I have to admit something. I am addicted to Chinese furnishings. It is my absolute favorite design genre. The foo dogs, golden screens, delicate textiles and papers, and dynasty tables send chills down my spine. I don’t exactly know what draws me to this style but I feel it brings such a warm spirit that contemporary pieces can’t always achieve. The older and slightly distressed the better. As I always say, every room needs a natural or cultural presence with a hint of history. However, an overdose of Asian influence leans heavily on poor sanitation grade Chinese takeout more than it does chic. So just mix this in with your regular style and you will have gotten it just right.
The best places to uncover these finds are not always the shiny storefronts but more often the back alley second-hand palaces. Although more authentic and unique items can fetch values higher than your Sallie Mae student loan, anyone can find their own piece of the orient after a fun search.
I know I have been MIA for the past few months but I have returned ready to get back in the thrust of things on the blog. I couldn’t let Black History Month pass without pointing out two of my favorite African American designers. You don’t find too many black folks in the design field and you especially don’t see many rise to national exposure so these two are quite admirable.
Sheila Bridges is an ivy-league educated designer that has managed her own firm since 1994 and has been named “America’s Best Interior Designer” by CNN and Time Magazine. Not only has she designed spaces for the rich and famous, but she has also hosted her own TV show and her work can be found in every major magazine. Her refined designs stand boldly as does her signature hairstyle, or lack thereof. She lost her curly locks to alopecia in 2004 but didn’t let that get her down. The experience led her to aptly title her 2013 book, “The Bald Mermaid: A Memoir”.
Darryl Carter is a prominent Washington, DC based designer that started out as a lawyer until his stylish abode landed on the cover of Metropolitan Home Magazine and he was inundated with calls for commissions. He took that moment as a sign that design was his true calling. His classic Americana style has been revered as The New Traditional which is also the title of his 2008 book. Since his transition into design in the late 1990s, he has done many high-profile spaces, been lauded in many publications, created his own line of paint colors for Benjamin Moore and opened his eponymous store in DC’s Shaw neighborhood just last year. Neutrals, rustic textures and antiques are his thing but they are always brought together in a new and comfy way.
It’s funny how things fall in line if you pay attention to the sequence. In an earlier post this week I mentioned the verbose and yet lovable NeNe Leakes of the smash reality show Real Housewives of Atlanta which just had a fiery season premier last week. After witnessing the show’s shenanigans, I discussed with a friend how the classic city of high powered corporations and southern charm has risen to the heights of the media due to its influx of hip hop masters and their mistresses, fashion whores and overall wannabes. Reality TV and music have diluted the grandeur of the historic locale and replaced it with pretentious hyperactive normalcy in the public eye.
Soon there after, I came across a blog post on The Decorista titled The New Atlanta in which she highlights a stately Atlanta home designed by mother-daughter tag team Margaux Interiors Ltd. The home was gorgeous and classically modern. Such a joy to work on that the designers fixed it up twice for two consecutive families that called the place home. It was even featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine both go-arounds. The design truly exhibited the New South in how it mixed antiques of various periods with more contemporary textures, colors, patterns and art. Bold, yet understated was the attitude that proved to be comfortable for a young family and yet appropriate for formal gatherings. I was relieved to see the more refined side of Hotlanta in the spotlight and reminded of why I love the South and its future.
I need this room. Masculine and cool. Makes you want to don a velvet jacket and smoke something expensive.
Never forget the steps, often a mixed opportunity but not here
Don’t be afraid, teal is back
Yellow never looked so good & its just enough
Fun color combo and the art makes it all make sense
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