Tuesday, May 17, 2016

One on One with Suzanne Kasler!

One of the biggest thrills of attending High Point Market is

being able to sit across the table from design "greats"

As a fellow Southerner,
I've followed her for years.
drawn in by her traditional sensibilities and timeless style.
But on this day in the Hickory Chair Showroom,
I had the opportunity to ask questions, face to face,
about how she creates and refines her design concepts.

For me, Market is all about finding the newest and best trends
and translating them into my own design projects.
But sometimes this can be tricky.
So my first question to Suzanne was simple,

"How do you mix trends with timeless design?"

I loved her answer!
She said she starts with a
"foundation of tradition"
 and builds from there with a mix of new pieces
and things her client already owns.
This mix is what makes it timeless.
She described it as an
"edited fresh approach that is more minimal"

Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair
This is one of Suzanne's vignettes in the showroom
that is a great example of
her pared down traditional style -
everything in its place and intentional.
The perfect composition.

Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair

Suzanne's new scatter tables are as fresh as it gets,
but they're firmly rooted in the French Modern era.
She often taps historical references for design inspiration.
These versatile pieces
could easily move from a traditional living room to a
a hip loft apartment.


So much to discuss but so little time!
I had to make a quick decision on my next (and last) question,
as Suzanne said she had a meeting coming up.

But first things first, I wanted her to sign a book for me
before she got away :)

Add caption

So back to our little discussion...

"What is the one thing that drives your design,
more than any other?"

Once again she held true to her classical leanings.

"I try to get the architecture right"
so that it doesn't look new.
"If you get the space right then 
you need less decorating"


And then she was off...

Hickory Chair Showroom-High Point Market

This scene made my heart pound!
Seated around this table are the master minds of
 Hickory Chair's furniture design and
some of the greatest interior designers in the business.
Would have LOVED to sit in on this meeting!!!

With her back to us is Suzanne Kasler.
To her right is Mariette Himes Gomez.
And next to Mariette is Alexa Hampton!
(see my previous Market interview with Alexa)

This is truly where is all happens.
I hit the jackpot today!


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hot on the Trail! Pre-Market Trending

With only a week before High Point Spring Market begins,
the pre-market teasers are flooding my inbox
and I'm pulling out my favorite trends to share with you.

It's also a good way for me to narrow my focus
on what I want to scout out
I hit the showrooms because once I'm there, 
"it will be massive sensory overload"

Make sure you follow along with me on FB and Instagram
as I hunt down these trends each day. 

courtesy High Point Market Authority

Here are my latest finds
from TrendWatch...


Watson and Company 
Is this not the coolest???  
As I mentioned in my last post, metals are big!
This is just another example of how they are playing out.
As the company says, it's an "antique aesthetic with modern sensibilites"
There's an edginess to this flower that is very trend-worthy.

Vertuu Design
There are other metals ready to play this spring.
Rose gold, silver and brass fit perfectly together, don't you think?



Jamie Young chandelier
I'm going to see a lot of Pantone's color of the year, Rose Quartz 
whipped up into gorgeous confections like this chandelier.

New Pacific Direct

But this is just one of many colors moving on up this spring.
As with past years, there is a direct correlation between
fashion and furnishings, and the
Athleisure trend in casual wear
is having an effect on home furnishings as well.
With an emphasis on relaxation and comfort,
there is a whole new color palette to go with it.
From the palest of pinks to more saturated hues,
they are intended to mimic the casual, energetic vibe of
"Life on the go!"



Wildwood Lamps and Accents
Urban living is on the rise, not only with Millennials 
but with empty nesters ready to pair down.
Furnishings are following suit with small scaled pieces
designed to fit comfortably in tight spaces.

Howard Elliott

Multi-function is high on the list of "must haves"
but without sacrificing beauty and style.  
This display cabinet is cleverly clad in mirror,
which bounces the light around, making it appear weightless
(a real plus in a small room)
Ready to house books and your favorite found objects,
it also serves as a fabulous room divider in an open floor plan.

Ok, I'm getting excited now...Can't wait to
jump into this 
Creative Playground 
for 5 glorious days!

Don't forget to follow me on Facebook
and Instagram
from April 15-19!
I'll be digging up the most fabulous intros on the planet!


Friday, March 18, 2016

Spring Market Peek!

courtesy of High Point Market 
I will be spending alot of time in this building during the upcoming
Spring Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC.

But it's just one of many I will visit in search of the best new trends for 2016.
In fact, there are over 2000 exhibitors in 11.5 million sq ft of showroom space,
so I will be spending 4 days here, on my feet, to cover as much territory as possible.

Yes, it's an endurance test, for sure, but really...
it's so exhilarating that none of that matters.

It's total immersion in everything related to "Home"
from furniture to lighting, rugs, accessories and more
and I'm in creative overload from the time I arrive
to when I board the flight home.

Even though Market is a month away,
 I'm already checking out what seems to be bubbling up as hot trends
so I can put them on my radar when touring the showrooms.

Here are a few I'm watching...

John Richard cabinet

Metals, like brushed brass, are big,
especially in combination with gorgeous woods

Currey and Co Galactica Chandelier

Materials are being re-purposed in the most exotic ways,
This chandelier uses a mix of recycled glass and silver leaf to create its
other-worldly vibe!

Jessica Charles

"Femme Fatale" is taking its place at the top.
Covered in Rose Quartz, Pantone's color of the year, this chair at first seems demure...
take a closer look...
This time it's a little edgier than the past.
Strong curves pair with angular details in a new interpretation of
woman power!

I'll keep you posted on other Pre-Market discoveries
so check back!


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bedroom Re-fresh

We don't always get to start with a clean slate...
In fact, more times than not, 
there are lots of existing pieces in a room that need to be incorporated in a new design.

"This can be a challenge
as I like to think of it,
an opportunity!" 

This week, I completed a redesign of a master bedroom in a high rise condo
that was a fresh combination of my client's own pieces and 
new ones I chose to mix in.

The room had all the essentials:  a headboard, rug, dresser and tables.

But the neutral walls and bedding didn't relate to the strong red rug.
And the furniture all matched, making it way too heavy and serious. 

It needed a facelift - just the right design elements 
to tie everything together and make it more interesting. 

Fabricut Fanella linen print
I started with this fabulous linen fabric and built the concept around it .
It already feels brighter, doesn't it?
Add blue walls and some key furnishings and now the room starts to come back to life!


Now it has "breathing" room.

I'll share the rest of the room with you next time.  
There's a surprise element that takes it up a notch!
Stay tuned...


Friday, January 29, 2016

FRIDAYfinds! The Hex

via mathmunch.org

The honeycomb is one of my favorite shapes in nature.
So perfectly constructed by the honey bee.
It's no wonder we are attracted to this hexagon shape.
It's such a pleasing geometric form and
it's just....well... 

I'm a big fan of the hexagon because it can take on so many forms.
Whenever I see a new take, I "beeline" for it (I couldn't resist...)
Kravet hexagon high low pedestals

Check this out!  I'm in LOVE!!!!
These scatter tables can be configured a million different ways
which makes them so versatile!

via  HOUZZ

I envision grouping eight orange ones together in front of this royal blue super long Chesterfield sofa.
This NEEDS to happen!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Color deprived? Enter Color of the Year 2016!

via YouTube
Are you like me in the winter?  
Wishing for the bright colors of the "other three seasons"?

Winter is like a gray scale -  full of stark contrasts and subtle tones
but void of vivid colors, for the most part.
Yes, I agree that there is a sophisticated beauty in this monochromatic palette
I yearn for more saturated color.
It's energizing and uplifting - sort of an instant mood changer.

So to me, this is the perfect time of year to announce the

via Pantone

Actually, for the first time EVER, Pantone chose TWO colors for 2016.


Pantone is describing it as, " a softer take on color for 2016,,,a blending of two shades"

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Dir, Pantone Color Institute, explains it this way:

"As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, 
welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security
are becoming more prominent.  Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate 
an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue,
reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace"

What do I think?  Well, I'm a little torn on this combo.  
At first glance, it seems a bit of an 80's throwback (the mauve thing...)

But I admit, the more I look at it, the more progressive it seems.
The idea of more fluid color - the melding of two opposing colors,
color movement, so to speak,
has lots of appeal.
It feels weightless, not static or heavy - poised to adjust to whatever the new year brings.

image via Kravet_Pantone

could this be a predictor of a whole new attitude for 2016?
I plan to make mine "breezy and carefree"!

I'd love to hear what you think of the new Pantone color(s)
Thumbs UP


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Restaurant Confidential - And the name is...

Last time I posted about my new restaurant project,
I promised to share the name with you 
how we're building the design concept around it.
So here's a hint...
The flame says it all!


which means "bonfire" in Spanish
is the perfect description
for this fun new restaurant!

The owners have years of experience 
playing with "fire" (or brick ovens, that is)
at their other restaurants in Chattanooga.

The owner experimenting with his brick oven chicken

They are known for creating mouth-watering dishes 
straight from their 800 degree ovens
that redefine the meaning of "Comfort Food"!

So this new restaurant concept is a natural extension
of their mastery of the flame.

With a nod to South American roots, this is not going to be
your typical Latin restaurant.  
I've peeked at the menu and it's more like a yummy mash up
of the best Latin flavors and Southern classics.
"Yes, I'm getting hungry too!"

Now that we have the great name, it's time for us to
conceptualize the setting.  The owners
describe their vision in this way,
"We want a neighborhood feel where guests come
to relax and enjoy really good food.  Nothing too formal."

I'm a firm believer in a collaborative approach to design and
we have a great team working on FOGATA  -
the owners, architect, restaurant manager, and myself.
Each of us brings a specific expertise to the project that will insure
a well functioning, beautiful space in the end.

credit unkonwn
I found this great exterior shot on line and it became
the inspiration for our team - inviting from the street
with a comfortable interior atmosphere.

After lots of discussion, throwing ideas around,
and general bantering,
we've zeroed in on the building concept that will make
THE neighborhood restaurant/bar destination in Chattanooga!

Special dinner at another success story for the owners, Canyon Grill

Cheers to that!

Check back next time for a glimpse of the fabulous finishes
I'm working on for the exterior and interior.