Introducing CFD Live: Virtual Design in Real-Time

The CFD team is so excited to announce the launch of CFD Live: Design in Real-Time! This new line of services includes a full range of options- all completely virtual. Same amazing design service, with no in-person visits required. Read on below for all of the details!

CFD Virtual Design Services

The CFD Connection

There’s no doubt about it- things are a-changing right now. We are feeling it just as we know you all are too. Even though we’re not making in-person visits, we’re still hustling like we always do to keep projects moving forward for each client. Truthfully, virtual design is familiar territory for our team and has been a part of our work for some time. We have clients around the country who aren’t able to pop into the studio, and over the years we’ve become well-versed in communicating with them via whatever means necessary- be it phone, email, or online. Working face-to-face with our clients is one of our favorite things on the planet- but when circumstances prevent it, we connect in other ways- whatever it takes to get the job done right.

Lysol wipes handy and separated by glass (social distancing!). But we’re still elbow deep in that design process, and connecting with our clients day in, day out.

How We Can Help

During this time of working and being at home, chances are there may be a few things you might like to change- That place in the house that just needs attention or maybe even a pesky project that you’d love to get off your list. We have had so many people reach out to us and ask about how they can access design services right now. We know firsthand that creativity and collaboration can happen in so many different ways. The CFD team has been working hard behind the scenes to bring a new service to life, and we are so excited to begin offering CFD Live: Design in Real-time- Virtual Design options available to both existing and new clients.  

Virtual Design Styling Assistance - Catherine French Design

Design Direct to You

 Each session will include a videoconference call with one of our talented designers. All you need is your ideas, questions, and a tape measure!  It’s easily done using your tablet, computer, or phone- whatever is most convenient for you.  CFD Live will be the same robust, creative, and personalized service CFD is known for, but all done via video.

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Meet our team: All About Cat!

With the 19 Hours Design Conference right around the corner (TODAY!!) and Cat as a featured panelist, there was just no better time for us to share this post. It’s been in the queue for quite awhile, but there have been so many exciting things happening around here that it’s taken a backseat to other projects. But now we know it was all for the best, as this week is the perfect opportunity to tell you more about Cat- our fearless leader, CEO, design mastermind, and all-around incredible lady. From a kid with a room chock full of sketchbooks, she has been drawing, designing, and dreaming her way to what has become an incredible, thriving business, built from the ground up.

Cat French headshot in CFD's first studio - Catherine French Design

Designer in the Making

As an undergraduate at Wake Forest University, Cat found and fell in love with studio art. Always a lover of color and a creator, the academic aspect of painting and welding fueled her passion for making beautiful things.  She had already been working in the photography business for years, and immersing herself in the world of academic art helped build the foundation for what would become a lifelong creative passion.  Pursing an opportunity to broaden her knowledge, she spent time studying in Spain and traveling throughout Europe. Absorbing and learning from the architecture, history, and expression of so many diverse cultures set the stage for her graduate academic work, and her future in the global design industry.  She went on to obtain a Master of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a terminal degree in the design world. She taught design at the undergraduate level and helped launch the Center for Community-Engaged Design at UNCG. She had opportunities to continue a career teaching at the post-graduate level, but as the ink was drying on that diploma Cat knew it was time to spread her wings. Drawing on years of academic training, knowledge, experience, and a whole lot of sweat equity, Catherine French Design, LLC was born.

Cat French presenting for her Master of Fine Arts from the Interior Architecture program at UNCG - Catherine French Design
Cat presenting at her graduate thesis defense, the final step to completing her Master of Fine Arts from the Interior Architecture program at UNCG.

Dream Big

It’s true that Cat is no stranger to building up an incredibly designed space from nothing more than an idea.  But one special niche she also has is restoring older spaces to their former glory, often weaving in a modern twist. And in fact, much of her graduate research was focused on this very thing. One of her notable early projects was a large-scale renovation of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Kenan Institute. She’s not scared of big dreams or hard work, and by taking on (and nailing!) such a huge project straight out of the gate, she launched herself full force into the design world.

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A Color Story – The Lakehouse Redesign – II

Year-round waterfront living is the stuff of dreams, y’all – especially when it comes to this custom Lakehouse Redesign project. Last week, we introduced you to this glorious space, and now we can’t wait to bring you in on even more of the color story, textures, and unique finishes that brought this home design to a glorious CFD finish.

Lake House Color Story Living Room - Catherine French Design

Creating the Color Story

There are so many different ways to create flow within a home, and for this project, color was the medium we used to make the magic happen. With a carefully created Color Story, the individual spaces come together throughout the entire house, leading your eye seamlessly from each space to the next. Transitioning from the deep, moody green of the exterior, we began curating the color flow starting right at this classic slate front porch.

The Moody Blues

Around here, the blues are a good thing. Blue was a focal component of this design, drawing on multiple depths and shades to touch every space. From the outside entry point above, through the entryway, multiple seating areas, the picturesque dining area, and bedroom. This was quite a space to tackle- but that’s what we love to do. Through skilled design, we allowed each space to be distinct while creating a continuous polished aesthetic throughout, giving it a flow and finish that just can’t be beat.

The colors of this den look amazing in this Lakehouse - Cat french design

Palette in Harmony

Most of you know, we love some color over here! Even a diverse color palette and rich tones can still be used to create a serene, relaxed, and beautifully blended space. For the Lakehouse, it was important to bring in many of the homeowners existing furnishings- from large pieces of furniture to special items of various colors and styles. The sectional below was fully reupholstered to a rich red, and balanced with accents of blue and the cozy soft green we see throughout the house. Wood, mixed metal, and glass create incredible visual interest, and perfectly highlight the mid-century architectural detail. One of the special touches in this room was displaying the homeowner’s pottery collection, and tying in those colors throughout the design. By making these tones work in harmony, the space takes on a gorgeous, unique artistry we love.

Wonderful pops of color in this mid-century living room - Cat French Design
Bright bowls and plates inspiring the color story of this home - Catherine French Design

Hues Made for Walkin’

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Color & Water- The Lakehouse Redesign – I

When we look back at this incredible Lakehouse Redesign project, we can’t help but wish we were there right now. Life at the lake is even sweeter when the inside is just as beautiful as that waterfront view. With a multi-room custom redesign, this space became the perfect balance of charming, modern, and serene. Transforming a timeless mid-century home- while keeping it full of so much character and joy- was an unforgettable design we can’t wait to share.

The view from the dining room Lakehouse Project - Catherine French Design

Making the Good Even Better

Not every new project begins with a blank slate. We work with many clients who love their homes and have filled their spaces with items that hold meaning. After all, home is a place we make so many lasting memories. But what do you do when it’s time for a change? Whether it’s an update, a re-style, or just a refresher- that’s where we come in. This redesign was about weaving together the perfect colors, textures, and finishes- while letting the gorgeous architecture and view keep their place at center stage.

The Custom Design Difference

Customization is a key component of how we take care of clients, and was at the forefront of this project. One of the things that makes CFD unique is that we offer multiple levels of design service- taking the time to work with each client on what will fully meet the needs of their individual vision, budget, preferences, and timeline. This project started as an afternoon design session, where the homeowner reached out to Cat for help pulling together some finishes prior to hosting a large event. But as we started to transform her space, the homeowner was so thrilled with the result that she chose to continue throughout the house.

Refresh and Reinvent

For the Lake house, it was all about renewal. We were not moving walls, gutting rooms, or planning additions. Instead, the focus was on giving new life to many of the homeowner’s existing furnishings, and bringing in the right details to beautifully style and curate an amazing finished space. Cat said it best in our recent feature in Chapel Hill Magazine, describing some pro tips on how a skilled, strategic redesign can make gorgeous and impact-ful changes within the existing framework of a home:

“I always start with color. What can we do to keep the current pieces and reinvent them in your space?…A design feels complete when there is balance throughout the space with multiple components. Lighting and art to complement the scale of other pieces. Consider all of the different elements like color, texture, and pattern to create a harmonious space.”

Color and Flow

The Lake house is used as a primary residence all year-round, and this particular homeowner also frequently uses the space to host large gatherings of 50 or more. Creating flow within the home was essential, both for enjoyment of daily living and especially for those times when the house is full of mingling, laughter, and connection. Color was at the center of this design, used to create a fluid feel within the classic mid-century architecture. Using a diverse palette, we balanced that sense of movement with a cohesive, polished collection of tones that still brought each room together, as well as tying in that incredible lake view.

Wonderful lake views from the den with new rug, upholstery and throw pillows.

Lakeside in CFD Style

Preserving much of what was original to the home while breathing new life into the bones was just one of the things we loved about this project. The end result was full of playfulness, energy, and balanced with a cozy relaxation- just the way lakelife should be- and, a perfect reflection of this homeowner. That’s the CFD way, and how we build client relationships that last.

Cat French styling the back deck of the Lakehouse Project
Professional images via Cat Wilborne Photography

More to come!

Not quite ready to leave the lake? Neither are we…and it’s a good thing we’ve got lots more to share with you. Come back next week for a closer view of this one-of-a-kind project- we’ll take a deep dive into the Color Story of this design, and also talk about the unique experience and background that made CFD perfect to preserve the beauty of this home.

Can’t wait for next week? Check out all the gorgeous images on the CFD Portfolio Page!

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.

Market and Moss – the big update!

The update we can’t wait to share with you- great things have been happening down at our full renovation of Market and Moss! If you’re anything like us, something as simple as a nice dinner out is probably sounding pretty incredible right about now. We have been hard at work transforming this brand new Chapel Hill dining spot into a place we can all enjoy for years to come.

We opened the CFD Southern Village location in 2018, and have never looked back. This is a wonderful community- and one of our favorite parts? Our amazing neighboring businesses. When we were approached about renovating this prime spot, we couldn’t wait to dive in! We love having the opportunity to work side-by-side with Annie Johnston, owner of the highly anticipated full restaurant and bar Market and Moss.

Before photo!

This is the second space we’ve designed with Annie- she’s a savvy Chapel Hill entrepreneur and also the owner of the very popular La Vita Dolce, which we renovated with her in 2019. With each passing year, CFD gains more clients all over the US, but our roots are strong here in Chapel Hill. The entire CFD team is passionate about keeping the local community thrivin’. We are so excited to work with Annie again to bring even more life and vibe to Southern Village.

Photo courtesy of the Southern Village Instagram Acct. Credit to Hoffman Aerials:

Annie has big plans for this soon-to-be upscale eatery- and so do we! As you can see in the “before” photos below, this project was so much more than just a facelift. Working closely with Annie, we created a custom design that touched every part of the space. Functionality is key in this fast-paced working environment, as well as creating the perfect atmosphere that will keep patrons returning again and again to enjoy incredible food.

Commercial (and especially) foodservice industry renovations require unique knowledge and a special skill set to ensure that plans meet or exceed building codes. We are tasked with designing a completely custom aesthetic for patrons, but also ensuring a safe, functional workplace that will hold up to all that hustle and bustle. As a Full-Service Interior Design Firm, creating dynamic spaces is something we LOVE to do. Working closely with the contractor for this project, Alex Sayre with Argyle Builders, we are all hands on deck to get all the details right and bring it all together for a beautiful, vibrant finish.

What was on the must-have list? Gorgeous and durable floors, gleaming countertops, full custom upholstered booths, and stunning lighting, for starters! Annie’s beautiful taste came right into play as we worked with her on selecting the perfect items to align with her vision for this trendy but classic space. Private events, special occasions, date nights, lunches on the terrace- this design can do it all, creating a timeless feel that fosters connection and enjoyment while highlighting the incredible menu offerings.

We are so excited to be well into the mid-way point and making great progress. The entire team here at CFD is grateful to be part of this wonderful addition to the Southern Village community. If you haven’t already, hop over to the Market and Moss page and get even more updates on what’s to come. Definitely also check out their Instagram @marketandmoss for a preview of some truly divine looking eats (WOW). It’s gonna be amazing, y’all, and we are ready for 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, Durham, Raleigh, and beyond.

CFD featured in Chapel Hill Magazine!

We are so excited to see one of our recent projects featured in the March issue of Chapel Hill Magazine! The article highlights our recent work with Jackie and Dr. Doug Villard on their family home in the triangle area of North Carolina, adjacent to the North Carolina Botanical Gardens. Working closely with these creative and inspiring homeowners, we completed a custom design for their living room, office, and playroom tailored specifically to their lifestyle. This space came to an incredible finish, and working with this amazing family made it even sweeter.

Chapel Hill Magazine Home Makeover Article

As a Full-Service Interior Design Firm, one-of-a-kind custom design is our specialty. As a team, we talk with each client about their wants, preferences, and personal style. By listening closely, we get a true sense of what will make the space not only beautiful, but completely unique to them. We loved working closely with the Villard family to make each detail in their home a true reflection of Jackie’s impeccable taste, while highlighting scenic views of the lush forest that encircles the house. One of our favorite parts of this project was creating a family-friendly flow that allowed for lots of movement, while maintaining clean lines and definition of the living and kitchen areas. Another favorite spot? A multi-use office and playroom! Jackie is quoted in the article, saying “I wanted Lane to be able to spread out and have toys, but [have it] be easy to put those things away. This was a tall order for Cat but she pulled it off.”

Chapel Hill Magazine- March 2020

You can see all the details, as well as stunning images (and some personal design tips from Cat herself!) in the online edition here (our feature starts on page 104). Big CFD thanks goes to writer Morgan Cartier Weston and photographer Beth Mann for capturing this project so beautifully.

It’s such a privilege for the whole CFD team when we get to talk about a project we enjoyed so much. A huge thank you to Chapel Hill Magazine for highlighting one of the things we do best- fully maximizing function while finishing in perfect style. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the end result, and we can’t thank the Villard’s enough for choosing CFD.

It’s been a happenin’ week over here, ya’ll- We’ve also been nominated for Best of Chapel Hill’s Best Interior Designer for 2020! Please consider voting for us- it only takes a moment to hop on there and choose Cat French Design. Every vote helps our business, so we can keep doing what we love- giving it our all for each amazing client and giving back to the Chapel Hill community. Click HERE to vote!

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.

Porch Heaven- Part 2

The best things are worth waiting for- and when we put those final touches on this blissful Porch & outdoor living space, we got to do the thing we love most- making a homeowner’s dream come true. In the sequel to last week’s post, we’re going to give you an even closer view of the details that took this space all the way from demolition to the spectacular unveiling. So come on back to the porch, put those feet up, and settle in while we show you all the goodness and CFD style that makes this the perfect place.

The key to porch perfection

An incredible outdoor space encompasses so many key elements. But at the foundation, it’s all about finding balance between movement and rest- making the space a natural part of the home where we can lounge, mingle, and dine our way to the good life. At CFD, we know that starts at the very beginning- with a strategic floor plan. For this specific project, we needed a transition to bring together the house, the screened in porch, and the open-air deck. The solution? What we like to call “the landing pad”. Seen in this photo shot from below, this spot maximizes flow and acts as the hub that makes it all work.

The integrated second-tier deck is both a transition between spaces and a convenient entry point to the screened-in porch and house. And, we certainly don’t mind getting more of that delicious custom stair real out of it, too. It would have been easy to forego this for a simple staircase instead, but when it comes down to that finished product- what a difference the right design makes! Styled-up with a timeless classic bench and the perfect sprightly fern, it becomes a space that just feels meant-to-be. By bringing the open and enclosed together, it’s a blueprint that truly works.

Outdoor bench with fern

Decking it Out

Oh, how we love to love this deck! To us, the deck should never feel like an afterthought. With the right design, it can be MUCH more than just a place to park your grill. Whether you’re chatting it up with the chef or taking some time to revel in the warm sanctuary of the sun, so much time and attention went into making sure this deck was stop-and-stay-awhile perfection.

The unique lines and sloped angles of the chairs grace the deck with style, and radiate a vibe that’s both relaxed and beautifully refined. Each unique piece was chosen to speak relaxation to the soul, even at the first sight. To make it even more complete, we added a spa-quality cabana-style umbrella to give just the right mix of shade and light, as well as carefully placed outdoor lighting to make this a gorgeous spot day and night.

Outdoor Deck Furniture

More than a Porch

Even as this space was emerging in design and construction, we fell in love with it over and over again. It’s a tall order to create a porch that’s both functional and downright elegant, but she’s here in all her glory. Each detail was designed to make it an unforgettable space. The strategically placed segment of screen over the fireplace ushers in so much light, illuminating every nook and cranny of those gorgeous architectural beams. In maximizing the beauty and detail of the vaulted ceiling, we created a jaw-dropping line of sight that lifts your eyes to the sky- lending itself perfectly to that tree-house feeling.

Screen Porch Design

When your eyes land on that stunning gas fireplace? Well, as we like to say in the South- it’s swoon-worthy, ya’ll. The sleek mantle, long-lined pendants, and glossy waterfall of marble at the hearth below bring luxury to this completely custom feature. From symmetry to balance to execution, this design is nothing short of a show-stopper.

outdoor fireplace and seating area

Wine, dine, and unwind

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Porch Heaven, CFD Style

Here at CFD we believe in spaces that can do it all- and that’s exactly what we created with this incredible porch, bi-level deck, and beautifully finished outdoor living space. Join us for an insider view of one of our favorite projects, inspired by client request and brought to life by the CFD team. Whether it’s entertaining, dining al fresco, or relaxing in front of the fire with a cozy blanket and a big ole’ glass of wine, this porch is the place. Let’s kick back and porch-it-up, CFD style.

How it all began…

What’s most unique about this porch and outdoor space project is not just the incredible features – including a screened in space with full living & dining area, a bi-level deck, double doors, and a stunning gas fireplace -(yes!). What we also love about this space is that it was a complete CFD creation. While all of our projects are true originals, here we also got to do one of our favorite things- taking it all the way from concept to completion in true full-service design. From measurements and permits to hand-placing each piece of beautiful decor, we created this space from the ground up. We’ll show you the total transformation in 2 parts for a closer view of how the magic happened.

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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.