Elevated Eclectic – Artist Retreat, part 1

Every client has a design problem that leads them to reach out for help. In the case of this client, it all started with their living room. A long, rectangular formal living room in a traditional historic house is often resolved here in the South with a traditional color palette and endless symmetry. For this  accomplished, artistic couple, redefining a traditional living room needed to reflect their eclectic tastes and be a welcoming environment for entertaining other artists in the community.

Elevated Eclectic Living Room

So how do you shake it up? This home was all about balance and carrying specific elements on throughout the rest of the house. Moments of symmetry – like the tall iron etageres along the back wall, and the black and brass lamps on the mantle – are enlivened with groupings of objects and different types of seating. The thin lines of the etageres also create a graphic quality against the wall, adding much needed height and a layer of depth to the room, while balancing the visual weight of the other furniture pieces in the space.

Elevated Eclectic Fireplace

What we have now is a room that feels elevated, eclectic, and curated, but not overly stuffy and staid. We accomplished this through the Naive Peach paint color on the wall to enrich the blue-green tones in the living room. Decorative accents, like this orange pillow and orange blown glass objects on the mantle, make a similar statement as the wall color, but bolder. This duality of color, you will see, continues throughout the public spaces of the home.

Elevated Eclectic Mantle Styling

One of the easiest ways to bring about a sense of play in a room is to introduce an element of the unexpected. On the mantle, we incorporated this brass owl into the design.

Elevated Eclectic Sofa with Lamps

This luxurious velvet sofa is flanked by identical steel drums. We pulled the sofa off the wall and added a small console behind it for a landing spot for drinks and small sculptures. A brass arc floor lamp on one side of the couch, and a circle brass table lamp on the other side both echo the form and shape of the coffee table in the center of the room.

Elevated Eclectic Console and Chair

A matching side chair is waiting to be moved forward when the couple is entertaining, and the white lacquer console is a perfect spot for drinks. Want to see more? Stay tuned for more posts about this fantastic, eclectic house.

Elevated Eclectic Flowers and Vase
All images were styled by the Team at Catherine French Design, LLC. All photographs were taken by J. Sinclair Photography

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, Winston-Salem, Durham, Wake Forest, and beyond.

Kitchen Combos

You’ve heard that the kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s true. Think about it –  this is where some of the most important daily activities at home happen. We make our coffee here, rushing around in the morning, trying to not be late. If we’re really responsible – which I’m usually not – we make breakfast for ourselves. At night, we cook here and eat with our family or invite loved ones into this space when it’s time to celebrate and entertain.

Here at CFD, our approach to interior design has always acknowledged that form and function go hand in hand. This is especially true for the design of your kitchen. Because the kitchen is a frequently utilized space, it needs to be able to stand up to wear and tear. But it also needs to do its job beautifully. There are so many choices when it comes to deciding about cabinet style, hardware, and other finishes. Here are some kitchen designs that find great ways of combining gorgeous finishes and details.


Interior Design Kitchen - Modern Mint and Leather

This kitchen mixes a lovely grayish green with light neutrals. The simple lines of the flat panel cabinetry are elevated with tan leather drawer pulls.

Kitchen Interior Design - Pink Brick Rustic Forest Green Cabinets

Here, a shade of pink takes a tough material like brick and gives it surprising softness. Married with butcher block counter tops, distressed floors, and masculine accents, this kitchen has an interesting level of contrast.

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Geraldine, you look good girl!

Can we talk about Geraldine, our new office mascot!? Queen Bee and I were sourcing at At Home, our new fave spot for ridiculously cheap accessories, when I spotted this beauty and it was love at first sight. I live for introducing something fun, quirky, and unexpected into each design and Geraldine is just the ticket.

Did I mention we have a side hustle? Its staging and I’ve forced Geraldine to come along on a few of those projects. Girlfriend has been to Winston and back a few times and is still in one piece- mostly. There was an unfortunate incident when I knocked a chunk out of her ear while loading her in the back of Bae’s Subaru. Not to worry, I colored that ish with a brown Sharpie and Queen Bee is none the wiser. Where will Geraldine travel to next? Stay tuned!



PS. Want to get a Geraldine of your own? Girl you know you do! You can buy her here!

Geraldine Statue

Can we talk my fab paint consultation w/Queen Bee!?

Recently Queen Bee was in my neck of the woods meeting with a client. Luckily this meeting finished early so I invited her over to share a few bottles of wine with me. I mentioned that I was DYING to repaint our living room and entryway and bish gave me an on the spot paint consultation!

Now, Girlfriend knows me inside and out so choosing colors was a breeze, but trust me y’all she is really, really good at this. I told her I was thinking blues and grays, and she was all “D, are you really that basic?” She really elevated the color palette by selecting a dark navy, vibrant teal, and calming purple.

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Girl the view from my front porch is starting to look like Grey Gardens

You know the house – every neighborhood has one. The one with dead grass, leaves left over from last fall, and a flickering porch light. Well that’s my house, Boo! I know you might be asking yourself how someone in the design field could live with a front yard that’s as much of a hot mess as Britney circa 2007, but hold your judgment back. I mean who wants to go rake leaves when there’s a Top Model marathon on tv? However, it is spring time and my neighbors are starting to power walk every morning, and you know they’re throwing shade about the state of my yard! So, if you’re in the same situation as me, here are a few ideas to shape up that front porch and avoid a nasty note in your mailbox.

Paint Colors - Sherwin Williams


Let’s start with paint colors for the front door. I’m living for these three by Sherwin Williams. No lie I just had mine done in Midnight, everyone in the neighborhood is totes jealous.

Door Knocker Ideas - Interior Design

Now let that paint dry, grab a snack and a pinot grigio and then install one of these fab door knockers. I prefer to place my knockers in one of three categories- whimsical, modern, or terrifying.

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When C met D

I get asked a lot about how I got started as an interior designer, how I found Danny, and who are some of my big design inspirations. So I thought I might share how C met D. It involves a fire and everyone’s favorite potter, Mr. Jonathan Adler. Welcome to Catspiration Friday.

Once upon a time, in a land called Winston-Salem, a young Danny Ekstrand was moving into my neighborhood. With his future husband. From Houston, Texas. And my sweet husband volunteered us to help them move in. As Danny likes to tell it, I came running out of his house with one of the boxes on fire. I put that fire out (because let’s be real, I’m resourceful), and only broke one bowl in the process. From that day on, D and I formed a fast friendship based on our mutual love of everything JA. We would meet at the mall, obsess over his JCPenny line, and drink Starbucks on Danny’s work breaks, while planning the next small party or interior redesign.

Wondering where we get our love of vibrant color mixed with funky objects? It all started with a kitchen fire…

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, Winston-Salem, Durham, Wake Forest, and beyond.

Three Ways to Introduce GRANNY FLORALS Into Your Home

Interior design trends are fascinating to watch. More than just a random selection of aesthetically pleasing motifs, trends usually reflect something that’s happening in the culture at a given moment. Floral patterns – or, lovingly known as GRANNY FLORALS – have sprung up all over the place. Maybe it’s the speed of our lives or our attachment to devices and technology – we just want to reconnect to nature in some way.

Also, flowers are pretty.

So – how do you incorporate floral patterns in your home without it seeming too… old-school? Here are some ideas.

  1. Custom Upholstery – If you’re not ready to cover your couch, start with a side chair. This is a great way to make a statement. When paired with modern or industrial furnishings, the floral pattern suddenly gets an edge.
  2. Wallpaper – I know. Wallpaper. But really, you might be surprised. There are some truly beautiful designs out there. As long as you let the wall be the focal point – keeping the rest of the space paired down – you’re set.
  3. Rugs – Consider the floor. A rug is a gorgeous way of bringing in a floral pattern at a larger scale. Choose a design with colors that speak to your personality. Pull these colors into other accents in the room and you’ll have a wonderfully cohesive space.
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Dancing on the Ceiling – WITH COLOR

Ok, so, in recent posts we’ve talked about how we think 2017 is about to get colorful. And we’ve discussed the different ways to colorfully accent your walls. But I’m going to guess there’s an area of your home that you haven’t thought to enhance with color – because most of us don’t. That’s right.  I’m talking about your ceiling. I’m talking about Lionel Richie-ing your ceiling.

Why stick with boring white when you can infuse your space with something extra? The ceiling has such an influence on the way a room feels, which you know if you’ve ever lived in a house with dreadfully low ceilings. But height isn’t its only impact. Adding color to this area is a great way to further manipulate the feeling.

Here are some rooms that take advantage of this often underlooked area.

Painting a Ceiling to Look WonderfulHere, a lovely coral responds to the blush of the chair, warm wooden furniture and flooring, and the brighter tones in the striped ottoman. This nursery keeps it calm and collected – until you look up. Baby gets the best view.

Painting a Ceiling to Look Wonderful

An eclectic space with traditional furnishings gets a punch. By pulling one of the less represented colors from the large area rug – bright blue – the ceiling in this space is a touch of the unexpected.

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Soapstone Kitchen Countertops

Granite and marble countertops are great staple items for kitchen design, but what if you want something a little different for your super trendy all-white kitchen? If you love the beauty and veining of natural stone, consider soapstone as an alternate kitchen countertop material. It’s similar in cost to granite, low-maintenance, and can enhance a modern kitchen with wonderful texture.

What to Know about Soapstone:


  • Maintenance and daily care – soapstone resists staining, so no more worrying about those red wine spills on marble. It’s also resistant to heat, which is ideal for setting down hot cookware when you’re cooking up a storm.
  • Colors – Soapstone comes in an array of blacks, grays, and greens.


  • Cost – Although not the most expensive choice, as it’s cheaper than marble, soapstone can cost about the same as a high end granite.
  • Durability: It’s soft and damages easily. Some would argue this is part of it’s natural beauty. Either way, this is definitely a consideration if you live in a home that sees its fair share of wear and tear. You can leave it untreated if you prefer the look, but to achieve an even, dark finish, you’ll need to make sure to oil soapstone on a semi-regular basis.

Need a visual?

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Girl I LOVE watching my stories: AKA how to throw a La La Land inspired Oscar Party

I think everyone can agree that the only positive thing about winter is that its the beginning of awards season!!! There is no better way to get my mind off the crushing depression of these bitterly cold moths than to snuggle up and watch a good movie with bae. We spent last weekend watching Ever After: A Cinderella Story and Center Stage on repeat (jealous much!?), and since he suffered through that without too much complaining I let him choose a film for once. It was Manchester By the Sea, which I refused to see, so we went to La La Land instead!

Can you imagine my excitement when I found out that my seventh favorite movie of the year was nominated for so many Academy Awards!? This calls for an Oscar party boo, and I’ve decided to decorate our house a la Emma Stone’s unrealistically large and fabulous apartment from the film!

La LA Land Inspired Room - Interior Design

I know, I can’t believe a struggling actress with no job has a cuter place than me, but not for long girl! Here are some of my fave finds that you can use to La La up your Oscar party this year, you can thank me later.

Lets start with pillows, bish loved them:

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