Tag Archives: Inspiration.

A Closer Look: Historic Inspiration from the Met

One of my favorite places to look for inspiration is the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  They have much of their collection online, including everything from modern photographs to historic drawings.  I like to browse the historic drawings to inspire my own projects.  Take a look:

Design for Painted Ceiling Decoration

Design for a Room in the Etruscan or Pompeian style (Elevation)

Architectural Drawing for a Chapel

Framed Design for an Architectural Interior: Coffered Ceiling with Central Hexagonal Cartouche and Walls with Floral Ornament and Drapery.

Design for a Ceiling in Pompeian Style


Get some inspiration of your own at the Met Website.

– Robert



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/


A Closer Look: Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) is my favorite architect.  He was a master of timeless proportion and detail.  But he was also an inventor – creating works that are constantly surprising, and seem fresh even decades after his death.  It seems he never designed anything the same way twice.

His work was modern in style, but what made him unique among modernists was his reverence for traditional materials and crafsmanship.  Born in Venice, many of his projects are located there, and blend its history seamlessly with the present.

During his lifetime, Scarpa’s decorative style became a model for architects wishing to revive the use of craft and beautiful materials in their work.

I love his buildings for their beautiful forms.  Scarpa was a master of techtonic formsin his buildings, volumes and planes seem to constantly slip past one another, giving movement to the heaviest of materials.

I am also intrigued by the details he designed into every project – from masterfully-designed museum pedestals to careful juxtapositions of materials.

His masterpiece is the Brion Cemetery near Treviso, Italy.  This complex incorporates some of the best examples of his architecture and landscape design.

Scarpa’s work has a timeless beauty.  I hope you’ll take a closer look and see how it speaks to you.


image 1 &5: fakebuildings.blogspot.com

image 2: wvcarch64.wordpress.com

image 3 &4: flickr

image 5: brookegiannetti.typepad.com



Why Should You Hire An Interior Designer? {Part 2} Establishing Your Goals

When working with an interior designer it is important for the client to define their goals for the project. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to change the whole look and feel of the room? Tackle a remodel project or your out dated master bathroom?


DLL pic5


Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed we can come to the rescue! Below are a list of questions to ask yourself when you going through the initial thought process. Remember, designers have the creative and technical knowledge to achieve your goals.


Design Lines, Ltd.


  • Define the areas of trouble. What is it in that room that you don’t like? Make a list of needs and wants.
  • Establish items that you want to keep. This might be family heirloom or an expensive piece of art.


    magazinecovers copy


  • What inspires you? Spend a couple of bucks the next time you are at the grocery store and get an interior design magazine. We recommend Traditional Home, House Beautiful and Elle Decor. Tear out sheets that you like and jot a note down of why you like them. This helps an interior designer establish the style  you are drawn to and can easily invision your style. If you can’t decide what you like about a picture you see, tack it up on the wall like this one from Potterybarn below and come back to it with a fresh mind or show it to your interior designer. They can see common threads in the pictures you have selected.




  • Establish a budget! Look at the dollars you have allocated and decide what is important to you. Where do you want to spead more money? Maybe get the nice hardware for the bath and pick out a less expensive custom shower curtain to hang up. It is all about choices. Looking at how you live and where you want to spend your money will help in establishing this budget. You usually want to spend money on the things that are hard to change, for instance plumbing or countertops or sofa and rugs. 

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.

Award Winning Interior Design | Raleigh, NC