Eclectic Is In
“These days, I see people wanting special, signature pieces in their home, something with a modern feel,” says Bobbi Joe Engelby, owner of Domain Interiors & Design, a full-service interior design firm specializing in American and Southern-made furniture. “Focal pieces can be anything, a unique coffee table or a fabulous armchair in a great fabric. Eclecticism, where people mix different styles, is really fun and a great way to update an interior look.”
A favorite of Engelby’s is this steel, wood and crackled-glass coffee table by Charleston Forge of Boone, North Carolina. “They don’t stock anything at Charleston Forge,” Engelby says. “Everything they make is 100 percent handmade in America, customized to order. “This table is so unique. I love the crackled-glass inlaid top. It’s made with three pieces of glass sandwiched together. The middle one gets tapped with a hammer and nail, and it kinetically starts to crack through the whole thing. It reminds me of water—a look that ties in well here on the coast.”
The glass top is inset into wood, resting on legs of solid forged steel. Engelby explains that the table can be constructed with different finishes of wood and metal, for example antique gold or burnished iron for the metal, almond to ebony for the wood. The result, she says, is “an industrial chic feeling that embodies many different styles and works with numerous design schemes.”
The table shown here is made from maple with an oyster finish—“a pretty, shimmery, gray wash that’s very popular here on the coast.” domainmtp.com, 843-388-0328
Tradition with a Twist
A single chair can make a bold statement when the design incorporates interesting silhouettes and unexpected shapes. A favorite of award-winning interior designer Gigi Chapman of deGuise Interiors, the Alexandra chair from Hickory Chair features the quatrefoil, an architectural motif that goes back to Gothic times. The handcarved chair has a fluid neoclassical design, and the back makes a graphic statement, creating visual interest from all angles. “It’s a versatile piece for most styles [of interiors],” Chapman says. “It is unexpected, yet has clean lines and is easily personalized with various fabrics and finishes to achieve the look you want. You could put this chair in any room in the house and because of its unique design, it would stand out.”
Not limited to the interior, Chapman takes this concept outside as well. She loves the Mimi lounge chair from Lane Venture, a rattanlook aluminum in a straw finish with cappuccino bindings. It, too, features a quatrefoil motif. “It’s a new twist on traditional outdoor furniture and mixes well with wicker,” Chapman says, “as chairs are often approached from every angle.” deguiseinteriors.com, 843-971-1491
Rough to Refined
Unfinished, rough-hewn woods are softening up. “The distressed-wood look that has been popular for so long is getting dressed up,” says Jennifer Patterson, owner of Terra Designs, a retail design company specializing in textiles and custom furniture. Patterson notes that some homeowners aren’t comfortable living with a totally modern décor. But this chest, she says, with its white geometric detailing takes postmodern design and makes it transitional and refined.
“This piece softens that industrial, rough-hewn look,” she says, “while showcasing it in a more refined way. It speaks to a broader audience. It has staying power and feels timeless.”
Designed by Gabby, a company specializing in unique, eclectic, vintage modern transitional furniture and lighting, the Terrance chest is a natural oak, modular-style dresser featuring an eye-catching, unique geometric pattern of faux bone inlay.
“The little pulls are wrought iron with a rusticated finish that echoes the geometric pattern of the piece,” Patterson says. “It’s multifunctional and can be used in so many different ways because of the dimensions of the piece.
“It’s the perfect size for a hallway chest, or it can be used in a great room or bedroom, from a beach house to an elegant foyer.”
Patterson continues: “It has a soft finish, not too deep or too dark. It mixes the textures of wood and metals, and that’s what we’re seeing in furniture now.”
Metallics Are Back
If you remember the ’80s, when a shiny brass coffee table was a must-have and gleaming gold bathroom fixtures were a status symbol, you might feel metallic finishes, like leg warmers, are a trend best left in the past. But they are back, according to Karen Germond, owner of KMD Interiors, a full-service design firm based in Charleston and Virginia. Today’s gold and brass finishes are more subtle, with warmer tones that go well with the muted color palettes that are trending today.”
Germond admires the Cate tapered-leg coffee table with its gallery top and gold finish from Lucy Smith Designs. “This table is gorgeous,” says Germond. “The designer takes the time to add in the little details that make her pieces stand out. I love the craftsmanship, attention to detail and rich, muted finish. All of Lucy Smith’s pieces can be specified in different finishes, so if gold doesn’t work for your décor, you can go for something like iron or brushed nickel.”
Another favorite of Germond’s is the Solna pull-down faucet in a brushed bronze finish. “This faucet is an example of how warm metallics are showing up across the board, not just in furniture,” she says. “Imagine a granite countertop with gold undertones paired with this faucet. It would be exquisite.”
kmdinteriors.com, 843-819- 8254