Thursday, October 27, 2016

Perfecting the Modern Traditional Blend

If you haven't noticed already, I've been hugely inspired by designers like Mark D. Sikes, Bruce Budd, Darryl Carter, and William Rankin McLure. Each of them has an aesthete that has really appealed to me over the last few months, and when I started thinking of how I'd create spaces in the new place, I took cues from each of them when I needed inspiration.

Part of the struggle in any home is to have a curated look. That thoughtful, and expert collection of things that have both a meaning and a symbiotic beauty. Perfecting the modern and traditional blend is not as easy as those four men make it look.

Take this room, designed by Bruce Budd. I was HUGELY inspired by this space. The French antiques, mixed with the modern glass table. Abstract and modern art hung side by side with antique sculpture and maps. The palette is calm, and soothing. The collections are lovely, and the clutter is contained. It's a stunning room in every way.

Nothing seems out of place, even though all of it comes from different themes, generations, and styles. It's a clever and difficult balance, that Budd does with great ease.

More of the space, looking into the other side of the room now. Potted olive tree and French chair next to modern laminate and glass tables, and antiqued mirror.

More of that room. You can see now, this is actually a bedroom. This is actually an incredible space. Bruce was the designer for the late Bunny Mellon who put him up in this tony carriage house while he was working on her family home. Bunny Mellon was a philanthropist, horticulturalist (who designed for The White House rose garden for Jackie Kennedy) and heiress to the Listerine fortune. FORTUNE!

Pretty snazzy digs, huh? The carriage house was featured in World of Interiors before Bruce moved on after finishing the Mellon residence. This space was my largest impetus in making a decision toward an all glass table. Mark D. Sikes further pushed me in that direction with this amazing space from his new book, Beautiful. Which I reviewed here


This space is, without a doubt, my idea of a dream room. It has all of the things that I find most beautiful, and it has really helped me pull together this version of my new space. It's a lovely room with amazing architectural details (which I don't have) but there are so many decorative details that I love here. The tailored, upholstered sofa. (CHECK!) The antique Oushak over jute. (CHECK! ish I have a sunwashed Anatolian over seagrass, a much less expensive alternative.) Blue and White porcelains (CHECK!) Modern Art (CHECK!) Books (CHECK!) Boxes (CHECK!) Leather (CHECK!) And that glass table ... (CHECK!)

Mark's personal design aesthetic has really been an inspiring one since I saw his home published in House Beautiful. But when he redecorated, and it was featured in Veranda - well, I committed myself to being an avid follower. So, if you're seeing a lot of his influence coming into the new space - it's with good reason. 

Mark has seen wild success in the last few years, with amazing projects published in House Beautiful and his amazing New York Times BestSeller, Beautiful. His fabric line with Schumacher just launched, his rugs with Merida, as well as his furniture and accessories line with Henredon furniture. I'm sure that we will see another book from Mark in 6-8 months. He's on fire right now!

Here's a sample of Mark's furniture line. I love this Presidio Settee, and those Queens Road Coromandel Screens! 


I also love this Bel Air Stripe fabric in the Neutral colorway from his Schumacher fabric line. I just need a little of this in my life. 

Darryl Carter's spaces have always been an inspiration. He has been a master of blending modern and traditional for years, especially within very neutral spaces: 

And finally, young, beautiful, talented, rising star William Rankin McLure. We oddly enough moved the same weekend, and at the end of day one he was posting pictures of his beautifully finished space. Sigh. 

I mean REALLY!? R.E.A.L.L.Y!? How does he have FRESH FLOWERS already!? Surely someone sent these to him as a house warming gift. Where are mine!? All of his own original art hangs along the gallery wall in his new dining room, with a table from Holland and Company, in Atlanta.

I've blogged about William a few times. I think that he's a master at what he does, and I couldn't think of anyone more deserving of the success that he's seen these past few months. There are a few pics though that I really get so much inspiration from. This one from his first apartment: 

And this one from the apartment he just moved from, which will actually be featured on One Kings Lane soon. 

I'm also a HUGE fan of his paintings: 

If you're interested in seeing more of his paintings, or contacting him about them, you can find more about that here

Each of these designers is unique in their own way, but they do all have a few things in common. They appreciate the layering necessary to create a good interior. They all have a flair for modern art, neutral colors, and antiques. After years of helping clients successfully find their own style, I finally took the time to understand the evolution of my own. I spent the majority of my twenties in someone else's house, with someone else's restrictions and rules, trying to blend what I thought was my design identity with theirs. I don't regret that time, but I firmly believe that our tastes change as we age, explore, travel, and are exposed to more and more beauty, but eventually, with freedom and unrestricted space, you find out what your core foundation is. Mine may have taken a bit longer than I hoped, but these four designers have helped me to find this version of it thus far. 

I'd be silly not to also mention Joni from Cote de Texas, who has been inspiring me for 7+ years, and has challenged me to do things I wouldn't have thought of doing otherwise; Joan from for the love of a house, who has always encouraged me to buy and keep what I love; Deserae from Peeking Thru the Sunflowers who has so much talent in vignettes, and layering, and is constantly there to save me from melt downs; ALL of my blog readers who applaud and encourage and question my work making me better and better, especially artist Dianne Ballard, designer Dean Farris, my Canadian friend from RMS and long time reader, mrsben, and Houston based artist and author Leslie Sinclair.

I'll be back soon with updates, just as soon as I get the coffee table, console table and cover, leather chair, and a few other details. I'll need to finish painting the baseboards, putting down the floor, and touching up. But progress pics are coming! 


  1. Wow! Another fab post Artie!
    Thanks for the mention, you made my day!


  2. You have inspired me (and the rest, I'm sure) with your ability to face mountains of effort and conquer them. Thanks so much!!

  3. It has been pure pleasure watching you grow as a designer. You have proved nothing is impossible with your incredible talent. Thank you for the mention.
    xo Dianne

  4. From the pictures you've posted, you're well on your way to brilliant, just as these designers are.

  5. Like all the designers mentioned here .
    I would vote for William McLure right now . But he is an art painter also .
    It means he can use his artistic sence in a way most interior designers cannot .
    Such a beautiful place his old house and eager to see pics from the new .
    Good luck with yours Arti , so much work done already .

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Artieben, it has been my pleasure to watch you evolve into a very talented designer who IMO has earned applause. With much appreciation for the journey and mention. Fondly -Brenda- xo
    P.S.: Looking forward to seeing the completion of your new space as know it will be beautiful.

  8. Artie! I've had this post open on the computer (along with the other 21 tabs:) for several days as I loved the photos. I just now got to read it, and I'm honored to be mentioned my friend, thank you. Now I just have to work on you keeping the good stuff:) says the white sofa and the antlers! ;) I think Joni and I might have to have you send us everything you want to sell and we will be the voice of reason and ok, or not!!!! Checks and balances you know?!!! xxo

  9. p.s. and how gorgeous is William??!!!!!!!!

  10. Attractive decoration . Great thanks for shared . Like your post .

  11. The ultra design luxury hall and room very beauty. major views is indoor design work Using Aluminium Scaffolding To Finish the job.