January 2018 Issue
Meet the Home Owner:
The first feature of the new year is my lovely friend, Paula. Paula is Ashlyn's mother. You can see Ashlyn's unique home in our November Issue. Paula and her husband are saying goodbye to their home in Charlotte to move closer to family, here in Durham, NC, this January. I can't wait to show her the "go-to" shops with Ashlyn. They're going to love Durham and this fresh new adventure with their new home.
I am so proud and glad that I was able to capture her home one last time before they closed it's doors for the last time. Read along to meet Paula, and to hear her and her home's story.
How/Why did you choose this house?
When Paul and I moved to Charlotte 23 years ago we looked at many houses. This house was our favorite. It was only 2 years old when we moved in but it has the charm of an older home with it’s gleaming hardwood floors, the tall ceilings, the crown molding in all the rooms and the built in bookcases. This home has a wonderful flow and is great for entertaining.
Why Charlotte or this location?
Paul’s job brought us to Charlotte in 1994. We weren’t familiar with the area at all but have come to love the location of our home. It is so convenient to shops, restaurants, grocery stores, the movie theater and the library. We can walk to all of these locations.
What do you love most about your home?
There are so many features of this home that I love! My bright white kitchen, the large living and dining rooms, the cozy den where we watch TV are just a few things I love about this home. But my favorite area has to be our courtyard. It is a brick walled little paradise with it’s ivy covered walls, the sound of the water in the fountain and the seasonal flowers. All these things make it a wonderful place to sit and relax any time of the day.
I also love my kitchen. We have a sitting area in the kitchen where we spend a lot of time. In the morning the sun streams in and it is such a cheerful place to be especially at the beginning of each day!
How did you get your start in design?
I do not have any formal training in design. I just have always loved decorating my home and making it beautiful. I am fortunate to have an eye for decorating and it is my passion. My friends and neighbors have asked me to help them with their homes and I gladly do it! I just finished helping my next door neighbor decorate her bedroom and the two guest rooms. She told me she loves going upstairs now! Your home should be your haven, your happy place and your retreat. A place where you feel comfortable and happy every day.
What is your design philosophy?
I love traditional, classic interiors and my home is a reflection of this style. It is furnished with antiques and vintage pieces that I have collected over the years. I am a collector and I love displaying my collections. I feel my house tells a story about who lives here.
When you walk into my home I want you to feel welcomed and comfortable. I want every room to feel cozy and inviting and a place you can relax and make yourself at home.
My house is always evolving. I change things around frequently. Each season means different accessories coming out! I display my collections seasonally. In the fall I display my collection of Demijohns, wooden boxes and pottery. Winter months mean lanterns, antlers, silver pieces and glass globes are on display. I love bringing out my Blue and White in the spring. I put beautiful yellow forsythia flowers in a tall blue and white vase in my foyer to welcome quests. In the summer I display my collection of shell boxes, driftwood and seashells I have collected on trips to the beach.
I edit frequently so my house does not look cluttered. I use trays a lot to corral some of my collections because “ Everything looks better on a tray!”
I also have many books in my home. I love the warmth and character that books give a home. I have always heard that books give a home a soul. I can’t imagine my home without books. My home is also full of green plants. Not only do they purify the air but add so much beauty to our home. Caring for them is a relaxing and calming process to me.
Who is your biggest Inspiration (designers & influence)?
You should see my collection of magazines! I have a hard time letting go of them. I have a bookcase in the upstairs office where I keep them. I love to leaf through them when I need inspiration. Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Veranda and Southern Accents are my favorites. Unfortunately, Southern Accents is no longer in print but the old publications are still inspiring. I also collect Decorating Books. I look to them often for inspiration. Some of my favorite designers are Charlotte Moss, Nina Campbell, Bunny Williams and Tom Scheerer.
I have recently joined Instagram and I enjoy scrolling through and seeing all the beautiful homes and vignettes. I am inspired daily by all the talent out there!
I enjoy going shopping for inspiration. Just walking around a décor shop or antique shop can give you new and fresh ideas. We have some wonderful places in Charlotte where I can go for inspiration. The Sleepy Poet, Slates, Cotswold Marketplace, Alexander Scott, Hamilton Stuart, Classic Attic, Southend Exchange and The Clearing House are great places to go to be inspired. The Depot in Concord is also full of ideas and inspiration. Occasionally I go to Scotts Antique Market in Atlanta. It is an amazing place to go and see beautiful furnishings for your home. I always come home inspired and with a treasure or two to enjoy in my home.
Why is creating a beautiful home important to you?
I love to be surrounded by beautiful things. Our house is not grand by any means but it is comfortable and cozy and filled with belongings that I have chosen to make our home a place we love to be. Whenever we travel I am always so glad to return home. There is no place we would rather be! I gain so much pleasure making our home beautiful and a place Paul and I can relax and enjoy living our lives. It is important to have a place free of stress and turmoil. A place where everything is tidy and in order has always been a priority to me.
So many of my “things” bring me such pleasant memories. I can recall where I purchased that special piece, who I was with and the fun I had hunting for the treasured item. I will never be finished decorating! I like to freshen things up with new pillows or new accessories and a fresh coat of paint now and then. My house is always evolving! I can’t imagine it always looking the same from year to year.
What was your biggest challenge?
Because I love to collect different mementos I have to be very careful not to have my house look cluttered. Displaying my collections together, using trays to showcase a collection and using accessories seasonally helps keep my house from looking cluttered and too busy with things. Decorating for each season is so much fun for me. Putting items away and bringing out other items gives my house a fresh look for the different seasons.
Happy Nude Year! I personally love a good nude in the appropriate setting. I love how Paula uses her nude collection in her downstairs powered room.
What is the process when selecting your pieces?
I have learned the hard way if you see something you absolutely love, go ahead and get it! So often I would see a piece of furniture or an addition to one of my collections and tell myself I have no where to put that! If you love it you will find a place for it. It took me a while and some lost treasures to come to this conclusion. I have also learned if you buy quality pieces of furniture you will enjoy them for a lifetime. I purchased a pair of club chairs about 40 years ago and they are still going strong! They have been reupholstered about 6 times but still look current. I handed them to my daughter recently for her family to enjoy for many years to come. Being patient is important when selecting furnishings for your home. I usually always have in my mind what I want for a particular spot in my house. It may take me a while to find it but if I am patient and wait until I find the perfect piece I never have buyer’s remorse. I love to shop at consignment stores where I can find a well made piece of furniture without it costing the brand new price. I love the character and patina of older pieces of furniture or accessories.
What is your favorite piece(s) in your home?
I have so many pieces in my home that I love but the older family pieces mean the most to me. I have a washstand that belonged to my grandmother, a writing desk that belonged to my great aunt and a needlepoint sampler that also belonged to an aunt. I love the heavy, solid wood desk that belonged to my husband’s father. All of these items tell a story and bring beauty to our home. My newest addition is a beautiful English chest. It has a prominent place in the living room and adds such warmth and character to the room.
Where did you get them (story)?
Most all of my favorite pieces were handed down from our families. I have also found wonderful furniture pieces and accessories at antique stores and resale shops. I love finding the perfect item without spending a fortune. The Metrolina Flea Market was a great place to find special treasures. On the first weekend of each month a group of friends and I would go and spend the day shopping and we would have so much fun. My husband dubbed us ” The Posse”! We were all very sad when it closed in 2016. I have so many wonderful things that I purchased on these outings and some great memories being with my friends.
What are your favorite shops?
Charlotte has so much to offer in the way of specialty home décor shops. As I mentioned previously, Cotswold Marketplace, Alexander Scott, Slates, Southend Exchange, Classic Attic, Clearing House and Sleepy Poet are some of my favorites. Dressing Room Interiors is a neat place to find vintage pieces. If I have about 3 hours, I love to go stroll through Sleepy Poet. It is really a treasure trove of unique and interesting items. I always leave there with a little something to bring home and enjoy! I wish I lived closer to Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta. It is the second weekend of each month and it consists of two huge buildings full of furniture, art, accessories, silver and rugs. I have been several times and absolutely love shopping there. When I go I try and have a pretty good idea as to what I am looking for or it can be overwhelming.
If your house was a drink, what would it be?
A warm creamy cup of coffee! Just like my first cup in the morning that brings me such pleasure, I want my house to convey that feeling, too. Comfortable, cozy and welcoming are important qualities for my home to have for us and our quests.
Any advice for anyone wanting to create a home they love?
I think it is important for your home to tell a story about who lives there. I am fortunate that I have a passion for decorating and really enjoy making my house beautiful. It comes easy to me and I enjoy it. It is important to decorate your home with furnishings that you like and not what someone else likes. Try and avoid trendy items because you will tire of them and then you have wasted your money. Take your time decorating your home. Start a collection. Collecting items for your home is fun and as it grows it will tell a story about you. Accumulate furnishings over time and be patient. Wait until you find the piece you love and don’t settle for something you know isn’t right. Look in decorating books and home décor magazines for inspiration. However, if you feel overwhelmed or just don’t have the desire or time to decorate your home ask for help. Instagram is a great place to find local decorators in your area to reach out to. Your home should be your haven. A place to feel comfortable and safe. A place to relax, reenergize and enjoy.
Thank you for coming along with us on our Curated Home Tour! We hope that you have enjoyed this read and are inspired. Like what you see? Subscribe to receive updates on the February Issue, news about the shop, giveaways and upcoming sales. If you think that your home would make a great addition to our "Curated Home Tours" please contact us!
Cheers to a new year!
Thank you for your never ending support!
Until next time,