Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pre-Market Trending

With the Show House wrapped up, I'm turning my thoughts towards my trip to
which is just around the corner!

So much to think about - planning my packed 12 hour days,
visiting favorite showrooms, and finding new inspiration.
But as always, I'll be putting together my
It's my personal prediction of what's going to "take off"
in the coming year in the world of design.

There are already some cool trends bubbling up,
even before Market is in full swing.
So I'm sharing a few that will be on my radar
once I'm on the ground and "running" in High Point.

Worlds Away Werstler dresser
We've seen fashion runways embrace the neutrals with the 
palest of blush pink, ivories
and taupes
And now, even with the dominance of COLOR everywhere,
these demure shades are gaining strength in "Home Fashion".

Like your favorite nude patent leather heels, these shades are
and they're being translated in all varieties of organics like this
Kelly Werstler designed limed oak dresser.

Celerie Kemble for Henredon Ravenel Bookcase
A no-fail way to top the trends?
Take your cue from the architects in nature,
the honey bees.
We humans like familiarity and gravitate towards certain natural forms, like the honeycomb,
which makes us feel safe and comfortable.
It's a classic that's making the rounds again
in a fresh, modern way.

Leif Petersen Flux chair
As if it's been folded, bent and manipulated by human hands,
this trend speaks to our yearning for

cultural connections and their
unique brand of hand-made goods.

Nothing embodies these two ideas better than the
art of Origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding.
Taking form as a chair, the ORIGAMI EFFECT is evident in this
perfect fusion of far east and  made-by-hand aesthetic!


I'm excited to hunt down all of these trends once I get to Market,
and will be taking lots of pix, for sure.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg!
More trending coming your way before I leave
so keep checking back with me.


Friday, September 20, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - Show House chairs steal the show!

When I envisioned the
for the Bellarmine Show House
I wanted a "wow" statement
that would stand out in a exciting, elegant way.

On my concept board, I included a fabulous red chair fabric 
with aqua, gray and yellow in it  This became the signature of my room
and the "springboard" for the rest of the design.

The idea for this space was to create a cozy sitting area
for long tete-a-tetes between good friends.
So the chairs became the most important design element in the entire room!
My check list?  They had to be inviting, fun to look at,
and SUPREMELY comfortable.
This red fabric was the perfect choice to cover my big, luxurious lounge chairs.

When I saw my chairs on Pearson's Facebook page, my heart skipped a beat!  

They had just been completed in the factory and were ready to ship.
THAT'S when I knew I had a winner (or two)!
They turned out to be even more stunning than I had dreamed.
Who could resist their allure?
If these beauties didn't invite you to "take a seat", I don't know what would.

I was sooo excited when we finally had the chairs in the room!
With the walls painted that luminous shade of Aqua
the backdrop was set for the unveiling of the 

The aqua paired with red was so energizing and dynamic...
I was thrilled with the combo!

Everything else just fell into place after that.
I keyed the decorative border on my drapes 
to the gray and yellow accent colors in the chairs.
And the red was carried around the room in little touches
like the coral on the mantel and cocktail shaker in the secretary.

But the best part?  
Sharing this happy space with all my friends who have come to see it!

And I had a very special guest of honor last night during Designer Night...

My good friend, the rep for Pearson, stopped by to see these beautiful chairs her company
created just for me!

There's still time to catch the show.
The Bellarmine Show House runs through this Sunday, Sept. 22.
Don't miss it!  A fantastic tour awaits.


Friday, September 13, 2013


Pantone, the global authority on color, 
unveiled their Spring Color Report recently to coincide with 
New York Fashion Week.

Why am I interested in this?
As I've talked about before, 

What we see on the runway now, will  make its way 
to the world of interior design in the very near future. 

In fact, much of this Spring palette is already showing up 
on fabric lines I have seen from my reps.

Leatrice Eiseman, the Executive Director of
Pantone Color Institute, described the Spring colors like this,
"This season, consumers are looking for a state of thoughtful, emotional 
and artistic equilibrium"

And the designers are having some fun mixing it up, pairing the soft pastels
with vivid brights to create a colorful balance, or "equilibrium" of their own.

Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute-Whitney sketch
Just reading the color names, conjures up images of blooming flowers,
and travels to exotic places...
Placid Blue
Purple Haze
Celosia Orange
Magenta Purple
Dazzling Blue

Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute-Sachin+Babi sketch

Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute-Rachel Roy sketch
Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute-Emilio Sosa sketch

How will these refreshing new colors show up in my industry?
It will be fun to discover...
and I'm sure they will be up front and center 
at High Point Market in October!

So stayed tuned for the latest, 
as I dig a little deeper into this color trend.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Magnificent Homes of America - Robie House by Frank Lloyd Wright

It's been called 
one of the most important buildings in American architecture.
I call it...
A Game Changer!

designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1908,
is a masterpiece of the Prairie Style.
But more significantly,
it is considered to be the forerunner of 
contemporary architectural design.
It was THIS house that started a revolution...
and I can see why after I experienced it for myself.

Mr. Wright created this unique residence
for Frederick C. Robie, a 28 year old businessman who
was assistant manager of his father's company, Excelsior Supply Company.
A progressive thinker,
Robie couldn't wait to put his mark on the Hyde Park neighborhood
where he and his wife, an alumnus of the University of Chicago, planned to live.
And he certainly wasn't disappointed with the plan Wright came up with!

Low slung and linear, this design is the best known example of Prairie Style,
a term coined by architectural critics who saw a correlation between the buildings and
the landscape and plant life of the Midwest prairie of the United States.

Wright mimicked this vision of never-ending fields and sweeping vistas
with strong horizontal lines.
The cantilevered roof eaves,
continuous bands of windows, and even the unusual size of Roman brick,
which was longer and narrower than standard, all worked together to symbolize the landscape.

He went so far as to dictate how the mortar was applied:
the horizontal joints were filled with cream-colored mortar and the
small vertical joints were filled with brick-colored mortar
so the eye saw more of a horizontal orientation.
Talk about DETAIL!!!

And his obsession with detail didn't stop there.
He insisted on controlling every aspect of the interior design, including
all the windows, lighting, rugs, furniture and textiles.
During the project, Wright wrote,
"It is quite impossible to consider the building one thing
and its furnishings another...They are all
mere structural details of its character and completeness."

I love the custom art glass throughout the house.  Reminiscent of sheaths of wheat,
this design again reminds us of the prairie lands, but in a much more graphic way.

Courtesy of

The art glass is one of many design elements used to
create continuity and flow from space to space.
But Wright also knew when to throw in a "curve ball"
as you see in this entrance hall.  The circular cut-out in the ceiling
is the ONLY curve in the entire house!
Why did he do it?
He wanted a visually appealing way to lead you to the stairway
which goes to the main floor. It also creates a pool of natural light to illuminate the stairs.

 Courtesy of
The Robie House represented  many "Firsts" in architectural design,
but one of the most important was the
Consider this.
Before Wright conceived this design,
there was no such thing as a floor plan with continuous, free-flowing space.
Rooms were specific and divided.
Wright had a different idea!
What you see above is a view of the living room looking towards the dining room,
(Notice the cut-out above the fireplace, which allows more light into both areas)
The two spaces, which run the length of the house, equal 60' total!

Courtesy of Google Images
Walk around the fireplace and you enter the dining room,
which incorporates the same design elements as the living room, such as the globe lighting,

What is facinating to me is the way Wright created a
"room within a room"
for a more intimate dining experience.
By placing electrified built-in lamps on each corner of the dining table
and chairs with exaggerated backs,
 he created the illusion of a walled-off area, within the open floor plan.

The Robie House has survived several attempts to have it demolished.  Over the years
it's served as a personal residence, dormitory and dining hall, and a developer's office.
Hard to believe, but it wasn't until 1997 that this treasure was
handed over to the Frank Lloyd Wright  Preservation Trust,
who is overseeing the on-going restoration.

Next time I visit, I look forward to seeing more of the original furnishings
returned to their proper place!
But in spite of the sparse interiors, this house tour seemed
complete to me.
Maybe it was the absence of the furnishings that allowed the true spirit of
his genius to come through.

Courtesy of


Friday, September 6, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - Show House Chandelier REVEALED

Last night I attended the 
and it was FABULOUS!

It's the kick-off for the opening, which is this Saturday.
It's hard to believe that it's finally here, 
after so many months of "sweat equity" we've invested.
But now that our room is totally put together, down to the tiniest detail,
I can say it's been a 
"Labor of love"
And it's probably one of my favorite rooms I've ever put together for a show house.
"It's the perfect mix of great antiques, lively fabrics, 
and colors that SING!"

There was a record crowd at the Preview Party,
eager to get the first glimpse
of this incredible renovation of a classic Gothic Revival home.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, 
the "Anchorage" has finally been restored to its original splendor,
both inside and out!

It was really my first chance to tour the entire house 
(I've been so consumed with finishing my own space I haven't had the time) 
And it was so fun!  It's great to be part of something this grand.
My congratulations to all the designers involved.

Early on in the process of designing my room
I posted three choices for a chandelier
and asked what you thought.
You may have noticed that none of the pics on
subsequent posts about the Show House ever showed the chandelier.
I wanted to keep it a secret to be revealed tonight...
on the eve of the Show House opening.
So, for my loyal followers, YOU are the first to see which one I picked

Design by Joan Waddell of J. Waddell Interiors
You have to look hard but it's in the reflection of the mirror.
I'm crazy about this choice!
It's absolutely perfect for the space but a photo just doesn't do it justice.
You'll have to see it in person to get the whole effect.
I'll post more pics of the room as the Show House progresses
so keep in touch.