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Designing for the delightful Miss Barbara this week has been sheer heaven! Her mother has been one of our favorite clients and friend for many years, and after completing her fifth home in a series of locations, she added her mother’s cottage into the picture. 

Barbara, being a bright and entertaining 87 year old, has more entertaining stories of her youth and travels abroad than you can imagine! A genuine Southern belle, she landed back in the North Carolina mountains after years of exotic places, as well as U. S. locations. She delighted us for the past two days as we installed, primped, accessorized and dressed her new home. She gets along quite well and is looked in on by two devoted daughters, grandchildren and neighbors. She’s quite the woman of style!

This is the basic palette she agreed upon. Navy and turquoise! We incorporated her favorite collections from 87 years of life and came up with a stylish mix within her comfort zone! There was little she didn’t agree to, and Barbara kept up with our pace for two days with delight!

Two of these sweet smaller-scaled chairs in a turquoise print give way to additional seating for family and friends. We selected a painted frame for contrast and interest. Polka dots are part of the pattern play! Note the patterned carpet from Masland Carpet. We had just the right size bound for the cozy room.

Barbara’s collectibles and china found a place in her china display case (much like my old one!). With the overage from the last five homes from her daughter’s designs, we added this coveted framed art…sheet music! There are many musicians to be found in this family, and Barbara herself set the tone in her youth, playing the violin. We were thrilled to repurpose this favorite piece of art from the last home in Charleston we designed for her daughter. Books covered in sheet music, a lantern filled with assorted interests, black birds perching on the top edge…all make the room personal and inviting. 

Barbara spent a number of years in Africa with her first husband and has an extensive collection of ebony figures. I love the way they are silhouetted on the top shelf of the bookshelves. It’s a bit like Noah’s Ark up there! She was thrilled with the use of them and was excited we approved and found a home for them in such a prominent spot to be admired each day.

Her bedroom incorporated some hand-me-downs from a previous home of her daughter’s on Sullivan’s Island, S.C. Dresser and nightstands were snatched up, and a formerly used trunk was painted by our own paint specialist at Black-eyed Susan. Soft tones of plum and cream create a quiet retreat for Barbara. She approved custom pillows and bedding, a new rug, new lamps and a brand new upholstered bed in her favorite style. all delivered to make this room a favorite for her. (Design by Black-eyed Susan, pillow arrangement by Barbara!) She loves the little floral pillow we were able to eek out of a small discontinued fabric memo!

(Just another shot to show you the hand-painted trunk and window fabric.)

You can see that this little lady spared no stylish suggestions for fabric and patterns in designing this room! The portrait over the high boy chest is a personal favorite that I sold to her mother years ago for her home in downtown Historic Charleston! Musically themed, vintage inspired, and just the right colors! We were thrilled to rescue this piece of art from the “unused from the past designs” pile! And I love the bench cushion fabric!

Towards the end of the day, Barbara began pulling out treasures and she came across this Elgin watch face that belonged to her mother. In a small velvet case, I insisted that we display it on her nightstand and found the perfect soft lavender vintage hobnail plate to display it on. Perfection!

In a corner of the room, facing the large picture window, we placed another reclaimed chair and ottoman from a former home of her daughter’s. Recovered in the perfect stripe in the colors of the room, we created a cozy place for Barbara to read and put her feet up. (She was quite astounded when she discovered it was perfectly allowed to put her feet up – shoes and all – on such a fine piece of furniture!)

So here she is, Miss Barbara, woman of style and fine taste! With many gifts from her darling daughter and custom design by Black-eyed Susan just for her, she is perfectly content to sun in this room and enjoy the life of a gritty 87 year old with glee. 

Enjoy it for many years to come Barbara! We loved designing for you and all who visit your love filled home. 


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