Top 20 Interior Designers in Charlotte!

How wonderful to be named one of the 20 Top Interior Designers in Charlotte!

Thank you!!

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Historic Influential Designer Series: Michael Taylor


This week’s post starts a series of celebrating a few of our favorite designers, starting with influential designers throughout history! We are happy to introduce one of our favorite designers of all time, Michael Taylor, (often referred to as the James Dean of design!) and known for his organic design. Let’s check out some of his work…


Gil Garfield’s living room

Russell MacMasters Photography / W.W. Norton & Co.

Known for this over the top 70’s and 80’s designs from a true “California original,” Michael Taylor has influenced designers for decades. His infamous California look is illustrated here with white interiors, stone floors and over-scaled sculptural furniture. According to Modernist architect Harwell Hamilton Harris, who built the home in 1950, Taylor’s use of “warm white,” not a white white was his trademark, and he always included colors from nature. In the living room, shown here, Taylor used the natural shade of wicker in oversized pieces look beautiful next to the found rock pieces. He achieves what we see as a perfect balance between earthy and clean.


Beyer Living Room – My favorite room ever!

Russell MacMasters Photography/W.W. Norton & Company

This Beyer Malibu residence built by architect John Lautner and designed by Michael Taylor in 1971, incorporates several of Michael’s favorite materials, stone, wicker and organic fabric. To decorate with boulders takes a bold aesthetic sense, but Taylor pulls it off no problem, making it look luxurious even. We see the classic “beachball-esque” pillows and a beautiful waterfront view.


A jungle of luxury! This Michael Taylor design implements his favorite strategies; bringing the outside in. The inclusion of oversized plants sprinkled throughout the entire space makes for a natural feel like no other. We love his famous off-white white, and again, a space with breathtaking views. The rounded edges of the furniture softens the space, and leaves us feeling comforted and intrigued. We love how his signature designs compliment the views, without distracting from them.


Card Room, Fred Lyon / W.W. Norton & Co.

Designed by Taylor in 1963, this card room has all the flavor and glamour for some serious game playing! Taylor worked with the original checkerboard floor as a foundation for an explosion of color, covering ornate Venetian side chairs in electric shades of silk and adding upholstered pieces in lemon yellow. Now if only these walls could talk…


The Jennifer chair, W. W. Norton & Co.

Named for a favorite client, the actress Jennifer Jones, this is one of Taylor’s signature seating collection from the 1970s. These chairs, made from wicker or faux stone, can be used indoors and out, and are huge in scale, featuring another Taylor trademark: overstuffed cushions and pillows designed to look like beach balls.


Marc and Jane Nathanson’s house

John Vaughan & Associates / W. W. Norton & Co.

A 1920’s Spanish house in Beverly Hills got the Taylor treatment in 1978, with banquette seating, chairs built in the cast-concrete hearth, and bamboo window treatments that echoed ceiling beams. With such a notable collection of contemporary art in the home, we believe the more rustic décor provides a beautiful compliment. 


The Black Room, Russell MacMasters Photography/ W.W. Norton & Co.

Here’s one of my personal favorites…the dramatic black room! In his much-loved 1980’s design for the Auberge de Soleil resort in Napa Valley, Taylor created the Black Room, a space dominated by its seductively dark wells. We can’t say enough about the richness of the space, and how well the bright pink floral accents add so much dynamism to the room. 




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Smoky Glass


For this week’s trend, we are really digging the smoky glass! With a seductive dark palette, the following pieces showcase the effect of smoking glass to give a gorgeous finish. Here’s a few of our favorites…



Beautifully simple, the Shadows Pendent Lamp collection is made up of variously shaped glass shades that pay tribute to the classic atelier light. With clean lines that don’t take away from the sculptural nature of the pieces, these pendants give a modern touch to any space. We love the varying darkness of the hues, and the different shapes and sizes offered in this collection designed for the Czech lighting manufacturer BROKIS.



Now for a piece with a little more weight…why not try the smoky glass look on a coffee table? This mid-century modern table in a ‘G’ or Greek Key shape design features a glass top and smoke glass second tier shelf. The high shine chrome finish has a patina look that reminds us of the 1970s “Hollywood Regency” aesthetic. We love the two-tiered look and the dark finish to the second shelf gives this piece some drama and weight. Well done!



This beautiful design by Vlassa Kverhulst features a smoked glass that hides and separates the bath from the toilet area. We love how practical this is while creating a dramatic look that elevates this bathroom to high-end design. The honed limestone adds movement and organic pattern that contrasts well with the stark lines of the smoke glass. The orchids are a great touch to add lightness and femininity to such a seductively dark space.


From the Kips Bay Showhouse, these coffee tables in smoky glass and brass are divine! We love how perfect the vibrant coffee table art book contrasts with the dark smoke, and we love the variety of table bases offered by this collection. Differing heights of the table also add visual interest to the design and make these tables look like true works of art. The soft hues and texture of the rug also create beautiful contrast, solidifying our thoughts that this room was well-thought out and exquisitely put together.


This table from Propstars just looks like a party! We love the fantastic circular base and the way it pairs with the smoky glass circular top. This is such an exciting piece that we’d love to design a whole room around. The top of the table would look fabulous with plenty of beautiful books, a plant and a pop of color to create great contrast and focal point. A perfect table with a smoky glass finish.



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Sumptuous Sari Rugs


Sari silk rugs are an ultimate upcycling success story. Made from the silk that once graced the saris destined to be worn by Indian women, these rugs have become some of the most colorful, most imaginative, and most sought-after pieces on the market today. The rug above, from the Rugsville New Eros Sari silk rug collection is made from recycled Sari silk. The carpet is handcrafted by artisans using handspun recycled vintage Sari silk and a unique knotting technique to create the luxurious Sari silk construction.


This beautiful rug from Alexanian is a gorgeous Sari rug destined to make this room feel luxurious. Paired with a fellow indigenous pillow from South America, the room takers on an incredible indigenous feel. The darker wood furniture does an excellent job of bringing out the deep hues of the rug, while the natural light pouring in from the large window amplifies the colors in the rug. Beautiful, indeed.


Again from Alexanian, this rug shows how the surrounding furniture can make the rug appear differently. In the image above, we see how dark furniture makes the rug appear darker, while the lighter furniture plays up the light hues of the rug. We love the light orange and greens in combination, and the light wood floors create an airy space to feel comfortable and happy.


Bring on the electric blue with this gorgeous rug! We can imagine this rug paired with gorgeous blue chairs, or some black furniture. We love the hints of green that peek through to give a balance to the blue neon burst of color. We can only imagine how beautiful this rug looked as a Sari, and are so happy to see it breathe new life as a rug. The design would give any room a vibrant feel, and the subtle rainbow backdrop just makes the blue pop all the more.


Rugsville Ethos Gray Rust Sari Silk Rug

This beautiful rug from Rugsville contains little hidden faces for all the rug onlookers to see! We love the color palette of this rug, and could easily imagine it in a modern contemporary space with lots of natural lighting. It would look wonderful with both neutrals and bright furnishings alike.



This beautiful rug made of incredible magenta saris is a great example of using a bold piece to anchor the space. Paired with dark, dramatic furniture, the rug does an excellent job of adding vibrancy and intensity  to the space. The matching accents (flowers and pillows) give the room a sense of continuity, while the window treatments add even more drama.  The modern coffee table gives a contemporary look to the room, creating an overall vibe "someone cool lives here.” One note: We would prefer rugs to be larger in this space allowing at least the front legs of the chair and sofa to rest on the rug connecting the furnishings. A round table would be another great choice!

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Perfectly Painterly Rugs!


Is it a work of art, or is it a rug? This rug by Marc Phillips, titled Monet Garden, is a visually fluid piece with irregular patterns that has the potential to break the grid of rectangular rooms and furniture. They are true art pieces, especially those rendered in silk that shimmer and constantly change color like this one. We can only imagine how good this would look in a room designed by StarrMiller Interior Design!



Distinguished by its unprecedented watercolor design, this Madeline Collection rug is gorgeous and show-stopping. Madeline’s color space-dyeing technique gradates the bold and vibrant colors throughout the rug to create a stunning rendition of various popular watercolor paintings. This rug is no exception. The floral patterns make this another true work of art.


The rug above is an abstract watercolor rug featured in 50 Shades of Gray. Find it in the Aberdine Collection from Surya. The black and white rug would really pop in an office with some red furniture, and we love the watercolor-esque design.


Bluebellgray’s signature floral and abstract designs in oversized watercolor brushstrokes and a fresh color palette make a playful design statement. This rug has a bit more form than the abstract rug above, and we love the bold colors that make the space really pop. If you’re feeling feminine and adventurous, this is definitely the rug for you.  


Now for something a little more subdued…this rug is in beautiful gradient teal shades, again from bluebellgray.  The contrast of the magenta furniture makes the room look truly like a work of art. The color wash in this “teal paintbox” rug appears to flow from one side to the other in a beautiful ombre, painterly wash.


This midcentury modern aesthetic is brought to another level by this drizzle rug. The stark lines of the dramatic furniture, juxtaposed with the free splashes of paint on the rug, create an enhanced look for the entire space. Here we see the best of area rugs: amplifying the furniture without overpowering the room. Well done with platner chairs, a sputnik chandelier and an abstract table.


This dining room feels modern and sophisticated with such gorgeous silver leaf adorning the ceiling and the painterly rug underfoot. Clean silk window treatments look beautiful with this oversized rug, and the white chairs create nice continuity with the white spaces on the rug. Bold wall colors are a trend we reported a few weeks ago, and we love to see it coupled with the rug here. A lovely space!


A painterly arrangement of roses coloring from pale grey and deepest jade. This exceptional hand knotted bamboo silk rug offers a deep luxurious pile and firm body with a sense of movement. This Designers Guild Octavia Painterly Floral Rug is beautiful for a soft and feminine space. We love the floral arrangement and the color palette is just beautiful. The deep pinks and reds against a beige backdrop give such a girly and sophisticated feel. Coupled with some neutral furniture, we say yes to this beautiful painterly rug.

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Go Graphic!


BASKETWEAVE in Earth/Sky, sold by Filmore Clark

Want to add a little spice to a room? Go Graphic! These graphic tiles prove that art can be added in a multitude of ways, especially with a smooth floor or wall tile. Here are our picks for beautiful graphic tiles that add glamour and style to bathrooms, stairs, home offices and more.


Tile, Stone & Countertops;

Here’s a beautifully designed mid-sized midcentury home office in Los Angeles with a study, gray walls and a built-in desk. The graphic tiles create incredible visual interest and add so much to the space. The geometric design lends itself well to a workspace, and the desk and walls compliment the color of the tiles perfectly. Books add pops of color, while the dark blue chair adds depth.


Next up, a nook with decorative tiles. Here we have decorative floor tiles that add some sass to the space. With white furniture that plays oh so well with the zebra stripes of the tile, the room looks well put together and ready for fun. With a posh look that gives excitement and glamour, these tiles add that wow-factor to a neat little nook.


This beautiful, rustic spiral staircase offers a new twist on graphic tiles – tiles at every step. The differing designs makes the stairs quite exciting, and the graphic elements give guests a beautiful view as approaching the winding stair case. The subdued black and white work well with the rustic tone of the space, while the tile designs give a modern feel. Candelabras add a little drama to the space and show that this designer definitely paid attention to the details. A job well done with graphic tiles!


A beautiful small Mediterranean powder room shows off the beauty of graphic tiles that come together to make larger designs. Here we have a vessel sink, limestone countertops, white tile, cement tile, white walls and travertine floors. Everything supports the design of the tile without interfering with its focus. The mirror adds a dose of femininity to the room and plays well with the design of the tile. We love the simple elegance of the black and white tile, and couldn’t be more pleased with the overall look of this bathroom.


This expansive contemporary master bathroom in Milwaukee is just lush! With a vessel sink, flat-panel cabinets, dark wood cabinets, pink tile, quartz countertops, an alcove shower, pink walls and marble floors, this master bath is glamour at its finest. While it may not be graphic tile on the floor per se, we are drawn to the geometric patterns created by placing the pink and gray tiles together. The walls have that watercolor look to them, and create a beautifully luxurious look in the bathroom. A lavish look for sure!

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TVs: To Hide or Not to Hide



When deciding whether or not to hide your TV, why not consider making the “hide” part of the design? With this pair of rustic sliding doors, you can hide your TV in style and incorporate the doors as part of the design. We love how the doors match the rest of the furniture and we especially love how the doors look so good open and closed. This is our pick for a dramatic TV covering.




Here we see one of our own projects, the art cabinet that the client owned became the inspiration for the entire space. We love this design because the TV cabinet adds beauty to the space, while concealing the TV in plain sight.




Here’s a different look: an exposed television set above a fireplace. With this design, we have a beautiful juxtaposition between the lines of the fireplace and the lines of the television, creating a geometric delight. Here there’s no need to hide the TV because it looks so perfectly placed. The squares of the windows add even more geometric visual interest to the overall design, and add natural ambiance around the television. Here’s our pick for an outstanding integrative design.



For a new strategy on hiding the TV, why not conceal it behind the fireplace? A stunning fieldstone fireplace dominates the interior of this relaxing cabin, and to make sure it doesn’t compete with the TV, the screen was hidden beside the chimney. The flat screen is placed on a slider for an easy reveal whenever homeowners and guests are ready to watch. We love the ingenuity and seamless conceal of this look!



We love this technique to hide a TV because it looks so seamless! The paneling swivels around to reveal the TV to unsuspecting guests. Our only critique of this design is that this approach requires a niche deep enough for the board to rotate all the way around. If you’ve got a deep recess, we say go for it!



See a TV in this room?  Neither do we.  Who knew a mirror could disguise a TV so well!  One of our own designs, we love this fresh new take on concealing a television. Here’s a look at the TV when it’s on:





How about a family-friendly artsy look? This room went from plain basement to family fun with a fireplace upgrade complete with a sleek wood mantel, stone veneer, a flat-panel TV, and DIY leaf-motif art panels that can hide the television screen. We love to see yet another way to hide the TV – this time with art! The panels add an artsy, friendly vibe to the space and are just the trick to hide the TV.




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Masculine Bedrooms


With Father’s Day right around the corner, we’ve got masculine design on our minds. Clean lines, rich hues, and a dose of utilitarianism show us what it means to design with a man in mind. Here are a few of our favorite masculine bedrooms:


Exposed concrete, browns, and minimalist furniture all spell major masculine bedroom! We love the way the walls lend themselves to a manly ambiance. The “former factory” vibe gives a certain cool factor, coupled with the neutral colors. The small floating side tables add balance, while the stark lines of the bed add further masculinity to the space. We aren’t all drab and dreary though…we love peeking a pop of color off to the side of the room, with the red dresser, reminding us guys can have fun with brighter shades too! A room well done.


Imbued with an element of worship, this bedroom invites both spiritual energy and masculinity into the space. The dark green bedding gives a depth to the room, while the red accents add a little sensuality. Made masculine by the deep wall and bedding colors, this manly room can still carry beautiful flowers and religious statues with ease.


Prepare to relax with some masculine blues! This headboard and bedding make for a gorgeous combination. We love the slate window treatments and the oversized artwork that give this room some real style. The ceiling beams and grasscloth walls also add some masculinity, along with the silver chair and neutral lamp. Just enough detail to add personality, without overfilling the room.


Finally, this masculine bedroom showcases an oversized mirror with a glimpse at a beautiful piece of abstract art reflected in it. The table lamps give balance, while the black and white photographs give a personal touch. The dark walls and bedding make it masculine, and the center decorative pillow and flower arrangement show that a room doesn’t have to be all dark and plain to be manly. And of course, we love the old-school alarm clock!



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Summertime, Party Time!



It’s summer – let’s party! Add a little whimsy to any get together with these gorgeous hanging terrariums. Nothing says celebration like things that shine, and we just can’t get enough of these! Complete with a beautiful green table arrangement, we are ready to party with this incredible set-up. 



Beautiful centerpieces bring out the best of summer with handpicked flowers. We love these decorative test tube vases that add complexity and visual interest to the arrangement. The height of the centerpieces adds a little drama without creating too much ostentation. We love the delicacy and femininity of this arrangement and would love to see it at our summer event.


Outdoor chandeliers are just divine! We can’t get enough of this sumptuous table setting for a summer party. The chandeliers add some real glamour to the space and look so incredible up in the trees. The table settings add more green to the look, and provide that balance of natural beauty we can’t live without. 



We love this creative idea for a cooler! If you’re hosting a huge party, why not use the canoe? The ice and drinks look just lovely hanging out in your favorite boat, and is perfect for an ocean-themed summer get-together.



Want to take some gorgeous pictures at your party? This handmade backdrop wins our top spot. We look the shabby chic look of the wallpaper that unfurls, only to reveal more patterns. The lovely floral accents add to the femininity of the shot, making this a perfect backdrop for a ladies’ night of drinks and dreams in the backyard. 

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Mismatched Pillows!


Nothing brightens up a bed like a pile of gorgeous pillows! Mismatched pillows, especially with a central focal point like the one above, are the perfect way to add style and flavor to any bed or sofa. Here are our picks for this lovely trend.



Shades of red give depth and harmony to this pale yellow couch, while the different patterns of the pillows offer an exotic feel. This is a most effective use of blending textures and patterns, as stripes, solids and florals all combine together beautifully. Various red objects throughout the room serve to add more balance and accent the pillows perfectly.


For something a little more neutral, we just love this sofa and pillow combination. The geometric pattern of the area rug mimics one of the pillows, anchoring the space. We love that the pillows are just bold enough to add visual interest to the room, without overpowering the deliciously simple gray couch. We also love the way the hue of the simple window treatments compliments all of the pillows effortlessly.


Form Interiors by Erika Bierman Photography


Now for something fabulous! We are tickled pink by this gorgeous bedroom and luscious wallpaper, but the bed wouldn’t be complete without satin and velvet pillows to add even more sensuality to the space! The details on the pillows just add to their appeal, and we can’t get over the designer’s boldness of throwing in some animal print pillows for even more pizazz. Even the browns and silvers of the solid pillows add complexity to the room, drawing out the depth of the painting above the bed.



Now this one suits us just perfectly. Such an artsy high-end look for a living room! Contrasting patterns capture the eye of any beholder, and turn the couch into a work of art. The daring abstract paintings behind the couch only add to the overall feel of the space as modern, fun, and full of energy. The table lamps help to offset some of the volume of the pillows and lend themselves well to balance. We love how in spite of all the different patterns of the pillows, the size of them create a pleasing sense of balance on this sofa.





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