Friday, May 3, 2013


Maybe it's the spring flora with the lilacs and wisteria and other various purpley hued flowers all around, or this photo from Lonny Mag, but I am loving some lavender.

I've started a new pinterest board that is all about lavender, and the common theme that I'm finding is that I'm digging the cool lavender from the blue family.  Pair this with white, or cream and some sparkly, shimmery accents of gold or silver, and this lavender goes from little girl's room to sophisticated glam!  

ooh la la, c'est super chic!

warming lavender up with some warmer pinks and creams, and of course, a lovely open fireplace.

Add a punch of acidic chartreuse or mustard yellow to spice things up!

Lavender and turquoise also look quite nice side by side!

 And I do like some of the more red violets especially when mixed with reds and oranges.

Here are a few more of my favorite lavender rooms or accents.

Swedish modern lavender glam!  Love that print on the wall!

This yummy lavender oversized chair, or undersized sofa-- I think it could go either way, but whatever it is, it. is. lovely!

 Wham, Bam, thank you Glam!

What do you think?  Would you choose lavender for a room, and if so, how would you use it?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


In my Principles of Interior Design class we had a fun project concept for a cupcake shop in Charlotte, NC.  Our "client," Matthew Dwyer, is in his mid-40's and wanted to open a cupcake shop in Charlotte that featured interesting architectural details, in a modern style that avoided the typical juvenile or overly feminine colors of pink and purple.  He wanted something that would appeal to both sexes and that would age well.  I immediately thought of cognac and leather and chesterfield sofas, not just a manly man's space, but a space for a renaissance man with warm woods, a play of soft and hard, but adding a bit of industrial chic.  The color scheme we came up with was rich navy, white, gold, bronze and pops of chartreuse and a sprinkling of hot pink!

Mr. Dwyer stated that he loved the look and feel of old mills and had originally hoped to move his shop into the Johnston Mill in Charlotte's hip and trendy NoDa, but the cost of getting the mill restored has been too prohibitive and he's ready to open his shop now.  I grew up in a textile town right outside of Charlotte, and I definitely have an appreciation (bordering on obsession) with textiles mills, so I thought it would be nice to try to bring some of that character to Mr. Dwyer's new space.

At our first meeting, I mentioned the chesterfield sofa idea, and Matthew mentioned that he had just come back from London where he stayed at the W hotel, and that he had seen these beautiful oversized chesterfield sofas.  Right then, I knew that we were both on the same page!

Matthew also mentioned that one of his all time favorite restaurant/bars is the Pump Room  at PUBLIC in Chicago.  PUBLIC and the Pump Room are both projects commissioned by the jet-setting hotelier and entrepreneur, Ian Schrager, who was first known for co-founding Studio 54.  The Pump Room was once frequented by Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and many others who were always looking for the hottest seat in the house, Booth One.  I had just seen some photos of the newly renovated Pump Room as it had just won an architectural design award, and commented on the beautiful light installment.  Matthew said that was one of his favorites too!  We decided that we would try to commission a much smaller piece for his shop.

The name of the cupcake shop is "Scratch," and I thought it would be fun to play off of the whole flour mill theme to add a bit more architectural detail, and give this new space a presence of history.  And so we started from the ground up.  The floors are a combination of wood and tile from Granada tile that overlap and merge almost seamlessly from one substrate to the other.  The feeling it conveys is almost like that of an archeological dig or perhaps that of a time worn mill floor.

To add a bit more "newly discovered character," we covered the long wall on the right side with a thin brick veneer typical of old mills and factories, and painted it in a creamy white to give it an updated look.  We built the cashwrap and counter out of reclaimed hardwoods in a variety of woods and finishes that gives it a rustic and well-worn feel, and topped it with a carrerra marble with white and cream and grey veining.  

We dropped the ceiling down over the counter area to enclose the space, and give it a sense of warmth and intimacy.  The walls behind are a mix of navy and the middle piece is a solid wood panel in a rich dark, deep finish that highlights the shop's logo.  The soffit is a bold chartreuse green that is repeated in some of the seating of the shop.  To the right of the counter is the cupcake display case and the special of the day board that features cupcakes like the Irish Car Bomb, Chocolate Walnut Brownie with Maple uttercream and a Bacon Bite, Chocolate Stout with Bailey's Buttercream Frosting, and Bourbon and Gingerbread!  For the lighter fare, or smaller fry, there's also Lemon with a Twist, and Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri with a Creamcheese Frosting!

Flanking the cash counter and the outward facing counter are these cute and quirky little stools by Sparkeology  appropriately named the cupcake!

The picture below shows the floor plan that was drawn up in autoCAD.  The entire front side is floor to ceiling glass!  

Here is the elevation of the front of the space.  Underneath the cash register is a little dark, so we decided to continue the pieced-wood like the bar.  

And below is the elevation of the long side wall with the lovely inspired light fixture from the Pump Room.  The center piece is from a salvaged silo that we cut crosswise and mounted to the wall as a seat.    Matthew had seen something similar on Lifetime's Picker Sisters show!  The custom seat features two swivel arm tables.  The custom 13 foot chesterfield sofas are from a company called Distinctive Chesterfields, and the seats are covered in navy blue velvet for durability while the backs are covered in a commercial grade velvet.  The featured wall art is a custom rendering of a nearby flour mill.  

We used the below image as an inspiration for the bathrooms.  The photo reminded us of mill houses, and we thought it would be a clever way to add a little architectural interest to the space while recalling more mill history.  

And here are just a few more pieces of inspiration that we used for Scratch.  If you're ever in the Charlotte area, you should stop in and check them out, and tell Matthew that Gina says "hi!"  ;)

Saarinan executive chair with chartreuse wool boucle fabric by Knoll for the chairs facing the chesterfield sofas and tables.  

Reclaimed rustic patina table tops that sit between the Saarinan chairs and the sofas.  

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