Tuesday, March 29, 2011

| Collecting : Leather Books |

If you haven't noticed by some of our past blogs yet, R. Higgins Interiors has a thing for leather bound books, hence our large collection. We have discovered that they can be used in such versatile ways and offer instant texture and interest to an empty space.

Despite the fact that they consume our showroom shelves and are usually scattered throughout various rooms in a client's house, they always manage to give a polished appearance. It's their sophistication that that makes them such a popular accessory for us to use.
Roger buys the books in bulk each month at market. Most are written in other languages, but that's where we find the beauty in them. It's the idea that they've traveled the world and have somehow landed in our hands that we find fascinating. It's always special to open one up and find a handwritten inscription, even if you aren't able to understand, it gives a sense of age and intrigue.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

| A Night for Southern Gentlemen |

It isn't often there is an occasion that calls for centerpieces of tulips and fine silver for a room full of men. However, we've found that a dignified male dinner party isn't complete without some decor, as long as we deliver a masculine approach.

A simple arrangement using only one type of flower- like tulips in a fish bowl- is appreciated by the male guests, but doesn't overwhelm.
We discovered these containers for an outdoor, rustic wedding we are planning. Each contained two Maidenhair ferns that we then covered in moss. They were perfect for this event because while they didn't scream femininity they gave a natural approach and pop of color to the table. 
We completed the table story with white votives, wooden chargers, and plates with a decorative leaf motif. It was an appropriate and beautiful setting for men to gather for a meal and talk business while the wives were away.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

| Inside the Designers' Lovely Home |

Welcome to the home of Roger Higgins and Ann Shipp (the owners of R. Higgins Interiors). People are always trying to get a glimpse inside of an interior designers' personal space, so we thought you might enjoy taking a tour of their eclectic house. Designing for others has always come natural to the pair, but it's in their own surroundings that you truly see their passion for beautiful interiors come to life. 

From your first step inside the door, you understand the uniqueness of the space with its hand painted wall design (that Roger sketched on the wall himself) and the collaboration of old and new accents. One point that Roger stresses for furnishing your home is that all objects need not be precious. In fact, it's the incorporation of less expensive market finds that balance your aesthetic and enhance the finer pieces.

Making your way into the dining room, a sense of balance continues to be featured in the design. The bold chartreuse draperies against the high gloss charcoal walls add a sense of deep contrast. Also, the chairs which were purchased at an auction and then painted a crisp white for a more contemporary look parallel nicely with the more traditional table.
Leather books are not only a signature item in our showroom, but they are also our go-to accessory for any space that is lacking warmth or texture. Their classic form can transform an empty tabletop or shelf to an interesting visual element.  
Pictured above is the study and the bedroom. Both spaces along with their kitchen (shown below) convey a relaxed setting. The cool color pallette offers a calm background for the heaviness of the desk and the rich headboard. In the kitchen, they've used a tile backsplash with matching Venetino Marble countertops to complement the neutral cabinets.
Need a solution for unattractive panelled walls? Upholster them. The designers used dark green billiard cloth to conceal the old barnwood paneling that existed before the resourceful couple moved in.

Complete with antiques and some pieces that Roger lovingly refers to as "junk," the home is adorned with items that reflect their refined style and eccentric personalities. It's one-of-a-kind atmosphere stems from years of collecting accessories from all over the world and layering them in unexpected ways. Mixing styles is also key to interpretting Roger and Ann's personal design attitude. Sticking to furniture from all one era can be limiting and boring, so get out of your comfort zone and try something new!

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

| Top Ten: Coffee Table Books |

Today we are kicking off our first installment of a monthly Top Ten List. March's list is a compilation of Roger's favorite design books. He looks to these staples in his library time and time again to find inspiration and strengthen his knowledge of all things interior design-related. A collection of books, like those listed below, are essential for understanding the art of design.   
1. Villa  : John Saladino
2. The Private House : Rose Tarlow
3. Timeless Interiors : Axel Vervoordt
4. Design Basics : Jeffrey Bilhuber
5. Dwellings : Stephen Sills & James Huniford
6. The Country Houses of David Adler : David Adler (Interiors by Frances Elkins)
7. The Four Books on Architecture : Andrea Palladio
8. Interior Design : Frances Elkins
9. Wonen Met Hout (written in German and out of print)
10. Les Chateaux de l'Ile de France (written in French and also out of print)

Monday, March 14, 2011

| Custom Details |

Here is a peek into a house we recently finished. It will be professionally photographed next week, so stay tuned to see the entire house featured in an upcoming blog.
The entry hall staircase wallcovering is hand painted and custom made to our exact specifications. Roger selected every color, pattern, and design that is included. 

The process involved many steps of sample approval and color renderings.  The end result is a timeless reward. 

The bench below was found at an antique market and reupholstered with decorative rope trim, tassels, and a beautiful custom throw pillow.

The 19th century oil paintings were another great market find that add a sense of age. 
These finely planned details are the signature of the designer that will be admired and appreciated in the home throughout the years. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

| Our Showroom |

The inventory at R. Higgins Interiors is eclectic, one-of-a-kind, and of great quality and value. Each piece carries an air of character that will put any antique knock-off to shame. The showroom attracts shoppers from all over, but it's the ones with great taste that we see again and again. With his well-trained eye, Roger knows how to distinguish junk from treasures and it's because of this our beloved showroom stays filled with merchandise you can't find anywhere else.

From your first visit you will recognize that this store is unlike any other around, filled with interesting light fixtures, funky trinkets, and extraordinary furniture pieces. Roger has accumulated an array of items that are sure to bring an unexpected element to any home. Whether relaxing in South Carolina or exploring in Italy, he is drawn to every auction, flea market, and antique store that he can get to. His philosophy is to never rule anywhere out. Whether the venue seems too fancy or too humble, he believes there is always potential for finding something that speaks to you. After all, a great find is a great find (and you can find plenty in our quaint, little shop!). 

*These images are just a taste to give you an idea of what our showroom is about. They were taken by a very talented photographer in the Nashville area named Quinn BallardBe on the lookout for a complete inventory section on our new website in a couple of weeks. It will include pictures, descriptions, and dimensions for all of the pieces we sell in our showroom. We look forward to launching this new platform to showcase our goods, so stay tuned!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

| Featured Find: Antique Ballet Slippers |

Choosing March's Featured Find was a no-brainer! Since Pantone announced their defining color for 2011, these ballet slippers are the perfect accessory to add a subtle touch of this fashionable color to any space. They also nail the ballet trend that the blockbuster Black Swan has made a phenomenon, no? At $95.00 a pair, they are a steal!

The story: Roger found these in an antique shop while visiting Sarasota, Florida. It's a beach town with a design-oriented atmosphere, probably because it's the home to one of the best art and design colleges in the country Ringling College. He grabbed a couple pair of the slippers with the intention of suspending them in a glass cylinder to use as a lamp base. Check his sketch out below:

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

| Meet Birdie & Lillie |

We couldn’t live without the joy that our office pups bring. In moments of stress [which are often], these two balls of fur provide us with just the right amount of love and entertainment to relax us in this fast-paced business. Oh, and aren’t they just the perfect ivory & ebony pair?