Monday, June 25, 2012

Eclectic Style Using Fresh and Traditional Elements

I met a kindred soul at the gas station on the way to the High Point April Market. Each of us had sister-in-laws as passengers who wanted to see designer driven showrooms, learn from the maestros and find inspiration, not to mention a few very special items. We were introduced on the fly and ran into each other all over HP town. It  turns out Mrs. S. and I are cut from the same piece of cloth. There is the slow food movement and there is the slow design movement. Because we shop all the time, we rarely buy anything for ourselves unless we cannot live without it.

A cheerful entry hall greets us with a subtle Scalamandre print wall covering and an antique bench that was the find of the century, as it exactly fills the space.

A stunning and perfectly narrow reproduction chest is layered with an antique mirror from Caroline Faison of Greensboro, N.C.

The house flows with a consistent eclectic mix of European, Asian, modern and English pieces. It looks like there is a subtle vine pattern on the wall, but its my camera doing funny things. See below to get the actual color.

I have always loved the Scalamandre Shanghai fabric that Mrs. S. uses for her window treatments. The abstract painting keeps the room young and fresh.

I cannot resist adding it makes a terrific wall covering as illustrated below in Meg Braff's dining room.

The paint color is Farrow and Ball Blazer
The best shade of red--ever!

An Italian cupboard, also from Caroline Faison Antiques of Greensboro is guarded by a pair of Chinese military horses. If you scroll back up to the first image you can see that the larger scale of the horses keeps the room from floating away and becoming too feminine--rooms need Yin and Yang. 

Covered in a luminous gray velvet this O.Henry House sofa anchors the space with subtle neutral tones repeated in the rug. The extremely talented Patrick Lewis of Circa in Charlotte, N.C. helped with the big picture, and Mrs. S. did the shopping.

 Layering without cluttering is a fine art. Flowing throughout the house are box pleated shades that are harmonious in style, and vary in color.

Mrs. S. finds lots of her accessories by repeatedly popping into to some very dirty window antique stores. I was impressed.

Juxtaposing contemporary and traditional elements, maintains a consistent fresh theme throughout the house. Mrs. S. replaced the glass top on the coffee table with stone to keep the room grounded and warm. Walking you through the door to the family room...

This room had a dark red cherry finish, which naturally her husband wanted to keep. What is it with men and their dark wood and gigantic televisions, speaking of which I did not spot a television in this house. A gaping fireplace is obscured by an antique hobby horse with great patina.

Pickling the wood made the room visible. Dark rooms with large windows are a terrific blinking strain on the eyes. The window treatments are the same simple style throughout the house. Note the large antique copper pot beneath the sofa side table. If your room is getting leggy, find a wonderful basket or accessory to live beneath it. I collect these monstrous remnants from great house kitchens. I imagine the chef at his massive wood burning stove and all the hustle--it makes me happy. Stepping into the sunroom, we are greeted with streaming light on three sides. 

I like the large scale of the lamps that Mrs. S. found for her sunny room. Dinky lamps look, well...dinky. Grounding the room with a chic animal stark carpet keeps the yin and yang in balance, as do the matchstick blinds. Since we are next to the kitchen, Mrs. S. scotchguarded the daylights out of the upholstery. 

Mrs. S. sincerely regrets being talked out of marble counter tops, as her designer convinced her that they would stain and look terrible over time. A quick web search brought up this article in Apartment Therapy which admits that marble can stain from heat, wine, citrus etc.. However, you can seal marble which will protect it. I am guilty of placing hot pans on my granite counter tops, though so I may not be a candidate. 

We can help you source the antique copper pots in this post
any O.Henry House upholstery
at our online store
or call us for information


  1. How nice to see you back.

    And thanks for the link to the marble post - very pertinent.

    Maybe a few tips on how to meet interesting people in petrol stations? I never meet anyone.


  2. Liz-
    have you ever met a stranger? I think not. You are just a real and personable person!
    I love every single image, and the Stark carpet is exactly what I want in my bedroom!. I really love the style here.
    Happy Monday.

  3. Hi there! What a darling comment; above! You and I are certainly not strangers! We are ("kissing cousins"?

    In any case......I love so much about this house.....I simply have to comment on a few things.....

    1) Everyone must STOP being talked out of countertops. Or else let's just go back to "formica"! Stone people; everyone; talks people out of marble, limestone, natural stone countertops......because of "maintenance" and "staining"!


    My closest friend bought a "cottage" in Newport Rhode Island! It has 18 bathrooms or something. (I am not exaggerating for once)!

    Each bathroom had a 36 inch high sink with a marble sink counter! (and deck) 75 years old. Not one stain. Did you hear the 36 inch high?

    Yes! That is the correct height for a bathroom counter. No; that is not trendy! This was Barbara Hutton's house in the twenties! HELLO!!!!!

    Young people who doubt this......(google.....Barbara Hutton "Hopedene" Newport Rhode Island) (I haven't done it; but I will!)
    I learned a great deal from my friend.......and this house!

    It is a myth that marble and limestone counters "stain"!

    (I have been trying to stain my limestone......(unfilled) for 12 years.......I WANT them stained and "aged" the damn things will not stain!
    So there you go!

    Want perfect? Use formica, Caesarstone,Corian. So not my type! I love natural stone......honed marble, limestone, any natural stone. Let it stain....let it age........

    Rethink "perfection and plastic"

    Just my opinion !!

    Want age and beauty....choose natural stone and watch it age and tell the story.

    Americans are really not educated about the "story"!

    Food for thought.


  4. ps. My new favorite expression......I learned here....

    "dirty window antique stores"

    From whence did it come/

    My mother was from the South....all my favorite expressions come from this a Southern one?


  5. Agree with Penelope! "Aging" is a natural thing with both marble and all things in life! Do the best you can to take care of "it" and accept and appreciate the rest!

  6. I so enjoyed this post and I loved reading all the comments. It was wonderful....

  7. Thanks for sharing some examples of this eclectic style with fresh and traditional elements. It seems like they did a great job filling the space.


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