A Closer Look: Eugène Atget

I’ve just begun to rediscover Eugène Atget, one of the great photographers of the early 20th century.

Versailles - Cour du Parc

His straightforward compositions belie the heavy subject matter he brings to each image.  Each exposure is a meditation on impermanence & solitude.

St. Cloud

These are photographs that remind me of the world at dusk, when colors become indistinct, shadows run into each other, and foliage turns into a black profile against the sky.

Rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève

His pictures seem shrouded in a gray mist, which (in a way) reveals as much as it conceals.




images: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Sunday Dreaming: Custom Silhouette Prints

Have an empty wall and looking for a neat way to preserve your child’s picture – try  a custom silhouette. While there is an old fashion flare to it, the background wallpaper gives the picture a fresh look. Once upon a time Ashley had these pictures made for her furry friends.

They can be found everywhere on Etsy. We particularly like Relish Design Studio.

2011 Trends from Furniture Market: Painted Furniture

Throughout the showrooms in High Point, we couldn’t help but notice the painted furniture pieces.  And they weren’t what you might expect.  Painted furniture can sometimes look coastal, but these pieces took on so many different styles.  Check them out below!

 In the Hickory Chair showroom, their Surry chairs were painted in a stunning deep orange tone.  It provides such a nice contrast to the wooden table, neutral floors, and neutral walls.  To the right, a simple chest was accented with a Greek key pattern.  Adding a graphic like this takes a plain silhouette and makes it a focal point!

Another chest took on a tribal look with the interesting motifs shown above.  Hickory Chair has skilled artistans that can paint a piece any way you wish! 

 The Jonathan Adler showroom was filled with painted pieces in white.  Their lacquered finish has such a modern look!  Also popular: two-tone finishes.  Whether its just the drawer fronts or the frame of a table, contrasting painted areas with stained brings great interest and lessens the dose of color. 

Hickory White introduced three new finishes in a spice orange, slate blue, and butter yellow.  The distressed tones reminded me of a colored version of the driftwood finishes that are popular now.  They have a certain richness that would be appropriate for any season! 

- Lauren

Current Projects: Johnny’s Atomic Ranch {Part 3}

For the third and final chapter of Johnny’s house transformation, we proceed to the dining nook in the kitchen and the foyer/stairwell.


The only thing that changed in his space was the light fixture.  In making your style mark on a space- nothing is as easy as switching out that builder basic lighting which can often date the house.  We chose this pendant from Arteriors- and it’s egg yolk yellow interior casts a beautiful warm glow when it’s illuminated. We re-purposed Johnny’s existing leaning bookshelf from the living room and put it in the nook.


In the foyer- another lighting surprise! This simple lantern looks like an updated version of a classic colonial fixture- but makes a dramatic impact when you arrive.

Last but not least- something you can try too! Paint that oak stair rail black (with an oil-based paint) and it modernizes the stairs instantly.

Thanks to  Johnny for sharing his home on the blog!


Photography for this series taken by Lauren McKay

Drool-Worthy Weekly: Dining in Style

This dining room was on the cover of Elle Decor, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since!  Even though it wouldn’t fit in with the style of my own house, the design, by Larry Laslo, is playful, bold, and formal all at the same time.  With plans to join friends and family this weekend for Easter dinner, I thought it was the perfect time to share this dining inspiration.

Larry Laslo - Dining Room Green

Have a wonderful weekend!


I wish I were here right now…

Today our studio has seemed a bit like the RDU airport, a thoroughfare of multiple clients, piles of fabrics and furniture catalogs, along with presentations in multiple locations, even our lunch room. Looking over some photos I snapped on Thursday at a drapery installation, I think I’d like to go on over there and settle down here: in this quiet corner of our client’s study. This composition represents a mix of things she loves: Pineapples, the color blue, a fantastic semi-antique French Baker Chair, and her floor to ceiling wall of books.

Drapery Fabric: Donghia’s Spice Market Warp Print in Blue & Grey Salt

Local Design: RDU Terminal 2

I had the pleasure of fetching two friends from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport over the holiday and was excited to see the architecture of newly completed Terminal 2.
Descending from level one to baggage claim, I fell in love with Lydia Rubio’s aluminum & steel tree sculpture. The sculpture’s trunk is firmly mounted outside the airport, with its branches continuing inside the terminal. I liked it so much that I went back the second time with my camera. Read more about it here , or even better, check it out live.
What are your thoughts about RDU Terminal 2?

Mirror, mirror on the wall

A mirror may be the last thing you want to stand in front of in the morning. (You hate to see the sheet marks that run across your face or how bad your hair looks after tossing and turning all night.) Mirrors always tell the truth, whether you like it or not, but they can also be quite deceiving.

Is there a place in your home that seems dark or almost cave-like? Maybe there is only one window in the room or the space feels small and cramped. Perhaps a mirror would help!
Mirrors can fool the eye and make a space feel visually larger. They reflect light, making the space appear brighter.
When used on a voluminous piece of furniture, like this chest from Hickory Chair, the mirrors help the piece seem like it doesn’t take up so much space.

In this shot from the dining room we designed at Balmoral, you might be fooled to think the room extends beyond the cabinet upon first glance.

Traditional mirrors hung on the wall have a similar affect. Lately I’ve been drawn to mirrors with mirrored frames, like the Hovan mirror from Uttermost. Where it lacks a wooden or metal frame, it gains versatility and can be combined many other finishes.

Mirrored furniture can have an elegant, traditional, romantic, or even a modern look. This piece from Arteriors Home would look perfect in a hallway with beautiful prints hanging above.

Bradley-Hughes manufactures mirrors in a varity of antiqued styles. They can be applied to walls or their furniture. This picture really shows how the mirror doubles the amount of light from the sconces.

Mirrors deceive the eyes and add visual interest to spaces. With so many ways to use them, which do you think is the fairest of them all?

Website of the weekend: Designers Guild

Here’s a little color (or shall I say colour?) inspiration for your weekend. I was perusing the Designers Guild website for some fabric and came upon their paint products. The hues were remarkable and decidedly European in their saturation levels.

From the website:

“The Designers Guild paint range of 98 exciting paint colours reflects a fresh and dynamic approach to modern living. The paint is of superb quality and offers enormous coverage.”
I am especially drawn to their collection of pinks & fuschias- they are beautifully vibrant & unusual. My favorite part of the website was comparing the paint colors- this tool allows you to create schemes very easily. See mine in the screen capture below:
Be sure to check out their website to see a diverse collection of inspired fabrics and schemes. I love the image below:

Photos from the Designers Guild website.

Conversation starters

I love interiors with personality, spaces with pieces that you can’t help but talk about. It may be a fabric, a chair, a work of art or an accessory. When I spotted these accessories from Global Views, I imagined them quickly becoming the topic of conversation.

A Horse, of Course, to Hold Your Books

Climbing Men to Scale the Walls

And to jump start any dinner party:
Ostrich Eggs with Legs

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