"All houses have a soul. They speak to you. They say, Do this, do that. It's a sensibility I feel when I walk into a new space. I hear with my eyes. The day I moved into the lodge I had an enveloping, welcoming feeling. It's the sort of house that as you put something in, it says thank you. Nothing seems to annoy it. It's a combination of taste and memory and a capsule of everything I've ever done: my parents' house, things I've picked up on holiday. It all flows together in my mind and becomes a blur." Nicky Haslam...
Here are the women I work with every day……and every day they inspire me. They are smart, talented and really fun to be with. We make a great group - we work really well together which is a blessing! They bring different skills and sensibilities to our projects. We are all collaborative by nature and I think that makes what we do so much more interesting. We learn from each other. I'm REALLY lucky. Here are their homes, their voices and their……Personal Style
What I find to be important in my home are beautiful, colorfully printed fabrics, a mix of artwork, furniture that has either been a good find or passed down through family or a friend, and anything special that Scotty and I have collected along the way or picked up in our travels. We like to be able to look around our house and for everything to have meaning - my favorite celadon lamp from my grandfather, our collection of matches gathered from everywhere we go, the printed fabrics I can't live without, and the Richard Crozier painting given to us as a wedding gift from Suellen are just a few examples. Scotty and I love our house - it's a happy, comfortable home where we love to entertain and a place where we've made lots of wonderful memories. And of course our house wouldn't be complete without our a big, sweet ole dog…Scout!
I am a homebody at heart, so making a house a home is a priority to me. I share my house with my husband, a born collector, and my 16-month-old daughter, a born explorer. From the miniature baby carriage my daughter and I push up and down the hall for hours at a time--to the passed-down art from family, our house is filled with the things we love…old black and white photos of childhood memories to stacks of puzzles, piles of Eric Carle books and baby dolls galore! Formerly my grandparents' home, the walls of this house are filled with cherished childhood memories. Today, these memories are coupled with newly formed memories as our daughter grows into a little girl, discovering new things each and every day. Our house is welcoming yet calming, livable yet lovable...We love it and hope you do, too!
My personal space is a bit ironic. On the one hand, I am often hired to help people simplify and edit, yet I am only happy in my own space when my eyes are always full of the things I love...and LOTS of them! When Suellen asked me to write something about my space for this post, it hit me like lightening - there has been a recurring theme over the years in our discussions about design projects. When we talk about clients and how to help them make sure that their home conveys their own personal style, the same word comes up over and over again - CONFIDENCE. Personal style cannot exist without confidence. I may not be confident wearing my skinny jeans at this particular moment, and I may not be confident about my housekeeping abilities, but what I hope is evident in the photos of my space is that I have absolute confidence in my personal style, and I can honestly say that I truly love my things. I don't make excuses, and I know that not everyone will love my "look," but what matters is that I DO. The most challenging yet rewarding moments for designers come when they help a client realize their own personal style.
We are in The Scout Guide Richmond! It is a local advertising publication full of wonderful businesses here in Richmond… they have published guides
for fabulous cities including Charleston, Charlotte, Alexandria, Charlottesville, Palm Beach - and many more. Their website gives you access to all of their
advertisers, the guides for each city and their blogs. We follow all of them! You can too……..www.thescoutguide.com
With winter upon us we are dreaming about a wonderful Florida project we did last winter.
Our clients were wonderful – adventuresome – color loving! It was such a treat to work there……..wish we were there right now!
Hoping you and yours had a joyful holiday season this year.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2013!
Here is a project we did this summer for a wonderful client and friend. She is adventuresome – fun – and loves color.
Entry – Really welcoming!
Dining Room chair seats – each one different
We selected the linoleum ( yes lino ) for the floor and had the Galbraith paper colored to match
Pretty Bedroom Cabinet
I am inspired by so many things – and so many people. Iconic designers – landscape architects – artists……too many to name! I have been thinking lately of the people I am lucky to count as friends who constantly inspire me. I have decided to show their homes, gardens, work spaces and creations – here on my website.
My friends Byron and Lawson live on Columbus Avenue in New York with their two Italian Greyhounds – Mouse and Hero. They both work in the city and they make the most of living there. They are both Southerners and they bring this aesthetic – this way of decorating – this need to surround themselves with all of the things they love and treasure and have very personal connections to – right into a lovely, light filled New York apartment. One immediately feels at home there.
They are exceptional!
They are collectors – they have an amazing eye and combine what they like with far from reckless abandon……they stack and arrange and hang from wires – and it all looks curated and laid back at the same time. Byron and I talk design a lot – we’re junkies – but they basically do their own thing……together.
Many thanks to Olga Naiman for styling this for me…….she has a keen eye – fabulous taste and is really fun to work with. www.aparat.us
And to Kip Dawkins – my wonderful photographer – who made the trip up with me and took these amazing photographs! www.kipdawkinsphotography.com
This is their Foyer - the shelves are attached by way of magnets to the metal boards that are mounted on the wall! Byron thought that one up!
This is the den/spare bedroom/office - New Yorkers are great at multi tasking their living spaces. You can see Mouse and Hero here too - they are formally known as Italian Greyhounds - informally known as "The Chickens"
We are in the August 2012 issue of Veranda!
This is so exciting for us - it is a house very dear to our hearts - a wonderful, lovely historic home here in Richmond. We just love how the photos and story turned out.
They sent us an amazing photographer Laura Resen. You can see more of her work at www.lauraresen.com
All of this would not have been possible without the help of the wonderful people in Richmond that I am lucky to work with everyday (plus a couple of amazing North Carolinians)!
I will publish more of this wonderful project on my website this fall……stay tuned!
Veranda is just such a wonderful magazine - I have issues dating back to the beginning - and I love Lisa Newsom's book The Houses of Veranda - if you haven't bought yours - go and get it - it is a treasure!
It was such a treat to meet her daughter Leslie - who came to do our story. What a talent! And a sweetheart!
I was fortunate to go with them to the Veranda 25th Anniversary Party at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York in March.
What an event! A designer's dream come true!
Here I am with darling Lisa Newsom!
And here we are with Leslie!
Here is a porch at the beach. This is a wonderful old grey shingle house close to the ocean at Virginia Beach. There are parents, four grown children and 5 grandchildren – and counting……lots of cousins and friends are always around because it’s such a fabulous house - comfortable and fairly bulletproof! I designed this trestle table and benches and Zack Jester (www.vanjesterwoodworks.com) built them for me and white washed parts with marine paint. The base of the table and the benches are all made form antique cypress – the top of the table is reclaimed walnut. The lantern is from Coleen Rider (www.coleenandcompany.com) and the mirror was found on a shopping trip to LA last year.
Here is a porch we began last summer. I designed this table and Zack Jester built it. (www.vanjesterwoodworks.com) The wood is all reclaimed and the cypress is perfect for an outdoor space – the top and the benches are made from the same wood. There are two demi lune ends that attach under the table and increase the seating capacity. This is a great space with lots of entertaining options.
Here is the seating area now with the table pushed off to the right – next to the outdoor serving area. The wicker dining chairs can be pulled up into the conversation area and the table can be used for serving.
Here is the table the way it usually sits…….ready for dinner every night that weather permits – which this year has been really often – given our mild winter and the wonderful heat that comes from the fireplace!
My Mother - Charlotte Korn
This photo was taken by my father on board the SS Michelangelo in 1964.
My sisters Lee and Charlotte
My daughter in law Neil Gregory and Seamus
Zuzu with Seamus
And for all of the other Mothers in my life......Mothers of baby children, growing children, grown children and four legged children......I honor you this Mothers Day!
How exciting – we are published in the current issue of Traditional Home magazine!
This photo shoot took place in the fall of 2010 – on two of the prettiest fall days we could imagine here in Virginia. The photographer was Gordon Beall who I greatly admire. Gordon is professional, creative, accomplished, focused and has a wicked sense of humor. He brings so much expertise to a photo shoot. You can read about Gordon here www.gordonbeall.com
The client, Meg, is an old and dear friend of mine. I met her when she was beginning to work on this house 19 years ago and our friendship grew from our work together. She is an artist and scholar – a dedicated wife and mother – and lots of fun to hang out with.
The shoot had all the right ingredients……amazing house, lovely weather, fun people, good food, pretty flowers……..it was such a special moment in time. I was lucky to have my assistants Ti and Megan as well as the Traditional Home editor Eileen Deymier – who is such a pro at styling a photo shoot. My great friend Jean kept us fed and amused and was constantly searching outside for interesting branches, leaves and flowers for the shoot.
We all felt that it went really well – and you can see that the shots are amazing. The article with photos and copy can be found in the Press section of this site. Found here. I am over the moon excited about this lovely article and grateful to Traditional Home Magazine for providing us all with wonderful homes and fabulous designers to read about month after month.
After the shoot Meg and I enjoyed one of our favorite pastimes……..Tequila! It just seemed like a good idea at the time!
I thought you might like to see more photos of this amazing house. These photos were not in the magazine and were taken by me – or Kip Dawkins – my favorite Richmond photographer. (see more of Kip’s work at www.kipdawkinsphotography.com)
The Entrance Hall…….When you open the front door this is the first thing you see.
A wonderful old sofa surrounded by fabulous art. The stairway coming down that opposite wall is so effective – you stay in the entry while traveling upstairs – you can look down on the compass painted on the floor and up to all that awaits on the landings.
Here is a detail of the carpet.
Here is what you look up to – the ceiling over the entrance hall!
The Kitchen Desk area……..Between the kitchen and the dining room there is this desk. The cabinetry matches the kitchen and the top matched the original kitchen counter tops. Meg loves blue and has a wonderful old blue painted chest in her family room that she treasures. She had the idea to paint these cabinets in a blue to match that chest and I asked Jeff Ragland with HJ Holtz and Son to do it for me. As you can see he did a fabulous job. (www.hjholtzandson.com) I love the pleather tops anchored with nailheads – they kind of make the desk area look more like a desk and less like kitchen cabinetry.
The Kitchen Desk Area
Here is the blue chest – peeking out from behind this amazing table in the family room.
The wall opposite the desk……gobs of storage!
The Home Office.....At the back of the house there is this home office. It’s a place to work, escape, relax, get organized……..and a visual treat!
Guest Bedroom.....This guest bedroom and it’s adjoining bath are much more monochromatic than the rest of the house. The palette is quiet and subdued and so effective. I have used a Nobilis wood grain wallpaper here and I had it hung horizontally – I love the effect. In the bath I picked up the faux bois theme with a woodsy Cole and Son wallpaper.
Here is a photo of that same Nobilis wallpaper hung vertically – in another color.
Master Bedroom……..Here is a bed that I designed and had built by our fabricators. I love the sleigh style and the upholstered platform. Charlotte is right at home and looks even more lovely than usual (if that’s possible) surrounded by these colors! These incredible antiques from Kim Faison (www.kimfaisonantiques.com) just make the room. There is a desk, a coffer and several bible boxes in this photo. They are all great pieces individually – but together they make this room so interesting……and add a level of patina which is so pretty. The painting is by Bernard Martin. (www.reynoldsgallery.com)
I came across this book looking for inspiration the other day – it has long been a favorite of mine. It speaks of how important dogs are in our lives – how they influence not only how we live but what we collect and how we spend our time.
Living With Dogs Book Cover
In my work life I have been lucky to know many special dogs. I have noticed over the years that when the camera comes out – so do the dogs…….I don’t know why – but they do! They make an interior shot so much more interesting – they just infuse it with their personalities!
Here are some photos of the dogs I look forward to seeing when I visit their homes……I will add to this because there are many more – I just need to photograph them!
Ranch Dogs – L to R - Ginny, Annie, Jody, Mac
Here is Miss Rhoda Linskey of Newport Beach California!
Other dogs in my life…….
My first dog (child)!
Chisholm – Choonie – 1974 – 1982
TI with Scout on her wedding day!
Hero and Mouse in Central Park
Pasha and Deeba
THIS IS MY GRANDSON!
JAMES BURGESS GREGORY, IV
Born July 25th, 2011
I have ALWAYS been lucky when it comes to business associates. I had a wonderful partner for many years – and I have had some fabulous women who have been design assistants over the years. They are all friends and I treasure each of them. Here is my current team……
Ti Hensby – Design Associate
Megan Lowden – Lowden Design Consulting - Consultant
Lizzie Cox - Design Assistant
My office has evolved as my business has grown. I think it’s at it’s best right now so I’m posting some photos of my design studio.
We have lots of space – well appropriated - thanks to Megan’s planning and one great trip to IKEA!
Here are some views...
Here is an article from the July issue of R.HOME Magazine. It features my son Jamie Gregory and his wife Neil Bowen Gregory and their loft in downtown Richmond. I am so excited to have them in Richmond and am anxious to welcome my first grandchild any day now! I hope you enjoy their loft!
While we're on the subject of my children, here's the rest of my family...
This is my oldest son Ernie Dettbarn and is wife Sarah. Ernie is a successful and hard working Realtor. Sarah is a special, caring Nurse specializing in Cardiac Critical Care. They live here in Richmond in a darling house with their dog Boozie and are so much fun to be with. This year they will celebrate their 4th wedding anniversary.
This is my daughter Lindsay Dettbarn. Lindsay lives in New York City ( I love to visit) and works in management for Equinox Fitness – she loves it all – the city and the job! She is really talented and so incredibly fit and just plain wonderful. Brains and Beauty!!
This is my baby Charlie Dettbarn. Charlie lives in Charleston, South Carolina ( I love to visit) where she works for Merrill Lynch as a broker’s assistant. She is obsessed with music in general and Widespread Panic in particular and is about the coolest 25 year old girl I know......and she will always be my baby!
Here is my favorite photo of them together...I had to embarass them just a little!
Here is a photo of my dogs Sabrina (black) and Winnie (Beagle). Sabrina was found by my daughter Lindsay in a box by the side of the road in August of 1996. She was with two litter mates and we guessed them to be barely 6 weeks old. Lindsay found homes for two but brought the smallest one home that night until we could place her......obviously we placed her in our home - with our very old arthritic Lab Lucky......they became great friends and she totally won my heart. Several years later - Lucky had passed away - I saw Winnie's photo on a cash register in a cooking shop - I had gone in to buy a soup pot and ended up with a Beagle that day. The photo caption said "please rescue me and save my life." She was full grown - but malnourished and very sick - she had also been bitten by a snake and her face was swollen. We guessed her to be a year or two. That was the summer of 2000. Winnie and Sabrina became best friends......as you can see! They were just the best dogs - easy going - helpful in the office - where they slept all day! Sabrina died in December of 2010 and Winnie died in April. They both had cancer and went quickly after being diagnosed. I once posted this photo on my website and said that they were the standard by which I judged real beauty - inside and out - and they were just that.
This is Prunella Gregory (Prunie). She is about 2 years old. She was found with 3 other dogs in a dumpster in southwest Virginia - they had been thrown away. I rescued her and she is in the process of rescuing me right back!
Please adopt and contribute to your SPCA and any other rescue organization you know of - there are so many pets out there that need loving homes. We - their owners - get back so much more than we give.
I was in Los Angeles recently attending West Week at the PDA (pacificdesigncenter.com) . My good friend Coleen Rider (coleenandcompany.com) made sure that I went everywhere important! We attended events at the PDA and shopped all over West Hollywood. We visited Peter Dunham at Hollywood at Home (hollywoodathome.com) where I fell in love with these mid-century chairs covered in his Fig Leaf pattern.
Mid-Century chair in Peter Dunham's "Fig Leaf"
We visited Lucas Studio (lucasstudioinc.com) where Coleen’s fabulous products are carried. We also shopped at Nathan Turner’s (nathanturner.com) where Lars Bolander was introducing his new book Scandinavian Design. The book is fabulous – he has an incredible sophistication about his work – combining his native Swedish style with all things wonderful and decorative from all over the world.
The cover of his book shows a lovely green room – which is a happy color for me.
The leaves in Peter’s Fig fabric are a yummy green – with just the right amount of blue. This got me thinking about my green dining room. The walls, curtains and ceiling have been green for over 20 years!
Peter Dunham's Fig Leaf
*photograph by Kip Dawkins
Here is a photo of my dining room. The table is dressed for spring – I love to arrange vignettes on my table seasonally or for events.
*photograph by Kip Dawkins
This time I put cuttings from my Otto Luyken Laurel hedges – which surround my house on three sides – into fabulous vases by Anthony Choi. Anthony is an artist who completed his MFA here in Richmond at VCU. He is represented by Reynolds Gallery. (reynoldsgallery.com)
*photograph by Kip Dawkins
The etching hanging over the server is by Donald Sultan. It is called Mimosa - it looks crisp by day and shimmery by night. It also came from Reynolds Gallery. I love the way this modern piece lives with pieces of my figural Majolica collection which are 150 years old! – the candle holders are handmade by Roman Raygoza.
*photograph by Kip Dawkins
Here is a long shot of the table showing the vases, a wonderful big jar by Stephen Glass – available through Quirk Gallery in Richmond (quirkgallery.com)
*photograph by Kip Dawkins
The green grounds everything and what doesn’t go with green? Honestly – to me it is a neutral. It looks classic and updated – the perfect combination. I even have a green laptop cover!
p.s. Liz needs no introduction…….against this green hedge she is ravishing!
R HOME MAGAZINE - Traditional with a Twist
Here is a house recently published in a local magazine called RHome. The house is in an area of Richmond that is called "The Fan". The Fan is actually shaped like a fan - with triangular shaped parks that dictate the shape of the area. It is a lovely neighborhood with tree lined streets and homes that range in age from the early 1800's to the turn of the last century. Our famous Monument Avenue is part of The Fan District.
This home is all about color and as you can see, the owners are fun, creative and adventuresome! There are more photos of this home in the portfolio section.
*photographs by Barry Fitzgerald
SMITHSONIA – A GROOVY GREEK REVIVAL, Virginia Living Magazine
This home – in Fredericksburg, Virginia – was built in 1834. The town has grown up around it and now it sits proudly right in the downtown area. Restaurants, banks and antique shops surround it. I love the way houses can reinvent themselves through new owners. This young family has improved this house with wonderful new bathrooms and a modern kitchen, yet the character of the house remains what it has always been - classic. There are more photos of this house in my portfolio. As seen in Virginia Living Magazine, February 2010.
*photographs by Kip Dawkins
My lovely client