Featured Project: Little Girl's Bedroom + Bathroom

Every little girl needs a space to grow and flourish into a young lady.

Fine furniture, such as the Hickory Chair poster bed and night stands are classic pieces that are timeless and can be adorned with other linens down the road. Simple, velvet ruched coverlet from Pottery Barn Kids, along with fun, playful pillows adorn the bed currently along with another coverlet from Pine Cone Hill. 

The windows are dressed with a cream eyelet silk fabric from Robert Allen and the
lavender silk Roman shades are by A Shade Above in Charlotte, using the
specialty line by Hunter Douglas. The chandelier was customized with pale
pink crystals and a silk shantung shade.

The bathroom's custom vanity is actually a soft white. The pale pink walls
reflect giving the illusion of a hint of a pink cast. Fine lacy filigree
silver and crystal sconces are by Schonbek. The vanity top is fabricated in
a Botticino Marble. The vanity faucet with large crystal knobs play up the
feminine feel to this bathroom but also allow for a bit of playfulness. The
tub surround and shower listello (not shown) is from Renaissance tile's
handmade tile collection and the beaded trim pieces are from Walker Zanger's
hand glazed and handmade collection. The water closet boasts a very pale
pink soft swirl wallpaper from Thibaut with a pleated cream Taffeta silk
accented by tiny crystal beads along the hemline.

Featured Project: Grand Lantern in Stairwell

Art changes a beautiful home into a living organism.

I’ve been blessed to work with a client who not only appreciates fine design but also embraces the world of art. We purposefully designed the house with a neutral palette, concentrating on textures and minimal color so that the eventual art collection would become the shining star of the home. Still adding to the collection the homeowner worked with The Jerald Melberg Gallery to procure most of their pieces.

Given, not everyone is able to purchase fine art. Do not let that deter you. Purchasing from local artists is a wonderful way to enhance your home more affordably and give back to your local art community as well. I frequently assist with this process and locate artisans who can be commissioned to create pieces for your soul. When traveling it is also fun to bring home a piece of art or blown glass that catches your eye and you will always have the memories of the trip in your home as a reminder. Take your time and do not try to fill a wall just because it is blank. Wait for a special piece to speak to you.

Interior Inspiration: Embracing Color

My design philosophy is to encourage clients to embrace color in new ways but to stay classic in style. It's too expensive to replace large items frequently. This room setting from Hancock and Moore is stunning. It's a great way to grab your attention at a trade show. So how would we live with these pieces?
1. Buy the art. The art can move around your home from room to room for the rest of your life.
2. Buy the sofa. What a wonderful shape. Just change the leather to a creamy color and use larger boldly colored throw pillows.
3. Buy the chair and use a bright fabric. The small soft print does not work with the room. Use texture and a geometric design.
4. Use a lamp in any color you prefer from the painting.
5. Substitute the cocktail table with acrylic so you can see the fabulous rug you'll add to warm the floor.
Can you see the changes work for you?

Interior Inspiration: Wall Molding

A brilliant yet simple applied molding to the wall is an inexpensive way to add interest in a room. Combine the Chinese red with the charcoal gray and you have transformed a room from ordinary to a chic, sophisticated environment at home in Manhattan, LA, Chicago or Miami. Chartreuse silk drapes add sophistication and glamor along with the uniquely shaped velvet covered ottoman. Hancock and Moore never ceases to delight the eye and entice your imagination with great design.

High Point Market

Recently, my intern, Jenna, and I visited the High Point Market. We saw so many beautiful pieces and left inspired. Enjoy a few photos from our visit!

Can you say flower power? Beautiful, oversized wing chair for two.

Vignettes abound displaying artistic use of color to show how fashion influences the home. Now, who do we know that was already "mad about pink" a year ago?

Dwell studio embraces the 70's and 80's with burl wood and brass in a honey finish. Display cases used as room dividers are revived.

Glass creations made in America. I love the three figures. I just wish I were that skinny!

This is 3000 duck feathers dipped in gold and layered in a circle to produce this gorgeous piece of art. I am amazed by the imagination and patience it would take to create this masterpiece! Shown at Natural Curiosities at Interhall.

Jessica Charles chairs: Goldilocks says this chair is too hard, this chair says this chair is too soft, but this chair is just right! Jessica Charles says we make it the way you like it. I love the splash art and bright drapes showing that chairs can cone in many colors.

Notice how adding subtle pops of color can change the look of the entire space.

Century furniture is showing this glorious patina gold ètagére in the Ganvick and Moore showroom. I would paint the walk behind in emerald, peacock, bright pink, Chinese red to create an even more dramatic effect.

Michael Aram has exceeded serving pieces and advanced to wall art, sculptural pieces and silver and gold to enhance any home.

Love this comfy chair at Alden Parkes!

Same 3 pieces. 3 different finishes. If you can dream it, we can color it!

Featured Project: Guest Bedroom

Pamper your guests and they will return; forgo clean sheets and towels and they will leave.

This luxurious bedroom sports a King Jacque Garcia bed from Baker, piled high with silk and down from Ann Gish fine linens. The bed was repurposed from the master bedroom of the previous home, along with the gorgeous neoclassical-style chest boasting gold gilding complimenting the bed. The Roja marble top is soft in color and adds a nice accent with the soft beige tones and textures of the linens. Also repurposed in the bedroom is the Corbett chandelier in a live brass finish showcasing a glorious patina and complimenting the JF drapery hardware in gleaming brass with Swarovski crystal finials. A softly colored pale green and cream damask silk pull closed with a crystal wand.

The adjacent bathroom features a custom top design with a shelf for extra toiletries for your guest, crafted from Silver Sienna Travertine. A Juliette balcony steps out onto the front of the house. Practical but lovely doubled sheer drapes give privacy for the shower, which is graced by tile from Walker Zanger.

Original art combined with prints from the Portfolio Collection and a wall-hung TV provide a luxurious retreat that is glamorous enough for a princess, but masculine enough for a prince.

One Kings Lane

I'm addicted to One Kings Lane almost as much as Houzz.  I remember the days when I had to peruse stacks of magazines to show clients beautiful rooms and special things so that they could visualize the concept I envisioned for their own home. Now, we can share idea books back and forth and the world of beauty is but a mere key stroke away

I especially enjoying the new format of One Kings Lane that includes the blogs. I was eager to read the article titled, "10 Things Designers Swear By."  Would I agree with the choices?  What if I fell short? (Gasp)!

1.  Gilded Mirrors: check! I have no less than eight hanging mirrors in my home, from vintage gold-gilded to heavy, solid carved wood in antique gold, and a delicious, heavy beveled glass one I designed and commissioned. Hmm, I thought I had more...time to indulge in another.

2.  Simple Tumblers: check! I personally prefer to mix designs rather than match with clear glass. Nothing beats the heaviness of cut-crystal casting a smell in your hand, whether you are drinking juice or a single malt Scotch. Vintage and new and even cranberry glass work well together providing so much interest and light reflective qualities.

3.  Rush Baskets: check! I don't over-indulge in baskets, but I have a few scattered about to hold magazines, laundry, and makeup essentials. I'm ok with this. I gave away a number of these that I rarely used because I have not one but several accessory closets that spill out into the spare bedroom, the master bedroom and the garage.

4.  Lacquered Trays: check!  My favorite was purchased recently on One Kings Lane. A set of three in different sizes that easily stack (gives you space for more). A rich, creamy white, a bright pink and a gold one now grace my living room lacquered table from Councill Craftsmen that was scooped up during their market sample sale. I have trays of all materials, painted wood, Barbra Barry dark wood by Henredon, multiple silver ones, simple and ornate and a prized wooden one that is finished in gold leaf from Occupied Japan that I paid $16.00 for in a tiny antique shop somewhere in a quaint town in Virginia. It is square with the sides sloped and I use it to serve hours d'oeuvres.

5.  Linen Napkins: check! I have a drawer full. Shamefully, I rarely use them. I hate to iron and I don't have a house keeper. I have vintage ones, oversized rough Irish linen ones purchased in Ireland, along with crisp white Waterford linen also purchased in Ireland. My favorite linens are the thin drying towels offered by Willian Sonoma years ago.  I look to see if they have revived them all the time. I even have special napkins embroidered by both sets of grandmothers, along with lovely tea towels and fingertip towels. I do use these as props and even for special dinners, but my guests aren't as discerning as I and I do not want them soiled. As I tell my clients, use them or pass them on. Nothing is enjoyed from inside a drawer.

6.  Coffee Table Books: check plus! A designer can never have too many books for inspiration. Beyond the obvious from designers we admire, I also have art, photography, travel books, gardening books, history of....books, piled in every room of the house. I use them on the floor, on end tables to make a lamp taller, under accessories to create height, on the coffee table to pick up and browse, and of course my husband is allowed his own collection of Cigar Making, The Civil War, countless car books, The Turn of The Century, etc.  A home without all sorts of books is an empty shell to me.

7.  Cashmere Throws:  check! I only have one, perfectly folded over a slipper chair. It is winter white with long fringe, and a glorious three-ply construction purchased from Restoration Hardware during their end of the season sale. I'm sure I'll wear it this winter as a pashmina draped around my shoulders. I love it! I have a number of cashmere, long-fringed scarves that I should drape about my home. I do have other throws, some purchased from One Kings Lane. They are an investment, so always purchase these on sale.

8.  Hurricane Vessels:  check! I have several pairs and a number that are intentionally mismatched. These are not restrained to use for candles, but year-round objects (if they are clear) to use seasonally for all sorts if things. At Halloween, fill them with candy corn, round Cheetos, and sticks of black licorice as a center piece. At Christmas, they can be filled with small, colorful inexpensive glass Christmas ornaments, gilded pine cones, bunches of evergreens, poinsettias, or red and green M & M's. In the spring, bird nests, puffs of fluffy cotton, cut stems of cherry blossoms, pots of tulips, etc. The possibilities are endless and they also look great empty with one sitting atop a few coffee table books it tracing a mantle.

9.  Silver Picture Frames:  check plus!  I have more than I can count. All of the frames have been put away for another day. My leather, bone, and inlaid wood frames may come out again in the future. Currently, even my silver ones have been put aside. I'm in a minimalist mood and the mass sitting on top of a chest just overwhelmed me one day and I placed them all in drawers. I love and cherish every one of them and never part with quality items, as I know my mood will change, and I'll once again return to a time of organized "English" clutter and bring them out again. I will caution my readers to gather items together. A collection is impactful when displayed together, but fussy and stifling when spread all over the house.

10.  Garden Stools: check! Love these! I only have one in bright brass and a quilted design reminiscent of Coco Channel's famous design and purchased from One Kings Lane. I have it sitting on my hearth. I would have purchased more, but again, my closets are stuffed with treasures (open a closet door and you'll be knocked over by bolts of fabric, tomes and books, mountains of scrumptious linen and velvet stuffed pillows, a collection of antique tea cups, etc). No I'm not a hoarder. I'm a designer, a purveyor of fine things essential to my life. But back to my garden stool - it borders on the gaudy in its riotously reflective brass. But what fun! I love gold, shiny objects! My husband finds it abhorrent but do I care? Does he have my trained eye? Not a chance. He gets 1/2 of the garage. The rest is filled with my treasures.



All image sources can be found by clicking on the image.

Accessory Closets

Every home should have a closet, special storage armoire or cabinet filled with all sorts of treasures.  When I am setting a table for a dinner party, I may be in a playful spirited mood, or I might want an English garden feel.  Perhaps I want to revisit the past and go for a 60's or 70's motif.  Just as I like to dress differently, I like my home to be a expression of my personality of the day.

Extra pillows in lively colors or formal Fortuny fabrics can change a basic linen or velvet sofa and the ambience of the room to compliment the dinner table.  A few more selected items, and you can transport yourself to the orient or to a smoky cafe in Paris. A little imagination and a keen eye to spot things you admire is all that is required.  You can splurge on Murano glass, or shop for trinkets at yard sales and flea markets.

My design style for every client is to start with basic good pieces, throw in a few well-appointed surprises, and allow yourself to color outside the lines on occasion.  Change the music and candles and ride a magic carpet to a land unrestrained by Provincial thinking.

Featured Project: Media Room

Media rooms are moving away from the single-use home theater style to provide more cozy and inviting flex space for hanging out or entertaining. This luscious room is comprised of several designated spaces. Three TVs are in the space, but you could easily curl up in the down-filled sectional by Hickory Chair for an afternoon nap, or rock a baby to sleep in the rich leather swivel rocker from Hancock and Moore. A custom-made cocktail ottoman means everyone can prop their feet but also provides ample room for a tray to hold snacks and beverages. The space is made even more inviting by a Sea Grass rug from Stark carpet over a wool and silk hand knotted rug, also by Stark.

A recessed live triple dormer is perfect for two high top tables by Swaim accompanied by swivel stools from Hancock and Moore upholstered in rich velvet from Scalamandre’ fabrics. The shutters are custom painted in Black Fox by Sherwin Williams to match the trim throughout the large space. A High Gloss finish was used to reflect light and is an ambiguous black/brown/charcoal color that pairs perfectly with the granite of the bar and game table and chairs by Lorts Furniture. 

The bar is glam and sexy with barstools again by Hancock and Moore, and custom cabinets in rich walnut that frame the large screen TV. The backsplash is a coppery/bronze wavy tile that brings out the mica in the yummy granite. Drawers have been custom-designed to hold all the needs for a well-stocked bar with sink and under counter refrigerator and beverage center.

Although a collector of fine art, the homeowner had an ingenious idea of framing their favorite CD covers to show off their taste in music.

The media powder room is commands attention with a custom-designed vanity with vessel bowl and gleaming brushed bronze faucets. Tile wainscoting brings out both the Black Fox paint and hints of the golden metallic in the wallpaper above. The light fixture accentuates the harmony of the transitional space and still gives off an elegance that is befitting a fine, long-established, elite Gentlemen’s club.