Lawyer–turneddecoratoring celebrity Darryl Carter defined “new traditionalist” style in his first book, and now he’s created a second volume full of practical advice about how to achieve the appearance. More important, he describes how to create a home that functions the way you need it to, in a manner that applies not only to his own unique aesthetic but to every design style.
Including everything from highlighting architectural details to the way to hang your baseball hat collection. He balances and combines a love of antiques, patinas, textures, crisp white paint, Asian rugs, minimalist style and a love of collecting by adhering with a cohesive color palette and cautious curation. Here’s a sneak peek in his new book, The Collected Home (Clarkson Potter, 2012).
Carter is a big fan of light neutral colors, which place an emphasis on textures and special objects. “When carefully executed, white helps develop a logic and continuity that will relate rooms to one another,” he states. “The serene palette reinforces the experience plus a cohesive flow throughout the house, and against this backdrop, life and people take centre stage.”
Carter’s Nuts and Bolts of Good Design
Among the most useful parts of the book is a cheat sheet in the conclusion of every chapter — lists of topics to think about when planning each space and hints.
Flooring. How can you mix items like this classical bust, ornately carved antique dining table, well-worn Oriental rug and modern Zig Zag chair? Through careful colour cohesion and fabric choices, like this dark hardwood flooring, which contrasts, ties and succeeds in with numerous pieces.
A couple of Carter’s floors nuts and bolts:
• Consider installing a special padding or a cork subfloor for noise absorption. Hard surfaces in an upper level can be noisy below.
• Consider the durability of flooring materials in high-traffic places.
• Specifying the direction of this flooring, if discretionary, can visually enhance the sense of distance.
Rugs. Carter is an expert in picking out the right carpets and layering them. Some of his advice for picking and putting rugs:
• Consider: Is there a hearth, a pattern on the ground, floor vents that can not be obstructed, doors that will not be able to swing open within a thick rug?
• Try flipping classic rugs, as the beautiful patterns are still there but are more subdued and faded.
• Layering a classic rug atop a natural-fiber rug is comparable to framing a beautiful piece of artwork.
Clothing storage. For cupboard and dressing room storage, Carter states:
• Decide if you want to see all your clothing at once or conceal them behind doors.
• Figure out if you will be moving your clothes seasonally.
• if you are going to need easy access to suitcases, plan to leave room for them.
• Consider adding an accessible iron and ironing board, a full-length mirror or semi-gloss mirror.
• Mount rod heights based on your true pant/dress lengths rather than in the standard heights.
• Consider whether you need a place where children can hang out and watch food prep.
• Decide whether you want to be able to shut off the kitchen after food prep whilst eating supper.
• View the full slab when selecting the stone for your countertop or backsplash, as many stone have veining that may not appear on a small sample.
• Consider a foot pedal for sink operation.
• Review all of appliance specifications to determine whether there are any specific plumbing or power requirements.
• Consider adding a wine fridge or a fridge drawer for kids’ snacks.
Lighting. In a girl’s room, Carter combined table lamps and wall sconces for bedtime reading. Here are a few more things to consider when placing lighting:
• Consider adding sockets in the ground so that floor lamps will “float” in a room. Complete your furniture plan so that you know where to set the outlets.
• Prevent placing lighting switches, alarm controls and thermostats in the middle of a wall that may otherwise be used for art.
• Make sure antique sconces are around code and pay particular attention to the dimensions of their backplates.
• Consider adding darker switches to create ambience.
• Figure out placement for ceiling lighting, then find out if a fixtures will need extra interventions overhead, including as heavy duty junction boxes or wood supports for heavy fixtures.
Carter has been a really busy man; in addition to writing this book, he has a line of lighting for its Urban Electric Co., has recently added more colors to his Benjamin Moore paint collection and has been preparing for the introduction of his original home boutique in Washington, D.C.
The Collected Home: Bathrooms With Style, Grace, and History, by Darryl Carter – $28.35