The Glamorous New Christopher Guy Showroom in High Point, NC

“In every culture decorative heirlooms define a Nation in much the same way as it’s music, poets and writers do.”-Christopher Guy

If you don’t already know who Christopher Guy is, I mean seriously where have you been? I’ve always admired the chic and sophisticated furniture designs that are Christopher Guy. Arriving at High Point Saturday morning all anyone was talking about was the new showroom to be opened that evening. Stumbling upon the showroom while making our first round through High Point, I can honestly say the jaws of both my team and myself dropped. The exterior of the building alone was enough to stop us in our tracks. We knew we would be attending the grand opening that evening there was no question.

Guy was born in Britain and raised in France, with a background like that I can’t even imagine the incredible fine furnishings this man will continue to offer long after he’s gone. Guy originally entered the furnishing world with a long line of decorative mirrors. We will forever be grateful that he transitioned into creating upholstery, dining tables, headboards and countless other chic furnishings. His patented leg design “Chris-X” is an easily recognizable element to many of his furniture pieces.He says “Elegance, sophistication and grace have always transcended cultural heirlooms; my objective has been to transfer this into my own distinct decorative furnishing style.”


Please believe me when I say he does just that in each and every piece he has ever released. During High Point along with his impeccable showroom 80 new pieces from his “Mademoiselle” collection made their debut to the design world. The Mademoiselle collection has over 700 designs and is CG’s take on what CoCo Chanel’s home would be decorated like today. The collection is a where elegance meets edge and continues to daze designers all over the world.

Photos Courtesy of Instagram

For The Love of Leather!

We’ve been swooning over leather for some time now but these leather chandeliers from Ngala Trading Company, take the cake. We all know that a selfie just isn’t a selfie without great lighting. I’m an avid lover of selfies, great lighting, and nice leather. Thanks to Ngala Trading Co, the lighting just got even better. In 2013 the team opened their first interior design and home furnishings business out of a small store in Johannesburg, South Africa. They blended modern American pieces with a bold African twist.

  

Leather has always been one of the top “go-to” materials for use in the design world. The Urchin Oval Chandelier starts at around a Jimmy Choo hand bag, The Whisper Leather Chandelier would run you around a Louis Vuitton clutch,The Urchin Leather looks more like an Hermes Birkin, and the Crochet Leather Pod looks like those retro metallic Gucci low top platforms you’ve had your eye on. You would think that leather should basically be a free product of the food industry. McDonalds, Wendy’s, and Burger King alone kill enough cows annually to keep chandeliers hanging above us all. However, leather is still very expensive. You’ll spend at least two hundred bucks or more for a quality leather jacket. Unlike cotton, linen and wool, there's only so much leather per cow. Once you eat the cow,  you've got to grow another one to get more leather. Who has the time or patience? I'm sure it's more expensive to raise cows than to grow cotton or flax. The leather lamps are a totally different story. We understand that the bulk of the cost isn’t the leather but for the amazing craftsmanship and time put into these beauties. 100% of Ngala Trading’s products are made by hand in South Africa. Ngala Trading carries a wide variety of skulls and skins. They also use exotic indigenous materials such as feathers, ostrich eggs, leather, porcupine quills, suede,and horns to make lighting, furniture and decor. They are not only functional but gorgeous statement pieces.

The two american partners wanted to bring the beautiful culture and wonderful design to the forefront. They’re extremely choosy in selections and partners. Taking pride in how they weave together Europe in Africa in a perfect and sophisticated design ethos. The safari  look is a perfect mix of cool, relaxing, and chic. “It is neither colonial nor primitive but indigenous of Africa”. The amazingly crafted products are handcrafted from start to finish in Johannesburg, South Africa, and are 100% organic.

  

The leather chandelier comes in five different sizes and are designed for you and your space. The chandeliers are handmade with varying lengths of stripped leather. This creates layers of texture and movement. It gives off a low ambient glow and looks amazing when viewing from below. The standard color is cream. But black and grey are also available for an additional charge. If you’re interested in these overhead beauties, you can head over to www.Ngalatrading.com to snatch one up!

Photos Courtesy Instagram

Written By Keia McSwain

SMART INNOVATIONS Inside the 2017 HGTV SMART HOME

The  Interior Designer  in me is always focused on the décor side of homes, whether it be in Architecture or the furniture and accessories in the home. I would definitely say I’m borderline obsessed.You can imagine when I got a phone call from my boss saying “Book a flight to Arizona for March 15th” I didn’t hesitate.I know that she knows i’m obsessed with anything interiors or home in general. When I finally had a chance to look at the email for the event I was attending I SCREAMED! I was going to have the opportunity to preview the Smart Home alongside Tiffany Brooks and the vendors at media day for you guys. Especially for HGTV, it honestly is still a dream come true.

I’ll admit, I didn’t know exactly what to expect but I decided to keep an open mind and take it all in.  Did I mention Tiffany Brook’s one of The Top 20 African American designers and one of my design idols was the designer in this show home, I was all in!. I literally came home from our team retreat in Atlanta Tuesday morning (Since I missed my flight Monday night, rolls eyes). Actually went out and got a little work done,  luckily it was Spring break so there was no class.I was in bed early  and up in time for my 5AM flight!

 

I wouldn’t trade the lack of sleep for the experience. I mean who doesn’t love a beautifully decorated space? I didn’t expect to be so interested in the tech, but once I was there I was blown away by the amazing Tech features the home had to offer. Carley Knobloch a digital lifestyle expert, was the brains behind the strategically placed tech throughout the home. What makes it a Smart Home is the way that all of the “Smart” elements of the home were integrated into the décor seamlessly.

1. A personal favorite of mine that was featured throughout the home is from Legrand. Legrand is a company that creates power and lighting systems that promise to transform spaces in the home or work environment. Legrand both promises and delivers when it comes to creating a product that any customer can use in any space they choose. Throughout the Smart Home, the Radiant and Adorne collection were used to enhance the decorative and technical necessities specifically in the bathroom areas.

Powder room

Powder room

2. Equally as impressive, anyone of us would love to have in our home. It was a Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge. Samsung’s Family Hub Smart Refrigerator is a fridge that connects to the Wi-Fi in your home. It’s equipped with a large screen with Pandora, a place for you to leave notes and your family’s schedule. Let just say the days of me “Being Mary Jane” and covering my fridge in sticky notes will soon be over!

Kitchen

Kitchen

3. Third on my list has to be the Kohler Numi toilet which is toilet is amazing in so many ways. one of them being each user can fine tune they’re on specific settings. Yes, settings on a toilet that senses you coming and lifts the toilet see for you! The Numi also offers music through Bluetooth or an SD card you can add your own playlist too. The best part of the Numi is undoubtedly the heated seats because I can’t imagine anything better than having a warm surface to welcome you in the middle of those freezing nights. This luxury was obviously reserved for the incredible master bath!

Master bathroom

Master bathroom

 

4. No Smart Home is complete without a “Tech Closet”, this is one element that continued to draw my attention in the home. Many of us get our TV’s installed and “hide the wires” but with a tech closet you can literally hide every cable and or audio box in the house. The closet is carefully tucked away in the neutral but lively home office.

Office

Office

 

5. Last but not least,  my absolute favorite tech element in the home was The Dacor Discovery WineStation. Yes, WineStation people this is not a drill! I saw it, I touched it and yes it is real.I have been plotting on how I can incorporate it into my one bedroom since leaving Arizona. The WineStation is the first automated, temperature controlled preservation system. It can hold four bottles and each bottle can be set to its specific type and will remain fresh for up to 60 days.


 

Wet bar

Wet bar

If you’re impressed by these head over to the HGTV website to see what other amazing items are in the home. #myiconicihome and let us know which tech in the house is your favorite.

IN THE STUDIO WITH ARTIST JON MOODY

Art in any form is essential to the soul. I didn't know much about art growing up.  I wasn't surrounded by art in my home and never gave much thought to the people who were spending millions of dollars to outfit their homes. Working for an interior design firm, going to an art school, and working here at Iconic Home has changed all of that.  I have an appreciation for artist who use all sorts of methods to express themselves. 

Each month Iconic Home Magazine will showcase an artist who creates with no boundaries. We want to introduce you to up and coming artist and give you a way to purchase the things you love for your space. It's our way of changing the narrative about art and what a powerful piece can do to lift up your space. 

 January Artist of the month:  JON MOODY

Moody was raised in New Orleans where he began developing his artist skills at an early age. He is often referred to as “The Artist Athlete” while pursuing his BA in Visual Effects at Savannah College of Art and Design he also ran track.

Eventually gaining his Masters in painting Moody returned to New Orleans where he was contacted by Pepsi to do the art dome at The Voodoo Fest, a long running New Orleans tradition.  He has painted exclusive commisions for  rappers and entertainers Lil Wayne and Future. A highlight of his career has been having his work grace the walls of The White House.   Moody's popularity increased when another one of his pieces was chosen for the award winning set of the hit show "Empire." 

His work is bold and unique which he has branded “Splash Style” What sets him apart from other young artist is his ability to cover political, social and cultural issues in this unique  way.

You can check out all of his work on Instagram or even purschase your own special painting on his website!

BOSS Books for a BOSS LIFE: These Female Entrepreneurs Show Us How It's DONE!

In my personal opinion Entrepreneurs are a special group of people who choose to chase their wildest dreams. It is a noun defined as; a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. Being an aspiring Interior Designer I have decided I’ll one day take the entrepreneual route for my career.

I follow hundreds of people especially those who have worked day and night to create their own business and succeeded in their industry. Three women however are on my daily watch list, I look at their social media accounts at least once a day. I like to know everything about them, what they’re working on, when they work out and even what they eat. I believe in studying those who you wish to someday be like, and let’s just say I would love to drive a Benz and charter a private flight in the future.

Claire Sulmers founder of The Fashion Bomb blog has over 2.4 million combined followers on her social media accounts. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Romance Language and African American Studies. She has even been the recipient of several awards including Black Blogger of the month by Black Enterprise.

You can get her Memoir and Self Help Book “The Bomb Life. My Brand. My Terms.” For only $20. In this Memoir she gives us a real life tour of how she rose to the top of her industry. She also gives some insider tips on blogging and building a following! 

Kristi Jackson is an Elite Business Strategist with an MBA in Business Administration and Marketing and a BA in computer science. Her business is literally everyone else’s, Kristi has built a career helping others build their own. She has worked with many top brands including Capitol One, Apple and The White House.

Kristi has several books you can purchase on her website Women CEO Project along with one on one and group coaching sessions. 

Olori Swank “The Black Girl with the Blue Hair” is a former pre-med graduate with a BA in Psychology turned celebrity fashion stylist. She has had the privilege to work with the likes of KeKe Palmer, Lance Gross, Christiana Milian and many others. Her work has been showcased on CNN, OWN, BET and more.

Her new book “101: The Blueprint for a SWANK Life” is full of advice based on her journey to success. She also includes great tips on diet, fashion and even how to get perfect eyebrows. She left no rock unturned as she gives advice on subjects we forget contribute to our overall success.

Check out all of these women and let us know which Boss Female Entrepreneur is your favorite!

 

Photos Courtesy of personal websites and Instagram @Oloriswank @ClaireSulmers @WomenCeoProject

All I Want For Christmas: Simone Roberts

1. So I've been sporting the same sneakers (gray new Balance or my gray Nike's) for several years, and they were holding up great until recently. Now they are talking! I must have overworked them because they have a whole bunch of stuff to say.  (giggle) But for some reason, it seems like a low priority item because I'm not a sneaker person like that, but they are a vital necessity for the comfort of my feet especially with long days at work.

2. In February I am scheduled to move, so I'm looking for a new place that suits this new season of my life. I would love a place that inspires creativity, is spacious with tons of ample storage for business stuff, is full of light and life (animals, birds, flowers, plants, etc. own, outdoor life), easy accessible to highways and reasonably close to work, with a real yard not this BS condo lawns. Truthfully, I desire a house of my own permanent dwelling place. My crazy believing friend Kimberly says to believe that someone will just give me a place, so that's what I'm doing Santa, requesting a Home and believing I will have it! :) 

3. OMG DO I NEED A VACATION!! 

I have had a passport since I was a month old and traveling a few months later. I was taking road trips with my dad starting probably at the age of 6! So how and why is it that I have no passport and have not left the country, never mind the state in over 6 years!!??? I will be prepared for my gift to sunny somewhere! Before 2016 ends, have a passport in hand and will be ready to jet-set and get my road trip on again!

4. I never was a boots person, but always appreciated how cute and sexy they looked on others. But last year I was going through a lazy just want to be comfortable stage and was tired of sneakers and my feet being cold, so I broke down and bought a pair. Oh, Lord, why did I do that!?? I am in love!!! It is the best thing ever and so comfortable! Perfect for work, walking and still have my legs looking cute and warm at the same time! :) So a few more pairs will be greatly appreciated! 

5. Desperately, in need of some new work clothes!!

I never wanted to be a standard corporate suit person, but lately, I have been struggling to become one! I thought I had a tight wardrobe before, but I have currently gotten a new job where being on point is stressed to the max. So weirdly, I am being morphed into this new mature, corporate look, but of course with some artistic subtleties! The plus side of it is I now have a legitimate reason to go shopping!! So wish #5 is to have an Olivia Pope wardrobe (especially the coats) chilling in my closet!!!

6. This was not my addition; Someone felt I needed to add it, though! I hate doing all that stuff on the phone that it can do, and I am starting to dislike having to answer a lot of emails or text messages on it.. so tiring! But to have on that takes better quality pictures would be nice. However, you will never catch me randomly buying on, hence why on the list! :)

 7. My favorite laptop (a gift from my brother) got destroyed a few years ago when a pipe burst in the apartment above and water came flowing down through the heat vent right onto my laptop!! Seriously!??? Nowhere else but on the laptop!! So I basically can't stand my replacement one. Refurbished isn't always the right and best move! 

8. Ummm, I didn't add this, Someone again felt this went hand in hand with the new wardrobe. (Shrug) I hardly use the what I do have! But I will say I have been stepping it up with putting on just my usual basics - lipstick and gloss, eyeliner, and mascara - but more focused on bolder lip colors and an occasional eyeshadow here and there, depending upon the mood and degree of tiredness on my face! 

9. The bag is a work necessity as well... Actually a life necessity! Some days I have to make multiple wardrobe changes or need to carry various small (or odd shaped) supply items with me, but I never have the right size bag to fit everything and always end up carry several smaller non-matching tote bags, hence acquiring the name bag lady :/ It does become a little frustrating carrying multiple things and having to borrow friend's bag and hear her grips as to how much the bag thing vexes her.

10. Who doesn't need tires!? And these jokers can add up, especially if you driving minimum 300 miles a week. I never remember having to change tires so often, not even when I was a road trip queen!!

All I want For Christmas: Ashley McClendon

Hello everyone! Ashley here.

I still honestly can't believe it's December let alone almost 2017! I've been so busy this year getting back into Design school and studying to become a Realtor. Which as of today I have officially passed both my National and State exam. (Takes a bow) 

This year has literally flown by, I'm both nervous and excited to see what the New Year holds. The editor called me one day to ask what was on my Christmas Wishlist and I had absouletly no idea. My birthday is also in December so I'm used to receiving one or no gifts at all I tend to accept whatever I'm given. Considering how busy my New Year is looking I went ahead and put together my own special list. I filled my list with things that would be useful for me the entire year!

 

  1. Selfie Case. This amazing and brilliant phone case created by Beyonce's very own makeup artist. I mean any girl who loves a good selfie understands the importance of good lighting! This case guarantees you get the best selfie no matter what the lighting around you is like!
  2. Rose Gold beats. Since I wear my beats to work out they have already gotten pretty worn over 2 years. Why not go for a beautiful rose gold pair to wear when I'm doing just about everything else? Considering that they are wireless and beautiful I think they would look great wrapped up and under my tree. 
  3. Rose Gold Macbook. So first off, yes I am addicted to Rose gold. If I could update all of my electronics to this finish that would make my year literally. I have had the same laptop for 4+ years and no doubt I love her. We've been through it all but it's definetly almost time to trade her up for something more stylish with more memory.
  4. Simple Human sensor mirror. Again with the perfect lighting, I am a makeup lover and the regular conair mirror has been with ,me for years. I've grown so much and became very skilled in applying my makeup. This mirror is sure to take me to the next level!
  5. Kate spade. I love all of my bags to be big. I am one of those girls who carries EVERYTHING and I do mean everything in my purse. Since I'm in school and doing design work, I need as much space as I can get.
  6. The Julia Desk. Getting back into writing this year has been so theraputic for me. I originally was going to college for Journalism but life had other plans for me. I already have the perfect spot in my living room for it, what better than a gorgeous and super chic desk for me to continue my writing?
  7. Canon EOS 2000. For years I have been contemplating getting into photography. I don't think I would do it professionally but I would love to be able to capture the world as I see it with something other than my Iphone camera. 
  8. 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Go big or go home right? The best thing Santa could tuck under my tree would be this beauty. I've been driving small 4 door cars since I was 16, in 2017 I think it's time to upgrade to something slightly bigger. I'll be making major career moves in the New Year and I would love to do them in my new jeep!

Keia McSwain: All I Want For Christmas

Hi! I'm Keia McSwain.  You can follow me on Instagram this year as I take a huge leap and jump head 1st into the interior design business. I love everything about design and can't wait to go deeper to share with you the things that make my heart beat.  2017 is all about learning.  I will be writing about my design discoveries and giving you unlimited access to my world.  I promise to bring you the excitement as it unfolds.  @KeiaLearnsDesign is about exploration and becoming a force in this industry.  I hope you find my Christmas list is as fun as I am,  a little over the top, and everything your 20's should be.

 

1. The Rihanna Vinyl Box Set. Riri shared all her black girl magic in 2016 with the anti-album! It's a must I have the vinyl collection to start 2017!

2.The Joycelyn Short Rabbit Fur I'd be fly all Winter in this multicolored baby!

3. 24kt Gold Shovel Pendant because 2017 is strictly about Goal Diggin'... 

4.Untitled 1960 print Jean-Michel Basquiat December 22, 1960, My favorite artist and fellow Capricorn was born. 

5.The Safavie -Suzanna Coffee Table I think I've been nice enough all year for this table!

6. Tiffany Solitaire Diamond Studs What girl doesn't love a little bling?

7.Goyard Monte Carlo Bois Clutch I can envision her with the Joycelyn Short Fur!

8.Just Cavalli suede fringe thigh high Fall/Winter 14' 15' line I could pair so many adorable outfits with these boots!

9. Red Nikon D5300 SLR This Nikon would be perfect for taking clear and crisp pics of different spaces!

10.Wine Velvet Creepers The creepers are the naughtiest thing on my list! 

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Perk up Your Guest Bedroom!

As the holiday season approaches and you have guests coming to visit, it's kind of unwelcoming to just rake all the crap that has accumulated in there over the past year onto the floor and offer that space to your guests as is.  I recognize that as a design professional, I make some people nervous about having me over.  But there's really no need.  I'm not at all overly formal about how people keep their homes.  It's just too much to worry about, when those who are interested in getting help call me.  What I am talking about is taking a few moments to think about the room and what you personally might want for yourself when you're away from home. 

Bedroom Designed by Elaine Griffin of Elaine Griffin Interiors

Bedroom Designed by Elaine Griffin of Elaine Griffin Interiors

Michel Smith Boyd (Atlanta) 

Michel Smith Boyd (Atlanta) 

For me, nothing spells out a good night's rest like great bedding, so that's my main thing. (Check out or Bedding By Malaysia Pargo post) Now, I'm not even talking about the size of the bed itself.  Truthfully, there are people who have the same size bed in both rooms, but simply don't think about sharing the good stuff with the guests.  I've stayed with people where I got extremely cold during the night (no cozy blanket to drowsily pull over my freezing body) or where the sheets were so rough, I'd rather forgo the pajamas and stay in my daytime clothes. 

Casa Vilora Interiors By Veronica Solomon 

Casa Vilora Interiors By Veronica Solomon 

If you think about it...when people come to visit, it's either for a celebration or a tragedy.  Both are occasions for something special.  I feel that if you are going to have a guest bedroom than it should be special.  I stayed with a friend in North Carolina once who allowed guests to stay in the daughter's room during visits.  That was an enjoyable stay for me because the bed was comfortable and the mother completely transformed the room before our arrival.  Nothing fancy mind you, just great sheets, a nice candle and flowers on the nightstand where those stacks of US Weekly would normally be.  

So what's enough?  First of all, stop thinking of the guest room as a catch-all for your old or odd furniture.  I am all for saving money in this room, but it doesn't have to be tacky.  Keep the bed and maybe lose the worn out mattress.  Replace the mirror over the dresser with a lovely piece of art.  Add lamps and family photos.  Think simple luxuries.  I love leaving photo albums of the family near the bed so my guests can see what the gang has been up to since their last visit.  If you're expecting guests over the next few days or weeks and are on a limited budget, consider the following tips for making your guest space more welcoming.

Sheila Bridges as featured in Elle Decor

Sheila Bridges as featured in Elle Decor

1. Clean up.  This might seem like a no-brainer, but you'll be surprised how many people don't think about this.  Unless you have guests on a regular, your spare room has probably collected a lot of dust!  Go into the space before your guest arrives and give it a good cleaning. Remember the blinds and window sills. They hold just enough dust to cause allergy flare-ups. 

2. De-clutter your space.  You've stored a lot of stuff in there all year long; I get it. Before your guest arrives is the perfect time to get things organized and finally give those things a home.  Donate what you no longer need. It will make you feel good, and your guests will sleep better with the fear of boxes tumbling down on their heads removed.

3. Change the sheets.  My mother does this right after guests leave, but still, puts fresh sheets on right before the next guest arrives. I love Egyptian cotton with a thread count around 600.  If I have time. I like to iron them and spray them with lavender. I'm a little obsessed because there are few things better than fresh sheets?

4. Make your guest comfortable.  I love to provide my guest 4. Make your guest comfortable.  I love to provide my guest with small luxuries like high-quality sheets and fresh flowers.  It's a gift that lets them know I'm glad they are there.  In addition to these things, I make sure the room has the necessities like a lamp and an alarm clock.

5. Light a candle.  Nothing says "come on in" as a welcoming aroma.  The warm, soft glow of a candle sets the tone for the relaxing evening you have planned for your family. I love "Green Tomato Leaf" by Jo Malone. I know you have a favorite candle, Why not share it with your guests? 

If you take a little time to incorporate this assortment of tips, your guests will undoubtedly leave your home having felt your love and feel greatly appreciative of the effort that you put into their stay.

Be inspired by these amazing bedrooms by a few of our favorite BID (Black Interior Designers)!  You can also find bedroom inspiration and more on our Pinterest page.

The 10 Times Marjorie Harvey's Space Was as Fabulous as She Is.

Marjorie Harvey

 There are few Instagram accounts I love more than that of Marjorie Harvey's.  Her personal style is top-notch, and I love how her lifestyle celebrates just how fun it is being a girl.  And while my friends go crazy over her fashion choices, I can't help but stare past the Gucci and Fendi to the lavish interiors in the background.

As an interior designer, I'm naturally drawn to beautiful spaces.  I am fascinated with them in fact.  You can often find me admiring a hotel lobby, completely taken in by stained glass windows, or smitten by the decor of a stylish boutique. I love it all.

I've selected my favorite images from Marjorie's Instagram page to show you just how often she gets the decor right.  I know you'll love them all as much as I do. If you can try to pick a favorite, Then leave a comment below to share your selection with us.  We have an office pool going in which I plan to win. 

Marjorie Harvey on ICONIC HOME Blog
Marjorie Harvey on Iconic Home Blog
Marjorie Harvey on ICONIC HOME BLOG
Marjorie Harvey on Iconic Home Blog
Marjorie Harvey on Iconic Home Blog

EXCLUSIVE BEDDING By Malaysia Pargo

Malaysia Pargo as most of us know her rose to fame after starring on 'Basketball Wives LA' since 2011. Malaysia is not just your everyday "reality TV star, she is a independent woman who wears many hats. 

Pargo was also a model and she is also a benevolent philanthropist. Her children being her most precious gift, played a key role and one of successful business ventures. Malaysia started Three Beats Jewelry in 2011. This being her emergence into express her on creativity through the finer things. Her knack for being stylish and luxurious have inspired her to dabble in the home decor lane.

Who doesn't love a good bed set? We work hard and should definitely be rewarded for that!Coming home after your long day to a bed set for the queen that you are (adjust's crown}. A bed covered in the finest quality that can compete with the best in style but not in your bank account.

 Malaysia's most recent venture is luxury and affordable bedding. She has a variety of colors, patterns and textures. With style like Malaysia's it's hard to not be this brilliant. Pargo has created a product that will become immutable in its' on lane of home decor. 

 Head over to her website Malaysiapargo.com to see the entire collection. Let us know what some of your favorites are!

THRONE UPHOLSTERY: The Statement Chairs You Need!

Everyone loves a good chair, but a great chair, a brilliant chair can recreate your space!

When I want to get excited about new projects I often seek out unique and exotic items,rooms and home decor. It is the small details in complexity that create beauty after all. I recently came across somewhat of a "Chair heaven" if you will on Etsy.com

(Iconic Tip: When you need to jump start your own creativity, search for items along with terms like "Unique" "Creative" "Exotic".

The instagram page left me in awe and feeling super inspired moving into my newer projects. Watching the designer of these incredibly unique chairs share her vision with the world. Even letting us in on bits and pieces of her process! The use of materials like fur and feathers combined with leather, paint and even fishing nets. Yes fishing nets! You have to head over and see for yourself, let us know what you think!

Indulge  @ThroneUpholstery   on Instagram

Shop at ThroneUpholstery on Etsy

BOOKS TO COLLECT: A Possession Obsession

Monica Rich Kosann, a New York native is fluent in the language of creativity. Hypothetically speaking if creativity was actually a language Kosann would have mastered it 1ox over. 

Monica began developing  her career as a photographer at only 16. She studied at many places in order to perfect her craft. Her unique perspective on photography and creating images that could serve as heirlooms, made her an extremely demanded photographer. 

Possession Obsession Cover Image

She launched her jewelry line in 2003 inspired by her ability to create photographs that would travel from generation to generation. "Can a woman give this piece to her daughter in 20 years?", is her driving question when she creates any of her exquisite pieces. She prides herself on creating beautiful and truly unique heirlooms. 

Her latest jewel isn't even a piece of jewelry. It is a book titled "A possession obsession." Kosann created a collection of those who collect. In the book released November 2nd, Kosann highlights the things we hold close to our hearts and the reasons why. 

The book includes interviews with the likes of Usher, Judge Judy and many more. Check out the entire website at  MonicaRichKosann.com! 

Ushaer Rayomond for Possession Obession

QUEEN SUGAR INSPIRED DECOR

Farmhouse Chic

If you’re anything like me which I know you are, you love your TV dramas. I try not to collect too many shows on my must watch list, but after everyone I knew from any and everywhere were talking about Queen Sugar I had to sit down and watch it. The new contemporary drama is a master collaboration from Ava Duvernay and Oprah Winfrey. These two talented women took the novel written by Natalie Baszile and transformed it into a work of art. The show explores many social issues at the surface of today. We have a look at deep culture, the complexity of families, race and much more in this revolutionary TV series.

desk // sofa // coffee table //  chandelier //  faux ficus tree //  writing desk //  velvet chair //  paint //  drapery fabric //  pillows //

The show is set in St.Josephine Louisiana it opens up with a glimpse into the lives of the Bordelon children. three children who moved on to three separate lives all bound by the love of their father. Watching a father deny money from a daughter who had more than she could spend. A daughter who despite of being of sound couscous mind bowed at the feet of a married man. Lastly the baby brother who despite his on flaws and obstacles, giving his all in raising his own son.

Despite the harsh realities it’s easy to grasp the overall theme of Queen Sugar, love. Real emotion, real love and real life are all key factors in creating the the captivating drama. Keep in mind all of the episodes in the first season were directed by women, which gives you another amazing reason to watch.

The show honestly swept me away from beginning to end and the Designer in me could not resist creating a couple of chic cozy spaces inspired by the Deep South and all of it’s richness. You can build beautiful spaces inspired by the show right from your home, super easy and super chic! You can literally shop both of these rooms without even pausing the latest episode of Queen Sugar.

sink // mirror // toiletry table //  faucet // fabric // vanity // art // lighting //  tile (3) //  floor tile (5) //  Towel Holder // paint // chair //

SHOPPING: Where We Are Buying Pillows This Fall.

From the moment I received the new William Sonoma Home fall catalog, I have been obsessing over their new pillow and throw offerings.  From velvets to ultra luxurious cashmere, I just want them all.  I usually struggle with retail offerings when it comes to soft goods like pillows and blankets, opting to have pillows made for my clients instead of buying them off the shelf.    This year I'll be saving time and money because these pillows have everything I look for when adding those final touches to my client's home.

 

1. Solid cashmere pillow with piping / Hand Stitched 520-gram-weight cashmere.

2. Quilted Velvet pillows - Love this! / Cotton velvet which makes it super soft.

3. Velvet pillow cover with linen backing / Great selection of fall colors like Terracotta and Sangria

4. Pleated velvet pillow with linen backing /  Another great way to add velvet to your fall decor.

Mixing and matching is even easier this season with the different shapes and styles of the fall collections.  Choose from handwoven leather, mohair with contrast edge, printed velvets, faux fur, embroidered velvets or crossover stripe pillow covers.

This Tibetan cloud embroidered velvet cover is one of my favorites.  I love the movement of the clouds and the gold embroidery.  Why have a silver lining when you can have a gold one?

All images William Sonoma Home

To purchase any of these spectacular pillows, please visit their site here.

 

 

 

 

The Black Interior Designers Network presents the 2016 African American Top 20 Interior Designers

One of the benefits of choosing a list of top performing design firms is getting to follow their growth and to know them on an intimate level.  From the moment we release one list, we are inundated with nominations for the next list.   This year alone, you have nominated over 52 designers for the 2016 list.  That's a lot of research!  We combed through websites and letters of recommendations and finally got down to the 20 names we are putting forth today.

So what makes a top design firm?  For our committee, it is important that the people on the list are making strides in the industry.  They are not the same company twenty times over.  Instead, it's 20 different examples of individualized success centered around the love of decorating.  

Some of the firms have one owner and are ran from a dining room or a small office.  Others consist of retail spaces that serve thousands of customers a year.  No matter the makeup, the designers on this list have come up with unique ways to follow their passions and makes a living doing what they love.

I have become obsessed with people who put out lists like Forbes and Black Enterprise.  I am always looking at how they do it and how they ensure accuracy when reporting data.  I've learned a lot and adopted many of their practices while compiling this list.  We have a committee of 7 who comb through each nominee to ensure the people we put forth are ones you can count on to be leaders in this industry.

We've found out some amazing things about the designers who make up the 2016 African American Top 20 Interior Designers list. For one, the individuals on this list each are managing over a quarter of a million dollars in design budgets yearly and have a combined buying power of 5 million dollars annually. They buy from the best vendors and are looking for ways to partner with companies who understand their clients and want to come up with unique ways to serve them.  

Being on the African American Top 20 Interior Designers List is an important next step for many of the designers careers.  They are in the process of growing their businesses to include products and other licensing agreements.  They value our community and consider it a fun and safe place to explore what is possible with interior design.

Please take a moment to visit the sites of each of the designers.  Show your support by liking their Facebook pages and following them on Instagram.  They have been working very hard mastering their crafts.  Let them know you love and appreciate them by leaving a comment below.

FROM MILLION DOLLAR PROJECTS TO SERVICING AN INTERNATIONAL AND A-LIST CLIENTELE, THESE BLACK DESIGNERS ARE SETTING GLOBAL TRENDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN INTERIOR DESIGN.


Rayman Boozer              
Michel Smith Boyd            
Tiffany Brooks        
Iantha Carley          
Nikki Chu                   
Penny  & Casi Francis       
Lorna Gross-Bryant            
Tonya Comer          
Donna Gilliam      
Alecia & Charles Johnson  
Nile Johnson           
Dereky & Al Martin        
Joy Moyler   
Janice Palmer & Calington Brown
Rae Revelle
Leslie Rinehardt
Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas
Erin Shakoor  
Cheryl Umbles
Robin Wilson

New York
Atlanta
Chicago
Washington, DC
Los Angeles
New Orleans
Washington, DC
Philadelphia
Nashville
Houston
Philadelphia
Maryland
New York
Atlanta
Virginia
New York
Maryland
Chicago
Delaware
New York

2016 Hall of Fame Design Firms

Elaine Griffin

Ron Woodson

Elaine Griffin, Inc

Woodson and Rummerfield’s House of Design

New York

Los Angeles

HGTV SMART HOME GIVEAWAY

Forbes magazine frequently ranks Raleigh, North Carolina as one of the best cities to live. In 2015 it was named the 3rd best city for young professionals and the 4th best place for entrepreneurs.  If you are looking to start your career or to expand your business, Raleigh is the place to be.

The savvy city is home to some great companies like Epic Games, Red Hat and Brandwidth.com. Before you get bogged down with details like where you will live and what you will drive, check out the new HGTV Smart Home giveaway.  The 2016 Smart Home is located in Raleigh and you have the chance to win it!

HGTV and African American Top 20 Interior Designer Tiffany Brooks, designed the showstopper of a house. You will love the colors and patterns Tiffany uses to bring the project to life. Her designs will ensure that you will be the envy of all your new friends. 

For contest details and to learn more about the 2016 Smart Home, please visit HGTV.com/smart.

Here's A Room By Room Sneak Peak AT YOUR NEW HOME

Here's Why I'm Obsessed with The Gracious Home Luxury Bedding Collection

The best part of this holiday season has been lingering in bed for hours on end.  It’s an indulgence I rarely get the opportunity to enjoy.  If you know me you know being in bed is all about the linens.  I am obsessed with sheets.  I iron them, I spray them with perfume, I slide right in with newly shaven legs. The feeling is magic!

I am currently obsessed with the sheets from the Gracious Home luxury bedding collection.  I mentioned them in passing in a previous post, but I have to tell you, as I lay here, these sheets deserve more attention. I want you to obsess over them as much as I do.

When I am looking to choose new bedding, there are a few things I always look for.

I love crisp white bedding with a touch of embroidery.  I don’t get caught up as much on thread count as I do with the quality and origin of the cotton used.  

I prefer 100% Egyptian cotton. No blends! I’m a southern girl, that has to be where my affinity for embroidery stems from.  Often when people hear embroidery they think fussy. Embroidery is any detail which has been sewn into the sheets to enhance the design.  I prefer simple two or three line embroidered borders for my clients.  However, I like the Rebecca Duvet and Sham for myself because the craftsmanship is a touch sweeter and the design is simply exquisite.

Can I make a recommendation? One I think you really should consider.  When you make your goal list for the coming year, save a space for updatingyour linen closet.  An updated linen closest collection is one of those things you assume everyone has. I have recently found out not everyone had a mother or grandmother who cared as much about these things as mine.

If you’re looking for a place to start, try some of my favorites collections from Gracious Home.

The Rebecca Duvet and Sham

When you try them, and I really hope that you do, please let me know how they change your life. 

Our High Point Market Visit to the American Leather Showroom

American Leather, High Point Market 

American Leather, High Point Market 

American Leather is one of those truly amazing "Made in the USA" success stories.  Based in Dallas, Texas, the showroom has long been a go-to for those looking to decorate with leather while keeping their space open, fresh and modern. I buy American Leather from Contempo Design in Houston, Texas.

American Leather Dallas, TX

American Leather Dallas, TX

I thought I knew the brand until I got to see the newly designed showroom and many of the pieces up close and personal at High Point Market while on the Design Bloggers Tour. Now, I'm in love with the Westchester Sectional, but have started to fall for several of their other pieces like this perfect-as-can-be sofa bed featuring a tempurpedic mattress. 

American Leather Showroom, High Point Market

American Leather Showroom, High Point Market

This year the company has teamed up with performance fabric manufacture, Crypton and the results were pure gold.  Why Gold? Because for so long my clients have wanted to have the feel of comfort of fabric, but opted for leather because of it's ease to clean and care for. With Crypton they get durability, stain resistance and bacteria-proof technology.  Now with this new merger between Crypton and American Leather they will get a high performance fabric in one of the modern frames that has made the company so popular. 

 

 

Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture Debuts at High Point Market

Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture 

Cynthia Rowley for Hooker Furniture 

A leading fashion designer turned interior designer introduced her "game-changing" 140-piece collection of living room, bedroom, dining room and accent furniture in partnership with Hooker Furniture at this October's High Point Market. I had the luxury of getting the exclusive on this collaboration while being on the Design Bloggers Tour.  The collection can be summed up in three words: Opulent, bold and eclectic. Cynthia Rowley really incorporates plenty of blooms and gold finishes but doesn't shy away from revealing her fun and adventurous side. 

“Fashion and style reach beyond clothes... It’s the art of living. I want to create furniture that will brighten your space and make your home a happy place!” Rowley said in a press release. 

For me, this collection is a glimpse into where the furniture industry is headed.  As more of the cool kids are looking for furnishings that reflect both their glamour and playful side, fashion designers like Rowley are producing collections perfect for the post "Sex and The City" / "Devil Wears Prada" fashion crowd.  What Riley brings to Hooker is a relevancy for milieus who collect art and what to live with colors that are as bold and stylish as they are.