Category

Lifestyle

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?

Marais

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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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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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!

Andrew

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.

BothBoys

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.”

Jump

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.”

Fort

“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!”

 

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.”

CentreTab

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.

Master

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.

Guest

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.

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“Of course, I’ve been expecting your call,” says Larry Laslo when we rang him up for bon mots on the matter of 2017 trends. Larry is on everyone’s call sheet when it comes to forecasting what’s new and next. He never disappoints.

He wanted to start with Greenery. In the world according to Larry, color trends are entirely cyclical. “It looks like green is about to have a moment – again,” he notes, referencing Pantone’s recent 2017 color pick. “I was smitten with Kelly Green at the last High Point Market. I think it might give Greenery a run for its money.”

kellygreenColor aside, Larry’s edited his voluminous fashion prognostications to these three keepers, just for today’s blog:

  1. A RETURN TO THE CLASSICS, architecturally. Streamlined, ultra modern style may have had its day. I’m seeing more appreciation for classic architectural forms as a palette for self expression – not as the endgame – but a means to an end. That’s got 2017 written all over it.

eden2. GO TO THE GARDEN. Real is going to be hot in 2017. Perhaps a response to artifice? I can’t say, but clearly, design motifs honoring nature – real flowers, natural tactile fabrics, luminous wood grains, stone, marble, granite and metals. Maybe that’s what Greenery is really all about!

llfloral3. ANIMAL MAGNETISM. From cheetah to chinchilla, faux animal prints have long been part of my design vocabulary. And I’m not alone. What’s new and hot for 2017 is the reinvention of these prints with variations in scale – mini to mega – on a variety of materials like leather, lacquer, wood and glass. Unleashed potential in 2017, so to speak!

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