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!"