Essentials for a Cozy Reading Nook

Winter is the time for reading. The shorter days and chilly nights – yes, even here in NC – make you want to curl up and dive into a good book. It’s one of those small things you give yourself.

What goes along with that, of course, is having the proper reading environment. More than simply having a place to sit, a reading nook is all about creating a spot that is comforting and encourages you to slow down for a moment. It’s all about indulging. The furnishings, lighting, and decor used in this space really effect your reading experience and getting it right is in the details. So, to help you feed your mind, we’ve curated a little vignette! Using designs from some of our favorite companies we work with, here is a checklist of essentials for a cozy reading nook.

The Essentials for a Cozy Reading Nook:

  1. Comfortable Chair
  2. Stylish Reading Lamp
  3. Side Table
  4. Plush Pillow
  5. Mug
  6. Area Rug

Cozy Reading Nook

Each of these items support a meditative space that lets you settle in. The low, sloping arms of Mitchell Gold Bob Williams’ Wyatt Chair allow you to curl up in different ways, while the tufted back and deep T-cushion seat provide both support and comfort. The Maxstoke Floor Lamp from Currey & Co is more than your typical reading lamp, with its delicate and architectural form. The Bassey Nesting Accent Table reinforces the use of warm metal. It provides ample space for your books and things but has a light footprint. Finally, this beautifully deep rug from Jaipur Living helps to wash the space in cool, contemplative blues, greens and neutrals.

Creating livable spaces that incorporate color, pattern, and texture is what we love to do. Let us know if we can assist you with a space in your home – whether designing from the floor up or helping you incorporate the beautiful items you have!

Cozy Reading Nook Essentials: 1| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Inspiration Image: 1

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 Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh, and beyond.

Fall at High Point #HPMKT

Fall in North Carolina means a lot of things to a lot of people, but in our industry it only means ONE thing, High Point Market, #HPMKT baby!! It’s a designers favorite time of the year where we get to go, see, touch, sit, and feel all off the new products that are coming on the scene.

We always make and effort to see our favorite vendors and well of course scout out which exhibitor has the best lunch (and lets be honest, the best cocktails). The last couple of visits to HPMKT I would say that Century Furniture really came on top with the best food. This isn’t too surprising considering that they always have one of the best showrooms and the highest quality products.

Here sneak peak at the showrooms we make a beeline to at every Market.

Upholstered Seating

Consoles and Occasional Tables

Misc Decor and Home Goods

This week / weekend will be bananas. I am sure we will see a ridiculous about of vendors, friends, and industry celebs. We will do a recap post in a week with highlights of what we saw and experienced. We will also weigh in on who had the best food, and of course, the best cocktails! #HPMKT.

As always if you need any help please feel free to reach out and we will do everything we can to make you space feel and look amazing.

Feature image courtesy of HPMKT Medialink.

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 Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, and beyond.

5 Elements for an Amazing Entryway

I find that often the entryway is this small, hardworking space that we breeze right through when we come home, shedding all of the stuff from the day. Depending on your layout, you may be limited to how much you can do by your main entryway, in my case my front door. At a minimum there are five elements I would consider to get your entryway whipped up into a place you wouldn’t mind lingering in for a second or two. 

Something Personal

Something familiar. Something that grounds you. Let’s be real, the best way to come home is to see something that makes you smile. What are mine? A gallery wall of daycare art mixed in with pics of my kids, a miniature bust of Michaelangelo’s David wearing a floral scarf, and a motivational print that reads “the dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately.” An entry doesn’t have to be formal if that is not your thing.

Something Practical

And by this I mean the mirror where you check yourself before you walk out the door, a table lamp that is on a timer so that you no longer need to remember to turn it on and off each day, and the bowl of catch-all things that include spare change, my daughter’s rock collection from the back yard, and anything else that is quickly dumped from pockets. All of these live on a console with drawers and we’re in efficiency heaven.

A Place for Shoes

We have racks in the bottom of the coat closet for the ones that are in rotation and a big ole bin (that is cute and rattan) for the pairs that are worn daily so that they have a place to live that is not within the swing of the door. As it gets colder outside I add a second bin to hold all the hats, gloves, scarves and general outdoor paraphernalia to keep us somewhat organized. 

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It’s All About that Base [Layer]

Let’s spend a minute talking about creating some good foundations. I’m talking all about that base, about that base… layer… the rug. One of the biggest design mistakes I see is a too-small rug floating in the middle of a big room. Making your space feel large and luxurious, or centered and grounded, can all be accomplished with an appropriately-sized rug.

It’s All About that Base [Layer]

Here’s the rule:

You want AT LEAST the front legs of all sofas or chairs on the rug. Think of your rug as the line that connects all of your furnishings together in the space. If you have the space for a giant rug with all of your furniture to comfortably sit on it, then YES, HONEY, go for it! Make your room shine with color and texture! And here’s the thing – a small room also needs the biggest rug it can possibly fit. Your room will visually expand with an amazing base layer. Add in some pattern, texture, or color (or all three!), and you’ve got a major design refresh without even having to crack open a can of paint or bringing in other new pieces.

4 Fun Rug Options for your Living Room

Don’t know where to start?

We’ve compiled some of our favorite tried-and-true rugs as a launching point. There’s the Chunky Jute rug with lots of great texture that has a nice, warm base to let your boho furniture shine. Or, if you love the inspo pic at the beginning of this post, this White Scandinavian rug may be just the ticket. One of my absolute favorite rugs to use when we’re changing the color of a space but the paint color needs to stay, is this super Soft & Shimmery rug. It creates a lovely, feel-good base color for when you want to introduce a blue-green tone without committing to painting your walls. And finally, for those with a playful side, the Worth the Tassel rug is just so, well, worth it.

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 Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Fayetteville, and beyond.

Cat featured on the Profit is a Choice Podcast

We are super excited to announce that Cat was interviewed by Michele Williams for the Profit is a Choice Podcast. Michele is the owner of Scarlet Thread Consulting, a business and strategy consultant for the interior design industry.  She launched her podcast over a year ago to help interior designers and creatives better understand how to build a profitable and sustainable business model. Her podcast is a fantastic resource for those interested in operating a profitable and productive business. She has done such a fantastic job with her podcast and is a top resource for the industry.  We truly are honored to have Michele feature Cat on her show.

You can listen to the show below, check out Michele’s show page, or look for Episode 54 of the Profit is a Choice Podcast on your favorite podcast app.

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 Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and beyond.

Cat’s radio interview on Morning News & Koozies with Southern Village

Listen to Cat’s radio interview this morning on “Morning News & Koozies with Southern Village” with Ron Stutts of WCHL 97.9 and

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 Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and beyond.

3 Tips to Find the Perfect Couch

When my husband and I moved late last summer, I already had a plan for where I wanted all the furniture to go. Some things were easy, like the crib and master bedroom suite. The piano had to be in the entryway because oh-my-goodness-it’s-heavy. In the bonus room, the couch we’ve had since we got married, freeing us up to get a new couch for the living room.

Let’s talk about the old couch for a moment, shall we? When we bought that couch we had no kids, no dog, and a house full of second-hand furniture. This was our chance! The couch I’d had my eye on went on clearance, and we bought our very own, brand new, beautiful creamy linen couch. Fast-forward ten years, two kids, and a black-furred dog – that beautiful creamy linen fabric is now, well, somewhat brown. With black fur. And milk stains. So when we moved into our lovely new home, top of my list was a new couch.

Allow me to share with you some of the things that I have learned, so that you can love your couch as much as I do mine.

1. A performance fabric is your friend.

We’ve come a long way from a “performance fabric” meaning the plastic-y, outdoor marine-grade fabric. If that’s your jam? Awesome, they still make it. Prefer to sit on your couch and enjoy a comfortable seat? Welcome to the new performance fabric world, my friend. There are patterns, solids, colors, whites, grays, velvets, linens, all sorts of variations that feel amazing but will not absorb that splash of red wine. Check for Crypton or Revolution Fabric – the latter of which you can even bleach!

2. Double check your measurements.

It’s easy to take an open floor plan where the living room flows into the kitchen into the dining room and think “Sweet! I have all this space, let’s just get a sectional and our seating problem will be solved.” Before you buy, pull that tape measure out and make sure length, depth, and height will all work in your space. If you’re spatially challenged, block in out with blue painter’s tape on the floor to see it better. And please don’t forget to double check the width of your door, to make sure you can get it into your house.

3. Don’t be afraid of color.

Our house has base cabinets that are painted a fun color, while the rest of the kitchen is white. This may seem bananas to some, but I pulled a performance fabric that compliments that color to put on our new couch. There are now two big elements in the room that tie together within the same color palette, which allows everything else in the room to be free to be different.

Does your couch have good bones but is perhaps starting to feel worn down? As in, the pillows are lumpy, the seat has no support, or the cat shredded the fabric all up? Reupholstering is also a great option. It’s the next step for our bonus room couch, and I can’t WAIT to break up with beige.

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 Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, Cary and beyond.

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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