with a muse

It is a match made in heaven, or at least in that part of heaven where the hip and young creatives types hang out.

For its 2012 DreamHome, the Washington Design Center asked a handful of young interior designers to take inspiration for residential spaces from works of craft. Not just from any crafters, but a group of artists whose works are set to be showcased this summer in a Smithsonian exhibition, "40 Under 40: Craft Futures."

What the room decors and the craft creations have in common is that their authors all began their careers after 9/11, and they brought with them a new, more earnest sensibility.

"What you have are artists who are grasping at...