Three Questions with Paula Grace

pgPaula Grace is the principal and founder of Paula Grace Designs, a Virginia-based interior design firm. Paula has an exceptional design style drawing inspiration from her clients, nature, fabric, the human form, and music. Her thoughts on people’s relationship to their interiors focuses on the feeling created by design: ”Here’s my belief: your home should be a place where you feel at peace, where you function effortlessly. It should portray who you are today, remind you of happy times from the past, and provide lush ground for you to create new memories.”

Prior to studying Interior Design, Paula Grace earned Masters Degrees in Clinical Social Work and Business Administration. She held a Directorship of a large behavioral health program and was a Senior Instructor, graduate level, in a prestigious university medical center. With this level of experience, Paula Grace runs a seamless ship when implementing designs. The process flows until each furnishing is placed and the design realized.

Paula Grace’s interior designs have been featured in many publications. Additionally, she has been hand-selected to participate in designer show houses and is regularly asked to speak at interior design industry events.

We recently caught up with Paula Grace at High Point Market this April to talk to her about her design style and what currently inspires her.

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Design by Paula Grace

1. You have said that you draw inspiration from your clients, nature, fabric, the human form and music. Can you elaborate on that?

The last two are unique so I’ll focus on them – the human form and music. So many things are designed to adorn or comfort our bodies. Clothes, seats in a car, furniture. The body is very important; each one different and beautiful. I see the human form as a living sculpture that I simply pay homage too.

Music is feelings and moods that you hear. How my clients want their rooms to feel, the mood it creates is very important in my designs. When they tell me the feel and mood they’d like, a song inevitably pops in my head that evokes the same feeling and mood. Music and design share key principles – rhythm, balance, harmony, proportion, and emphasis. These principles inform the elements chosen for the space. I interpret the song into the design. Music is especially significant when I design furniture. The lines, form, and shape I draw are directly from the principles of a song communicated with instruments and voices.

2. You use both lighting and wall decor in very bold and beautiful ways. What role do they play for you in the overall design?

The art and lighting are the soul of a design. They need to be layered in. Art on the wall and dimensional pieces placed around the room, on tables for example. A great lighting plan includes ceiling, table top, and accent for overall illumination, task, and sparkle. I select classic styled furniture so it stands the test of time. Much interest comes from the jewelry – art and lighting. Think little black dress with statement jewelry. It’s the statement jewelry that communicates the feeling – aka art – and the lighting is integral to the mood. Chandeliers and sconces are both – sculptural art and lighting. They can create a statement all by themselves, which is often how I use them. John Richard chandeliers and sconces are fantastic for this.

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Design by Paula Grace

 

3. How would you describe your design style?

Classic elegance with a hip vibe. Given the inspirations I just discussed – imagine furniture with clean, traditional lines creating comfort paired with evocative art, lighting, and accessories.

 

To learn more about this talented designer, visit her website www.paulagracedesigns.com

Be sure to follow Paula Grace on her
social media platforms:

Facebook: Paula Grace Designs, Inc

Pinterest: Paula Grace Designs

Instagram: Paula_Grace

Twitter: @PGraceDesigns

AN INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE from PHILIPPE STARCK

 

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Design by Philippe Starck (photo courtesy of Architectural Digest)

“And you spend your evening in your color. The idea is to take things which open your mind, that speak to you – the colors speak to you.”

– Philippe Starck


About the Designer:

Philippe Starck, born January 18, 1949 in Paris, France, is a visionary in all realms of design including interiors, architectural and furniture as well as utilitarian objects such as staplers and juice squeezers. He was constantly referencing where and how people live and questioning the materiality of our environments. Starck is renowned for his hotel design with projects such as the Royalton in New York, the Delano in Miami and the Mondrian in Los Angeles which are all considered contemporary landmarks. The Faena suite in Buenos Aires featured above is considered one of the most expensive in the world and was redesigned by Starck.

To learn more about this exceptional designer, click on the link below:
www.starck.com

The Beauty of Brass

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These new introductions debuted at High Point Market the spring. Sculptural accessories in brass are the perfect accents for interiors whether they be contemporary, transitional or traditional.

These designs from our new factory in India show exceptional craftsmanship and quality of material. Whimsical Ginkgo leaves, textural bowls and bud vases reveal the breadth of artistic possibilities.

“Brass has a luster and depth that you do not see in plated objects,” enthuses Senior Accessory Designer Margaret Fisher, “the tones of brass enhance and add warmth to the overall room design.”

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The New Neutrals

Delpozo Spring 2017 Runway ShowGRAY is the color of intellect, knowledge and wisdom.  It is perceived as classic, refined, dignified, and conservative. Gray is a perfect neutral that lives between the extremes of black and white.

Like diamonds set in platinum or white lace over gray satin, these tones are both fresh and classic in fashion, jewelry and home décor.  Gray, silver and white are elegant neutrals that enhance exceptional design. In Vogue Magazine, New Jersey-based interior designer Beth Diana Smith states that ‘Gray’ will continue to reign in 2017. “We will see different tones of gray, a lot of gray and white, and gray in deeper colors, it’s the sort of color that complements a full spectrum of shades…”

These latest designs from John-Richard, in furniture, lighting, mirrors and accessories, show that these sophisticated new neutrals are right on trend.

PUT TOGETHER ONE

Living with Art: Evocative Art by Carol Benson-Cobb enhances Furniture Designs

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place:  from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web. 

– Pablo Picasso

Carol Benson-Cobb150Carol Benson-Cobb has a singular ability to trigger memories of place and time that stir emotions in all who view her paintings. Now, her work is being featured on several contemporary furniture designs. The artist’s abstract perspectives of sea, sand and sky are beautifully displayed under glass.

 

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Slated and the Slated Four Door Credenza

The contemporary style of the credenzas, cocktail and nesting tables are perfect statement pieces for the modern home. The soothing, neutral tones of the collection will compliment many design styles seen on the coast, in the mountains or within a city apartment. The work of Carol Benson-Cobb can be seen in the homes of many film, sports and entertainment stars and is a favorite of many celebrated interior designers.

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Seascape Nesting Cocktail Tables and Seascape A – C
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Dune Textile No.2 and Dune Cocktail Table
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Dune Nesting Cocktail Tables and the Original Dune Painting

The Magical World of Teng Fei

JRO-2721 JRO-2850Long Jingchuang, who is known by the name Teng Fei in the art world, received a degree in Fine Arts from the Jiuyi College in 1995. In 1998, Teng Fei began his career as a professional artist in Shanghai. During his stay in Shanghai, he studied both traditional Chinese and Western-style art and techniques. The artist continues to meld history and cultural elements into his contemporary concepts, thus forming his own unique style of painting.

Teng Fei transports us to a dreamlike space where we see polo ponies in a myriad of colors, feel charmed among golden butterflies, walk among the citizens of a European city, or simply enjoy the clouds or silver tones of tree branches reflected. What joy there is to be found in his paintings!

The work of Teng Fei has been included in prestigious collections both in Hong Kong and Singapore and his spectacular art has been purchased by collectors worldwide. John-Richard offers an extensive selection of the artist’s paintings in many genres.

“Teng Fei creates some of the most diverse and beautiful pieces for John-Richard. The use of color, texture and media, including varieties of metal leaves, results in stunning works of art for our customer,” enthuses MaryNeff Stewart, Senior Wall Art Designer for John-Richard.

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John-Richard Launches ‘Designer Shorts’ Video Series

Lights, Camera, Designers

John-Richard was thrilled with the response to our new video series, ‘Designer Shorts’, which debuted at High Point Market. Our stellar cast included interior designers Catherine and Justine MacFee, Scot Meacham Wood, Erika Ward, Lisa Mende, Robin Baron along with esteemed abstract artist Carol Benson Cobb and award-winning product designers Malene Barnett and Mark McDowell. These segments, hosted by Arianne Bellizaire, offer a treasure trove of design inspiration. The format, much like a designer-style Actor’s Studio, allows magical conversations to organically develop among creative people.

Here are some snapshots of the series highlights. Please note that the last screenshot has a video snippet below that can be viewed. To enjoy the full version and to see the other ”Designers Shorts’ segments, please click here.

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Shay Geyer and Arianne Bellizaire discuss the importance of layering in design and how to incorporate trends.
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Lisa Mende, Mark McDowell and Arianne Bellizaire explore how nature influences design.
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Erika Ward, Malene Barnett and Arianne Bellizaire talk about trends and the process of both interior and product design.
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Carol Benson-Cobb, Robin Baron, and Arianne Bellizaire with thoughts on the relationship between art and interior design.
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Catherine and Justine Macfee, Scot Meacham Wood and Arianne Bellizaire on what influences and what’s next in interior design.

Spotlight on Wall Art Designer Mary Neff Stewart

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Mary Neff Stewart

Mary Neff Stewart has been defining her career for 15 years as a designer and art teacher and now as the Senior Wall Art Designer at John-Richard. Her appreciation of fine art and love of creating mixed media pieces at the University of Mississippi and the University of Memphis has been parlayed into sourcing and creating art for John-Richard.

Mary Neff has lived in various places across the Mid-South and now resides in Greenwood with her husband and their son. She finds inspiration through color and home design. She also serves as the Homes Editor for Mississippi Magazine, writing on the spectacular homes and art throughout the state. We were able to spend some time with the designer to hear her view on trends and the current collections.

We were able to spend some time with the designer and hear her thoughts on trends and the new John-Richard introductions.

What trends are you seeing in the market right now?GBG-1358A

I’m seeing a lot of unique objects being used in framed art. People love a curated look in their homes, and we are trying to source and create unique styles. With our genuine butterfly collections and our framed botanicals, we are really creating one of a kind art for a distinctive home. Color is still extremely important, as that is sometimes the only “pop” in an otherwise neutral space. We have some really stunning canvases that would work in a variety of designs.

What unique techniques are being used this season?GBG-1313A-D

Obviously, I was feeling very floral this collection! I loved playing with the John Richard botanical department and using their new and exciting pieces. They are creating some really fabulous things by preserving and dying real blooms and greenery. We also hand painted and applied resin to a variety of silk stems.

What inspires you with this season?

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Violet Hurricane by William Goodman

All of our artists inspire me each and every season. I am in love with William Goodman’s vibrant color as well as Jason Lott’s moody hues. Mary Hong completely went outside her box for this collection with Intergalactic.

What appeals to you personally and professionally in the art offerings?

Personally, I am drawn to loud, brilliant colors. Professionally, I seem to focus more on subdued hues and classic whites, creams and grays. The April collection has a great mix of both. We are still seeing a lot of cool aqua. It truly seems to be a color that is sticking around in the design world. Yellow seems to be a new hue that we are showing off in our original oil collection also.

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Ladies in Aqua I -IV by Kiah Denson
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Intergalactic I -II by Mary Hong

 

Is there a buzz word that reflects what is new and interesting in John-Richard wall art?

Texture is always important! Especially with our use of lots of natural objects this past market, texture- whether real or implied- helps to make a piece more exciting. I’m a very tactile person. I always like to touch the art!

To see more offering in art and wall decor, click here.

John-Richard, a Destination for Style Spotters at April Market

Crystal Serenity

The High Point Market Style Spotters are design industry trendsetters who highlight the top new styles of each Market. As they tour High Point’s showrooms, the Style Spotters select their favorite pieces and share their discoveries on social media. Each design expert has their own unique perspective as they all hail from different regions of the United States and in the case of Canadian-born Laura Bielecki, Dubai.

“The Style Spotters program, launched during the October 2011 Market, features home fashion pace setters that showcase their favorite products and top trends from High Point Market exhibitors via Pinterest, the at-Market Style Spotters LIVE! event, a biannual Style Report and various media interviews. These home fashion gurus are the authoritative trend voice of High Point Market, tasked with finding the hottest must-have items each Market and then translating their picks into today’s top trends,” enthuses Ashley Grigg, Communications Manager for the High Point Market Authority.

Toledo Cabinet
Toledo Cabinet
Agate Mirror
Agate Mirror

Michelle Jennings Wiebe, Style Spotter Emeritus, chose two John-Richard pieces as her pre-market ‘Must Haves’: the Toledo Cabinet designed by Mark McDowell and the Agate Mirror. The cabinet is art deco inspired with etched panels made more luminous with a gold wash. The mirror features a striking blue, black and white agate design which is reverse hand painted under glass. Michelle is the founder and principal designer for Studio M, a top Florida firm based in Tampa, Florida, which specializes in luxury residential new construction with projects in several states.

Andes Cabinet

We were thrilled to introduce five style spotters to the showroom, the first of whom was Malene B, a vibrant, Brooklyn-based  designer of bespoke carpets, fine art wall coverings and artisan tiles. On the night before she visited John-Richard, the designer had won the Elevate award for best in floor coverings! Malene certainly has an eye for texture and pattern and was drawn to the craftsmanship of the Andes Cabinet. Each pair of angled tiles are in contrasting veneers of white and amara ebony and set into a figured, smoked eucalyptus cabinet.

Anzu Cabinet

Laura Umansky is the principal designer at Laura U Interior Design, a firm known for its bold aesthetic and polished, livable interiors. Prior to launching Laura U Design, Laura studied art and architecture and gained professional experience designing destination interiors. Laura immediately had her eye on the beautifully scaled Anzu Cabinet, designed by Mark McDowell for John-Richard. The show-stopper of this piece is the large agate hardware that has a glamorous edge of gold leaf.

Laura Bielecki is a professional Interior Designer in Dubai, UAE, currently at GAJ (Godwin Austen Johnson). She has completed top Interior Design projects all around the world for some of the most affluent families in various countries including the following cities: Montreal, New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Dubai, Mumbai, Doha Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Calgary, and Edmonton. Her modern, sleek and elegant aesthetic is evident in her style spotted piece, the Dante Credenza. In beluga white and raised on a brushed stainless steel stand, the doors of this piece are faced with tiza gesso with recessed, spun stainless steel handles. This exquisite piece can be seen in the featured photo at the beginning of this post.

Celestite Blooms
Celestite Blooms
Budding Crystal Floor Lamp
Budding Crystal Floor Lamp

Erika Ward is the founder and principal designer of Erika Ward Interiors based in Atlanta, GA. Her work has been featured in numerous local and national publications and she has been awarded by the Atlanta Tribune for having one of the top design firms for two consecutive years. Erika was attracted to two pieces: the Celestite Blooms and the Budding Crystal Floor Lamp. Both these pieces reference nature in a luminous and luxurious way.

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Ottoman with Branch Styled Base

Esteemed Interior Designer Scot Meacham Wood, originally from Mississippi, is now settled in the historic San Francisco Design District. His firm’s, Scot Meacham Wood Design, signature style is a true reflection of its clients’ personal aesthetics, while highlighting European and Southern sensibilities, sartorial influences, and bold prints. Scot chose a piece that would be a perfect accent in any of his interiors, our Ottoman with Branch Styled Base.

We are so thrilled to have had the opportunity to spend time with these talented interior designers whose passion for design is only matched by their enthusiasm, energy and charm!