30 May 2010

So Southern Redux Updated


One of the pure pleasures of getting older is working with my clients on project after project. A third project with this client; I am trying to actually remember our first meeting- I would just say -it seemed we had known one another forever. Any designer will admit, they have initial instincts about a project immediately at the first meeting. The connection you have that day is many times over- strengthened- but if that initial something isn't there-It probably will never be.

OUR first project involved selecting final touches for a living room and we added curtains in the dining room. NEXT, A small dining room became the SITTING ROOM and the clients created a large DINING ROOM to satisfy their love for entertaining -the lady of the house is a chef with some of the best secret recipes in the South. She makes it seem so simple- but that is the art of, is it not?

 the Tudor in question
with new lamps, rug and hanging light

Along with the room changes- an ADDITION- brought me back to the house.Other needs were pressing too- a growing family- the addition included a huge living dining area and a master suite upstairs. This project flew by.

Our color palette by French painter Andre Beauchant

It was time for Updates.Pieces needed refining, Rugs needed adding, fine tuning in the Master bathroom- the list increased and we touched every room and had a wonderful time doing it.

 One of the fabrics used for the redux

 Here are some photographs of the results, With Notes, and a Footnote or two.


 I love the Master Suite. This space was added during Project III-a new Master Suite. We had established the wall color and the clients were still very happy with the choice.The carpet is new and it is one of those things we waited for over four months. The WALL color-a soft dove gray, the headboard and the two ottomans were selected for the bedroom when we decorated the first time. The new washed gray linen curtains with their antique look are on informal bamboo rods.

headboard fabric by Groves Brothers

curtain fabric

A much needed seating arrangement was added on a large wall along with a skirted table that once served as one of the bedside tables. An embroidered Lee Jofa fabric updates a french chair while other touches of yellow and camel were added to the room.

French chair fabric & Headboard fabric

My client found the pair of mercury glass lamps in a favorite antique store- custom gray silk drum shades give them a modern edge.

 I Love the gray ultrasuede french chaise dressed with a camel pashmina and Randolph and Hein silk pillows, all paired with a simple modern table and a decidedly 1940's wood and iron sconce.


Deep taupe walls are just as they were the first time I visited. SITTING ROOM Chairs are all in taupe with pink accents- A traditional camel back sofa in taupe and table skirt are from the first project. The curtains and shade were part of the original Dining Rooms decor. One of the french chairs is covered in an Indian sari the other pink and taupe fabric is by Vervain.

Sitting Room chair fabric detail

an Indian Sari fabric covers the french chair

an Indian Sari fabric covers this french chair

a cozy corner with old family slipper chairs covered in a J Robert Scott dragonfly print.
old gray and pink Kilim pillows add color to the taupe room,

just peeking out in the photograph is a Merida sisal rug


The grayed taupe walls were hand finished by the client's sister when they had just moved in. New tall porcelain lamps enliven a very narrow console made from an old iron gate; Nest porcelain adds just a touch of color.

A richly detailed rug adds color and impact to the foyer. I am always in love with rugs when I start looking at them- I would take any of them home, this one is no exception.

A small sitting area in the Kitchen. The Fabrics- a Schumacher embroidery & club chairs covered in a Phillip Gorrivan Greek key inspired fabric. In the Kitchen, we took the dark cherry cabinets to a light grayed white and added new bar chairs and lighting. (Must get some photographs of this.)


Vibrant green linen curtains cover all the windows and doors and are accented
with a great Greek Key bordered edge.

An old cane chair, and by the way, I love these 1920's cane pieces- is covered in a huge print by designer-Thomas Paul and and antique Empire ottoman is covered in a dralon Schumacher fabric.

 ottoman fabric detail

This room was once a porch off the dining room. We painted the brick a "dirty" shade of white and added the arched windows and doors. The original brick floor remains, the ceiling is painted an old shade of faded brown. Pieces from other areas were called on to serve along with a "odd pair"/meaning almost-but not quite/ of old Chinese tables. I purchased these for myself- where would they go? and why? They remained in the trusted hands of the clients- Until they decided to keep them. Some things just work out. These two pieces are perfect stacked on top of each other for catching papers and magazines.

aka the Everything Room

This room is THE Everything room- originally the ADDITION, now a well integrated part of the family. The Original design for this room created a Tudor Keeping Room- of sorts. It was time to lighten up. Deep brown painted woodwork was banished for a light color and the walls were lightened as well. The original half curtains in a Calvin brown woven "burlap" were retained- I love those curtains. A pair of new modern pendants were added overhead in the sitting area and over the dining table.

The comfort of leather never grows old- and the original pieces of leather purchased for the room stayed, along with an English style loveseat covered in a Brunschwig and Fils wide wale cord in a mustard.

 We added another comfortable chair in a green and taupe Phillip Gorrivan fabric-another variation on the Greek Key- and added old kilm pillows and pink Sunflower patterned pillows on the sofas.

Sunflowers pillow fabric- however we used the reverse side to get the mileage from the pink ground

ottoman detail- a woodgraining pattern


Old Louis XIV style chairs were slip covered in a vibrant paisley linen and flank a lime washed console made from reclaimed wood. More slip covered chairs surround the dining table.

A PINK BEDROOM, go here to see the room in detail.

Summer came and it is already waning, I hope to get some photographs of the porch and the patio, along with the Kitchen and some other details shots.

 We slipped up and ran out of time -when the family returns from their summer at the beach-I will stop by, say hello and who knows? We Do need to get new rugs on that staircase.

the original post ended here

updated -What happened last summer? A saltwater pool was added, porch and patio furniture was finished. I am now working on a project with this client where He assumes the role of Builder- and I- of Designer. A switch, but no less rewarding- I will share as things progress.

No- We still have not found the right runner for the Foyer Stair-
but, This will be the Summer.

 Loads of old wrought iron to refurbish for the  patio

My client's color palette moved out into the great outdoors for a Fall Supper Party and a Neighborhood Halloween Party by the pool last fall. I arranged Flowers  in tall bark urns- with full blown orange and yellow fall foliage and flowers towering to seven feet high.

I will photograph the porch very soon.
These things take time.


  1. Love the gray and pink combination! Great work -thanks for sharing!!

  2. Dear,Such lovely colors. I love the greens and it is refreshing to see real things people love that have sentimental value in their homes. BCT

  3. AD- and thank you. Lots of work,a happy home and full of life for sure.G

  4. BCT, Don't you know I love green! G.

  5. Great post today! What a great house and fun way to see first hand how the relationship between designer and client grows and develops over the course of time. On another brief note, I'm so glad our paths finally crossed this week. I enjoyed having a chat with you on various subjects of interest and came away perplexed why you haven't been stolen away on a white horse yet. How can that be?! Hope you have a great weekend.

  6. Maison- I wonder too, the fates are sometimes unkind or kind-Not sure which. The same can be said? Yes finally we all sit down or stand- it was fun. G.

  7. Touche' mon amie. You definitely got that one right. But maybe it's time to stop pushing the brakes and put on our running shoes to see where the journey of life may take us? I'm told that it holds many divine mysteries if you are willing to get hit by the traffic.

  8. Life's little mysteries, indeed! Sounds intriquing, enchanting.

    Nice to see your work and to see a real home evolve with time and taste. It says a great deal about you
    that the client returns and wants more!

  9. maison- You are a daring, maybe it is those weird duck footed shoes our hostess modeled. Did you get a pair and think you could just saunter about in rush hour. Careful. la

  10. thanks Home, It is always best working with clients that love me!It is hard otherwise. I am thinking about your blog idea-but how to carry it off? G.

  11. Lovely! Well done.
    I am especially fond of the sunroom..such wonderful colours of green. And I adore the paisley fabric in the "everything" room!!

  12. I think my favorite is the sunroom....a perfect choice of green and textures to anchor the light and brick. The arched windows are divine.
    Love, your duck footed hostess.

  13. JazzyJ- You are just ducky. Thanks.G

  14. Here is where YOUR real talent shines thru, THAT FABULOUS floral arrangement, in the bark vase, Painterly Colors chosen with care and purpose!

    Flowers are your Calling Card!

  15. It is wonderful to see some of your work! I love the colors and prints. thanks for showing us. :) Diane

  16. Regina Joi, thank you, it is something I have done forever- for myself, clients and for charities -done a few galas, luncheons, etc etc. It is such fun.

  17. Dandy- thank you, I do not work everyday and now a single project at a time- As with this one-do they every finish? I have several to photograph and the current one-I hope will be documented as we go. I have a heading under little augury things Design Projects- though it is not a full blown thing-there are parts of rooms and projects I have worked on in the past. Take a look when You have time. Best, Gaye

  18. What a great post, if I had to choose one piece it'd be the French chair with the pink sari fabric...no, the skirted table...no... Fantastic work, thanks for sharing, Love from London x

  19. I call tabs on that porch....
    love all the colors, looks so naturally perfect.

  20. So many incredible fabrics and I love the rug in the foyer... it's a gem. Also crazy about the sunroom Thomas Paul print and the David Easton collection fabric on the French chair! I'm crazy about the lamp in the sunroom. Also love the Schumacher 'Good Day Sunshine' pink fabric... just great with ball fringe. Wonderful to see such great work! ; )

  21. All fabrics are gorgeous, Gaye. Gave up figuring which was my favorite as with every scroll downward, I had a new favorite. Love the dark gray wall as well. Lovely work. Merci! Trish

  22. Hi darling! You had such fun with this house! I want to isolate the little palette of colours here:

    'gray ultrasuede french chaise dressed with a camel pashmina and Randolph and Hein silk pillow'

    I would almost call the camel 'tobacco' in this picture. It's somethig that apart from loving to smoke, I'm suddenly mad about as a colour.

  23. Thanks for sharing this never ending project here! Your work is beautiful, really love that cane chair.

  24. thanks all, it is wonderful to continue working with clients-and when and if we ever finish-get emails that say- I am missed.

    We used so many old family pieces- a large family and a large attic and basement! The patio and porch turned out well.

  25. Barbara, that rug is a gorgeous coral pink-so rich, One reason I have yet to strike the right note with the stair runner. we did find something last fall but it was discontinued. pgt

  26. Rose-yes of course the tobacco color is always appropriate here in NC. xo

  27. You do beautiful work. This post was perfect for someone like me who has only found you somewhat recently. The pops of color are brilliant...the orange drum in the sitting area of the kitchen is my favorite. Classic and bold. A great combination.



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