The Best of What’s Around

CFD Voted Best Interior Designer in Chapel Hill!

If you haven’t done so yet, pick up a copy of this month’s Chapel Hill Magazine, flip to pages, 57 & 89 and take a look at who was voted one of Chapel Hill’s Best Interior Designer of the year!!!  WHAT!!!!!! We are so excited about receiving this honor, and want to thank all of you dear readers, clients, friends who got out the vote and made this happen. Our community is so important to us and we love calling Chapel Hill home.  

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A BEA-utiful Evening!

We recently had the honor of attending the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Excellence Awards (the BEAs) as a finalist in the Micro-Enterprise Business of the Year category, which is a business with 5 or fewer employees. We had a great time, and as always, The Chamber threw a great party. The team got all dolled up and headed over to Chapel Hill’s Paul Green Theatre. To begin the night, there was a wonderful cocktail reception where we enjoyed tasty beverages provided by Glass Half Full and networking with fellow local businesses.

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New Space, Same Foundation

We’ve been in Southern Village for almost six months! We are enjoying the new neighborhood and increased visibility that comes with our new space. During this transition, we have also been reflecting and defining what grounds us and makes us who we are.  We narrowed down all of the catchy adjectives and descriptors to 3 words: Kindness, Integrity, & Creativity.

Enjoying some client time - Catherine French Design


Kindness is our founding principal. We think of kindness as a quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. It is showing concern, care, and the act of assistance and service. Kindness is about how we interact with each other within the team, and how we interact with those outside our studio. When we make a request of another person, or ask for help, we will do so in a way that is kind. As a client, you are an extension of our team. While we are collaborating on your project, we will strive to make you feel honored and cared for while you are with us on this journey.

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Spark Joy: A KonMari Recap

Your home is a celebration of you, and committing to a tidy home is a great way to celebrate. We recently hosted Holly Bourne of Tidy Habitat for an after-hours workshop in our studio. The goal was to learn about the KonMari method by Chapel Hill’s own local professional. It was an amazing session, and here are some of our key takeaways:

Curate your collection, but only when you have a readiness for change. Choose what to keep rather than what to get rid of. This is a positive mindset.

Cat French discussing how KonMari and Design work together

Gratitude over Guilt – express gratitude for the lessons your stuff has taught you, and then let it go. Thank you. Now place that into your gratitude box, honey.

Intuition vs. Logic – you can logically make a reason to keep everything, but you should lead with your intuition. Does it spark joy?

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Southern Village Modern Eclectic

Catherine French Design was hired last year to help this busy Southern Village family update their home, showcase some of their favorite pieces, and to bring balance and warmth to a house full of three kids, two busy doctors, and an au pair.

Catherine French Design - Southern Village Modern Eclectic Living Room

Every project needs a starting place, and the priority was the living room. The center hub for this busy family originally felt off-balance and lacking in warmth and a consistent color palette. We stepped in to layer in smart storage solutions (like this custom ottoman!), family friendly fabrics, and multiple surfaces for drinks, books, artwork, and conversation.

The kitchen opens to the living room, so we introduced a new more modern and sculptural ceiling fan and kept it up high for optimal television viewing pleasure while cooking or sitting on the new swivel bar stools. Cookbooks moved to the console behind the sofa for a fun pop of color and to create more storage space in the pantry.

We then incorporated the main design concepts from the family room into the front of the house for consistency and flow from the entryway, into the office and formal dining space. We layered in a show-stopping sculptural light fixture with vibrant art and rugs to emphasize the modern eclectic design aesthetic of our clients.

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CFD’s Grand Opening Celebration

We ended 2018 with a bang. Quite literally, as we were moving our studio space from Glen Lennox to Southern Village the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and the new space required a little… refresh. We changed out the floors, repainted all the walls and trim, moved cabinets, installed large pinup boards, and moved all of our stuff in.

And then we celebrated our Grand Opening! With big scissors, a blue ribbon, lots of balloons, and cake! Yay, cake!

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Fun Entryway {Idea}

Let’s talk about your entryway. If you’re lucky, you’ve got more than just a door into your living space. Most of the time, if you do have a dedicated entryway room, it is a small, jam-packed space that has to work hard and also look cute. Because let’s be real here, first impressions are tough! You want your neighbor to say “oh hey, they seem awesome!” when they get that sneak peek into your personal oasis.

But what makes your entryway really work hard? The right tools for the job. Think about what you need there. At best, here are the basics: a place to sit when putting on shoes, storage for all that winter paraphernalia, a mirror to double check your reflection in, a rug to catch the outside dirt, and last but not least, some sort of something inspirational to catch your eye on your way out the door. It’s time to make that entryway look amazing and make those drop-in-guests want to see what else you have done to your home.

We’ve put together a look we think might inspire you to make an update. The watercolor above shows how all of these different items complement each other. Our vote is for a tufted leather bench that is both a great place to sit with space for baskets below, an impressive floor mirror so that you can see your full look at once, some updated artwork, and a graphic nautical-themed rug to add some interest. Add in a statement entryway light and you’ve got yourself a hard-working entryway masterpiece.

Want to know the best news? We’ve already done the sourcing for you, and you can buy any and all of those pieces here: Floor Mirror, Leather Bench, Nautical Rug, Woven Basket, Golden Wallpaper, or Contemporary Artwork. Our only request is that you send us pics of your new pieces in your own entryway space! Happy shopping, y’all!

If you liked this post we have other you may enjoy: Arm Chair Roundup, A Touch of Hollywood, Blue is the New Black, and Hello Herringbone.

Catherine French Design is a team of interior design consultants based out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We have provided residential and commercial services in North Carolina and along the Eastern Seaboard.

Chaise for Daise: Be our Valentine!

Okay, okay, until I start living my best life in the south of France, we’ll have to explore our days of chaise with this western drawl.

In a world of ‘yolo’ and ‘treat-yo-self’ (yeah I said it), how often do we actually take time for ourselves and relax? Luckily there’s a spot waiting just for you! — If you’re thinking of someone fanning you with a palm frawn and feeding you grapes, then you’re headed in the right direction.

Be Mine

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Lit | A Fireplace |

Do y’all know what was one of the top requests we got last year for help? The Fireplace. Rightfully so, as they usually serve as the focal point for a room. Traditional brick and white mantels are still classic and timeless, however if you want to make a statement, we have a few looks to get you lit… with excitement!

Fireplace Accent Wall - Catherine French Design
Fireplace Accent Wall with Asymmetrical Mantle - Catherine French Design
Fireplace Accent Wall with Chevron - Catherine French Design

The first consideration are architectural details, like moulding, the mantel, and built-in shelves, that can all add depth and interest. You’ll want to make friends with a fabulous carpenter who can help you bring your trim visions to life. (Ain’t nobody wants a wall of sloppy shiplap.)


Chevron Tile Fireplace Surround - Catherine French Design

Don’t be afraid to step out of the box from the typical slab surrounds and move to something more custom – tile.  Patterns, as well as color, make a huge design statement with a tile surround.  Herringbone and chevron add movement and a change in scale to balance out the firebox.

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