Thursday, July 22, 2010

Design Headquarters, is firmly anchored in Charlotte, North Carolina. Phoebe, aka Mrs. Howard, and Max and Company, have taken over the palatial former Charlotte Women's club.  Collaborating with her talented husband, Jim, the couple create breath taking architectural rooms in multiple styles that are timeless.  Downstairs, Max and Company has a more modern, youthful take on decor. Upstairs, Mrs. Howard dazzles us with elegant, colorful, layered rooms. Take a lesson from the Howards! I have literally sifted through all their design projects on their websites, and there isn't a: "Ho-Hum" in the bunch. The look, within any genre, is perfectly balanced. Beach houses, mid century modern, eclectic, mountain and urban rooms are executed with equal skill. If there is a more beautiful store in the world, it is probably theirs.
The first three rooms at the street entrance to the store, were kept original to maintain the historic character of the house. Jim's architectural additions to the building are seamless, and look entirely original.
This Geometric tile floor in this hall is so chic with the opulent paneling and retro chairs.
This sophisticated focal point in the hall has a stunning floor with a three dimensional effect. The symmetry is restful and interesting. As we wander from one splendid space to another, the versatility and originality knocked our socks off.
We loved how the monochromatic oriental panel creates flow between these two spaces. The relating walls in the bedroom beyond, are perfectly hand painted. 
Nail head trim is all the rage in upholstery. The designers crafted a hefty pattern on the velvet fabric walls, instantly lightening the formality with the small scale chintz fabric on the chairs, and a country table. The Yin-Yang design concept speaks to me. 
This detail, taken from Mrs. Howard's website, highlights her signature sunburst mirrors,  repeated in the nail head motif. If anybody can beat this English country dining room, send me a picture!
Here is one of the max and company rooms. Dovecote loves the egg prints!
Mirrors are like bracelets for Mrs. Howard. She stacks them! This room positively glows with elegance. The detail of the drapery fabric repeating the molding on the horizontal plane enhances the geometric pattern of the mill work, reflected in the mirror.
Clean and serene. This mountain house from the website is fresh and light. Grey really is a pastel color, blending evenly with soft blue.  A Gustavian desk doubling as a bedside table is practical and pretty.  Of course the coterie loves the egg prints. 
I couldn't resist this picture. I don't think I have ever seen a fabric I love more! The lantern on the ceiling is a trademark touch.  Browse through the Howards' design projects and let us know which rooms you love the most.


  1. Phoebe has certainly come a long way from her first store in Jacksonville, FL. She's a fabulous designer with a wonderful style and I agree - all of her projects on her site are fabulous! Stayed tuned for Monday Mood on The Buzz... I'm sure you'll recognize the image!

  2. never enough sunburst mirrors, i love them! happy to find your blog, hope you stop by and say hello.


  3. I seem to be unable to pass up a Phoebe Howard room...had one on my site this week. Her spaces usually stop me dead in my tracks, and certainly the velvet wall with nailheads is genius. Thanks for showcasing one of my favorite designers. Loved the post...wish I was closer for shopping!

  4. My jaw is on the floor and I am so totally blown away by the living beauty that I am so close to. I MUST check out...I now live in Charlotte!!! THANK YOU for this post. Loved looking at the pics, I've done it 2x already :)

  5. So grown up and posh! I truly think I would not know how to act if I lived like that. Where are the fingerprints on the wall, and the piles of unopened mail and dirty laundry? Oh, poor me.
    Next life, I am coming back and living like that.

  6. We are a couple of early birds. It is a shop, but maybe they need to stage some clutter. For mail, I say only love letters and party invitations--no junk mail!!

  7. Very gorgeous rooms! So many beautiful details... one would need hours to look at each image.

  8. Phoebe Howard really knows how to do a retail store right!!

  9. What a great shop - I so wish I could visit!

    Thanks for your visit to hill country house. I just looked at Mary Kirk Kelly's fruits and vegetables and they are amazing!! Thanks for the introduction to her incredible work.

  10. So glad you enjoyed the store! Thanks so much for featuring us - always a pleasure!

  11. I am dying to see one of her stores in person on day!!!! lucky you!

  12. I am dying!!! Phoebe Howard is my design hero!! Love everything she does. Her well edited rooms are stunning! I could move right in to any of the above images, Love your blog!! Thankyou for visiting my blog and I am so glad you liked my Tday table, it was really fun to do. I try to use all types of produce for my Tday table and that particular year I stayed in the cream and green to go with the linen and black and cream transferware and of course the Bakelite!! I just order it ahead of time from my produce guy at the grocery store, I had never seen white asparagus before, It was fun!! Thanks again for the visit and the comment, Kathysue

  13. I've had the honor of visiting Phoebe's stores in Atlanta a couple of times, but I am dying to go to Charlotte!
    Until then, thank you for the wonderful tour!

  14. I have been looking for your photo of green velvet wall with nail heads


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