Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lately (and always) Loving // Darryl Carter's New Traditional

 I remember seeing this gate leg table in his in-home studio and falling hard for it. So beautiful. Via
Once, many, many moons ago, just after I'd returned to school in DC to get my degree in design, I met Darryl Carter. He was friendly with my design mentor and she'd suggested that I get in touch with him to see if there was an internship opportunity for me. I was invited to his gorgeous home/office townhouse on Embassy Row and had the chance to tour his home while I chatted with his business manager and, ultimately, with Darryl himself.

The "headboard" is actually made up of two antique bordello doors. Via
I was in awe of everything I saw. Quite honestly ... everything. I grew up in a house filled with antiques and have always loved the feeling of being surrounded by history but I had never seen antiques done his way.

Luxurious and timeless, warm yet modern (and the TV front and center doesn't even bother me). Via
His home & office spaces were undeniably modern. Crisp. Clean ... and yet filled with old items with time-worn imperfections...

Yes. In every possible way ... YES!!! Via
...which only made them that much more spectacular.

This mix of modern and antique? Perfection. Via
His use of a limited color palette: whites, creams, blacks & browns creates such a beautiful juxtaposition; it's warm and inviting at the same time that it is stark and contemporary.

Can I get an Amen? Via
Perfection. Absolute perfection.

Just. So. Damn. Pretty. Via
While I do love color and pattern a little too much to walk directly in his footsteps, I often find myself referring to his methodology when looking at a space for the first time (especially a new or newly-remodeled one): how can it be given a sense of history, of timeless elegance, of soul, without filling it with "stuff"?

It's too early to ask for next year's Christmas presents; right??? Via

But perhaps the most important lesson that I learned during that visit: be precise in the items you include in a space... and let them breathe. There is so much life in an item -- be it colorful or neutral -- if you give each item the room it needs to be seen.

Darryl Carter's DC shop. This is a must-do on my next trip to DC. Via
While my class schedule ultimately didn't allow me to intern with him, I took so much away from that hour-long visit. At the time, I was adamant that I wanted to focus on commercial interiors but now, after opening up my own business with so much residential work on the docket, it makes me sad to think that I didn't/wouldn't find a way to make it work. Who knows how much I could have learned from this self-taught master of luxurious restraint and glamorous imperfections?


  1. Beautiful work by a beautiful man!

  2. His work is undeniably gorgeous and yes, he is a very handsome man to boot! :)

  3. This is perfection--completely modern but still so inviting. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Ashley from Tea with Jam and Bread

    1. I know; I just love his work ...a perfect blend!