Sunday, 17 May 2009

In Conversation with Darryl Carter

 DC-4Darryl Carter

 

Darryl Carter has progressively become a renowned design influence. His work is routinely featured in major shelter publications. Likewise, he is highly active on the lecture circuit and he has appeared on a variety of television networks.

This has not gone unnoticed by the industry, as he continues to make his designs more accessible through a series of branding relationships throughout the home category. This past fall saw the publication of his first book, The New Traditional (Clarkson Potter) and the launch of Darryl Carter for Thomasville(www.thomasville.com/darrylcarter/), his new comprehensive full home collection with Thomasville Furniture, distinguished by the sensibility of having been collected over time and true to the design aesthetic that he has become known for.

 

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Darryl also has a stunning lighting collection with The Urban Electric Company www.urbanelectricco.com, and this spring Frontgate www.frontgate.com will debut his first outdoor collection.

Carter specializes in calming environments with subtle colour palettes in which textures play off of one another and striking furniture layouts create one of a kind spaces. His mantra is that no two environments should be alike, just as no two individuals are alike. While keeping that in mind his environments exemplify the "New Traditional", incorporating clean design through the use of antiques and unique pieces that give his spaces a sense of grace and comfort. Simple moldings and architectural details painted out in chalky off-whites create a crisp envelope respectful of the architecture and furniture pieces. Spaces are distinguished by personal effects such as antique books, art and artifacts which evoke memories of days past. Patina is shown with pride. Intricate patterns such as herringbone or marquetry with borders are created with tile work alongside a delicately arabesque-shaped railing with a contrasting stain. Ambient lighting is sensitive to the mood of a room and window treatments are the simplest wooden shutters or linen drapery. The goal is that each environment is welcoming, graceful, timeless and foremost reflective of the individual.

Please read on to learn more about Darryl Carter and his work...

Iván Meade - What was your first experience with design?

Darryl Carter – I think I have always had a penchant for the aesthetic arts. My mother seems to have a memory of me moving furniture around my small childhood bedroom at age 6.

 

DC-1-1Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

 

Iván Meade - Who or what has influenced your style?

Darryl Carter – I have a very dear friend who is presently an antiques dealer in New York. We go way back. Her mother was very forward in her design. When others were doing circular sofas and shag carpet, she had the most austere 19th century farmhouse with no embellishments, simple American furniture, Pre-Colombian artifacts and the moodiest portraiture, all simply placed. These spaces continue to speak to me.

 

DC-2-2  Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

Iván Meade - What was the career change like from lawyer to designer?

Darryl Carter – The career change was freeing and perhaps immanent. But for serendipity, it may not have happened. It’s a complicated tale, but the short version is that I was a weekend warrior and on the side I was exercising my passion by re-doing and flipping real estate. One of the properties I lived in landed on the cover of Metropolitan Home and I received a number of phone calls requesting private commissions. And so, the career change had begun.

 

DC-3-3  Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

 

Iván Meade - What designers of past and present do you admire most?

Darryl Carter – Thomas Jefferson, as architect; Jorn Utzon, his biography and work; Van Day Truex, as a visionary; Bill Blass, for his Connecticut Home and so many others.

 

DC-13 Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

 

Iván Meade - What do you consider to be your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?

Darryl Carter – One in the same: my passion for what I do.

 

DC-14 Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

 

Iván Meade - What do you look for in a furniture piece, alternatively what do you consider as being important factors when designing a furniture piece ?

Darryl Carter – Purity, grace of line and multi-function.

 

DC-8  Darryl Carter for Thomasville

 

Iván Meade - Are there any design rules that you think were meant to be broken?

Darryl Carter – All rules are meant to be broken. This is evolution.

 

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image Darryl Carter for Frontgate

 

Iván Meade - What has been your greatest collaboration?

Darryl Carter – I cannot speak to this; I am bound to step on several toes. I have had many.

 

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DC-6 Darryl Carter for The Urban Electric Co

 

Iván Meade - What books are currently on your bedside or coffee table?

Darryl Carter – Avoid Boring People by James D Watson; The Last Campaign, Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days that Inspired America, by Thurston Clarke; Original Story, by Arthur Laurents and Audels Carpenters and Builders Guides #1 – #4, by Frank D. Graham – Chief and Thomas J. Emery – Associate.

 

DC 9 Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

 

Iván Meade - What are you excited about right now in the world of design?

Darryl Carter – I am seeing a more liberated risk-taking consumer that is in search of self-expression in the home, rather than manufactured environments that are formulaic.

 

DC-10 Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

 

Iván Meade - What would be your dream project?

Darryl Carter – I am working on my dream project. The renovation of my new office in a pre-civil war building in a very vibrant, emergent part of the District of Columbia.

 

DC-11 Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

 

Iván Meade - What project has given you the most satisfaction?

Darryl Carter – My residence which will never be complete, it is my laboratory.

 

DC-12 Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

 

Iván Meade - What is your next design venture?

Darryl Carter – I am working on multiple home license deals and a television show.

 

DC-15 Photograph courtesy of Darryl Carter

 

Iván Meade - Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles. What would you like your legacy to be?

Darryl Carter – A respect and appreciation for the simple.

 

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Tripel Bel Air Bench

 

Check out the June issue of Metropolitan Home Magazine's "Design 100" featuring editor's picks of the top 100 designs of the year. Among their picks is the Triple Bel Air Bench from Darryl Carter's collection for Thomasville.



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

11 comments:

Things That Inspire said...

I love your interviews - you always ask great questions that enable us to learn a little more about the mind behind the talent.

Great post - I am a long time admirer of Darryl Carter, I first heard of him when he decorated the home of a friend of my sister's in DC (it was published - I think in Traditional Home?).

Velvet and Linen said...

Thank you so much, Ivan.
Steve and I are huge fans of Mr. Carter's work.
It was such a treat to get to learn more about him. You definitely have many gifts, Ivan. Not only are you a talented designer, but you are a wonderful interviewer as well!

xo
Brooke

sofa said...

Great article, it is amazing design of Mr.Carter.

DesignTies said...

Thanks for another great interview :-) I like the fact that Darryl refers to his home as his laboratory -- what better place to experiment with designs and fabrics and colours than in your own home :-) How much fun would it be to live in a home that's always changing and evolving?? :-)

Kelly

AB HOME INTERIORS said...

Darryl is such a great designer. And how great is it that he was a lawyer!

Brillante Home Decor said...

Great words came out of this interview: simplicity, purity, self expression, passion.
I did not know this designer and thanks to Ivan now I can appreciate his work.

Vitania said...

This was a pleasure to read. I did a post on Darryl Carter last week. It's a real treat to get some perspective from such a gifted designer.

Great interview & thanks
Vitania

Maria Killam said...

Darryl Carter? Man you get all the cool interviews! Must be because you are almost as famous as these designers, with your HGTV spot coming up (by the way my friends are so impressed with you now that I've told them all your designer story).
Great post!
Maria

Michelle said...

Such a great interview Ivan!! He has an amazing eye; as do you :) Those fine latin eyes ;)

Michelle

My Notting Hill said...

Wow - didn't know there might be a television show in his future. Great interview! Love the lighting that you featured. Michele

Echito said...

He is so talented, I'm excited to hear more about this show he has in the works! I love the simplicity but warmth in his work.