November 20, 2014

Circa Autumn Recap and the Future of Our Blog

It's been a fantastically full Fall in 2014 for Circa Interiors and Antiques! We have had much to be thankful for as we move towards the Holiday season and we wanted to share some of the highlights since our last post.

High Point Market, ELLE DECOR and Hearst Design Group
We visited all of our dear friends and partners in High Point for market. It's always an exciting and exhausting whirlwind of a week, but we look forward to seeing everyone and the beautiful work they do. We especially loved visiting with Bobby McAlpine and seeing his new line with Lee Industries - such talent is overwhelming to experience all in one room!

Circa Interiors's Cindy Smith and ELLE DECOR's Editor in Chief Michael Boodro

We also had the pleasure of catching up with ELLE DECOR's Editor in Chief, Michael Boodro, as well as the Hearst Design Group's Market team. We love their work (and their aestheticism) and were honored to sit down with them amidst the flurry of High Point market and the launch of their new book, The Height of Style, by Michael Boodro to mark ELLE DECOR's 25th Anniversary.

India Hicks, The Mint Auxiliary Room to Bloom, Heather Foster Smith
India Hicks, the highly acclaimed interior designer (and former fashion model/goddaughter to Prince Charles), came to the Queen City for The Mint Auxiliary's "Room to Bloom" kick off event as the keynote speaker. We were fortunate enough to be able to provide the setting for the stage and book signing, as well as to host India and her partner, David Flint Wood, at our Charlotte location.

India Hicks (Photo Credit: @indiahicksstyle)

Later that evening, "Room to Bloom" threw one of their spectacular parties at the home of Natalie and David Homesley designed by our own Heather Foster Smith with architecture by Pursley Dixon. It was a night to remember and we are very much looking forward to what 2015 will bring with the Mint Museum.

Catherine Walters in the Symphony Guild's "Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour"
Circa was honored to have one of Catherine Walters' styled homes in the first annual "Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour" to benefit expanding symphonic music in the Charlotte metropolitan community.

 A view of the kitchen on tour - Interiors by Catherine Walters of Circa, Design by Ruard Veltman Architecture, Floral by In Bloom LTD

The kitchen design and staging was an absolute pleasure for us to work on, particularly for such a great cause and especially when it's with the teams at Ruard Veltman Architecture & In Bloom LTD.

Patrick Gets Married
Designer Patrick Lewis tied the knot this Autumn in a private ceremony. We are over the moon with happiness and excitement for him! We couldn't help ourselves in celebrating the occasion, so we surprised him with an office full of silver and white balloons one morning when we knew he was coming in early to prep for a meeting. In a beautiful, quiet moment, Patrick released the balloons into the early morning sky.

A room full of love and surprises to celebrate Patrick's happiness.

Bobby McAlpine and Susan Ferrier - Dinner and a Book Signing
Saving the best recap for last! It was with immense joy that Circa welcomed Bobby McAlpine and Susan Ferrier to our Charlotte store for their newest co-authored book, Art of the House: Reflections on Design. The book is a piece of art, from the masterful and beautifully descriptive words to the exterior's silver edge paired with navy.

We threw a small dinner party in their honor in the home designed by Bobby and Cindy Smith. It was an elegant nod to the past that brought Bobby, Cindy, Susan and Jane together, as well as a celebration of the present and future to come.

 The dinner setting - Tablescape and seating designed by Cindy Smith,  Florals by Jay Lugibihl of In Bloom LTD

It was a delicious evening full of warm laughter, friendship and delicacies courtesy of Porcupine Catering. 

The next morning, Susan and Bobby came to Circa to sit down and have an open discussion with each other. With autumnal floral designs by In Bloom LTD and candlelight to set the ambiance, the conversation developed into quite a vulnerable, philosophical endeavor that was inspiring to all those present. We are so grateful to Susan and Bobby for going above and beyond a book signing by allowing us a glimpse of their hearts and helping us better understand what drives them as creative beings. 

Back Row, L to R: Circa Interiors' Cindy Smith and Jane Schwab
Front Row, L to R: Susan Ferrier and Bobby McAlpine

The Future of Our Blog
As we look to the new year, we have decided to take this blog and all of our social media communication to a whole new level. Circa has many exciting adventures ahead in 2015 and we will begin to use this place as our home platform to share a look behind-the-scenes, all of our news, and what inspires us personally and professionally. We hope you will enjoy the ride with us and always let us know what you love, hate, and want to hear more about on the blog! Stay tuned...

August 15, 2014

Style Me Pretty Blog

Style Me Pretty Blog did an excellent job capturing the beauty of our very own Addison Kon's wedding in June at Figure 8 Island. It is full of gorgeous pictures taken by Anne Liles, as well as an emotional video. It lets the readers truly get a sense of their love for one another, as well as their support system that was at the wedding. If you weren't able to make it, you can live vicariously through the elegant weekend and be inspired through this blog that captures all the details. 
There were many different traditions that tied these high school sweethearts together that day, such as the lovely interfaith ceremony. Another one of my favorite details from the wedding was that Addison wore her grandmother's lace veil, and was married in her grandmothers vintage ring. 

A lovely Figure 8 wedding- indeed!

June 11, 2014

Oprah's Blog

This blog post is about another blog post. But not just another blog... Oprah's blog! She blogged about "Prints Decorator's Love-and How to Use Them in Your Own Home".  Jane and Cindy's work are featured in picture 5 and 6 in the blog.  

Just like in fashion, we have to be careful where we put patterns, and how to prevent them from clashing. Check out her blog to learn how!

"Avoid putting a very expensive print on an item that will get day-to-day wear, like the family couch. It will need to be replaced often and that can get costly. Save those patterns for rarely-handled drapes or use them in small scale, like on pillows," Jane and Cindy commented in reference to Jane's guest house pictured above. 

"Print rugs are very forgiving in high-traffic areas, and they don't show dirt the way a solid carpet would," They both commented about the above house, which is pictured several times throughout The Welcoming House. 

June 9, 2014

Janelle & Mike's Engagement Party

Last Friday night, Cindy was kind enough to throw our sweet Janelle and fiance Mike a very magical engagement party.  The house was full of friends and family there so show their support for the couple, as I'm sure they were overwhelmed with love.  We had a Mexican food truck and margarita machine in the front driveway, as well as other food and beverages dispersed throughout the house.  The talk of the night was over the big block letters spelling "AMOR" that several creative friends had handmade out of cardboard and tissue paper earlier that day. It was very impressive how store-bought they looked!  

The beautiful couple plans to get married in Grandfather Mountain on August 16th. 

June 5, 2014

Southern Living

Not only was Jane's front porch on the cover of the Southern Living Outdoor Living edition, but her back yard is also featured inside the June issue of Southern Living.  If you have a copy, her spread is from page 17-18.  

 The article, titled "Bring on the Sunshine", discusses how Jane Schwab prepares and designs for a summer affair.  "Designer Jane Schwab maintains an enviable reputation for fashioning elegant, approachable Southern spaces both indoors and out. She applies this same gracious philosophy every time she sets the table for friends and family."  As shown in one of the pictures, Jane layered different natural materials to start the setting.  The mix of polished silver and casual linens is very appealing.  Jane also layered a trimmed burlap table skirt underneath her patterned Indian quilt to create a more luxurious  indoor look.  

May 13, 2014

Add Gets Konned

Congratulations to the beautiful bride and groom Addison and Jason! The long anticipated wedding this past weekend was just as breathtaking as you would think a beach wedding could be.  The ceremony took place on the lawn overlooking the peaceful sound in Figure Eight Island, right outside of Wilmington, NC.  Thank goodness the heavy rain Charlotte received Saturday missed us at the beach!  Addison looked stunning in her strapless lace gown with her grandmothers lace veil.  

After 11 years of dating, Prince Charming proposed in June of 2013.  Almost one year later, the couple made their dream a reality at the alter.

We welcomed Addison back to the office this week before they will be taking off on Friday to Bora Bora for their honeymoon. We can't wait to see those pictures!
 I do!
It was quite a tear jerker!
 Emily, Maggie, Julia, Caroline, and Brigid before the ceremony.
The circa family supporting Addison on her big day!

April 4, 2014

One Man's Folly

This past Tuesday, Jane and Cindy were in NYC attending a book signing event for One Man's Folly, a new book by Furlow Gatewood, authored by Julia Reed.  The Foreward and Afterward were beautifully written by Bunny Williams, who also did the Foreward for The Welcoming House.  As stated inside, "A gifted designer, antiques expert, and longtime associate of legendary dealer John Rosselli, Gatewood has a talent for discovering singular pieces with a poetic patina, composing custom-paint finished and subtle palettes, and knowing how to incorporate distinctive architectural elements into his singular interiors."  One of the most influential members of America's design community, Furlow has maintained a relatively low profile. The Southern gentleman was born 92 years ago with an eye for both architecture and interior design.  Bunny stated in one of my favorite chapters of the book, "Lessons learned", "The real lesson learned from this supremely gifted man is to educate your eye and look at the best of everything, be it architecture, furniture, or design. And may you too have the joy that Furlow has had over the many years of doing what he loves." Another piece of advice he has offered is to never decorate in a way that is so precious, it intimidates animals or people!

While at the party, Jane and Cindy had the pleasure to meet Gil Schafer, author of The Great American House.  They also met the charming Newell Turner, editior of House Beautiful.  Jane and Cindy highly recommend looking through this book, to admire the spread of distinctive pieces he has chosen, all with a strong personality.  
 Furlow Gatewood and Bunny Williams
 Jane Schwab, Newell Turner, and Cindy Smith

March 31, 2014

House Beautiful

At the very back of the April issue of House Beautiful, you will find an article entitled "You Found $100-What's Your Splurge?" Ten designers were interviewed on how they would indulge their design obsession if they suddenly had a little extra cash on hand.  Number one is our very own Cindy Smith! She stated, "I'd swap out a worn lampshade. It's amazing how a new shade refreshes everything."  Isn't that the truth!

Other designer's choices included items from an orchid, to a scented candle, to a cotton throw.  

Here are some different shades we offer in the shop, available to purchase right off a lamp, from our back stock, or special order in other sizes or colors!

Paper, linen, silk? You choose! 

March 6, 2014


Yes, we are dedicating an entire blog post to one fabric, because it is just that special! Heather Smith  just got this beauty in straight from Paris for a local client.  "The entire room is going to be designed around this fabric," Heather stated.  It is a hand made gauffrage fabric, which is just a fancy word which means to emboss.  In other words, this fabric was embossed over a plain textile with a hot pressure cylinder, which melts the pattern onto the textile. This technique is mainly used with velvets.  So first they hand paint the gilt, and then press it to make it permanent.  Now-you can add this new word to your design dictionary!

We can't wait to see how Heather uses this throughout the client's dining room.  Do not worry- pictures will be up to follow!

February 26, 2014

Lee Academy

Julia and Caroline have spent the last couple of days expanding their knowledge at Lee Academy, a trip designed to help dealers learn about the Lee Industries products we are selling.  We knew they were a great company before we went, but now we realize exactly what went in to making them a special, eco-friendly company, separating them from other industries.  Planting about 10,000 trees a year is just one of their many sustainability initiatives. They also recycle all of their leftover materials to be used for insulation in cars.

Lee Industries runs a first-in, first-out business, meaning that they produce products in the order that they were placed.  Today, their lead time stands at just under 4 weeks!   It's hard to believe they produce 15,000 finished products per week.
 Lee consistently has about 400,000 yards of fabric in stock.
 In the leather plant, we learned how their fabrics are aniline dyed, which is a non-toxic form of coloring the leather.  We also learned the difference between leathers coming from different countries, and why leathers vary in color, even within the same hide.  They use only the top 5% of hides in the world.
 Tuesday, we took a trip to Valdese Weavers, where we learned how fabrics are woven.  It's amazing to see the process of a design on a computer being translated onto bolts of fabric. 
 We even got a sneak peak into what the April Market is going to look like for Lee! We were the first group to admire the new Spring fabric lines coming out soon, and the new pieces of upholstery currently being designed in product development.
 Julia enjoying herself the first day of the trip in one of the Lee showrooms.
 They demonstrated the 8-way hand tying technique to us.  As stated on their website, "This keeps your springs from shifting and creating uncomfortable lumps and bumps."  (Each sofa requires 300 ties)
 This is just a small portion of the sewing section in one of their 5 plants.  Their head quarters are in Conover, NC, so we had the easiest trip out of everyone there. 
One of the experienced workers at Lee Industries. Most of the employees there have been there for 20+ years! That really says something about the company, and how they treat each of their employees.  They try to create a family environment as much as possible, which was evident walking through there.

February 17, 2014

Hickory Chair University

One of our retail girls, Julia Caplan, spent a few days at Hickory Chair University last week to learn about all the details that go behind a single piece of furniture. While there, she was able to see both furniture and upholstery created from start to finish! “It was incredible to see how many hands touched one single piece of furniture/upholstery.” Julia said. “I have always known that Hickory Chair creates sleek, quality furniture, but I found so much more to appreciate about this company being at their University. They have a culture of continuous adaptation and collaboration, and while walking around the workshop you feel like you are walking among a large family. Each employee is joyful and excited to talk about their role in the creative process… Not to mention, the products are absolutely beautiful.” Take a look at some of the pictures Julia snapped while touring the facilities:

Look familiar? Hickory Chair workers were photographed in the middle of creating the frame for the Sutton Sofa that we have on our retail floor, pictured below!

February 3, 2014

Lucky to have you, Arevat

We are so grateful for Arevat Manucharova, our expert seamstress who has been making our design dreams come true for the past 17 years.  If you do not know of her, here is a quick intro. Arevat, a native from Armenia, has a workroom upstairs at our shop. She crafts all of our custom pillows for clients as well as for our shop. However, her talents don't stop at pillows! She is also a seamstress for bed skirts, table skirts, coverlets/duvets, shams, seat cushions, and more!  We can count on her for just about anything, including some personal alterations.  We appreciate her patience through everything that is thrown on her every day.  Come by the store to take a look at her expertise displayed throughout, as she is consistently keeping us stocked.  We have many more stock pillows that are on the way, from some of the prettiest fabrics Cindy has chosen.  Here are a few we have available today...

 Arevat hard at work upstairs

This Nancy Corzine silk fabric makes a gorgeous pillow backed with velvet