This gorgeous restaurant transformation brought a brand new concept to life, and we are so excited to share how this space was completely reimagined into the vibrant scene that is Market and Moss. If you’re local or you’ve been following us for a bit, you know that we’ve worked with Chapel Hill entrepreneur Annie Johnston, and also worked with her to redesign La Vita Dolce Cafe (home to the most delicious coffee and gelato ever). When she had the vision for a brand new local fine dining restaurant, she approached us about working together again for a perfect custom-designed space. We couldn’t say yes fast enough!
Beginning to End
Many of you have been with us on this design journey since the beginning- back when Market and Moss was still in the demolition phase when the pieces of this huge renovation were just starting to take shape. Working closely with the contractor, as well as other talented tradespeople was key to making the big changes needed to re-create the core elements of the space. It was a sweeping task that touched every corner, from ceiling to tile to paint to furniture and more. A while back we shared a mid-project update that showed some of the “in-progress” work. There are too many before-and-afters to fit into one post, but to give you an idea here are a couple that will help to show you where we started. On the left was during demolition, and on the right is a snapshot we took just after new tile had been laid.
Artistry and Community
As you can see, this was a big undertaking. But the owner, Annie, is a true visionary and entrepreneur- she has big dreams and the drive to make them happen. We love her out-of-the-box thinking and her creative spirit, so working with her is a truly wonderful match. We knew from creating side-by-side with her on La Vita Dolce that we could do some pretty incredible things together, and that made us even more excited to transform this old restaurant space into a place that was both stunning and unique. The concept for the space was a reflection of Annie’s dream for a truly unique, beautiful custom eatery that would become a place of community and connection. Bringing in rich, deep tones mixed with bold colors, beautiful lighting, and artistic elements gave the space a feel that was true to her vision.
A Warm Welcome
First impressions matter, and the entryway/lobby of Market and Moss was a huge focal point for the overall design. When you come through the front doors, the space immediately greets you with vibrant color and beautiful detail. Annie’s signature feel is a European vibe, and so we created the overarching vision to include many hints of old-world charm mixed with unexpected modern touches. We wanted the first look into this space to be full of creativity, unique details, and just the right amount of the unexpected. Staying true to Annie’s love of local, we brought in NC scenic artists Majestic Scenic to create a paint a custom mural for the arched wall opposite the front doors.
We’ve loved taking you on a tour of this beautiful blue Modern Coastal home design. And today we’ll show you the final, incredible finish of this multi-room design- the Modern Coastal Great Room. Oh y’all, this one is just so glorious! Not only do these homeowners have great taste, but we really got to have so much design-fun with this space- bringing in extra plush seating, artfully layered patterns, large art, and all the unique coastal-inspired details we love.
If you’ve been following along, you know these homeowners have an inland home here in Durham, but are originally from the New England coastal area and are life-long beach lovers. If you’re just catching up, you can also read about their beautiful Modern Coastal Kitchen and Keeping Room also here on the blog! This design was so much fun to create for this lovely couple. The coastal theme is a beloved traditional aesthetic, especially here along the East Coast. But for an inland home, we wanted to envision a new take with unique patterns and modern inspiration, reinventing this concept in a completely unique way, while still capturing plenty of that classic coastal magic.
The Light Hues
The undercurrent of this multi-room design is a beautiful blue and white color story. With strategic design, you can add so much depth and visual interest, especially by layering different saturations and intensities to create a full, dimensional color palette. The soft blue walls of this room were perfectly primed for contrast, and we couldn’t resist bringing in some big visual interest with a pop of moody, deep blue-green on the ceiling. You’ll recognize this color as the one that also graces the kitchen island! We love the way this adds surprise to the space and also draws your eye upward along the glorious large window (yes!) and highlights the cathedral-style ceiling height in this room. It also provides depth and complement with the lighter layered blues that accent the furnishings and rug below. The beautiful, plush neutral chaise and couch let the contrasting blues and layered patterns shine in this space, letting your eye appreciate all of those delightful light-soaked shapes and hues.
Great Room Texture
When you’re working within a streamlined color combination like this blue and white design, pattern and texture combinations can make a huge impact when it comes to creating a space that feels both custom and timeless. We could talk about pattern in this Great Room for DAYS, y’all- and we would start with these glorious chairs. The pattern is both classic and bold, and provides a playful and unexpected design moment in this room. The traditional frame paired with the contrasting blue and crisp white is just a beautiful match, and layering in that dot pattern pillow takes it over the top. We love this shot because it also highlights some of the accents in the room. This abstract art piece is steeped in texture, with subtle warm tones that perfectly echo the feel of sand and sun. Set against a gorgeous mixed metal mercury-glass inspired lamp, the visual is just the right balance of sleek, modern, and grounded- bringing in warm earthen elements to complement and contrast to the bright crisp blues.
Creating a seamless transition from room to room is one of our favorite facets of a perfectly finished space, and this beautiful Modern Coastal Keeping Room was the perfect opportunity to work that creative design flow. With a bright, open area encompassing the kitchen, dining room, and keeping room, writing a gorgeous color story and weaving in those fresh coastal details made this entire space feel synchronous, polished, and complete.
If you’re just joining us now, we’re taking you through our custom design of this light-filled home, owned by an absolutely wonderful couple who also happen to be lifelong beachcombers. Their true “happy place” is by the water, and they wanted some special beach items and maritime charm written into their custom design story. Since this is actually an inland home located on a lake here in North Carolina, keeping the design clean and unique allowed us to create an inspired, fresh take on that beloved and time-honored coastal style. We started with their gorgeous kitchen (you can take a tour here!) and today we’re moving right along to this cozy coastal-themed keeping room.
Bringing some modern coastal charm to this crisp, beautiful kitchen allowed these homeowners to connect with their happy place. This modern coastal kitchen design is full of rich blues, just the right maritime touches, and a modern, sophisticated update on a classic style. We can all use a little light and warmth right now in these long days of winter (especially this year!), and we’re here to spread that sunny vibe as we take you on a tour of all the design moments we lovingly created for this home.
Here in NC, we are fortunate to be within driving distance to the coast, which a lot of folks love to take advantage of throughout the year. This couple happens to be originally from New England, and are life-long beach lovers. Though their home is actually located at a beautiful lake local to Chapel Hill rather than beachside, they wanted to be surrounded by visual elements that reminded them of their happiest times and shared love for that glorious beach life. So, we created a coastal-inspired design just for them, including tons of beachy touches but with a fresh, updated take that was the perfect match for their inland home. Beginning with a Paint Color Consultation and then shifting into space planning and furnishings, this multi-room design was a vision that brought their waterside days to life.
The kitchen is the hub of this large open space in their home, where the dining space and family room also converge. The homeowners love a chef’s kitchen and spend a great deal of time whipping up culinary wonders in this space, making it a focus in their home. The design challenge here was creatively integrating variety, depth, and layered hues into the design to keep things gorgeous and interesting, while still in keeping with these homeowner’s true love of a blue + neutral color scheme. To keep things light and bright, we chose a fresh white tone on the cabinets to complement the countertops. They have a divinely large kitchen island and this was a prime spot to introduce some key visual interest. We painted the island in this engaging marine hue, which is a deep, moody mixture of blue and green that reads beautifully against the crisp white of the island countertop and the surrounding cabinets. It also provides some depth and subtle contrast, simultaneously streamlining and gently contrasting with the other blue hues throughout the adjacent dining and living areas.
Speaking of that dining room- let’s take a look around. This sunny nook is just off the kitchen and gets a ton of natural light (a moment to take in those windows- wow!). Beautiful, smooth wood in a deep tone for the dining table was a perfect complement to ground the space and bring in dimension. The rich, bright cobalt of the custom upholstered dining chairs pops in the loveliest way, drawing on the blue tones in the kitchen wall art and accent pieces, as well as providing even more beautiful contrast against that crisp white kitchen. We love how the blue looks even more gorgeous against the lush green forested view. The upholstery itself has a light texture, giving an airy feel that’s the perfect match for the breezy coastal undercurrent throughout this design.
When it comes to great bedroom design, comfort and beauty go hand in hand- and that’s what we love the most about this neutral-inspired bedroom retreat. With plush texture and gorgeous tones tucked into every corner, this serene spot is crafted to be its own relaxing world. We’re taking you on an inside look at this gorgeous scene, from the tonal color-scape to the layers, light, and carefully chosen design nuances that bring it all together.
Stay-cation for Two
If you’ve been following along for a bit, you saw a peek of this room in our last post, where we shared how this home was featured in Chapel Hill Magazine. If you’re just joining us now (welcome!), you can also check it out on the blog here. This New Traditional Living home design included much more than just this bedroom retreat, but this space came to such a gorgeous finish that we wanted to take some time to share all of the details with you. These wonderful homeowners are working professionals in the Chapel Hill area who were looking to merge a traditional style house with their more modern, sleek tastes. The result was a beautiful fusion of art, light, and tone-on-tone loveliness that serves as a very functional family space as well as a beautiful, timeless forever home.
Capturing the Light
One of our favorite ways to get creative with design is to think outside the box about how a room can be more useful, purposeful, and intentional. This often looks like finding ways that a space can be enjoyed in multiple ways, ideally more than just one time a day. Bedrooms can sometimes be an afterthought especially for those that spend most days outside the home. But there’s so much appeal and potential when it comes to making this room more than a sleeping space. We wanted to give these busy folks an extra place for respite, relaxation, and connection. This plush chair duo was the perfect match for this space- a spot to sit, read, or catch up with each other on the day’s events. We love how the triple window drenches it with light, drawing your eye right to the pristine forested surround.
This New Traditional Living design for an incredible family was a dream project in and of itself. But when the folks at Chapel Hill Magazine said they were interested in showcasing this wonderful couple and their beautiful, New Traditional Living style home in the December issue- well, we just could not have been more thrilled. For us, doing our very best work and seeing homeowners so happy with their custom design is what it’s all about. But even so, seeing our clients in a gorgeous print spread enjoying that perfect finished space gives us the big happy feels and all the best design joy. We’ve had to keep quiet about this one as it was going to print, and we’re SO excited it’s here and we get to share it with you today!
New Traditional Living
But we know y’all love a good behind-the-scenes, so let’s get into some of that design backstory! If you’ve been following for a little bit we know you’ve caught a few sneak peeks of this space over on our social media, as well as a look into one of our favorite spaces to date- their gorgeous Modern Parlor. This home was new construction with tons of classic charm already woven in throughout, such as traditional moldings and wainscoting, tray ceilings, and tall windows. These homeowners are working professionals and parents who share a streamlined, sleek taste and were looking for a design vision to seamlessly bridge and blend their traditional home with modern design and furnishings.
This couple’s natural love of neutrals led us to create a custom color palette with lots of fresh, crisp cream and ivory tones. To add depth, dimension, and richness we layered in blues, then let the colors pop with hints of warm and bright earth tones. One thing we especially enjoyed about this design was adding in sleek, sophisticated metallics throughout the decor, lighting, and styling touches. The finished effect was a stunning union of serene + bold, with both classic and design-forward elements beautifully highlighted. These homeowners also let us get creative with art, adding in custom pieces throughout the home that brought life, energy, and character to the space. Building out a robust master design plan and layering in each and every detail allowed us to create full customization and deep personalization in the space.
Modern, beautiful, formal, and a truly unique all-in-one – this Parlor design is something we could not WAIT to share with you. Part of a large-scale home design for a wonderful family, this Formal Living Room space embodies classic beauty with a modern feel. With a unique centric space plan and sleek, art-forward design paired with some gorgeous lighting, this space competes for our favorite room in the house. We’ve got a lot to share, so let’s sit down for some Parlor Talk as we dish out all the details on this stunning room.
In the original building plan, this space was actually slated as a Formal Dining Room. But for this couple, they knew that wasn’t something that would serve them best, and we were excited to create a completely new vision. We fully re-imagined the space to be a place this family would use and truly enjoy, as well as adding lots of beauty and style. As one of the first rooms you see upon entering the home, part of our Master Plan was to create a completely unique concept, while still keeping it functional and comfortable for family living. Rather than a couch + loveseat or 2 chairs, we got creative with seating and designed an interior layout of beautiful custom chairs anchored by a round cocktail table. One unique detail is that the subtle curve on the front of the swivel chairs echoes the curve of the cocktail table itself, creating a lovely flow. This also served to bring focus to the gorgeous light fixture (more on that below!). The chairs are covered in a dreamy neutral upholstery, which serves the double purpose of making them extra inviting, while also letting the layout, lighting, and art take center stage. The combination and careful synthesis of a strategic furnishing placement plus striking art creates a space that is both engaging and serene- perfect for entertaining or just relaxing and enjoying the room.
The Lighter Side
THIS light fixture. One thing we love about lighting is that when well-chosen, it can be so dynamic- showcasing and bringing together so many design elements in one feature. This fixture is striking with a bold, design-forward look, but also brings in lots of classic character and charm with a traditional shape. We get the best modern + regency vibes from this one, especially with that hint of gold leaf embellishment at the base. The intersection of style makes it perfect for a traditional room in a home with a modern design flow. And that deep charcoal against the brass? We’ll stare at that goodness all day long.
The year-end hustle is in full swing here in the studio! It’s a bustling time, with lots of projects at many different stages. And although the circumstances have never looked more different than they do this year, we are beyond grateful to be designing and creating our hearts out more than ever as we wrap up the whirlwind that has been 2020. Connecting with people through design is the thing we love the most, and our amazing clients and CFD community have kept us going in an incredible way. We wanted to take a moment to share a couple of good things that have come out way lately!
Catch us on the Radio!
We love being part of the Chapel Hill community (as a business and as residents!), so we were thrilled when WCHL Chapelboro Radio reached out to us about working with their station. We are always looking for new ways to connect with our community, so this was an enthusiastic yes for us. We kicked it off with an interview of Cat with local radio persona Aaron Keck, talking about all things CFD, our studio, and design. After chatting a bit about who we are and what we do as a company, the hot topics on the docket were Market and Moss, the trends we’re seeing in the studio this year, and how we’ve worked with clients on navigating the changes of 2020.
If you weren’t able to listen live, you can hear the interview recorded on the WCHL website. The wonderful Ali Evans also wrote an article to go along with the recorded interview, talking a little more about who we are as a team and a company, and how we can help both business and homeowners create spaces that are not only beautiful but truly functional and liveable. Check it out via the link here! We will also be featured in a special edition print calendar that WCHL is producing this year, featuring a rockstar crew of all-women business owners in the Chapel Hill area, and we couldn’t be more excited to be included. Look out for more info about where you can grab one!
This living room design came together as such a beautiful fusion of modern and traditional style, we couldn’t wait to share all the details with you. Although we work with clients all over the Eastern US, our studio and home base is in the heart of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and we love it when we get a chance to create beautiful spaces right here in our hometown. We’ve got so much love for our local community here, and these homeowners were a true delight. Infusing their classic Chapel Hill home with lots of charm and beautiful, modern touches was a designer’s dream.
Classic + Timeless
For our readers near and far, we’ll share just a little bit about homes ’round these parts. Every area of the country has unique architecture and aesthetics (one of the things that makes design so wonderful!), and North Carolina is no exception. Chapel Hill, as well as other parts throughout North Carolina, have many homes with beautiful, traditional elements, many of which you’ll see throughout this space- features like classic mantels, crown molding, wainscoting, and pillars. You may remember some of this from their gorgeous Dining Room, which we showed you in our last post! One of our favorite views below:
A Function of Great Design
Let’s dig right into this beautiful Living Room. This space is a hub of activity in this home- it’s both a family space for relaxing and connection, in addition to also serving as a more formal living room. It’s directly adjacent to the family eat-in area and is open to the entryway and kitchen. From a function standpoint, it’s like so many areas of our homes in that it fills multiple roles and sees a lot of traffic- lounging, conversation, entertaining- this design needed to do it all! The other design challenge in this space was to create a fresh, inspired aesthetic while also incorporating several existing pieces – AND, keep our eyes on function (i.e. not just beautiful, but a truly comfortable and usable space). We know great design lives in not just amazing-looking spaces, but true LIVE-ability. Similar to their Dining Room, these homeowners have the most fabulous taste, and they wanted to keep some of the beautiful pieces they already had in the space as part of the new design.
The Perfect Surrounding
The fireplace is a focal point in this room (and visible from many other parts of the house as well), so we wanted to give it some extra design attention. We brought in custom woodworker extraordinaire Thompson Millwork to craft a custom fireplace surround. They took our design and brought it to life, making a truly beautiful, unique piece for this home. Their work on this was pristine (as always!) and the final product was the perfect combination of clean-lined and intricate, with each detail absolutely perfect. The crisp white finish of the mantle and fireplace surround seated beneath a stunning piece of abstract art ties in both the classic charm and modern detail of the space.
Light + Fusion
To enhance that custom fireplace even further, we decided to get creative with a classic lighting feature- the sconce. This beloved fireplace accouterment is as timeless as they come- and for good reason! A beautiful sconce set brings light, warmth, and style to the ensemble. The long, sleek lines of this unique style also serve to lift the gaze to the mantel and highlight that eye-catching large art piece. The layered mixed metal finish paired with an angular shade is the perfect design-forward take on these fixtures, elegantly bringing together the core elements of the living room design and beautifully weaving together modern, traditional, and classic.
Designing around existing pieces in a space presents a unique angle in a project, but it’s something we truly enjoy and do for so many clients. We’re always thinking about the big picture and how we can create a robust vision where these pieces will appear to effortlessly fall into place, and it all comes down to a lot of strategy on our end, and perfecting that custom living room design Master Plan. The couch and coffee table were a set that the homeowners wanted to incorporate into the design, but the seating area didn’t feel complete just yet. We designed a completely custom leather chair to round out the room shape and seating configuration. It was a DREAM to sit in, but also featured a low-profile back and swivel, which made it perfect for this spot in the living room where flow and visibility were key. We could go on about the gorgeous steely gray leather, but for now, let’s just say it was a big win all around!
In the open space that merges the living room, kitchen, and hallway areas, we wanted to bring some great design flow and purpose. To do this we honed in on crafting a color story to move the eye through the transition space between the kitchen and the living room. Designing a custom carpet runner for the stairs achieved this beautifully, perfectly bridging the blue hues in the living room with the adjacent kitchen. We love how it pops against the hardwood and adds depth to the space.
Tones in Harmony
The champagne-toned transitional style console was another show-stopping piece that brought a touch of glam and a ton of visual interest to the space. We fell in love with the look of mixed metals and chrome throughout this room, and the finish of this console was the perfect warm, soft complement to the other surrounding metallic tones. Custom designed pillows in rich blues and sophisticated patterns bring together the plush neutral of the couch upholstery with the cool-toned hues in the rug, walls, and art. Deep blues and greens paired with gold and chrome throughout give the entire living room design a sleek, polished finish.
Hand in Hand
One of the strong undercurrents of this design was bringing multiple pieces and elements into a cohesive vision. Strategic design allowed us to integrate these homeowner’s loved pieces with new furnishings, we love the way new fabrics and textures, beautiful art, and some stunning, creative lighting gave this entire room a brand new feel and look. The design intersection of modern and inventive + traditional and classic is one that we always find inspiring, creative, and rewarding for both our team and our clients. We loved making this space a perfect place for these homeowners to enjoy for a lifetime.
Want to see more recent projects? Check out even more images of CFD designs on our Portfolio Page! Have questions about transforming your own space? We’re here to help, and we’re only a message away- you can always reach us at email@example.com or via our Contact Page. For more of the goings-on and happenings of this busy team, follow us on Facebook or in real-time over on Instagram at @catfrenchdesign!
It’s a BRAND-NEW project, and we are so excited to share it with you! The dining room was only part of this gorgeous home design, but as the holidays approach, there’s no better time to share this beautiful gathering place. Whether you are having a small gather or hosting this year, there’s plenty to be said for making it a beautiful, inviting space (especially this year, as a lot of us are staring at our own rooms more than we have in years past). This project was unique in that it was a true fusion of traditional, classic elements with a modern, inspired style. So come along for a seat at the table, and we’ll tell you all about this gorgeous space.
Function + Beauty
The dining room may not be the most highly trafficked room in the house, but for many of us it’s actually one of the rooms we enjoy the most. It’s where so many memorable times, great meals, and special occasions take place. And, it is often one of the first rooms we see when we enter a home, and can even set the tone for the rest of the home. This means we want it to be not only highly functional as an eating/entertaining space, but ALSO have that eye-catching, can’t-stop-staring gorgeous look. Here in the studio, we are always excited to create a beautiful dining room design, and there is so much to love about this modern-traditional stunner. Like many of our clients, this lovely homeowner had some special pieces of furniture that she wanted to keep in place- in this case, a large dining room table, rug, and a beautiful china cabinet.
The Dining Room Challenge
Integrating existing pieces isn’t always as easy as it might seem, especially in the context of a multi-room project. When it’s completed as part of a full home design, the overall objective is to create a beautiful, cohesive design flow throughout the series of connected spaces. Creating a visual aesthetic that makes sense means carefully (and strategically) making a plan that will bring those existing pieces into the vision with purpose and intention. We always ask clients, “what’s your design challenge?”, and so often they tell us that figuring out how to design around existing pieces is at the top of the list.
When the Bones are Good
Bringing in bold, rich blue to tie in the classic rug with the rest of the house was a great place to start. This gorgeous dining table was a keeper for this couple, so we honed in the design powers on how to elevate it into a fresh look. When the bones are good, outfitting those chairs with brand new fabric can elevate the entire space. This beautiful custom upholstery brought vibrant, fresh texture and tone to the entire space. We love how the clean color pops with the rug and adds just the right amount of modern against the classic elements.
Let’s talk about that LIGHT! Y’all, we could do an entire post just about this fixture. A creative design choice for a modern-traditional blend, this beaded chandelier brings SO much design dynamic to the space. We created this as a fully custom piece, and everything from the beading to the color to the textured wrap we chose by hand. The classic shape echoes the traditional-style elements in the furniture as well as the beautiful wainscoting and trey ceiling. The bold blue of the beading brings in an element of modern trend, along with just the right hint of flair and playfulness. We couldn’t love it more.
Peripheral (Design) Vision
While we love a chandelier that makes a statement, the right wall decor can truly enhance and elevate a space even further. The impact of a stunning light fixture paired with creative wall art is one of our favorite ways to layer in depth, dimension and beauty to a room. We share some in this post about how large art can transform a space, and for this dining room, a unique, eye-catching piece was in order. But, wall art doesn’t always have to a framed print or a painting on a canvas. There are so many creative, unique design options to explore, whether that’s bringing in something completely new, or looking for a way to bring in an existing piece to an updated, fresh design. These homeowners have fabulous taste, and we were thrilled to see they had this beautiful structural art piece waiting in the wings. The layers, shape, and flow are both nuanced and gorgeous, with the delicate gold detail adding a touch of glam we love for formal dining.
A Place at the Table
We love to say in the studio “design is in the details”, and it couldn’t be more true when it comes to finishing touches in the dining room. That place setting is where so much style can live. These unique touches not only polish and complete the space, but bring purpose to the entire room and create that inviting feel that we love. A little bit of classic blue paired with some modern, sleek gold edging makes this a beautiful table set for any holiday gathering.
There’s SO much more to show you! We love every room of this incredible home design, and we can’t wait to share more. In the meantime, you can see more images from CFD projects on our Portfolio Page. For more in-the-moment happenings of this busy design team, catch up with us on Facebook or Instagram @catfrenchdesign. Have questions about your own space? We’re here to help. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Contact Page.