Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Feature with Van Collier Design

Hello all my dear friends and Happy Friday to you! Where has the time gone? It has been days since I have posted and I swear it seems just like yesterday. All is busy on the home front, everyone is keeping me on my toes, never a dull moment around here! 
A few Fridays have lapsed since I have featured a designer so I am ecstatic to bring you today a very creative, and talented, designer/artist from NC. I first came across VanCollier through Eatman's Inspire Me blog and colleague Betty Eatman Nelson. She sang the praises of Beth VanCollier and I quickly learned why. Not only is Beth an interior designer in Eastern NC but she is part of the duo VanCollier with her husband Chris that creates one of a kind accessories and furniture inspired from nature. I adore the Ginkgo Collection which includes a martini table, coffee table, sconces, and an extraordinary chandelier. These pieces are a designer's dream come true because they are unique and have character, many times difficult to find. I am very much looking forward to following VanCollier and seeing where life leads this talented duo.
Beth was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and give us a glimpse into her life as to what inspires her...I think you will be inspired too.
Thank you Beth!

Where are you from? 

Iʼm from the original Washington, North Carolina. Yes, our town claims to be the first
Washington in America. My family and I renovated and live in the Old Tayloe Hospital on Main Street. The first floor houses our design business, the second floor is where we live and the third floor is our design studio where we fabricate several of our designs.

What led you into art and design? 

Design is my life. I was lucky enough to be born into a family of artists and musicians.
They continuously influenced me with color and rhythm. My father is Dutch and my mother is Southern. My childhood was a collision of 17th century Dutch still life paintings meet Pepsi and peanuts.

3. Describe your style.

My style is all about seeking out and collecting the unusual and unpredictable, yet it
has to be approachable, tangible. I love the search, the journey; it all makes my mind tick. Iʼm forever saying that a room should never dominate conversation. It should be sublimely comfortable for active lifestyles. My style is a bit like fashion, building a look around textures, colors and layering different things together carefully, choosing the perfect accessory. I would also say classic with a modern edge and particular attention to detail.

What are some of your favorite looks, accessories, items? 

For looks, I have to say Belgian designer and antiques dealer, Axel Vervoordtʼs
Venetian Palazzo on the Grand Canal. He has an incredible apartment on the piano nobile of the 15th c. Palazzo Alvera. It breathes of Heaven.
Favorite items : Louis XVI Bergeres, 17th century Flemish ebonized mirrors (Amy Perlin Antiques has the best), Fabrics from Fortuny, Linens from Rogers & Goffigon, Fine Paints of Europe, Oushak carpets, Heirloom silver, nubby Ginkgo branches and their leaves, Christian Liaigreʼs Parchemin console and found objects from the shoreline.

What other artists, designers do you admire and influence you? 

Most of all, I admire my husband, Chris Collier; he is my total inspiration and I am
overwhelmingly tickled he developed a line of furniture for VanCollier. Both Chris and I are indebted to our Uncle Jim Hawes of Caldwell-Beebe, Ltd. Uncle “Skip” continues to be our invaluable wealth of design knowledge, along with his shrewd guidance and, simply, his “stellar style” rocks!
Artist Willem de Kooning never fails to send me into the deep crevices of my mind. Love the classic designer Mr. Billy Baldwin; he was brilliant. A more recent influence is the decorative French artist, Claude Lalanne, who created beautiful and delicate organic furniture and accessories.

 What or who do you look to for inspiration?

The Greek and Roman section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Corcoran, Gagosian Gallery, Robert Miller Gallery and the MOMA.
I Love Blogs~ Life of Style and What is James Wearing? are favorites! All of my shelter magazines littered in my office are inspirational, especially World of Interiors. Designer books are great reads, as well as looking at their projects. I recently purchased Billy Baldwin: The Great American Decorator, Downtown Chic by New York City–based couple Robert and Cortney Novogratz and Bunny Williams: Scrapbook for Living. When I get a skinny minute, Iʼll quickly search 1stdibs or Architectural Digestʼs new site. Peg Russell is revamping AD and I love it. After searching through all the sites and blogs, I feel as if I have shopped the globe without leaving the office. Now, only my eyes are feeling the exhaustion.

A Day in the life of vanCollier

 Emails, texts, phone calls, installations, and client meetings fill much of most days.
These are the first items to check off the list each day after we get our two boys off to school. Currently, we are in production of vanCollier Designs furniture line. Lots of driving to the various workshops checking on designs and answering questions from the artists and craftsmen we rely on.

Describe your personal fashion. 

Since I am a little over 5ʼ tall, I tend to wear platforms year round. I wear simple solid
designs and accessorize with earrings, from gold to animal tusks. Currently, I am working on a side project with the company, Taylor & Strand, who produce soft furnishings, accessories, and clothing. I am excited about the design of a tunic, which is made from marbleized silk, with French cuffs.

What can we expect to see in the future from vanCollier? 

More of the Ginkgo Collection, which will include standing lamp, side table, bed,
bookshelves, and a hanging fixture. The Malcolm Collection, which is our twist on Southern heritage, will consist of lighting, tables, and chairs. The Kountouris Line features coffee tables, tray table, and bench. Our upholstered collection consists of the Tuki sofa and Henk armchair. We are always exploring new ideas for future designs. Some of completed pieces are on display and for sale at Eatmanʼs in Raleigh.

What books or magazines do you have on your nightstand?

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton, Elle Decor, High Point Market Preview,
AD, British House and Garden, Veranda, the Bible, Michael Smith: Houses, House & Gardenʼs Complete Guide to Interior Decoration, Style by John Saladino....

 The Ginkgo Collection

The VanCollier Portfolio

All images courtesy of VanCollier

Some pieces may be seen and purchased through Eatman's Carpet and Interiors
Contact VanCollier

Monday, March 21, 2011

Go Bold or Go Home

Oh yeah, Spring is here, and it really does a body good! In honor of the new season and all that it embodies, from this day forward I vow to go bold or go home.

Luscious prints from Designers Guild

Stunning looks from Jil Sander

A fruity confection by Stella McCartney

Images courtesy of, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Lonny

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Paley's Paradise

Good afternoon, Happy Wednesday to you. How is everyone's week shaping up? Mine seems to be flying by and I have been rather busy around here! 
While perusing through my blog roll today I noticed over on India Hicks blog one of my favorite images of socialite Babe Paley at her Round Hill, Jamaica home by the famed photographer Slim Aarons in 1959. Immediately 2 of my favorite mentions so I scrolled through for more information. It seems that India has just returned from a Jamaican mini vaca and that she was able to get her relax on in this iconic home of Paley's. 
Unfortunately for me, things don't always stay the same (50+ years) and the groovy house as seen below has been transformed into....

this serene, white, island chic retreat. Don't get me wrong, I would definitely stay here, twist my arm, but I really love the look of Paley's swanky island oasis. What do you think? Would you like to step back in time or do you prefer the new Round Hill, Jamaica home?

Images courtesy of India Hicks

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Charleston Cool

Hello all my friends and Happy Sunday! What a gorgeous day here in NC. I normally do not post on weekends or Sundays for that matter but I was a wee bit busy this last week and I am sitting outside catching up on blogs with my coffee and couldn't resist a hello.
Do you ever have that feeling when you have so much to say and just can't decide on one thing or how to say it and so you just don't at all? Well I have been that way about blogging recently, completely overwhelmed with ideas but lacking focus or direction on where I want to go with it. There are so many wonderful sources of inspiration for me out there when I go through my blog roll, magazines, and daily surroundings... I just want to share it all with you! 

While researching for a client I came across the images of a remodeled, gorgeous Charleston home for author, singer/songwriter Carolyn Evans and her family. Upon further investigation I realized I had seen a recent post on Style Court and that indeed the house had been designed by Angie Hranowsky. I love the simple and stylish decor, not fussy but calm and very laid back cool. The one thing in this home that speaks to me is the beautiful bottle cap portrait over the mantle in the living room by Charleston artist Molly B. Right. It is unique and makes such a powerful statement. Below are images from Southern Living and if you want to see more of this stunning home on Pitt Street go Here.

Here is another home where Hranowsky used bottle cap art by Molly B. Wright and a close-up of the portrait showing the cap detail.

Below is a favorite of mine featured on her website...I do have a birthday coming up. Hint?

Enjoy your day

Images courtesy of Southern Living, Angie Hranowsky, and Molly B. Wright

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thursday Treat

Okay something has gotta give and I don't mean the movie even though I do love Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton, what a great movie...oh back to the subject, of the weather, blah, what to wear, the flu bug that has run rampant in my house and now has another one down this week, my husband, and there was something else that has escaped me lucky for you. Sorry for my short pointless rant and there are definitely worse things happening in the world so I will look to the positive. Wouldn't it be fabulous to hop a plane and escape to Lyford Cay for a bit.
The amazing Tom Scheerer has been renovating the exclusive club in the Bahamas and renovating other island homes in the area for the better part of 10 years. Lyford Cay is also featured in this month's Town and Country. I think Mr. Scheerer did a grand job just like the supposed height of those 20 ft tall palm trees and how I adore the antique glass over the fireplace! Oh, the details, enjoy...  

Photos courtesy of LuluDk and Tom Scheerer

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I'm in a mood

Elle Decor

With the buds starting to bloom and spring on the horizon I am in the mood for more purple in my palette. The chic room above by designer Katie Ridder speaks to me with just the right hue of lavender, accented in luscious oranges, patterns, and layered with beautiful accessories. I am ready to paint the town...any takers?

Friday, March 4, 2011


Happy Friday my dear friends and followers. I hope this week has treated you well and you have a wonderful weekend ahead. Not much time for posts this week, trying to stay on top of the game but I have been out and about "shopping" for clients this week and have seen so many fun things and tons of inspiration. It is always the thrill of the hunt for me that really gets me going, finding the perfect piece and the satisfaction when you do is the best feeling!
Today I am taking a break from my feature while I catch up from the week and plan for the Mr.'s birthday this weekend but stay tuned in the weeks ahead, there is a line-up you will not want to miss.

In case you are not in the blogging world or don't follow the colorful Mrs. Wearstler, the Kelly Wearstler that is, she has added a blog, My Vibe My Life to her website. It gives you a very interesting glimpse into the inspiration behind her designs and shows you that she is in fact very hands own in the creative process, example with some of the metals she uses. A shot of her office shows work tables with "vibe trays" which are individual trays containing fabric, trim, and wallpaper samples along with any other ideas that go with the project.

A vibe tray for a living room in a Miami villa 

Wearstler's work tables with the "vibe trays"

Not only is Wearstler an accomplished designer but she has bridged over into the fashion world with her own brand of ready to wear clothing that debuted Fashion Week. Everyone went crazy when the above picture surfaced and Wearstler was wearing her own flamestitch fabric for Lee Jofa as a skirt so it only seems natural for her to share her style. The word is the collection will be sold at Bergdorf Goodman and I can't wait to see for myself!

The presentation in a space she designed.

Below are reflections on Wearstler's fearless, bold, and beautiful designs including her home, the Viceroy Miami HotelThe Tides Miami to name a few. I would just love to spend the day inside her mind or just hang with her, not asking for much! 

Happy Weekend

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