Category

Interior Design Inspiration

Here at Chaddock, we love sharing the work and behind-the-scenes stories of our favorite designers. For today’s blog, we caught up with the busy Margaret Donaldson, proprietor of Margaret Donaldson Interiors. While based in Charleston, MDI’s beautiful work knows no boundaries – geographic or aesthetic. Let’s see what drives the look and the vision.
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CHADDOCK: “Make room for your life” is a theme on your website. Tell us about what this means.

MD: This phrase is really sort of a professional and personal motto. It’s all about living well in your space – in the fullest sense, a beautiful aesthetic with, very importantly, functionality that matches the client’s lifestyle. Frankly, beauty is the easy part! Beauty fully in sync with the way you live takes design to a new level. That’s what we do at my firm!

CHADDOCK: You ask a lot of questions to get to the heart of a client’s heart’s desire for their home. What is the most important question you ask?

MD: There is not really one question that reveals all. No silver bullets. It’s a conversation and a process with a lot of active listening going on! Many of my questions get at exactly how the client wants to live in the space. I need to know how they live life.

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CHADDOCK: What is the role of social media in today’s design landscape?

MD: Social media is huge in two respects. First, Pinterest and Houzz have revolutionized client interaction. Back in the day, we might encourage clients to pull tearsheets from magazines to understand preferences. Today, clients dream – and research – on Pinterest and Houzz. So many actively assemble ideas, mood boards and wish lists. This accelerates the creative process. Secondly, social media – primarily Instagram and Houzz – is a great tool for us to share our work, our design vision and our creativity with potential new clients.

CHADDOCK: There are so many choices for interior designers today. What attracts you to Chaddock?

MD: Great style, of course, but there’s more. Chaddock designs are simply well thought out. The scale and proportion work. I can see the time and attention in every piece. The finishes are also wonderful. I’ll add that in the few instances where there has been a service issue, Chaddock’s been totally on top of it. How we deal with problems is a test of any relationship!

CHADDOCK: Do you have a favorite piece of Chaddock? An item you covet?

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MD: I love the Mary McDonald Marais dresser. It’s a great example of what we just discussed – a beautiful product that is also beautifully thought out. Frankly, 73” dressers can be a bit of a bore. Mary and Chaddock designed Marais with faceted drawer fronts to add interest and diversity to the horizontal shape. It’s brilliant.

CHADDOCK: How does travel inspire your work?

MD: Travel is stimulating! It opens your eyes to new cultures, plus colors, fabrics, textures and combinations.

CHADDOCK: What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

MD: Well, I had just left a professional partnership of 3 years, I was expecting my first child in 3 weeks, and I decided to start my own business, Margaret Donaldson Interiors. I’m so glad I did! I always like to be moving forward!

Act Two

CHADDOCK: Abandon your humanity for a moment and pretend you are a piece of furniture. What would you be?

MD: I see myself as a beautiful living-edge dining table. In this way, I am a place for family and friends to gather, and my very nature – the living edge – shows my history, my story. I am also the platform for new memories.

 

MARGARET’S QUIPS

CHADDOCK: All things in moderation – but even moderation. Can you share an excess or passion?

MD: ART! When my husband and I travel, we don’t bring back souvenirs, we look for original art.

CHADDOCK: My favorite clients are ….

MD: Those who trust my expertise. I want my clients’ homes to look and live as great as they do. Creative trust and a bit of latitude is needed to make that happen.

CHADDOCK: Good riddance to ….

MD: Colorless spaces. It’s time for color! It might be an accent color pop or something more daring.

CHADDOCK: You heard it here first. The next great thing in design is…

MD: It’s about paint and color. Look for walls and trim painted in the same color. I’m loving lacquered walls, and I am drawn to a new palette of jewel tones. The hues are crisp, cool and very today, not a 1980s throwback!

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You’re invited to apprentice yourself to the masters at the exclusive Chaddock College September 18-20. Chaddock College is a 2-day immersion experience in the art and science of fine furniture manufacturing, including behind-the-scenes factory tours, seminars, learn-by-doing activities and networking.

Your instructors are industry icons and pros. Your peers are fellow accomplished design and retail professionals. The venue is the Chaddock factory campus in Morganton, North Carolina, the traditional heart of American furniture manufacturing.

Chaddock College is free of charge to qualified retail and design professionals.

TIMELINE AND SYLLABUS

THE NIGHT BEFORE, Monday, September 18

  • Hotel check-in the afternoon before college begins (4-5pm).
  • Followed by cocktails, dinner and networking.

DAY ONE: CASEGOODS REVEALED, September 19

  • See how manufacturing process improvements positively impact your creative job performance as a designer.
  • Demonstrations of how artisan craftsmanship techniques and modern technology combine to produce exceptional style and value for today’s clients.
  • Guided by master craftsmen, you’ll practice distressing, sanding, staining and sheen-application. Your masterpiece? A picture frame – yours to keep!
  • Wrap up the evening with cocktails, conversation and dinner with your classmates and Chaddock execs.

DAY TWO: WORK THE UPHOLSTERY WORKROOM, September 20

  • See how internal quality construction features – the invisible infrastructure – are the foundation of beautiful upholstery.
  • Witness the creation of made-to-order upholstery, including patterning, cutting, sewing, fabric application and custom tailoring treatments.
  • College attendees will matriculate the afternoon of Day Two. You’ll be ready to depart Morganton, North Carolina – informed and inspired – early afternoon.

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WHAT APPLICANTS NEED TO KNOW

CHADDOCK COLLEGE FACULTY: Your college deans include Chaddock VP of Operations James Kennedy, case goods manager David Cruise, and upholstery plant manager Louie Weatherman. Collectively, they bring well over 50 years of fine furniture manufacturing expertise to your experience. They are joined by dozens of Chaddock craftsmen and women, many born and raised in the furniture-making tradition.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Interior designers and retail sales associates seeking the next level of personal and professional growth.

HOW TO APPLY: While acceptance to Chaddock College is generally by invitation or referral, for consideration, please contact your local Chaddock representative, or email college@chaddockhome.com

FEES: Aside from transportation to and from Chaddock’s Morganton, NC, factory, there are no attendance fees. Chaddock is happy to assume the costs of food and lodging, to support your continuing education.

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Debbie Lowrey, Lowrey Design Group owner and principal designer, was tapped to design a model home at Villa Venezia, a prestigious enclave within Myrtle Beach’s Grande Dunes development. She in turn, tapped Chaddock for much of the home’s furniture. In today’s blog, Chaddock caught up with Debbie to learn more about this project and model home design business.

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CHADDOCK: Your expertise is residential design. How did you get into furnishing real estate models?

DEBBIE: It is a very natural segue in a resort market like ours. Myrtle Beach and environs are big real estate markets for second and retirement homes. Developers know beautifully furnished models literally sell their properties.

CHADDOCK: How does this fit into your business model?

DEBBIE: It’s important for two reasons. First, furnishing models can be a significant source of revenue. The developers are purchasing turnkey design services and furniture. Secondly, it’s a chance for us to showcase our work. My models are dream homes. Individuals shopping for real estate see the calibre of our work and creativity. It’s great advertising.

CHADDOCK: This project is beautiful. Tell us about it.

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DEBBIE: Well, thank you. Two of the most outstanding rooms in the 5,683 square-foot home are really Chaddock showcases. I started with the Newport Sofa in the living room. I love the undulating shape and the wood trim detail. The square Otto Cocktail Table is an intentional juxtaposition to the curvaceous sofa.

CHADDOCK: And it all comes together so beautifully.

DEBBIE: The iridescent green-blue color palette brings everything together. It’s color that unifies a design plan, and lets a designer pair different styles and shapes with amazing and harmonious effect.

CHADDOCK: Do you have a favorite room in the home?

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DEBBIE: That’s such an unfair question. I love the entire space. But for me, the master bedroom is move-in ready. I specified Larry Laslo’s Match Point Bed for its strong proportions, and mixed and matched bedside tables. The New Wave Chest really stands out. The Avalon Dresser completes the room. And, of course, the aquatic green-blue palette prevails throughout.

CHADDOCK: Is it challenging to design a home when you don’t have a real client whose lifestyle drives the design?

DEBBIE: Make no mistake, I have a client. I invent the client! To breathe life into a room, a designer must have a sense of the people who will inhabit the space. Otherwise, the designer is rudderless. I dream up the whole story. My “homeowners” for this project are successful and adventurous New Yorkers. They are transitioning into retirement. They’ve flourished in a dark, dramatic urban landscape, but are now ready to begin anew, and lighten things up. They expect visitors, grandchildren and a vibrant social life. They want a home that can support all their dreams and plans.

CHADDOCK: Tell us more about your “real” client.

DEBBIE: Ah, the developer! This developer knows my work. The firm trusts me to make good design decisions and manage the project to a tee. Budget is absolutely critical to the developer. Design and product fees are all part of the P&L, and they are tight. There is no room for fudge.

CHADDOCK: Any tips on balancing high design expectations with a fixed budget?

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DEBBIE: First, engage your vendors. My Chaddock rep, Missy Mowery, is invaluable on projects like these. She knows I want to use Chaddock. She helps me create a design plan that fulfills creative and budget expectations.

CHADDOCK: You’re a model home pro with 12 years of experience. Any advice for design firms thinking of pursuing model home design?

DEBBIE: Yes, I’m always happy to share my experience. First, be sure your left-brain project management skills are topnotch. Model home deadlines are hard and fast, and any budget overages impact your profitability. Secondly, come to the project with creative confidence based on experience. Model homes are not for beginners. And lastly, call Chaddock! It’s great to have partners that are invested in your success.

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  1. ESTEEMED VISITORS. Like Mariano Rivera, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and you, retailers and designers who chose to come in from the rain and shop Chaddock at the High Point Market.
  2. DELLA & FRIENDS. The CHADDOCK brand stepped into the spotlight this Market with notable new introductions, the Della Wing Chair among them, demonstrating the design and manufacturing excellence inherent to this brand.
  3. STUDIO C. Chaddock’s semi-custom upholstery program has taken a fashionable leap forward with additional standard options, and by-the-inch options coming soon. Look for new sales aids available soon.
  4. BEAUMONT BEDROOM & MORE. Mary McDonald is a design rock star. Together, we introduced 10 new items at the Market, including the Greco-Roman inspired Beaumont bed.
  5. YELLOW. Larry Laslo’s response to High Point inclement weather?? Color! Starting with a French Butter Yellow room to bursts of Greenery, lavender, and moody charcoal tones. This master of design drama continues to inspire.
  6. MILLENNIAL PINK. Pantone may have given the 2017 color nod to green, but the marketplace is saying pink, Millennial Pink to be precise. Mary McDonald loved it (with black), as did our PS collection color mavens…
  7. PS COLLECTION FOR CHADDOCK. Color is anything but a postscript for Chaddock designers Sarah Kennedy Dolce and Peter Sinnott IV. From the Pierre Frey wallpaper to color play in upholstery and case goods items, Sarah and Peter demonstrate that color is king in 2017.
  8. CHICKEN PIE & BANANA PUDDING. Brenda Thompson and her team of sous chefs are the best in High Point, with tried-and-true recipes, making Chaddock THE destination for the best furniture and lunch in town.
  9. UNSUNG HEROES. Nearly every item you saw in High Point was made to order and made by hand in Morganton, NC. Over 150 craftsmen and women make the High Point Market – and your orders – possible. We thank them!
  10. TEAMWORK. Chaddock has 15 salespeople that can act as one, plus a support team that routinely pulls rabbits out of its collective hat. Teamwork starts at the top. Thank you to our owners, managers, customer service crew, and reps for a Market to remember. We can do just about anything … together.

GiveawayBlog

We want to keep in touch. Now through Market, when you sign up to receive Chaddock’s newsletter, your name is in the “hat” to win this stunning Charcoal hall chair from the Mary McDonald collection.

The suggested retail price is $2,247, but absolutely no purchase is required. There are just a few simple rules. To win, you must be at least 18-years old, live in the contiguous 48 states, and agree to the announcement of your good luck via social media. Of course, the winner is responsible for all taxes, and must successfully complete a 1099-MISC prior to receiving the chair. Additionally, Chaddock associates and affiliate partners (such as our wonderful sales reps) are excluded. That’s it!

What about Chaddock designers and retailers? You are free, clear and entirely eligible to win. The only real question is how lucky do you feel? If the answer is very, prepare to take Georgia home from Market (or, of course, we’ll ship her to you). The winner will be announced as Market ends.

And, about the small string that’s attached, namely the e-newsletter sign up…. First it’s easy to do. Click now. You have Chaddock’s word that we will never sell, share or otherwise divulge your identity and information to any second or third parties. This is just between us. As for Chaddock’s newsletters, we also promise never to bore. Should we disappoint, opting out is always an option – knowing this helps us up our game!

Keeping it touch is not a one-way street. We love feedback. Especially when it comes to us (and the world) via Instagram. You’re invited to follow us, and if Chaddock isn’t already hanging on your every Instagram post, we will reciprocate and follow you back immediately. We’d love to see your design work-in- progress, mood boards, showroom photos, and installation photos. There are no voices or visuals more important than those of our design and retail partners. Our ears and eyes are wide open.

Change doesn’t scare Rachelle Roth. In 1991 she and her husband Jeffery left successful, high-powered careers to start Urban Country. They were furniture novices who set new industry standards. Life and business changed irrevocably in 1999 when Jeffery died of brain tumor, but the idea of a “family business” took on even richer meaning as two of Rachelle and Jeffery’s daughters joined the enterprise. In today’s blog, Chaddock catches up with this entrepreneur, designer and mom to find out what makes Rachelle run… 

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CHADDOCK: Urban. Country. Quite a juxtaposition. Tell us the origin of your company name.

RR: Our whole business philosophy – then and now – is based on the idea of blending. In the case of the name, it’s about an edgy urban aesthetic paired with a casual, relaxed country vibe. Urban Country is less about contrast and hard juxtapositions than it is about a seamless blend.

CHADDOCK: What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

RR: Starting the business in 1991, but I didn’t fully realize it then. We gave up great jobs. We had young kids. The economy was horrible. We were furniture beginners – but with great business acumen (him) and fashion sense (me). We wanted to blend our talents, so we did!

CHADDOCK: What’s the biggest upside to running a family business?

RR: Creating. Shedding old ideas. Some 25+ years ago, my husband and I were the ones innovating. It’s a kick to see our children – two are active in the business – charting new courses.

CHADDOCK: And – tell the truth – the biggest downside?

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RR: Ah, see the last question. It’s hard to let go of what you think you know, but I’m a proud mamma!

CHADDOCK: Second career time. You’re starting fresh and saying goodbye to interior design. “I would like to….”

RR: I can see myself consulting on a fashion business, helping others break barriers – the mental and tangible ones. That would be satisfying.

CHADDOCK: If you were a CHAIR, what would you look like?

RR: I would be a curvy French bergère in mohair and velvet, please.

CHADDOCK: How would you describe your own personal style in three adjectives?

RR: Sophisticated, elegant, whimsical.

CHADDOCK: What attracts you and Urban Country to Chaddock?

RR: Chaddock offers such a panoply of styles. Urban Country is all about the blend, and Chaddock is a great fit. Styles range from buttoned-up traditional to outside-the-box designs.

CHADDOCK: Do you have a favorite piece of Chaddock? An item you covet?

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RR: There are so many…. I recently downsized into a 1900 square-foot condo. I had to edit. The Mary McDonald for Chaddock goat-leg demilune was a must-have. It’s rustic. It’s classic. There’s the blend again! I live with and admire that piece every day.

CHADDOCK: What’s your personal motto, mantra or credo?

RR: Do what you love and do it with passion!

Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s well known that Chaddock has a huge crush on Studio 882, a wonderful design and furniture store just outside of Philadelphia. Bright, creative and principled, we think Katie and Chad Groves represent the next generation of the furniture industry – and as you’re about to see, the next-next generation!

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Lights, camera, action. Chad and Katie recently planned an in-store photo shoot. Strategically, they sought to capture images that demonstrate how well-made furniture stands up beautifully to everyday life. Katie says that the Mary McDonald for Chaddock Antoinette bed “is beautiful, elegant, and relevant for the way we live today.” It was cast in a starring role. The Groves’ did not have to look far for “talent.” That’s their son Andrew (age 5) perusing The Cat in the Hat comfortably atop Antoinette.

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According to Katie, Antoinette is one of Studio 882’s top sellers. (Looks like the boys love it too.) “The scale, proportions and craftsmanship are exceptional,” she explains, “It’s inspiring to see our designers and customers experiment with their own unique combination of fabric and finish options. We love the ways our customers have styled this bed in their own homes. It’s really never the same twice, thanks to Chaddock’s amazing options.”

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Boys will be boys, and episodes of monkey business were apt to break out during the shoot, according to Katie. As she explains, “We don’t believe in special occasion furniture. Furniture is meant for living. Both beauty and quality are important. Chaddock’s on exactly the same page with us.”

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“More and more, Studio C is becoming our upholstery options program go-to,” says Katie. In addition to the great menu of options, quality features and amazing lead times, Katie notes Studio C has “formidable fort-building capabilities, perhaps a little known fact.” In this final shot, Andrew recreates a scene from the Groves’ own home, where cushions are apt to separate from sofas to fashion fortresses. Studio C is a wonder, says Katie, “everything holds its shape under just about any kind of assault, if you will. We love this track arm sofa in 1244-Tweed. It’s perfect for our own personal castle!”

 

Registration is now open for the next session of Chaddock College, the master class in the art and science of fine furniture. Class size is limited to no more than 15 attendees to offer a very personal learning experience. Best to sign up NOW to reserve your place. It’s a must-attend, and here’s a few reasons why…

No 1 Learn a lot: It’s no Animal House. We strive to make Chaddock College, collegial (of course), but you will exponentially increase your understanding of how fine furniture is made in this two-day experience. Most coursework takes place right on the factory floor. You won’t be lectured to; you’ll learn by doing. In fact, you’ll be guided through all the major steps of the wood finishing process and witness the upholstery process from start to finish.

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No 2 Polish your professionalism: The world of design is fun and fashionable. It’s also highly competitive. What differentiates you from other talented professionals? How can you add more value to your client’s experience? Can you demonstrate a rare understanding of the furniture-making process to earn your client’s trust and justify significant purchases? Chaddock College will make you a better professional.

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No 3 Hand rubbing and elbow rubbing: In our wood finishing segment, you’ll experience the hand-finishing process, including the final wool wax rub. Simultaneously, you’ll rub elbows with other retail and design peers and professionals. You may make important connections that will stay with you well after College.

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No 4 About your diploma: It’s more than a piece of paper. In fact (spoiler alert!), your College term project is the hand-finishing of a frame, perfectly sized to hold your diploma. It’s both YOUR badge of honor and our gift to you – but only upon matriculation.

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No 5 Tuition is not a barrier: Chaddock College class size is limited to 10-15 serious professionals. If you are accepted into the program all fees and expenses (including all food and accommodation in Morganton) are fully paid for by Chaddock. Your only financial responsibility is travel to and from Morganton. Chaddock has endowed this program because we know education is essential to our mutual success. Chaddock is on its way becoming the best fine furniture brand in the world. Are you with us?

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There’s nothing more heartbreaking than unrequited love, so imagine our immense delight when one of our favorite magazines sent us a valentine – and one for all the world to see.

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XOXO hugs and kisses back to you, Traditional Home, for including the Mary McDonald for Chaddock Alix Side Chair in your timely roundup of decorating trends with Xs and Os in the February edition, on newsstands now. As it happens, Alix delivers on both counts: XOXO.

Alix is a study in geometry. The square chair back frames an X encased in a circle – or an O, if you prefer. Mary channeled Malmaison – Napoleon and Josephine’s summer digs – in the chair design. It’s one of her favorite periods, and it’s easy to see why. Louis XVI and Directoire style furniture is decidedly unfussy, but also beautifully and thoughtfully designed. It’s about imagination and meaningful detail, not ostentation.

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Traditional Home chief Ann Maine first spotted the new Alix Side Chair at the October furniture Market during a personal tour with Mary McDonald. Our blog reporter was on hand to snap a cellphone, shown above. As the magazine’s 2017 editorial calendar developed, Senior Style Editor Krissa Rossbund was similarly smitten with Alix, and the chair made its way into Traditional Home’s stylish mix.

MORE ABOUT ALIX: The Mary McDonald for Chaddock Alix Side Chair (MM1657-26), W20.5 x D25 x H38.25, is shown here in 5800 Black Deco with Gold on finials. Seat upholstered in F6180 Seasalt. Alix is made by hand and made to order in Chaddock’s Morganton, NC, factory, and available in over 70 finishes, and hundreds of fabrics, including COM. Expected Alix lead time 5-7 weeks.

INTRO

A couple from Chicago came to designer Beverly Bohan to furnish their new-build 5,000 square-foot home on Seabrook Island, outside of Charleston, and Beverly came to Chaddock to furnish the entire home.

It makes perfect sense. “My clients are unique individuals. They want their homes and furniture selections to really resonate with their own personal taste and lifestyle. They come to me for what they cannot get elsewhere, not what’s in a catalog. Customization is key.”

The Seabrook Island project began a few weeks after the April 2016 High Point Market with a client-designer, and Chaddock meeting at the High Point showroom. In a three-day design tour de force, with floor plans unfurled, furniture for the entire home was specified.

“Customizing furniture is in my DNA,” explains Beverly. “It’s how I achieve something truly unique and perfectly suited to the client and the space. Chaddock has some great pieces – that’s one of the things that draws me to the brand. But for me, that’s just a creative launch pad!”

From a manufacturing perspective, Chaddock loves to collaborate with designers. As rep Missy Mowery explains, “Our products have great bones. Designers can start with a fundamentally great piece and make it their own by changing size, finish, and other specs. Just about all Chaddock is made to order in Morganton, NC, so anything is possible.”

Beverly offers the Centre Table as an example. “I love the Centre Table, and I envisioned the changes we would make. I literally saw it in my head, and Chaddock made it happen. The table needed to fit the casual aesthetic of the space – not the sleek and contemporary Centre Table we so often see it at Market. I customized the table in Oak, scored the top, and finished it in Chaddock’s Greige with medium distress and low sheen. I also added two 20-inch extensions. I decided to match the finish on the Envelope Chairs. Perfection! It’s the room my clients wanted.”

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For the great room, Beverly loved Chaddock’s scoop-back Catalina chair, but wanted it to swivel. Chaddock made it happen. Beverly then took the standard Otto ottoman, supersized it by a third, changed the finish and replaced the button-tufted upholstered surface with a taunt top. Wow. The Meerlust Sofa underwent an amazing transformation in the great room as well. Beverly tweaked the design, increasing seat depth by 3 inches. Meerlust sits like a dream and looks fabulous in the space.

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In the master bedroom, Beverly’s design plan called for a large portrait mirror. She admired the Regent Mirror, but the proportions were all wrong at W30 X H80. Beverly blew it up to W75. The results are striking. Also in the master, two custom Somerset nightstands in Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter flank the Pinciana Bed. The Flair Bench sits at the foot of the bed.

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In the mini-master bedroom, Beverly shape-shifted the Avery Bed to H65 so it would position perfectly beneath a trio of bedroom dormers, and specified it in the Debutant finish – pristine with no chain and no distress, Robin blue upholstery, and small pewter nails.

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The Seabrook Island project installed in mid-December, in time for the Chicago couple to host family and friends for the holidays. In a way, this is a Chaddock custom show house, since nearly all of the furniture in the house is custom Chaddock.

“Projects like this are a lot of work,” notes Beverly. “It takes a lot of time, patience, creativity and communication to make it all come together. Personally, I love the whole process, and I think Chaddock must too. They were with me every step of the way. I’ll be back. In fact, I have another Chaddock project set to install later this month!”

ABOUT BEVERLY BOHAN: Beverly is one of the Southeast’s top interior designers with commissions in the Charleston area and throughout the U.S. Together with her Haute Design team, Beverly seeks to translate client’s needs and desires for their homes, and is also expert in commercial, hospitality and retail design. Beverly and Haute Design are at the very forefront of current styles, but committed to the essential classics of timeless design.