Category Archives: Community Involvement

Out With The Old, In With The New!

Ever wonder what happens to all those samples?

We have a huge library of fabrics that is constantly being updated.  So what happens to the old when we need to bring in the new?  Our discontinued fabric books find second lives as learning tools at Interior Design Program at Meredith College or art supplies at Durham’s Scrap Exchange.

The Scrap Exchange is a not-for-profit that emphasizes creative re-use of all sorts of things.  Their warehouse in Durham is a wonderland of discarded treasures – from bubble wrap to roof tiles and everything in-between.  They even offer children’s classes and a little shop showcasing local handmade goods.

It’s the perfect place to be inspired for your next project!



image: Design Lines Ltd.

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Contributor of “Trend the Magazine”

The Design Lines team is honored to be a contributor of Raleigh’s newest magazine –  “Trend the Magazine.”

We are already preparing for the next issue, so we will keep you posted. Want a copy of the magazine? Let us know and we will send you one in the mail or check out the online version here.

We are on page 14!

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Current Trend: Farm to Table

These days the trend is to buy local. It seems farmer’s markets, backyard fruit and vegetable gardens and even chicken coops are popping up everywhere. For us this has translated into clients requesting us to use local resources, American made products, and even using reclaimed material.


This lifestyle not only enriches everyday life but also simplifies it by knowing where and products are made.

Raleigh has even embraced this localization with a Chicken Coop Tour that showcases all the coops in their glory!

Katerina’s family receives a box every Thursday with fresh seasonal produce from local farmers. This is perfect for the working family who doesn’t always have time to stop by the supermarket. This box is left on the front porch; it is always a surprise to see what produce is inside.

Can’t get enough produce? Surrounding area farmer’s markets provide endless options for your culinary desires.

Downtown Raleigh Farmers Market , Western Wake Farmers Market, Midtown Raleigh Farmers Market, Carborro Farmers Market , Durham Farmers Market


Local restaurants in and around the surrounding Triangle area even promote that their ingredients come from local resources. Rob and Judy recently ate lunch at the Umstead and Herons has a menu devoted to everything local.

Brittany’s farmers market is in Carborro. She particularly loves the Chapel Hill Creamery Cheese Products and their Fall flowers – Dahlias and celosias are her favorites.

The crew at Design Lines doesn’t think this trend will end anytime soon, if anything we predict this trend will grow. How do you buy local?


images: 1-4: Carolyn Scott Photography-for Downtown Raleigh Market 5. Pinterest 6-10: Personal 11: The Umstead Pinterest 12: Personal

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Community Involvement: Carolina’s Ballet Ball


This winter the Design Lines team donated their time and creativity to design Carolina’s Ballet Annual Mardi Gras Ball.  Our vision was to create a memorable and glamorous event using color combinations of turquoise and white, while bringing in peacock feathers and lime green ribbon as fun accents. The fascinator (above) was at each place setting and as the night went on many party goers pinned them to their formal attire.

Thanks to Michele Weathers at Carolina Ballet, Tricia Phoienx & Susan Garrity for allowing us to be a part of the Ballet Ball!


Picture above are party goers showing off the beautiful masks.

images: 1 & 2. DLL 3. Courtesy of Carolina Ballet

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A Closer Look: Art Inspiraton for the Chancellor’s House at NC State

The Chancellor’s house at NC State is coming along nicely, and we’re starting to think about the decorative touches that will make this house feel like a home.  In such a large house, with both public and private areas, we had to get creative about where to find the right pieces.

We’ve mined the University Archives, Gregg Musuem, and the work of local artists to find the perfect collection worthy of such a grand building.  Below are some pieces that have inspired us….

Mining the Musuem

One of the best sources of art for the Chancellor’s house is the Gregg Museum at NC State.  We will adorn the walls with several loans from their permanent collection.

Some of my favorite pieces are the photographs of esteemed North Carolina Photographer Elizabeth Matheson (above).  Her work is currently in a show at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and we hope to place similar work on the main floor of the Chancellor’s House.

Another great artist in the Gregg Collection is George Bireline, whose abstract expressionist painting (above) will look amazing in the Chancellor’s study.


Mining the Archives

Another great source of art will be reproductions made from the University Archives.  This vast collection includes all sorts of wonderful images.

An illustrated Entomology book by E.A. Seguy (above) is one of our favorite finds.  These large prints of insects and butterflies are striking.

We also discovered the archive’s collection of printed sports memorabilia.  We’d love to incorporate some of this fun and colorful artwork.

The university also has an impressive collection of glass slides from botanist B.W. Wells.  He used these hand-colored slides to instruct his students on the biodiversity of natural ecosystems.  These slides can add a touch of beauty to the house, while also bringing to mind NC State’s role in the sciences.


Finding Local Talent

One of our main goals was to incorporate the work of local artists.  Below are two examples of the artists who have inspired us, and who we hope to work with.

Ashlynn Browning (above) is a talented painter based in Raleigh.  Her bold, colorful paintings are masterfully produced, and can add a punch of color to any wall.

Steve Staresina (above) is a local artist who creates large-scale frescoes.  He is creating a large-scale work commissioned specifically for the Chancellor’s Parlour.


Decorative Touches

To round out the collection, we’re looking to additional sources to add diversity to the collection.

We love the (above) wall piece from Ironies.  Cast resin painted with a metallic pigment make this wall-sculpture look like formed metal.

Another great source for decorative pieces is Natural Curiosities.  They offer many interesting works in a variety of formats, and can add a sophisticated touch to any home.  The abstract paper collection (above) is one of our favorites.

The Jean Baptiste Collection (also from Natural Curiosities) is another collection we’d like to use in the home (above).  The same set of prints was featured in this month’s issue of House Beautiful magazine (below).

We look forward to updating you as the art collection continues to come together.



image 1: http://web.ncsu.edu/this-red-house/

image 2, 3: http://www.ncsu.edu/gregg/collections.html

image 4, 5, 6: North Carolina State University Archives

image 7: http://www.ashlynnbrowning.com/

image 8: http://www.staresina.com/

image 9: http://www.ironies.com/index.php

image 10, 11, 12: http://naturalcuriosities.com/


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Current Projects: NCSU Chancellor’s House Update

The Chancellor’s House at North Carolina State University is really starting to take shape!  We wanted to share some of the most recent photos with you.  The exterior is beginning to look awesome with the addition of concrete patios and planter boxes (below).  When all the landscaping is complete, it will be an inviting backyard retreat, and a great place to hold university functions.

Since we last posted, the interior has undergone major transformations with the addition of drywall, paint, and cabinetry.  Below, you can see one of the house’s 8 fireplaces, newly fitted with its stone surround and wood mantle.  This room will serve as the living quarters for the Chancellor’s distinguished guests.  A built-in desk will make it a comfortable place to work.

One of the biggest transformations happened when the staircase was painted.  The sensous curves of the stair are newly accented by black picketts lining both sides.  It looks really smart!

Upstairs, work is nearly complete on the Chancellor’s family room, a lofty space with tons of natural light.   Below, you can see a few of the home’s finished doors.  All the doors will be painted black and accented with polished chrome hardware.

The floor stain was finalized last week (below).  Applied over a beautiful oak floor, the timeless color we chose will complement the mahogany woodwork throughout the first floor.

When we visited, the kitchen cabinets were still being installed.  They are looking great! (above)

The master bathroom is starting to come together – marble tile of different sizes is being applied throughout.  Glass panels for the shower will be one of the finishing touches.

There are so many new things to see everytime we visit the house.  It’s exciting to see how quickly things are coming together – but there is still a lot  to be done!  Above, you can see the fireplace in the Dining Room waiting for its wood mantle (above left).  One of the most impressive features of the house (yet to be installed) will be the front door and flanking windows.  Currently, a temporary plywood partition protects the opening (above right).  I can’t wait to see how beautiful the entrance hall looks when it’s finished!

For more on the Chancellor’s house, check out our previous posts:

March 23, 2011

July 19, 2010  


images: by DLL

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Made in America

A few weeks ago, ABC aired a week-long special that really caught my attention.  Their Made in America series visited the home of a family in Texas, looking for US-made products, and they found almost none!  In the living room, a glass vase was the only item that passed the test.  The family agreed to let ABC remove anything that didn’t comply, with the understanding that they would replace it with American-made goods.  I watched as the show host made phone calls for 2 hours, looking for a sofa made here!  She eventually got in touch with Lee Industries, one of our favorite companies, who were glad to help and furnished the home with the furniture below.  (Photo from abc.com)  The coffee table is from Harden Furniture, another line we love.   I was shocked at how hard it was to locate American-made products in the market today and felt compelled to show you that there are so many great furniture lines who manufacture their products here.  Not only in the US, but in North Carolina!

Lee Industries - ABC Made in America Diane Sawyer

Every piece that leaves Lee Industries’ Conover, NC factory features a tag, signed by each person who worked on it. 

Lee Industries - Made in America

Hickory Chair, Hickory White, and Lillian August are several other companies whose products are made in the state we call home.  The photos below are from our tour of Hickory Chair in Hickory, NC.   

Hickory Chair - Furniture made in the USA

I grew up in Shelby, NC which is just a 45-minute drive from Hickory, where all three of those companies products are made.  My family lives maybe an hour from Lee Industries in Conover, NC, and while we were touring the factory I met multiple employees who lived in Shelby and even one who knows my grandparents.  It feels good to support the local economy by working with so many furniture companies within the state. 

Made in North Carolina - Lee Industries

Diane Sawyer shared that if every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S. made goods every year, it would create nearly 10,000 new jobs!  Consider seeking American-made products, and if it seems impossible find furniture made here, give us a call, we’d be happy to help!

– Lauren

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Current Projects: NCSU Chancellor’s House Update

Since we last posted on NC State’s chancellor’s residence, so much has happened!  The space is coming together wonderfully, with completion expected later this year.  Take look at the progress below.   

NCSU Chancellor's House Construction Pictures Design Lines

These pictures were taken late last summer.  Although the shape of the exterior isn’t completely defined at this point, you can see the axis of the house, a central hall that allows you to see from one end to the other (above right), with rooms extending off the front and back (above left). 

NCSU Chancellor's House Construction Pictures Design Lines3

Taken a month later, the images above show the iconic pointed facade from which the house has been dubbed, “The Point.”  On the interior, the spaceplan is open, with oversized halls connecting the spaces – perfect for the many events that will be held here!

NCSU Chancellor's House Construction Pictures Design Lines4

(Above, top left and right) The second floor houses will house the private family quarters.  A corner of the master bedroom is shown (above left) and a spare bedroom (above right)(Above, bottom left and right) Gracious windows along the back of the house will fill the spaces with beautiful light, while providing a wonderful view of the back patio looking toward Lake Raleigh. 

Now, eight months later…


I love that the selections for the brick, roof, and windows seem to give the house so much character!  The timeless appeal doesn’t scream, “2011,” which will really allow it to be lasting. 


(Below)The main entry is beginning to take shape.  When finished, it will feature bluestone floors, a fireplace, and a coffered ceiling.

2011 NCSU Chancellor's House Design Liens 4

(Above) is the master bathroom, which just recieved an impressive marble tile floor.  We were delighted by the quality of the installation! 

(Below left) is the kitchen.  We’re putting an awesome curved stainless steel hood between the windows.  You can tell from thisimage that the high ceilings are amazing!  We’ve selected some beautiful hanging light fixtures for this room, which I can’t wait to see installed!

2011 NCSU Chancellor's House Design Lines 2

(Above right) is a shot of the Chancellor’s family room.   It has a fantastic cupola atop the ceiling, with windows on two sides that flood the space with natural light. Again the ceiling is very high, giving the whole space an airy and lofty appearance.

(Below right) is a shot of the first floor Parlor with the oak flooring being installed.  Like many of the other rooms in this house, this one features a fireplace.  We’ll be sure to bring you an update when the custom mantles are installed! 

 2011 NCSU Chancellor's House Design Lines 3

(Above right) shows the main staircase – now covered up and still awaiting its railing and other details.  It was custom fabricated and features a beautiful curving profile.  The stair connects the main entry hall to the upstairs living quarters. 

 2011 NCSU Chancellor's House Design Lines

The last photo (above) shows a preliminary selection of fabrics, furniture and finishes.  With the construction photographs, it becomes easier every day to imagine the finished product! We will keep you posted on the progress. To see previous posts click here – July 16 2010, July 19 2010.

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An All-Star Weekend in Raleigh

Design Lines at All Star Weekend Jan 29 2011

If you’re a hockey fan then you’ll know, Raleigh hosted the NHL All-Star Game this past weekend. For three days Raleigh rolled out the red carpet and welcomed all the fans and players of the NHL. Avid hockey fans, Judy and Hilaire take in some of the excitement at the Fan Fair. Who says designers can’t be hockey fans!

Lets go Canes!

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Design Lines Is Featured In Sherwin Williams Online Magazine – STIR


We are honored to be a part of the 2011 January edition of STIR – the online magazine for Sherwin Williams. The magazine highlighted our pro-bono work with Creedmoor Elementary School (CES). Thank you for sharing our story. We believe everyone should have a stimulating environment to live, work and play in, and CES is no exception. Click here to read the complete story.

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