Traditional Home called upon more than a dozen talented designers for the 2018 Southern Style Now Designer Showhouse in the heart of historic Charleston, South Carolina. I had the opportunity to work alongside brilliant designers to reimagine an 1840s Greek revival home. Inspiration for the formal dining room is centered on “Southern Style Past”, taking cues from iconic designers, including Colefax and Fowler, Billy Baldwin, William Haines, and Frances Elkin. Charleston’s heritage played a large role in the design.
My interiors are designed for living and entertaining, but not giving up traditional spaces. I love to balance contrasting elements. Using traditional furniture with a backdrop of bold walls, colors and patterns. Incorporating clients’ collections and updating with new pieces. Juxtaposing old and new, traditional and modern.
The hand-painted Gracie wallpaper provides a historically accurate feel and palm trees create a connection with the landscape of Charleston. I wanted to incorporate traditional period window treatments, but reinterpreted in a modern way. High contrast black and white fabrics and embellished trims in modern colors and form made the translation, with iconic handwoven Gullah sweetgrass, an important part of Charleston’s cultural heritage. A neutral background sets the stage for explosive color. Unexpected color is found in modern art and sculpture. A formal Southern table is set for entertaining, but the unexpected layering of mixed china patterns and colors lend a playful and relaxed feel.
Bespoke details to an already beautiful chair allow us to highlight the architectural form and emphasize the intricate details. This was accomplished by contrasting colors and a variety of accent finishes. Emphasizing these details connected the traditional architecture of the space.
Exaggerated geometry of star back with contrasting color and sheen. This design decision created harmony with the interior details and balanced the movement of Angela Blehm’s Ribbon art installation. Mixing traditional architectural details and furniture selections with post-modern styles allows for a bold mix inviting visitors in to explore. Building on neutral sepia tones provided the perfect backdrop for explosive color in modern art, such as A Gathering of Monarchs, a mixed-media piece by Louis St. Lewis and Nate Sheaffer.
In an effort to emphasize a focus around gathering, we elongated the Pauline Dining Table in a custom length to maximize the sense of scale and fill the space while also considering the limitations already in place with three points of entry and existing creating high traffic in this space. A three-tier brass chandelier with quartz accents by Kelly Wearstler for Circa Lighting cascades above this custom Chaddock dining table.
After a trip to Paris, I found myself regretting an antique chest of drawers I left behind at Les Puces. It still haunts me to this day. I was thrilled to customize the beautiful Chaddock Lancer Chest of Drawers, reflective of the antique character yet allowing for modern touches with black lacquer graphically contrasting against the burl wood.
One of my favorite parts of participating in showhouses is the opportunity to collaborate with leading manufacturers and artisans in the industry to create unique and truly memorable spaces. Showhouses can feel like a furniture partner’s showroom, however, this collaboration with Chaddock maximized existing finishes, style, fabric, shapes to create a customized and eclectic composition. This classic curation created a sense of discovery and unexpectedness in every detail. As a collector with a passion for antique styles and finishes, I was able to customize these pieces to reflect the history of the space. The Chaddock team, at all levels, met an incredibly challenging timeline with each piece being customized. This team undoubtedly understands complex, custom upholstery details (inset welt, contrast banding) which is invaluable in the creative process.