Friday, December 13, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - My Top Five Holiday Gifts

During the holidays,
I like to think of memorable ways to say
"THANK YOU"
to my friends and family.

Since I'm in the design world,
my favorite gifts are those that bring "comfort and joy" to the home in some way.
They don't have to be expensive, 
but...
"They must be the best of their category."
So as a little cyber gift to my followers, I'm sharing my

***
TOP FIVE HOLIDAY GIFTS 
FOR THE HOME
***


1.  Rosemary Topiary
What IS it about this little miniature tree that is sooo captivating?
Maybe it's that you get two gifts at once...
a great accent in your kitchen or hallway, but also
a great cooking companion when only the freshest ingredients will do!
You can dress it up in a classic urn, or leave it more natural in burlap wrapping.

2.  Florentine Frames
There's nothing more elegant than Italian Florentine frames,
which are hand-crafted in wood and gold leaf.
Using a time-honored process that has been handed down for centuries, these frames
are gorgeous and destine to become heirlooms.
What better way to "capture the moment" of family, friends and pets!




3.  Cashmere Throw
I think about what I would love to receive and this is right up there at the top!
Beautiful to look at, thrown over a chair, but more importantly,
fabulous to snuggle in on a cold winter night!
(Hint:  Your best bet?  Go neutral)





4.  Design Books
I can't get enough of them!
Although my library is getting pretty full,
there's always room for just "one more". When I'm at Market,
I make it a point to meet the authors so I can get some insight into what inspired them.
My favorites this season?

Alexa Hampton's newest is classic Hampton style, but this time she gives us
a closer look at the details that make a room come to life.
(check out my recent interview with Alexa)
 http://blog.jwaddellinteriors.com/2013/11/my-interview-with-alexa-hampton.html

Jennifer Boles is well-known as the "Peak of Chic" blogger.
She is also the author of an important new book on the history of design in the 20th century.
Compiled as a design encyclopedia, it defines some of the most influential
decorating details from design legends like
Dorothy Draper (a personal favorite of mine), Billy Baldwin, and Sister Parish.

These two books would make great companions on a coffee table,
if you can put them down long enough, that is...





5.  Terres et Senteurs Room Diffusers
In my personal quest for the "Perfect Room Scent",
 I discovered this line several years ago.
I've been stocking them ever since!
Ordered directly from a small factory in Aiglun, France, I love the fact that they
 still make all their scents with natural essential oils and beetroot alcohol.
The result is an absolutely heady aroma that will fragrance a room for up to 3 months.


 Last minute shoppers, never fear...
the magic of design is here!


"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"




Tuesday, November 26, 2013

THANKSGIVING REFLECTION

In this business, it takes a whole lot of folks 
to create beautiful interiors.

When I started thinking about it,
I realized JUST HOW MANY...
and  HOW MUCH I DEPEND ON THEM EVERY DAY!


Furniture makers
Design assistants
Rug weavers
Manufacturer's reps
Electricians
Flooring installers
Truck drivers
Window washers
Metal craftsmen
Fine artists
Cabinet makers
Stone masons
Upholsterers
Drapery fabricators
Painters
Tech support (yes...probably THE most critical one)
Carpenters
Photographers
Delivery crews
Plumbers
Silk Worms (not people but sooo HARD WORKING!)



I have the fun job of dreaming up the design
BUT
nothing would ever be realized without the technical expertise and dedication
of my wonderful vendors, contractors and behind-the-scenes support staff who make it happen!





So this Thanksgiving,
I am sending out a 
HEARTFELT MESSAGE 
to all of them...


"THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF MY TEAM!
I AM ONLY AS GOOD AS THOSE AROUND ME."

I hope all of YOU enjoy the warm presence of family and friends
on this very special holiday.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"





Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Interview with Alexa Hampton

Alexa Hampton_ Hickory Chair showroom

You can tell just by looking at her
that the creative energy is rapidly boiling right below the surface...

That's the feeling I had throughout our interview!

Both introspective and spontaneous,
ALEXA HAMPTON
is a star in the interior design field for a reason.
Yes, she is the daughter of one of the 20th century's greatest design icons, Mark Hampton,
Mark Hampton
so she has the design gene in her blood.
BUT...

 Alexa has developed a unique aesthetic that is truly her own.
I would describe it as... 
"One part Mark Hampton....1000 parts Alexa Hampton!" 


And her gallery in the Hickory Chair showroom at Fall Market 
was living proof...
 "I use Market as a laboratory"Alexa Hampton
Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair
She described her spaces in the showroom as "ENTERTAINING"
And there's no doubt about it!
Riotous pattern, layered with saturated hues
created a energetic backdrop for her 
Modern Traditional furniture.
As she said, her approach was to
"MAKE IT FUN!"
I'd say she was successful, wouldn't you?  It was sophisticated and elegant,
but not too serious.  There was definitely a sense of humor about it that made me smile.


Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair
She carried this playful theme throughout the showroom
Alexa described her philosophy this way,
"I wanted a lot of pattern this time...
more than one color...
pretty and decorative"
I loved her choice of  lime green velvet on the transitional sofa.
She has a unique talent of finding ways to update classic elements.
There's always a reference to the past, but it's always "new" at the same time.
Did you notice the floral chintz pillow? She made it totally modern by mixing this classic
pattern with bold graphics and Indian block prints.

Alexa Hampton chair with Cowtan and Tout chintz 
I was curious...  "Why was it important to integrate this chintz in your collection?"
"It's my fulcrum"
In true Alexa Hampton style,
it grounded the collection in the classics
and provided the springboard for creative deviation.
That's why her designs have such broad appeal.
We see something familiar that is comforting yet we're energized by the
modern interpretation.


Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair
In this vignette, Alexa went for the richness of Claret on her sofa
which keyed off the large scale paper.
The fun came with the unexpected shot of green in the club chair.
She toned down the rest of the room so that these two colors could take center stage.
Perfect balance!

It was such a treat to explore design philosophies with Alexa, to get in her head
on how she approaches a new project, and just learn about what motivates her
as a person.

What struck me the most was how pragmatic she is about the creative process.
I asked her, "When you get ready to design a new group, what are your building blocks?

To my surprise, her response was very grounded and practical.
She explained that her best designs bubble up from "need".
When working on a project, she described not being able to
find the appropriate light fixture or perfectly proportioned chair,
so she created it!
"Sofia" by Alexa Hampton for Visual Comfort
This is how her fabulous collection of flush mount lighting came to be.
She's a master of  "EVIDENCE-BASED DESIGN"!

Alexa summed it up by saying this about her creative process,
"I must DESIRE it"
After a thoughtful pause, she looked at me and added,

"Couture Moments!"

Can you think of a better way to describe her style?

  Decorating In Detail by Alexa Hampton

Thanks for the insights, Alexa!




"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Trend Report - More Top Picks!

It was like a game of HIDE AND SEEK...
finding the best examples of the hottest trends
from High Point Market!

Not an easy task considering that it's
the largest home furnishings market IN THE WORLD
and covers 10 million square feet, with over 180 buildings!

Obviously, I've narrowed the field over the years,
returning to favorite showrooms.
But I've also made a point of seeking out NEW sources each time I'm there
 so that I have the freshest options to choose from when working on a project.

It was so much fun discovering the "real life" versions of 
the trends I talked about before going to Market!

I've already shared three of these trends with you since returning from my trip
PURPLE POPULATION
DETAILS, DETAILS
and
ORIGAMI EFFECT

 But I can't forget the other three that I was scouting,
especially the last one...

*NUDES*
Bernhardt 
All varieties of neutrals cropped up, from painted finishes to textural fabrics and blonde floors.
Even the mirror glass added to the "ethereal" look!

Century
 I was immediately drawn to this chest...
the combination of the creamy finish and bronze hardware
gives it an updated Asian feel.


*NATURAL GEOMETRY*
Celerie Kemble for Henredon
Well this was my "GASP" moment at Market!
I can't tell you how gorgeous this gallery was by Celerie Kemble.
And to my delight, when I walked around the corner - there it was...
THE HONEYCOMB ETEGERE
She translated this trend in the most creative way.
The red interior makes the geometric patterned bookshelves pop!
Brilliant.

Lillian August for Hickory White
Another one of my favorites, Lillian August caught the
GEO FEVER.
This time it was overscaled on the floor.


*FOLLOWING THE FOX*
William Yoeward for Jonathan Charles
Meeting William Yoeward was a treat in itself.
But hearing the story behind his "Fox" theme was even better!
(but that's for another day).
The carved detail on this console was remarkable.
Evidently, Mr. Yoeward challenged even the most patient
furniture makers at Jonathan Charles with his insistence on perfection.
But look at the results!

William Yoeward for Jonathan Charles console detail


Chelsea House
As I predicted, the Fox is creeping in to the mainstream.
A little bit here, a little bit there...
In small doses at the moment, but watch for a big surge in the coming months.

Until next time...


"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"






  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Trend Report - Fresh from High Point!

Since back from Market,
I've been doing a lot of sorting, reviewing and digesting 
all the great finds and discoveries!
There's so much to think about...
New vendors I want to add to my library,
cool ideas to incorporate in to future projects,
and
culling through all the pix I took to decide on my

TOP MARKET TRENDS

Before I left, I gave you some of my Pre-Market trends that I would be watching.
And now I want to share how those trends popped up on some of my favorites pieces!


*PURPLE POPULATION*
Lillian August for Hickory White_Photo by Joan Waddell

From deep, velvety grape to the palest lavenders,
purple was a major theme song for the "Queen of Color"
Lillian August 
I always beeline for her showroom
for the latest inspiration in color and 
what I call her "Uptown Classic" furniture designs.
It's so "me".


Lillian August for Hickory White_Photo by Joan Waddell



*DETAILS DETAILS*

Hooker Furniture workwell E-Charge Center

The detailed scroll work on the door of this cabinet is so fun!
But the REAL detail is on the INSIDE...

Hooker Furniture workwell E-Charge Center
From Hooker Furniture's workwell group,
this E-Charge Center has everything a family needs for
"Stylish Organization"
and you know I'm all about that!!!
I've already placed this mentally in one of my client's homes.
What will they think of next?  



*ORIGAMI EFFECT*
Global Views_Dwell Studio 
I'm lovin' these decorative boxes from Global Views!
They "Fool the eye" with a play between one and two dimensions.
Are they folded paper or wooden boxes?
And I just couldn't resist the stylized giraffe.
I'm seeing this little guy in a nursery, for sure!


STAY IN TOUCH FOR 
PART II 
OF MY TREND REPORT!




"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"












Friday, October 25, 2013

Fridayfinds! - Inside the madness at High Point Market

All I can say is,
"Whew..."
I just got back from
four days at High Point Furnishing Market 
and it was more exciting than ever!

Typically I'm on my feet for the majority of the 12 hour days, walking from building to building,
and through the showrooms.
but it doesn't really bother me because I'm so focused.  
"It's total VISUAL IMMERSION!"


 The moment your hotel bus pulls into the main terminal at the IHFC building
you feel the electricity.

This is the convergence of the entire furnishings industry, from furniture to accessories.
And it's the time when each manufacturer introduces their newest designs.

Imagine that for a minute...
Each showroom pulls out all the stops to highlight their top designs for the season. 
It's a massive undertaking that takes months of planning - 
from R and D, to building prototypes and then designing their showroom spaces
to present the new pieces in the most impressive way.
All in hopes of catching the attention of the buyers!

Bernhardt showroom
With the large showrooms, you can eat up an hour, easily, so staying on schedule is mandatory,
if you want to visit every manufacturer on your list.

I average about 10 showrooms a day for four days. And that doesn't include the smaller booths
I like to visit along the way...


And it continues into the night...
This was the scene as we listened to the BEACH BOYS perform down below.

 On top of that,
there are soooo many seminars, celebrity designers and
book signings available during Market that it's really
difficult to pick and choose.

But I have my favorites and this market, I was lucky enough to spend some time
with one of the best...
ALEXA HAMPTON
 
Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair
I have to say, this was probably the highlight of my trip!
Watch for my upcoming post on the interview with Alexa.
It was very insightful.



"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!" 





Thursday, October 10, 2013

More Pre-Market Trends

I leave for  High Point Fall Market in a little over a week.

That means I'll be on the hunt for the freshest, most exciting 
INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS
the minute my shoes hit the pavement.

And I'm going to post real-time reports via
 FACEBOOK
so I want to share a few more trends I'll be watching so 
you can follow along with me while I'm there.

I've already shared some of the top trends
I think are coming down the path...
NUDE COLORS
NATURAL GEOMETRY
ORIGAMI EFFECT
http://blog.jwaddellinteriors.com/2013/09/pre-market-trending.html

But there are others I'm going to seek out...
Some already gaining traction
and
some more obscure.


Julian Chichester Virginia Chair
*PURPLE POPULATION*
Reserved strictly for royalty in centuries past,
Purple's revival is for all humankind!
It's allure is timeless through association,
but the new breed has an playful, irreverent side, too!

This chair is anything but stuffy.
A cool combo of fun curves and purple velvet
makes it both inviting and "Regal" in a tongue and cheek way.




Maria Yee Hattori sideboard
*DETAIL, DETAIL*
It's all about the finishing touches, as seen in this contemporary sideboard.
Simple lines of the cabinet marry perfectly with the signature "bow" hardware
for a stunning presentation.
A big part of this trend is the idea that...
"LESS IS MORE"
Each element is important to the whole.




Maitland-Smith Fox and Frog

*FOLLOWING THE FOX*
I've been watching this "just below the surface" trend
for a while on my
Pinterest Board
But it's still so new that not much is showing up...YET!
Mark my words,
"THIS IS GOING TO BE THE NEXT
ANIMAL SENSATION!"
and you will see it translated in fabrics, pillows,
wall art, faux furs and everything in-between.

Just think, the OWL wasn't even on our radar a few years ago
but it's red hot now.
Watch out....
the FOX is on the move!!!



Don't forget to check my FACEBOOK page for
MY DAILY TREND REPORT
starting next Saturday, Oct 19, when I arrive at Market.

It's ALL THERE, waiting for our arrival...
so come along with me and get the first glimpse of
what's to come!




"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"









Friday, October 4, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - UVa Garden Gate Photo gets published!

Social media is so intertwined! 

I was reminded of this recently when I got an email from someone
in Career Services at the University of Virginia.
She said she was perusing the web and found my 
Blog post
 and 
Pinterest Board called


Turns out she was looking for a photo to put on the cover of the
Hoos Career Guide
which is for students to utilize as they explore career choices.

In her words,  "I try to find unique and creative pictures to put on our cover
and yours stood out to me since they include some viewpoints not
typically captured by the U.Va. photographers!"

She asked me to send three different pix of my garden gate tour
for consideration.
Photo by Joan Waddell


Photo by Joan Waddell


Photo by Joan Waddell

I didn't know if any of these would pass the test until a few weeks ago.
That's when she contacted me and requested permission to publish.
How exciting!!!

So which one did they pick?

Cover photo by Joan Waddell
My small moment of fame :-)



"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Style Booster - Refresher Course

It seems there's a recurring theme in my projects right now.
My clients are on a mission!
In various forms, each one is searching  for a magic formula that will inject their home with...
PERSONALITY.
But as we all know, it takes more than adding a few accessories here and there.

That's one reason I started my series on 
My hope is to give you a little bit of a design road map...
to inspire you as you navigate each room of your home...
and help you create a blueprint that expresses "YOU" and your personality.

So with that in mind, I'm circling back with you 
to check in on your progress.
Have you taken the leap?

"Even one small change can be a step in the right direction 
towards putting your personal stamp on your home."


We've walked through the key rooms in your home,
starting in the kitchen where I gave some easy tips for
adding your personal style without major changes.

From there we took a hard look at the room where you spend all your time,
the family room,
Design by Joan Waddell

and the rooms where you should spend MORE time -
your dining room and living room.
Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair
Thomas O'Brien design

We also talked about first impressions, inside AND out!
What does your front entry say about you and what's inside?
via HGTV.com


My foyer was the first project I tackled when I bought my house 18 years ago,
even though there was a long list of needed renovations!
Joan Waddell's foyer

What was my second?
My bedroom!
For me, knowing I had a cozy, inviting cocoon to return to each night,
was all I needed to be able to tackle the world the next day!
On our tour of your bedroom, I encouraged you to explore colors that make you feel
happy and content.
Todd Romano design
After all, the bedroom should nurture and rejuvenate - and to me,
color is the key ingredient.

As I write this,
I'm thinking it's time for me to evaluate my own rooms!
So I guess we're on this journey together.
And it can be both fun.......and cleansing
if we have the right attitude
Right?

I've added links to past posts on
STYLE BOOSTERS
so check them out for a refresher course.
Here's to much needed change!



"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"