Helping the Homeless with a Wonderful Charity

At the suggestion of our favorite realtor in Chapel Hill, Erika Buchholtz of Erika and Company, Catherine French Design became involved with a fantastic charity, A Lotta Love. A Lotta Love was set up to “transform local shelters by creating dignified, safe and emotionally inspiring spaces.”  This wonderful charity, established 2014, takes very modest homeless shelters and elevates a space to make the women and children living there feel more at home.  Transforming a bland institutional room into a cozy place a family can begin to have a new start at life.

Charity - A Lotta of Love - Shelter Room Design - Catherine French Design

The first thing we did once we got to the space was paint.  The shelter run by Families Moving Forward and had a few rules. Firstly, you can only paint approved colors.  Secondly, you must leave all of the existing furniture in the room.  We selected the brightest color to make this small space feel as large as possible.  The crew of volunteers had this room cut-in and painted in no time at all.  Then with a little bit of space planning the crew rearranged the existing beds, dressers, and desk.  We brought in side tables, lamps, and art to soften the space.

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I’m Mad for Plaid

Cool evenings wearing your favorite plaid flannel shirt. A cozy blanket draped on the sofa while you sip hot coffee (or a glass of wine). I can just feel it – Tartan is not just a fabric, it’s almost something that evokes an emotion.

Tartan Accessories - Catherine French Design

The things we chose for our home are an expression of who we are and how we want to feel. That’s really what interior design is all about. I want to come home after a long day and just feel absolute peace, comfort and relaxation. I love to get home from work and immediately put on my flannel PJ’s and curl up on the sofa or in the bed to unwind? Rainy day spent in this bed, yes please!

Tartan Bedding - Catherine French Design

Our interiors set the tone. Sophisticated, handsome, smart, just a few words to describe the use of this plaid wallpaper. In an office, bedroom or den, you can’t go wrong.

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Color Me Fall, Y’all

I know, I know. It’s hot, muggy, and I’m watching torrential rain outside my window from a hurricane, but I have ALL THE EXCITEMENT for cooler weather, sweaters, boots & hot drinks. Let’s just stop and dream about how one day soon (I hope!) it’s going to finally feel like fall, y’all. Can you see it?

Autumn Color Inspiration - Catherine French Design

What I love most about cooler weather are all the saturated colors everywhere: oranges, yellows, burgundies. Translating that to your interior spaces is easy peasy if you embrace gold accents, deep plums, and rich textures like velvets. Embrace that introverted bookworm persona and create a space in which you would be happy to hide away and read in for hours.

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Workplace Design

Trying to attract new talent? Time to break away from cube farm hell and shake things up a bit. Today’s workers want to be able to move around. They want to collaborate. They want to sit with their coffee and laptop and work away from their desk. Dream jobs are hardly enough these days. Dream spaces help. It’s time to analyze your workplace design.

Here are my top 5 “must have’s” in today’s modern office:

Sit to stand desk

Sit to Stand Desk

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A Tribute to an Artist: Bruno Louchouaron

I was spending this past Friday night squeezing in a bit of self-care after getting the kids in bed, reading Eloisa James’ latest novel, and these two sentences gave me pause:  “You are a brilliant woman, who sees the world as an artist does: in color, light, and shape. And like any other artist, you want to spend your days creating beauty.” It’s been an interesting year so far in the life of Cat. One of growth, risks, juggling of all the balls in the air. But the recent passing of one my first clients has me pausing for a moment to reflect on the meaning of being an artist, this insatiable desire to create, and the meaning of one’s legacy.

I first met Bruno through his wife, Corey, as we were mid-way through the Kenan Institute for the Arts project. Corey and Bruno had just purchased a new home in Winston-Salem, and Corey asked me if I would be willing to help them with their new home. Her husband, she said, was a composer, and she wanted to make sure that he had a space for him to work. Would I be willing to come meet him and see if I could help?

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Modern Refresh {Before and After}

Here at Catherine French Design, we love a good challenge. We were approached last year by a great couple here in Chapel Hill with two small kids.  Who were moving into a new home in Southern Village. With them came a large, contemporary brown leather sectional that they wanted to incorporate into a design for their new space. Inherited with the house was a metallic tiled fireplace. The goal was to elevate this room aesthetically while keeping it kid friendly, relaxed, and functional. Challenge accepted! Welcome to this Modern Refresh project.


Before and After Photos - Before - Modern Refresh - Cat French Design

Welcome to the before. When we first came on board, the first step was to measure and document the existing space. From there we worked through several different layout options, discussed flow, needs of the kids, needs of the adults, and specific functions needed for the space. The size of the existing sectional dictated many of the layout options, and it was quickly determined that the client was happy with the current location of the sectional, but wanted to update all of the other elements in the space.


Before and After - After Photo - Cat French Design

We replaced the tired and worn swivel chair with one in a new blue leather to match the new blue hexagonal rug. The Alfa Italia media center stayed streamlined and contemporary but incorporated extra storage for all of the electronic systems with added height and display space for books, boardgames, and family photographs. Textured draperies were hung as well to bring the eye up in the room and to balance the visual weight of the existing sectional.

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Finalist for Micro-Enterprise Business of the Year! {BEA’s}

All the glitz and glam, and this tiny little bee made for an incredible evening for the CFD team. A few years ago when Cat had the vision of starting her own interior design business, she never dreamed in just a short amount of time her success would be honored in the community like it was last Friday night! The BEA, Business Excellence Award, is actually a literal adorable little bee, but represents so much more. The BEA’s are given to the top businesses in the are through the Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce, in several different categories. Though we did not win the cute little bee, being a finalist was a huge deal to Cat and the team. Dozens of companies were nominated, but only three were selected to be a finalist by a team of panelist’s, based growth, community involvement, team members and many other things. The red carpet event included some of the area’s top business owners and it was an honor to just be among them!

Micro-Enterprise BEAs

Catherine French Design was nominated in the Micro-Enterprise Business of the year category. How cool is that? There are hundreds of awesome businesses in our community! The recognition is beyond anything we could have hoped for. Truly truly an honor to be at the ceremony. Thank you to all of our amazing clients that help us continue to grow and be able to receive such recognition. We truly love what we do and love to serve our community.

Business Excellence Awards

Photos by Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce

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.

Eco-Friendly Furniture {Guide}

Living in a Chapel Hill, we have several clients that are often interested in sustainable, eco-friendly products.  Finding truly eco-friendly products especially while searching for higher end furniture can send you down a never ending rabbit hole.  There is a ton of talk about being environmentally friendly, but how much is just that, talk?  We found that we can sort eco-friendly furniture by first reviewing the following 5 criteria.

 Sustainable Wood

Does the company use Forest Stewardship Council®wood? FSC® is a great non-profit group which certifies wood sources that are implementing best practices for sustainable wood harvesting.  Some of the more sustainable wood sources are White Ash, Black Cherry, Mango, Mahogany, Maple, and White Oak.  Some bamboo is sustainable, but depending on where it is grown bamboo can be harvested in a way to aiding in deforestation and can have elevated uses of pesticides and fertilizer.  If you want eco-friendly bamboo make sure to see if that product is FSC®  or Rainforest Alliance certified.

Eco-Friendly Cushion Materials

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Style with Botanicals {How to}

Greenery is one of my favorite ways to add a special touch to any space. Botanicals are great fillers not to mention the pop color is an added touch! Not quite sure how to do it? There are a few things to keep in mind:


Are you good with plants? I do not have a green thumb at all! Here are some plants that can handle a little bit of neglect if you are more like me.

Snake plant. These are one of the easiest to take care of..or not take care of. Snake plants love to be potted, they can go up to two weeks without water, and the length of their leaves and pattern make an esthetically pleasing touch. Transfer these guys into a colorful pot and you have an easy decorating fix!

Pathos. Growing up, my mom had these everywhere throughout the house. In a large pot they can continue to grow like crazy. In confined pots, they tend to stop at about 6 or so feet long. Pathos drape so beautifully and are so easy to maintain. An added benefit, these vine plants have a reputation for purifying the air.  Throw one of these on a top shelf or cabinet and no need to add trinkets, just watch the greenery spread.

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Rose Gold Room Accents {How to}

Rose Gold seems to be everywhere these days. Whether it’s an iPhone, jewelry, or finger nail polish.  You just can’t walk out in public without seeing little hints of it all over.  This coppery gold metal just looks amazing in so many places including your home and we want to show you just how to pull off pulling a little bit of rose gold into your space.

Rose Gold Accent Tables

Metallic accent tables are always a great way to bring in a new material to a space and help tie it together with other decor. The rose gold frames of these tables provide wonderful color and sheen without dominating a the space.  This is not a material that is often used to take over the look, however, it is a fantastic accent bringing in unique warmth thats softens the space unlike any other metal.


Rose Gold Accent Side Table


Decor and Accents

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