Do you have a favorite designer? That one person whose work you follow more closely than the rest? The one who seems to reach right into your heart and pull out the spaces made of your loftiest dreams? The work that connects so well with your personal aesthetic that it leaves you breathless? Well, Darryl Carter is that person for me.
Last week I had the privilege of meeting him over cocktails at a private signing for his book, The New Traditional (you can imagine my excitement!) at Pagoda Red. Darryl was charming, humble, and refreshingly down to earth - he even joked about a call from a client earlier in the day regarding a leaky bathroom. Yes, he too deals with the everyday ups and downs and nitty gritty of working life.
I talked to him about how the May 2008 Elle Decor feature of his Virgina vacation home had made a lasting impression on me and that I had yet to find an interior more perfect than that. That's when he slipped me the tip that the November 2009 issue would be welcoming us into his D.C. home! I already eagerly await my Elle Decor each month, but after hearing that I could hardly stand it! And at last, the wait is over, my friends. The images are in, and quite frankly, they are jaw dropping, awe inspiring, breathtakingly gorgeous!
The corporate lawyer turned decorator and furniture designer's signature white walls tells us so much about his design philosophy. A neutral palette means furniture becomes king. The focus is bringing their intrinsic beauty to prominence and to the forefront of appreciation by minimizing visual distractions.
In addition to inherent good taste (he was not formally trained) and an eye for scale, perhaps Darryl's greatest talent of all is his ability to edit and truly embrace the words 'less is more.' Or as Coco Chanel put it (and my personal favorite), 'elegance is refusal.'
By scaling down, our eye can more easily focus in on the finer details (a patina on a vase, a woven pattern on a rug, a herringbone design on a floor...), highlighting a piece's true beauty and distinction. As a result, each object is elevated and made illustrious!
I'm grateful to now be able to add these images to my Darryl Carter inspiration file, which I'm sure will sustain me for much time to come! What a wonderful, spectacular treat for him to open the doors of his home to us and to be greeted by such a warm, soulful, and calming oasis! Thank you Darryl and Elle Decor!
*the Virgina home
*the book, The New Traditional