I love my pets. I love nice furnishings. Sadly, these two entities do not always co-exist peacefully, as one recent emergency visit to the rug cleaner will attest. Did you know cat urine creates a permanent stain? Now I do. Good thing I love my fluffy little purrballs very, VERY much.
It was a good reminder that the right design choices must consider every member of the household, including the pets. If you own dogs or cats, you know that messes and destruction are part of the package. A small price (or a hefty cleaning bill) to pay for unconditional love and affection. Selecting the right kinds of fabrics and materials in the first place will go a long way towards keeping your furnishings looking as nice as possible with as little maintenance as possible. Having owned cats all my life, I speak from the perspective of a cat owner living with the constant threat of claws, fur, hairballs and we’ll just say “other” sorts of accidents. But I think for the most part these guidelines would apply to dogs as well. Here are a few things to keep in mind next time you go furniture shopping: Read more →
For the past week and wrapping up yesterday, the bi-annual furniture market tradeshow was hosted up in High Point. I spent two full days scouring the showrooms, looking for just the right finds for my design clients. High Point Market is like Disney World: equal parts exhilarating and exhausting. And just plain huge. By my estimation I saw not 1% of all there was to offer. While I was on a pretty focused mission this trip, my head couldn’t help but be turned by all the of beautiful things around me. I took a couple (hundred) pictures, and here are some of my favorite finds: Read more →
Yesterday I had the opportunity to see a chair-making demonstration by one of Kravet Furniture’s master upholsterers. If you’ve ever wondered what secrets lie beneath the cushions of your favorite chair or sofa, here’s your chance to take a peek “behind the seams” and see how a really high quality piece is constructed. My clients sometimes ask me if it’s worth it to re-upholster a favorite piece vs. buying new. Generally it’s all about the quality of the frame and construction of the chair itself – factors that are not always visible from the outside. In this post I’ll share what I learned about the markers of quality upholstery from Kravet. Oh, and at the end of the demonstration, one lucky attendee was selected by drawing to win the chair! I’ll get back to that in a minute. Read more →
One of the best things about my job as a designer is the chance to peek behind the curtain (or behind the custom draperies, I should say) at the rarefied world of high-end furniture design. I recently had the chance to tour the warehouse of one of my favorite North Carolina furniture companies, Phillips Collection. Phillips Collection is especially known for raw, live-edge and natural wood furniture and home accents created from found and fallen timber. Most pieces in the collection are one-of-a-kind, with gorgeous natural variations in form and coloration. Read more →
Today it’s my pleasure to share an interview with Mark Warren, co-founder of North Carolina ceramics studio, Haand. Working at their farmhouse studio outside of Chapel Hill, Mark and his partner Chris Pence produce a line of contemporary dinnerware and serving pieces. The work is elegant, clean, and sculptural – with an emphasis on form over surface decoration. Haand says its mission is “to create high quality, durable, sensual pieces for everyday use”. Indeed, what I find striking about Haand’s work is the way it elevates the everyday, with pieces that are a pleasure to use and interact with. Their dishware is at once basic and avant garde - equally suited to serving up molecular gastronomy as a slice of pizza. Read more →
Maybe it’s the new year that’s inspired me to get organized. Or maybe it’s because I’ve been working on a client project, designing a built-in mail and message center. Designed to go into a niche in the kitchen, the unit will provide a touch-down spot to house mail, supplies, homework, chargers and other of the family’s necessities. It’s replete with paper sorter, supply drawers, dry-erase board, recycling bin pull-outs and a charging station. (Does that sound cool or what? I know, I want one too!) In any case, I have started the new year in an effort to streamline, organize and conquer the paper clutter monster once and for all. And while a built-in unit is not going to be happening in my house anytime soon, I’ve found there are lots of stylish organizers out there that work great and look great too. Read more →