Melodie Durham

IDS Associate, Creative + Intuitive Designer

"I'VE BEEN DESIGNING SINCE I CAN REMEMBER".

"Early in life watching old black and white movies, I'd notice the glittering of crystal chandeliers, the flicker of a cigarette lighter, and the beautiful brocade, opulent drapes gracing large windows with twinkling lights from the city glowing through the dark windows.  A handsome, romantic, tuxedo-dressed man was always crooning and playing the piano while sipping on something in a heavy, sparkling glass.  Ladies with tiny waists were dancing with long white gloves and sipping from martini glasses.  The romance of it all was almost more than I could imagine. I held my glass in my hand, sipping Kool-Aid and making my skirt swirl, as I attempted to emulate the fantasy.

I grew up in a small rural community in the south, and while my parents were blue collar and very middle class, my mother was an excellent seamstress, able to reproduce the boucle' suits with fringe made by Channel for Jackie O. I, in my patent leather shoes and white lace socks, would go to fabric stores with her weekly to select fabric that she would magically sew into dresses for me that were copied or adapted from Life Magazine’s portrayal of Caroline Kennedy’s wardrobe.  Eventually, I began to sketch what I wanted and she would produce my designs effortlessly.

She and I would go to the library together and check out books on interior design and study the way rooms should be arranged. Everyone assumed that we were wealthy due to her hand-made window treatments with swags and jabots, covered sofas and chairs in damask and velvet and collected lovely silver plate items, individual crystal salt and pepper cellars, and crisp, starched, cut lace white table linens with fresh cut flowers from the garden in the center of the table.  Many bowls of punch were served with lit candles floating atop, and freshly baked cakes and pies served alongside gleaming baked hams covered in pineapple slices, cherries and cloves with a hard butter and brown sugar glaze.

We regularly visited furniture stores, antique shops and flea markets, never knowing when a treasure we could afford might be procured.

We traveled by car all over the US, watching the landscape change, and visited around 45 state capitals, stopping at important museums. All the while, I was being educated on architecture, marble statuary, Queen Anne, Chippendale and all the Louis'.  We also were front and center for important changes taking place in our country. We were in Cape Canaveral when Apollo 11 soared from the launch pad to the moon.  We explored the caves and hills of the adobe dwellings in the west, visited the Corn Palace in South Dakota where every year, the façade is changed into a mosaic of design out of colored corn. We looked with awe as we approached Mt. Rushmore and marveled at Hoover Dam and nervously drove across Royal Gorge, Colorado, one of the tallest suspension bridges in the world.

This life exposure to various cultures, styles and wonders increased and grew into a passion for more experiences and knowledge. A career was born from the desire to create and curate, surrounding myself with beautiful accouterments and fine furniture. I longed to learn why and how to blend styles, to study art history and to understand the visceral desire of people traveling by caravan or ships to bring back treasures from other countries or tribes.  Simple cave drawings alongside intricate gold filigree jewels are kept all over the world as national treasures for all to enjoy through careful preservation.

How does this translate into my design philosophy?  My desire is to see the gleam in your eye, to hear the intake of breath as you touch or see the plans for your room or home.  The style or scope of project isn't nearly as important as my ability to interpret what you want to see inside your personal snow globe.  Your home is your sanctuary, a place to feel safe, cozy and wonderment.  Whether starting fresh from concept to completion, blending multiple family homes, freshening or remodeling for function or aesthetics, building a vacation home in the mountains or beach, or adding a penthouse in Manhattan for work, I will be there to guide you through the process to help educate and discern your personal style turning your dreams into a reality with a host of resources."