Modern Marble

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Let’s all take a moment to celebrate the marble trend that has us so entranced right now. We love that classic marble is now being celebrated with more than just horizontal surfaces. Although we adore a great marble countertop, tabletop, or floor, we’re loving seeing these mesmerizing swirls on walls and upholstery as well!

Here are a few of our favorite picks for marbly wallpapers, fabrics, and works of art.

How beautiful are these fabrics from Rebecca Atwood, Schumacher, Groundworks, and Kravet? We have access to so many beautiful fabrics and wall coverings like these!

Modern Marble

Modern Marble

Modern Marble

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Modern Marble

Love the statement that this one pillow makes!
Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Here are some fabulous wallpapers + several STUNNING installations that we swoon over! (#heartsforeyes)

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

We adore these lovelies by one of our favorite artists, Cheslea Fly, which are available in our Ridgeland store!

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Modern Marble via alwayssummerblog.com

Do you love all of this as much as we do?! If you see something you love, give us a call and let one of our designers get you fixed up! 🙂

Thank you so much for dropping by today. We hope you are having a wonderful week!

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The Importance of Design Part I: Rebecca Atwood

Why is design important? In this series, we will talk with influential designers in the industry to get this question answered.

We are honored to begin with Rebecca Atwood, a Brooklyn based designer and artist. Rebecca creates home textiles using a combination of traditional textile techniques and hand painting. Every part of her product is carefully thought out, right down to the gold YKK zippers that are used on every pillow to guarantee the highest quality. The process is so important to her she has an entire section on her website dedicated to it (check it out here)!

Rebecca was kind enough to take a minute to have a quick Q&A session with us! Here is what she had to say on the importance of design.

1. I see in your about section, “Behind each design is a story drawn from her collection of family heirlooms, textures found in nature, vintage patterns discovered at the flea market, inspired color combinations from world travels or a composition from her sketchbook. “  Can you tell us the story behind a specific pattern that you particularly love?! 

Our marble pattern has a lot of personal history.  I actually learned the Suminagashi marbling technique during a parent’s weekend at Rhode Island School of Design with my Mom. We spent an afternoon marbling and I saved all of the papers. This technique of floating ink in a bath of water is very meditative and the resulting patterns remind me of the coastal landscape I grew up with on Cape Cod.  These papers were then scanned into the computer and I put them into repeat.

2. Can you describe your pattern design process in a nutshell?

My design process is a bit different for each pattern, but all of my designs start with a hands-on process. It might be directly painting on the fabric, folding and dyeing it – or working in my sketchbook with gouache, watercolor, ink, or cut paper.  I focus first on creating an interesting concept and then how to translate it into fabric. It may be digitally printed, screen printed, woven, hand painted or dyed.  Then I work on creating a mood board for a collection – I’m pulling together a color palette, pinning up inspiration images of rooms and environments, and mixing in my artwork. I love this stage of developing the bigger picture.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to make a business out of designing fabrics, art, and goods made from your designs?

When I was graduating from college I knew I needed a job, and textile design seemed like the closest thing I could do to painting and be paid. That was the start of my interest in the home décor world.  I worked for a few years at Anthropologie and then a small NY-UK based design consultancy company creating private label programs for retailers here and abroad while also consulting on trends.  I wasn’t actually sure I ever wanted to have my own line, but as things went along in my career it seemed like the next move.  I just wanted to dig deeper and develop product that I really loved and wanted to put out into the world. There is so much product out there, but a lot of it isn’t thoughtful, and I wanted to break through that mold.  I also wanted to control how and where the product I designed was being made.

4. What is something that really sets your business apart from others that might be considered similar?

I think the focus on the creative process is something that sets my business apart. I set aside time just to explore ideas without focusing on what they will become — I think that’s the only way to really allow for your best work to come forward.  We still do all of the hand-dyeing in the studio in Brooklyn. Hands on is so important.

5. What is your favorite item(s) in your current collection? Can you tell us a little bit about why you love it/them so?

I don’t think I can pick a favorite! I really love all of the pieces in the line, and it’s important to me that they are all pieces I would live with in my own home.  I’m constantly creating and so I’m always partial to what I’m working on next. Right now, for example, I’m working on our first collection of woven throws. I’m loving this departure into a new technique that’s so different than print.  Our shibori pillows from our current collection will always also be a favorite. I love how each one is unique due to the hand dyeing process.

6. What is your favorite way to spend a weekend? 

I love a lazy weekend at home with my husband and our two kittens! Going to a yoga class at Bend and Boom, making a delicious meal or eating at one of our favorite neighborhood spots, and just catching up on time together.

Thank you so much Rebecca!
Here is some eye candy brought to you by Rebecca Atwood herself!

Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I

Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part IRebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I

Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I Rebecca Atwood | Importance of Design Part I

(photos are from designer’s website linked above)

Thanks for stopping by! You can shop Rebecca Atwood’s collection in our showroom or online at our webstore! Hope you have a great week!

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Inside The Orange Box: Wallpapers For Accent Walls

29
MAY
2015

Today on Inside The Orange Box, our designers talk about their favorite wallpapers for an accent wall! We love that wallpaper has made a comeback. We are eating it up! Check out these pretty picks from our talented designers!

Interior Designer Todd Prince’s favorite is a Schumacher grasscloth called Pondera Weave, color way Tabac!

SummerHouse designers' favorite wallpapers for accent walls // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Designer Lindsey Townsend says, “Its amazing what a wallpaper can do for a space. Having said that, it’s hard to choose! I love so many different styles. Currently, I am really into a new introduction from Harlequin- Makrana 110914.  Its a Faux Bois print and is absolutely beautiful in every color way.”

SummerHouse designers' favorite wallpapers for accent walls // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Interior Designer Mary Courtney also loves a Harlequin paper called Gardinum!

SummerHouse designers' favorite wallpapers for accent walls // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Designer Sunny Holliday says, “my favorite is a Katie Ridder wallcovering – “Leaf” in color 01 Blue!”

SummerHouse designers' favorite wallpapers for accent walls // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Interior Designer Katy Hines loves Breakers Blue from Phillip Jeffries

SummerHouse designers' favorite wallpapers for accent walls // www.alwayssummerblog.com

Do you love a good wallpaper as much as we do? If so, do you have a favorite? We’d love to hear!

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Inside The Orange Box: Our Favorite Florals

06
JUNE
2014

With florals being such a big fashion trend this season…

Summer 2014 Trends

(image sources here and here)

…we thought we’d get in on the floral fun and share some of our designers’ favorite floral patterns for interior design! For this week’s Inside The Orange Box, our designers choose their favorite floral fabric or wallpaper and tell us what it is about that pattern that they love…

Let’s see what they’ve picked!

Inside The Orange Box // SummerHouse

– Lead Designer Lisa Palmer –

“This Zimmer + Rhode floral would be beautiful as a tailored skirt under a honed marble top as an entry table that had some height so you could see the large scale of the pattern. Finish the top of the skirt with a beautiful flat braid. Gorgeous!”

SummerHouse Interior Designers' Favorite Floral fabrics and wallpapers

– Designer Elish Phares –

“I love how bright and cheerful this Stark pattern is. It makes me happy, and I like how the pattern is not a cliche floral.”

SummerHouse Interior Designers' Favorite Floral fabrics and wallpapers

– Designer Sunny Holliday –

“I love this wall paper from Winfield Thybony! The Iris pattern is expressive and effective, without overpowering. An iris symbolizes eloquence, which shows up in the pattern of this wall covering.”

SummerHouse Interior Designers' Favorite Floral fabrics and wallpapers

– Designer Lindsey Townsend –

“I like that this Groundworks pattern is floral, but a very subtle floral. It looks like it’s painted!”

SummerHouse Interior Designers' Favorite Floral fabrics and wallpapers

– Designer Elizabeth Gullett –

I’m loving this rich Dessin Fournir silk velvet right now!! It has such depth to the color, and the “leaf” design is perfectly abstract. I know it’s going to look fabulous on my client’s dining chairs in the Agate color way! We are doing all of the chairs using different parts of the repeat to further enhance the “natural randomness” of the pattern. When the same “leaf ” is in the exact same spot on five chairs, that makes the pattern loose something for me… it feels too structured. I love it’s free, all-over form and want to embrace that quality.”

SummerHouse Interior Designers' Favorite Floral fabrics and wallpapers

– Designer Katy Hines –

“This pretty Galbraith & Paul pattern is all done by hand and made to order. I love this line because it’s so customizable. You can even get their fabric patterns done in wallpaper!”

SummerHouse Interior Designers' Favorite Floral fabrics and wallpapers

– Designer Todd Prince –

“Generally speaking, to quote quote Austin Powers, floral is not my bag, baby. However, when I do floral, I want to do it in a large scale in a linen fabric that does not overpower the space. When it comes to floral, I’m going to do a two color, big-scale pattern like this Mary McDonald pattern for Schumacher. This room in particular called for this type of floral. I want my florals to be a soft backdrop. The larger the scale, the better a floral looks.”

SummerHouse Interior Designers' Favorite Floral fabrics and wallpapers

SummerHouse Interior Designers' Favorite Floral fabrics and wallpapers

(P.S.: Keep an eye out for more photos from this beautiful nursery project by Todd in the near future!
We can’t wait to share more with you!)

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New From Phillip Jeffries

19
MAY
2014

One of our favorite wall covering companies, Phillip Jeffries, has come out with some new introductions that we are totally in love with! These are updated takes on older styles that we have used in the past, so of course we were enthralled when we saw these! We love the hint of metallic in most of these… Just a tiny hint of glam is always a good addition to a space, right?! 😉

Brand new wall coverings from Phillip Jeffries // SummerHouse

Brand new wall coverings from Phillip Jeffries // SummerHouse

Brand new wall coverings from Phillip Jeffries // SummerHouse

Brand new wall coverings from Phillip Jeffries // SummerHouse

Of course these are only a few of the many color ways available in each pattern. You can view the full collections HERE!

Which pattern would you say is your favorite?

 

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Gilded Age

22
JANUARY
2014

Phillip Jeffries, one of our favorite wallcovering companies, has a fairly new line of beautiful papers that we are particularly loving right now! The collection is called Gilded Age. Take a look!

Phillip Jeffries Gilded Age // available at SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS
Paved with Gold
Phillip Jeffries Gilded Age // available at SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS
Socialite Silver
Phillip Jeffries Gilded Age // available at SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS
Carnegie Copper
Phillip Jeffries Gilded Age // available at SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS
Grandstand Gold
Phillip Jeffries Gilded Age // available at SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS
Steel Revolution

Here’s a picture of an installation of the Paved with Gold colorway… Gorgeous, right?!

Phillip Jeffries Gilded Age // available at SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

If you’re as in love with these as we are, be sure to ask one of our designers about ordering some for yourself! How great would this be in a small room or as an accent wall?!

We heart metallics… 🙂

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Clean and Inviting

02
JANUARY
2014

Today we have a beautiful project by designer Casey Jenkins to show you! This Master Bedroom turned out exactly how Casey and her clients wanted it, which is always the best outcome! We’ll let Casey tell you a little more about the project!

Bedroom by designer Casey Jenkins // SummerHouse

“The clients started off needing a desk for their office. They were very particular about color finishes and function for their everyday use. Then focus shifted to completing the Living Room.

When I proposed the Living Room, they were so inspired that we decided to complete other rooms as well! This is where we decided to do the Master Bedroom, which is always my favorite room to design! In a Master Bedroom, it is easy to lock down purpose for furniture pieces as well as comfort for the client.”

Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Casey Jenkins | SummerHouse

“These two young clients loved the color palette that was presented to them, and we got started right away! It may be hard to capture by photograph, but the back wall is lined with a Schumacher ivory and matte gold Greek key design. The drapery fabric has an embroidered linen abstract vertical design providing movement and color. The bed was custom made by a local artisan with a light cream linen insert.

We went with all custom pillows and went between slight variations of fabric colors ranging from ivory to light and charcoal blue. The Moore Council Washed Oak Chests are fabulous with a secret door at the top!”

Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Casey Jenkins | SummerHouse

“My favorite wall in this room houses 9 Lauren LaChance botanicals. They bring such a warmth to the space and sense of nature into this serene room! The small slip-covered Lee chairs allow for a small reading area with custom Hodsoll McKenzie embroidered pillows.”

Master Bedroom by Interior Designer Casey Jenkins | SummerHouse

“I so enjoy working with these clients that allow me to present to them what I believe is best for them in their everyday environment. The home’s interior now feels so clean and inviting, just the way we wanted it!”

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New From Studio Bon!

12
NOVEMBER
2013

We have some exciting posts to bring you later this week recapping a super fun staff party we had over the weekend, Christmas plans, and some beautiful projects by our talented design staff! But since those aren’t ready yet, we wanted to show you a few new intros we’re kind of going crazy over right now…. 🙂

One of our favorite fabric lines, Studio Bon, has come out with some new patterns that we’re just in love with! (And not only do they offer fabrics, but wallcoverings too!!)

The goldy tones get us in the holiday mood for some reason, and the patterns are so fun and different (which Stuio Bon is always good at introducing!)

SUMMERHOUSE LOVES STUDIO BON!

Studio Bon Love // SummerHouse

We could see the wallcovering in a powder room or as an accent wall, and the fabrics would be great for headboards, pillow, or anything in between!

Do you love these as much as we do?!

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One Fantastic Nursery, Complete!

31
OCTOBER
2013

A few months ago, we showed you a beautiful presentation of one fantastic nursery by SummerHouse designers Lindsey and Chelsea… Everything about the presentation was perfect, and as we mentioned in that original post, the items in this room were carefully chosen so the space could be every bit as functional as it is pretty.

Now that everything in this room as been installed, we’re happy to be able to share with you the finished product!

Soft + Pretty Nursery // by designers Chelsea Sirmons and Lindsey Townsend // SummerHouse

Soft + Pretty Nursery // by designers Chelsea Sirmons and Lindsey Townsend // SummerHouse

Soft + Pretty Nursery // by designers Chelsea Sirmons and Lindsey Townsend // SummerHouse

Soft + Pretty Nursery // by designers Chelsea Sirmons and Lindsey Townsend // SummerHouse

Lindsey and Chelsea did an impeccable job of detailing out the room (we love the contrast buttons used on the tufted ottoman!) and making it unique and feminine without it being over-the-top girly.

The client is happy with the result, which is of course, the best outcome of all! We know she and her baby girl will be able to enjoy this peaceful room to the fullest! 🙂

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Crazy For Kelly

25
SEPTEMBER
2013

Kelly Wearstler (whose style isn’t always in our comfort zone, but is always awe-inspiring) recently came out with some new fabrics and wallcoverings for Groundworks that we can’t get enough of! The new wallpaper patterns are so outside-the-box, and so Kelly. When Lisa saw one of them, she decided right then and there that she needed to re-paper her foyer! Here are the wallcoverings we fell most in love with…

Wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Channels Wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Not only is that last pattern wallpaper, but it’s also fabric! YES! Here it is (along with some other new intros and old favorites) from this same collection:

Channels Taupe/Ivory by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Feline Ebony/Beige by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Ombre Maze/Ebony by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Flair Noir by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Fabric by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Fuji Moderne Onyx by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Sora Velvet Aqua/Blue by Kelly Wearstler // SummerHouse, Ridgeland, MS

Keep your eyes peeled… You WILL be seeing a few of these in upcoming projects of ours!

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Upscale Cabin Underway

Lisa is currently working on a very exciting project that we all can’t wait to see come to completion! This upscale cabin, a second home for a very dear client, is going to be gorgeous!! It is currently under construction!

Here’s a peek at some materials being used in the Master Bedroom of “The Cabin…”

SummerHouse // Ridgeland, MS

And here are some samples of things to be used in the powder room and dining area!
SummerHouse Hunting Lodge, Phase 1

The kitchen will have a fabulous rich, dark countertop…
SummerHouse Hunting Lodge, Phase 1

And could these selections for a bedroom at a rustic lodge be any more perfect!?
SummerHouse Hunting Lodge, Phase 1

We are all so excited about this project we can barely stand it! We’ll be sure to keep you posted on the progress!

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A Brand New BEFORE & AFTER

15
OCTOBER
2012

{{ let’s update, shall we? }}

We’ve got a very inspiring BEFORE & AFTER to show today! It is amazing what a great design mind (which would be Lisa’s mind, to be precise!) and a few new things can do for a space!

All of these rooms are in the same house, and all of them turned out just beautifully! This particular client wanted to update her home, keeping some of her favorite pieces while adding some new ones. Take a look at these before and afters!

BEDROOM

BEDROOM BEFORE AND AFTER

Bedroom AFTER
Bedroom AFTER

The rich new wall color, the lighter/brighter bed, bedding, and drapery, and the punchy pillow make SUCH a difference in this bedroom!

FOYER

Foyer BEFORE
Foyer BEFORE
Foyer AFTER
Foyer AFTER
Foyer AFTER
Foyer AFTER

New wallpaper, a custom light fixture, a new buffet, and some updated accessories take this entry from drab to exciting and welcoming!

LIVING ROOM

Living Area BEFORE
Living Area BEFORE
Living Area AFTER
Living Area AFTER
Living Area AFTER
Living Area AFTER
Living Area AFTER
Living Area AFTER

What a dramatic change! The updates Lisa did to this space opened up the room while simultaneously making it feel much warmer. Cleaner lines, simplification of pattern, and just an overall cleaned up new scheme make all the difference in this beautiful living area!

SUNROOM

Sunroom BEFORE
Sunroom BEFORE
Sunroom AFTER
Sunroom AFTER

The client’s daughter actually painted the beautiful piece of art over the love seat, which was the starting point for the sunroom. The wall, the floor, and the furniture were all changed to bring this space into modern times! We love the deep turquoise chair and pillows that ground the space. Just gorgeous!

Which room’s changes are your favorite?

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New Cole & Son Wallpaper

Cole & Son’s new wallpapers have everyone up here in awe! The new offerings from the Contemporary Restyled collection are to die for… Lisa and Elish went particularly crazy for Palm Jungle pattern… Look at these fab colorways!

Cole & Sons | SummerHouse

20120911-133912.jpg
What do you think? Do you like this pattern? And what colorway is your favorite? Let us hear from you!

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Living in the Dark

Do you have a room in your house that needs something a little extra? May we suggest black walls… (But don’t put up any black paint before you consult a designer! Please!) A room with black walls is dramatic and full of personality, and is also a great new take on the neutral wall. Here are a few ideas of how to do black right. It’s really not as bleek as you’d think!

Thanks to LonnyMag and Rue for the great photos and ideas.

Do you have any black (or almost black) walls in your house? What color were they before? We want details!!

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It’s Friday, Baby!

Happy Friday! To make the best day of the week even better, here is a little lavendar eye candy for you… Lisa and Elish are working on a nursery for one of our favorite customers! Isn’t all of this stuff just DELICIOUS? The mix of purples, with a little dash of bling make this little girl’s future room one that ANY girl would love! We can’t wait to show you pictures when this room is complete! 🙂

Yep. Gorgeous!
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Shop the pages of LONNY at SummerHouse!

As per usual, we are obsessing over the new LonnyMag for this month… Have you seen it? We love the bright, summery spaces that dominate most of it. Perfect for… drumroll please… SUMMER! Here are a few of the items that we carry that made it into the mag. Come shop LonnyMag with us! 🙂

John Robshaw Dangi Fort Shower Curtain

Beauty Bark Print, Cerise. Trina Turk for Schumacher
Jax Print Driftwood. Trina Turk for Schumacher
Jax Print Driftwood. Trina Turk for Schumacher

Snake Chain, Dove. Dwell Studio for Robert Allen

Customizable lamps from Mottega

Customizable bedding from Leontine Linens

Meri Side Table by OLY Studio

The Jaggery Collection for John Robshaw

Manuel Canovas Trellis Wallpaper

Visual Comfort Studio Floor Lamp

Once you have a minute to look at the newest issue, comment and tell us your favorite feature! We would love to know! 🙂

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A Visit with Virginia Weathersby

Virginia Weathersby

Lisa:   Virginia, darling…You and I have been working together for… how many years?

Virginia:   Well, let’s see, it’s about… Ten or eleven?

Lisa:   We did that corporate condo in Eastbrooke. That was one of the first jobs we worked on.  That would have been at least ten years ago.

Virginia:   Yeah, I’d say ’99.  Maybe ’98, but I think ‘99

Lisa:   Of course back then, and probably for years after that, everybody was doing much heavier finishes.

Virginia:   Yeah, more textured finishes.  Very, very old world-ish. More things like that.  Remember we did the stone blocks going up the staircase and I even glazed over that torn paper wallcovering that was already in there.  Then I made that white column look like old wood.

Lisa:   That’s right.  On the bar, she had that map of Italy, and you made it look like the map was sort of being uncovered.  That was really cool.  When we started out working together, we did a lot of glazes, although I was never into very heavy finishes at all.  How many glazed walls do you think you have done?

This design on the island really livened up this kitchen

Virginia:   A gazillion! That customer you had, we did that whole room with glaze.  We did that whole big, humongous room!  All the way up the staircase and everything.  My sister was petrified; she was praying the whole time I was up there because we had balanced ladders on top of paint cans… I will always remember that job.

Lisa:   Well now that the heavier finishes are behind us, at least for now, what do you see?   I think you see how technology is really playing into what you do.  Technology today… it’s almost like the Jetson’s or something in fabrics and faux leather. And I love the way you’re doing your laser… well, not laser, but photography…  Incorporating that…

Virginia:   Right, right.  There is just so much out there, it’s like every single day is a whole new challenge and a whole new way of looking at things and doing things.  Especially with the fabrics.  And hopefully we’ll be cutting our own patterns and everything else. So anybody that comes to me, if they have an idea or they’ve seen something, we can actually translate that and turn it into some kind of a wall finish or a fabric finish easily. So that is huge for us.

Lisa:   One thing that you do, and I have been doing a good bit of for years, because I always love details and having things so custom, is stenciling on fabric, stenciling on a pillow, on a wall, on the back of a chair, just making it so one of a kind and custom.  And I think you really enjoy that.

“That was a whole new experience and that is what I love about my job.  Nobody ever wants the same thing, so you always have to be up on what’s new.”

Virginia:   Oh yeah, I love it, I absolutely love it! The big wall stencil that we just recently did, that was the first negative stencil I’ve ever done. In fact, I didn’t even know they existed. We had it custom made and worked negatively on the wall. That was a whole new experience and that is what I love about my job.  Nobody ever wants the same thing, so you always have to be up on what’s new.  That’s why I love coming in SummerHouse.  I could just walk around for days going through all your wallpaper books and just seeing everything that is the latest and newest.  I love it!

The matte bronze finish on these cabinets is so beautiful!

Lisa:   You always tell me that when you look at my resource library it gives you inspiration, but of course I think a lot of people get inspired by what you do.  Sometimes a wall finish, or looking at some of your samples…  Just going into your studio and looking at all your samples on the wall, or your wood finishes… those will inspire me for a look.  Sometimes I’ll start with a wall finish or start with a wood finish.

Virginia:   And that is why we work together as well as we do, because you might have an idea, but it’s not something you and your customer can both like yet.  So by seeing something else and saying “what if we take this finish here and put it over there on that, or we change that to this color…” You have all these fabulous ideas, and all I have to do is try to translate. I’m just busy trying to make it all work!  Because I know the mechanics of how it all works, and I try to take what you see in your mind and make it happen over here on a finish.

Virgnina's first negative stencil was GORGEOUS! Custom designed by Lisa Palmer for the Lee Residence

Lisa:   I may have an idea about something but I don’t know actually how to get it done. So that’s why, as a designer, I like working with someone that has your experience, and your knowledge of materials and paint, and what it can actually do…. that’s how you know how to translate, which is cool.

Virginia:   The thing that makes it great is that you don’t know. So you have no parameters. So you say “what if we do this and this and this” which are usually things I’ve never thought of.

Lisa:   That may be stretching you!

Virginia:   Yeah, it does.  It makes me think, “Well, how can I do that? How can I accomplish that?”  So I love that part.  That actually happened to me today.  We have this, and we want to make it this, so how do we get there?  It’s always a challenge!  If you had told me 20 years ago that this is what I’d be doing, I probably would’ve told you that you’re out of your mind.

Lisa:   Did you start off thinking you were going to do wall finishes?

Virginia:   Well, I’m not sure exactly how it happened.  I went to school for design, I did that, then I stopped doing that, got married and did all those things that you do,  so I was on a break for years.  Then when it got time to go back to work, I had seen other peoples work and it interested me.  I went to the Manship house in college and I thought, “how did they make that marble look? How did they make that wood grain look?”  That stuck in my head.  I’ve always been more of a hands-on worker.  I am not comfortable in high heels, I am not comfortable in clothes that are super tight.  I like carrying around a ladder, you know. I’m much more hands on and really just love doing the work!

The stencil at the bottom of this drapery is also at the top on a smaller scale. Custom designed by Lisa Palmer for Strange Residence
Lisa:   Well I think what you’ve brought to our area, you know, is pretty remarkable.  I think you’re just one of the best. EVER.  So do you ever have people say that they are tired of this? What you do? Is it kind of going out of style?

Virginia:   No, no!  It can’t!  It never will! Its been around for ten THOUSAND years. People were doing this in Egypt on cave walls.  Its been going on it Italy forever, a gazillion years ago.  Does it change? Yeah, it changes all the time.

Lisa:   The modern finishes you are doing now are pretty remarkable.

Virginia:   Oh, I love it.  I love the sleekness of it. I love the patterns.  I was so glad to hear wallpapers were coming back because it made me get up and work that much harder.  I will not be defeated by wallpaper! I just love it!

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