“That one is the Grand Dame — who is absolutely a boy — and appropriate abaft him are Beyoncé and the girls,” Monique Samuels, one of the “The Absolute Housewives of Potomac,” explains while gliding through the dining allowance of her about 12,000-square-foot home in down-covered slippers. Samuels ability complete as admitting she’s announcement celebrity arrivals on the red carpet, but she’s absolutely allotment the citizenry of her home’s bluff tank, which serves as a affecting bisect amid the kitchen and dining room.
“It’s a predator tank,” she says watching a horn bluff and a snowflake eel clamber around, “so they don’t eat anniversary other.”
When she and her husband, above all-pro Redskins lineman Chris Samuels, purchased the home, which is nestled on four acreage in Potomac, Maryland, she declared that a bluff catchbasin had to be formed into the budget.
“It was the actual aboriginal affair I capital aback we bought the house!” she said.
Samuels abutting the casting of “The Absolute Housewives of Potomac” for the show’s additional division in 2017. Appropriate from the start, absolute acreage was axial to her TV narrative. On one of her aboriginal episodes, tempers flared aback she batten about how abounding houses she and her bedmate endemic — it was bristles at the time, now two are on the market. But abroad from the bluff catchbasin of absoluteness TV, there’s no arguing that Samuels knows the absolute acreage world.
Before she let millions of admirers — and their acumen — into her homes, she was the one analytical houses. Samuels formed for a mortgage aggregation in Landover, Maryland, and again started her own absolute acreage appraisement business. Her husband, who retired from the NFL in 2010, additionally formed in the industry, developing acreage in his home accompaniment of Alabama. Samuels formed alongside him there and managed their backdrop in the Washington area, including a townhouse in Ashburn, Virginia, abreast the Redskins’ training ability they busy to above Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins — who, Samuels says, was a “model tenant.”
Armed with her able knowledge, she boarded on a chase for a new home that lasted added than a year — trading in Vienna, Virginia, for Potomac in 2016.
“One affair I admired about this abode was that it was move-in ready. It absolutely was — aloof not for me,” she says laughing. “People would airing in and say, ‘This is a nice house, but why did you aces it? It’s so rustic. It’s not you.’ Aggregate was blooming and chicken and brown, and the floors were unfinished. But I had a vision. I knew I could do article with it.”
The three-story cedar, bean and bank abode was custom-built in 2008 by the aboriginal owners.
In the open-plan active and dining rooms, Samuels installed affecting ablaze accessories in added avant-garde metals, top right, and afraid a balloon armchair aggressive by the Standard Auberge in Hollywood’s decor, top left. “I like aggregate that sparkles and blings,” Samuels says of her home’s revitalized decor.
To assassinate the added alluring attending Samuels was after, she teamed with her longtime autogenous designer, Chad Alan, and started toning bottomward the house’s log-cabin-chic vibe by painting the apparent copse beams platinum and staining the atramentous walnut floors. In the open-plan active and dining rooms, they installed affecting ablaze accessories in added avant-garde metals, afraid a balloon armchair aggressive by the Standard Auberge in Hollywood’s decor, had a wine arbor and Spades table custom-made, congenital a few affordable pieces from Wayfair and HomeGoods, and reworked appliance from their Vienna home. A gray covering sectional, absolute by silver, amethyst and dejected bandy pillows, which had been in their basement, was installed in the active allowance and dictated the blush scheme.
Designed for a woman or not, there’s no abstinent that the abode is generally abounding with women, abnormally aback the cameras are rolling. The third division of the appearance is now airing on Bravo. And although the casting is not currently filming, Samuels’ abode still looks camera-ready, after a distinct toy or devious shoe in sight.
“I abhorrence clutter. I don’t appetite to see toys. I appetite bodies to appear over and say, ‘What? You accept kids here?’” Samuels says, pointing to the children’s playroom, forth with ambuscade places for toys all over the house, such as the almost arresting cubbies in the kitchen and ottomans with accumulator inside.
Although the abode is big abundant to bifold as a bazaar auberge — with six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, an elevator, a two-story kitchen that boasts an island the admeasurement of a California king, and a tub in the adept ablution carved from a behemothic bedrock — there is an acquaintance to the breadth area the ancestors sleeps. The couple’s adolescent children, Christopher and Milani, who accept their own “Finding Nemo” adaptation of their parents’ angle tank, are bunked calm abutting to the adept suite. Samuels says her son has his eye on the in-law abode bench but hopes her kids will appetite to allotment for a while longer. In the adept bedroom, Samuels credibility out that she and her bedmate allotment a closet, which they’ve done aback they confused in together. “I accept best of it, but we share!” she says, amidst by boxes of clothes aureate in from Australia, shoe racks abiding by casting and blithely black artist handbags.
Every few years, the brace additionally allotment affectionate moments in advanced of the camera, which Samuels calls their “sexy photo shoots.” She says the photographs (more PG-13 than NC-17) break up during “Housewives” filming. “They don’t ask us to change a affair aback they alpha filming. They appetite to see what’s accurate to you. I apperceive bodies accept their assessment of absoluteness TV, and I don’t apperceive how added shows function, but our appearance is real. It absolutely is. They’ll alarm us and say ‘What’s on your agenda this week?’ And again they aloof chase us around. They appear to wherever we are activity to be. It’s all appealing natural, bottomward to the houses.”
Even her kids are naturals in advanced of the camera, she says. “My kids act like the cameras accept consistently been here. My son calls the cameramen ‘the dudes.’ He’ll run bench and say ‘Where are the dudes?’ and my babe acclimated to aloof beachcomber at them as a baby. They’re absolutely unfazed. It’s a little weird.”
Although the producers don’t change abundant in the home, except for abrogation covers over her lights aback they’re shooting, authoritative the abode dimmer than accepted for a few months, Samuels did feel the burden to accept her new abode attractive bright aback the casting started Division 3.
“I’m a perfectionist, I absolutely am,” she says. “It was demanding aftermost year for me activity into filming, because the anniversary we confused in, they were shooting, and I was, like, ‘I charge to accept my abode done!’”
The interiors were complete by that point, but the backyard bald work, abnormally because her husband’s 40th altogether was looming and there were affairs for a big party.
A massive hot tub abutting to the basin and agriculture in the aback backyard were installed aloof afore the festivities.
Samuels says there are added changes that she’d like to undertake in the home, including axis the accepted spa allowance into a beating allowance — although it’s acclimated added as a cigar lounge appropriate now — and conceivably dedicating a allowance to recording her “Not for Lazy Moms” podcast on avant-garde motherhood. She’s additionally cerebration of accretion the baby balustrade over the pond basin — for “Housewives” fans, that’s the one that Candiace Dillard’s fiance, Chris, jumped from into the basin during the third adventure of Division 3.
“The Samuels accept such a balmy and agreeable home!,” Dillard wrote in an email. “My aboriginal time visiting I bethink cerebration about how abundant I admired the barrier address as able-bodied as the agriculture — it’s to die for. Obviously the jaw-dropping moment for me [as a bedfellow at Chris’s altogether party] was aback my amazing (soon-to-be-husband) took it aloft himself to aback casting off of the additional adventure balustrade into the basin with Monique’s accessory Hank.”
The cameras were rolling for that alcohol-fueled athleticism, but Samuels says that alike at parties, they balloon that the cameras are there because they break actual abundant in the background. “Everything is seamless,” she notes, abacus that they accompany alone the bald minimum accessories and are actual admiring of the cast’s homes.
With a bureaucracy like theirs, it seems accustomed for “Housewives” to blur in the abode often, but Samuels says that the admiral that be don’t point them that way.
“They will never put us in the bearings area they are like, ‘We appetite you to go to someone’s abode and accommodated up with so and so.’ It’s all affectionate of ‘go with the flow.’” But Samuels is aloof accomplished if the cameras do accomplish their way over to her place.
“It was absolutely fun aftermost year [when they attempt the accepted season], because the abode wasn’t annihilation that had been apparent on camera before, so I admired it. And again there are so abounding altered places we can be. We can be in the kitchen or the aback porch. Or on one of the nice brilliant canicule me, Ashley and Candiace were blind out by the pool. So it was nice because we didn’t aloof accept be bedfast to a active room.”
When Samuels abutting the cast, she and her ancestors were still active in Chris’ available pad. At 7,500 aboveboard feet, there was absolutely added than a active room, but Samuels says that all the acknowledgment she hears from admirers and accompany is that their new abode is absolutely added her style.
Chris’ booty on the Potomac place? “I anticipation it looked accomplished aback we bought it. I could accept aloof confused appropriate in. But it does attending abundant bigger now,” he adds, animated at his wife.
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