Pantone Color . . . 2014

Hey There . . .

So the Pantone Color for 2014 is blue, in 2013 was kelly green.  I love that I was a bit ahead of the trend when I design the showroom and picked the colors for the March of Dimes Designer house in 2012.  I have loved the color combination and still do, but it's time to re-design the showroom.   New colors, new pieces.  Take a good look at the showroom pictures, it's time for a sale !

Our showroom is filled with pieces I am letting go of.  If you see something you like give me a call.  Things are going quick!

And stay tuned for a new look in all my favorite colors of the moment . . .

A Whole House . . . A Whole Design Part Three

Hey . .

The last of three first floors I have been working on will be the first to install, next month. Holly Liakakos and I got together at the end of last week, finalized some of the details and picked the last of our big pieces.  The dining room and family room needed slight tweaking.  We were missing just the right dining table, something special.   I am a huge fan of the unexpected.  We decided on the live edge dining table to mix with the glamor of the other details in the room.  The walls are a slight metallic grass cloth, the windows are a semi-sheer "bubble like" chevron pattern, one entire wall is antique mirror and the rug a silver seagrass.  Can you say texture . . . it's filled with it.  While somewhat monochromatic in color, each piece has a different surface quality.

Take a closer look . . .

These dining tables are amazing.  All custom made to a specific size and can be made with or without an extension leaf.  While we are deciding on the base, metal or Lucite, I cannot wait to receive this conversation piece.  Paired with 10 upholstered  "tub" chairs with a nubby wool on the back and a soft flannel on the front, it will be a dining room they may not want to leave after desert.

Loving the new window treatments, available in two great colors, either of which would work.  We decided on the grey on grey version . . . 

While I was in Hidell Brooks on Friday I had Holly in my mind as well.  I spied this piece by Jacob Cooley in person.  I had seen it on their site when I was designing the room and seeing it in person clenched it for me.  Hung over the mirrored wall would add warmth to the space and add to the serenity I would like to achieve.  Art in every space is so important.

Holly's great room has a 14 foot fake rock fireplace wall.  She has always hated it.  It's coming down.  The new facade we chose on Friday will be perfect.  We were pondering the color and after receiving the samples we picked the perfect one, bottom left.  Love !

Let the demo begin, messy, but will be so worth it.  Keith is working on a large, modern, mixed media piece to bring in color over the fireplace and we picked a new coffee table option.  This piece is perfect to compliment the Oly side table she already has and the new large floor lamps.  An aged gesso with a smooth finish and raised fretwork, it will sit on a new wool and viscose Ikat rug. Two new grey velvet, tight back sofas, and the most comfortable pop chair in peacock leather.

She and I both love the "hunt" so much that we are planning to trip to NYC to find some one-of-a-kind accessories (and who are we kidding . .  we really just want  to run away for a day or two).  We plan on hitting 1st Dibs in the Design Center to find a few truly unique accessories to have when we install.  She has a small curved hallway nook that needs something.  It's screaming for a fun wall paper and this painted grass cloth by one of my favs Celerie Kemble would do the trick.  A piece with a little Greek key I couldn't resist  (right Stavros) and I will be pushing for another mixed media piece of art combining black and white photography of the family (Mekenzie get ready) and oils.  I came across these sconces on 1st Dibs. . . love love... we'll see what we can find. 

Juxtapose is the name of this game, and I cannot wait.  I posted images of the front lounge not to long ago and with the exception of changing out the seagrass rug for Stark's Antilocarpa, it's underway with custom side cabinets backed in a new paper from Zoffany.

And no space is complete without a small touch of animal . . .

. . . and a wet snake !!! You won't be laughing at me when you see the finished product . . . it's killer.
The powder room,  just off the foyer is getting a face lift with horizontal wood planked wainscoting and yes, a little snake above.  We are taking off the sink cabinet doors and replacing them with something a little more modern . . .

The last touch, a bit wall paper in the stairwell, framed out.  

I am just happy Holly lives about 6 minutes from my office . . .


A Whole House . . . A Whole Design Part Two.

Hi There . . . 

During my past two week design mode immersion, I also worked on the downstairs plan for a client whose new construction home needed some unique and interesting pieces and some pulling together.  While new construction can be pretty "cookie cutter," this particular home has some great architectural details.  The builder and architect created a open floor plan with tall, vaulted ceilings in both the front office and great room but used heavy moldings and coffer ceilings to give these spaces some character.    My client also chose a great neutral grey color palette in most of the open spaces.  It's the perfect base to get the house built and when the time comes, you can add a paper here and there to keep it from looking too vast and uniform.

With the neutral grey she is drawn to the idea of a splashy pop here and there.  I suggested bringing in large scale art in several of the rooms, and papering the dining room.  The dining room is the one space, if you do any, that should have some drama and paper can do that !  She is crushing on Kelly green, and I certainly wasn't oppose to that.

My friend Windy O'Connor is now showing at Hidell Brooks Gallery and I am thrilled for her . . . I checked out her recent work on Friday and this is the type of piece I am suggesting in the foyer to set the tone !

With the neutral walls, clean graphic lines, bright white trim, I can just picture the gorgeous punch of color at the base of the stairs.  An interesting occasional chair at the stair's base and a large graphic area rug.

The small and cozy office right at the front of the house has vaulted, coffer ceilings.  A dark charcoal was the perfect choice for the walls.  I'd like to bring in a graphic linen curtain panel and an old over dye rug in a crisp Kelly green.

Using their existing desk and leather chair, I'd like to filter in a metal, horizontal bookcase on the side wall.

I chose the green rug in the library to tie back to the green grass cloth for the dining room.   This dining space will be the one room with a big splash of wall color . .  

The great room needs a sectional.  I want to keep the pieces and the walls all in a neutral with another great mix of textures and unique pieces.  One of the challenges is a necessary yet annoying speaker in the wall directly over their beautiful console.  That big wall space is screaming for art so Keith and I have come up with a way to create a piece that will still filter the sound straight through it !  Most excited about that.
I found these lamps at market this year and fell in love.  Chose the silver version for this install and the gold for another !  LOVE LOVE.

The kitchen space and breakfast room are open to the great room.  I want to again add a pop of color in the art, yet leave the walls and big pieces of furniture in a neutral.  At the last minute I filtered in a splashy chair or two to mix with the custom banquet.  Yum . . 

Coming up with a game plan for the entire space is key for visualizing (husbands like that too !)

Stay tuned !

A Whole House . . . A Whole Design Part One.

Hey There . . .

It's been two weeks and that's so not like me.  My blog is my journal.   I love coming home, clearing my head and creating a post about something that has caught my eye, something new in design, inspiration I found, or a recent install that Mekenzie just shot for me.  For the past two weeks I have been sidetracked with getting ready for five upcoming, pre-Thanksgiving installations and three new projects in the works.  Mekenzie and I have also been working on the re-design of our website and I have been overwhelming my new assistant, Maggie, with the endless details of the current jobs we are tackling.  My hat is off to Bree for being in coordinating overdrive.  The down time I enjoy after dinner to post something fun has been substituted with getting ready for the next day . . .  No time!   Have you ever just wanted time to stand still for a week so you can catch up !   So on this rainy, dark Saturday, I thought I'd write a post or two about the new projects I am working on, a preview of the installs upcoming and the thoughts I am having about the new look for our studio, which I cannot wait for.

One of the new projects is a first floor in need of everything.  This new project is for a client who's inspiration photos included sophisticated whites and creams with a touch of glamor and a dash of mountain chic all in one...   Her new home is big and "builder beige" and we are working together to give it personality, style and comforted.  I started with this combination of wallpapers, fabrics and rugs  to set the tone.  I needed a plan for 5 areas of her first floor...

I tackled the main living space first, painting the walls and trim in a more updated neutral and losing all the tan colors the builder had chosen.  That color is everywhere - has to go.

I want to add lighting in vaulted dead space, something somewhat industrial in material, but elegant in it's shape.  Grass cloth to back the cabinets and a good mix of patterns and textures on the case goods.

Open to the kitchen and breakfast room, the palette stays the same, but more texture and different materials are the name of the game.  A zinc top and grey distressed table, barrel style upholstered chairs and a beaded, yet unfinished wood chandelier which is both casual and a little dressy.   This area combines a two benches and two chairs, all different, yet relating to one another.  This, to me, is much more interesting that six identical chairs.
The foyer I actually worked on after the great room and kitchen... This time the grass cloth is painted with a pattern and I am mixing in a beautiful wall mount console table with two raw jade table lamps.  I love that the rustic elements in this home (with it's stone exterior) are met with the same on the interior yet in a more elegant way.  The looks is polished yet comfortable and not fussy with the fabrics I chose and the natural elements mixed in.

When it came to the Master Bedroom, the look requested was calming and neutral.   I chose to punch it with black as oppose to a pop color.  Now I know black is a color, but you know what I mean... no blue, red, green, orange... just neutrals, blacks, creams and metallic.

The wall paper on the two opposing walls have an organic feel with it's curves and flowers, but the blossoms themselves are boxed and angular.  Symmetry prevails with the matching lamps, tables and end-of-bed ottomans.

A long chaise in the window and console table for books, laptop and one big punch of a lamp creates a reading area I could run off to for an escape.  Those curtains, in person have the most gorgeous horizontal stripe in a velvet over linen.

A sleek console with plenty of storage for both bulky sweaters or just about anything...  and an eclectic collection of black and white photos.

Most excited about this look and all the elements we are pulling together.  Even more excited at the thought of helping with the coordinating Christmas decor I want to include.... stay tuned !


Thanks Mekenzie . . .

Hey There . . .

Love our new ads in both Charlotte Home Magazine and Charlotte Urban Home Magazine.  These were two of my favorite recent installs and Mekenzie did a great job in capturing the feel I wanted in both rooms.  Deep into a website re-design as well, so stay tuned for a fresh look for 2014 !

photos by mekenzie france