‘Tis the Season for Antiques at the Gardens presented by the Birmingham Botanical Gardens! This year Summer Classics Home had the honor of donating Gabby Acrylic Bar Stools for the “Tastemaker” presented by Southern Home Magazine, which featured a group of regionally and nationally known architects, interior designers and landscape architects.
Meet this year’s Tastemakers panel:
• Mark Thompson and Jay Draper, owners of Shoppe gardening store
Held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Lynn Terry, editor of Southern Home Magazine, kicked off the event by introducing the Tastemakers as they sat in Gabby acrylic chairs, all donated by Summer Classics Home. Lynn asked the Tastemakers questions to explore their takes on the design industry and to discover their design methods.
Mark Thompson, owner of SHOPPE located in Birmingham, AL, described his idea of design as a noun: person, place, thing, and idea. When asked by Lynn, how to he translates his design aesthetic into a client’s home when you first meet him or her, Mark stated, “First, you need to get to know the person and what they love. Then, bring that out into the design of their home to reflect them.”
Katherine Bramlett, a young designer based in Birmingham, AL, also had an interesting take on this question. “I always want a home to not look like I was there, but that the people who live there are really expressed and that their personality really comes through. My goal as designer is to help find that balance.”
Each Tastemaker shared their role as a designer and how they like to bring out their aesthetic in each project they work on. The word that each designer turned to time and again throughout the discussion was “timeless.”
Ashley Gilbreath, who many might know from her new HGTV show, Home Sweet Renovation, bases her whole design philosophy off of this “timeless” concept. By always incorporating a thoughtful blend of sophistication and functionality, she specializes in creating timeless, livable spaces and helps the client appreciate the pieces they already have.
“Your timeless or investment pieces stay current and can grow with your taste over time, and one day you can pass them down to your children,” said Ashley. “After you buy your timeless pieces first, then go back and throw in your little pops of color or something trendy at the moment.”
Mary Catherine Folmar, owner of Cotton & Quill in Mountain Brook, AL, feels that her design is influenced by not only her southern roots, but also by her world travels. Cotton & Quill she has captures her design vision through punchy colors and bold patterns created by her hand-illustrated textiles and wall coverings.
When asked by Lynn about favorite trends at the moment, Mary Catherine chimed in, that wallpaper is officially back and bigger than ever. “If you aren’t comfortable with wallpaper, a great way to start is by putting it in a closet or a powder bathroom making it a little jewel box and an unexpected surprise.”