Entries in Red (6)


Can you find the common 'thread'?


Home Tour: Eclectic 750 SF in Charlotte


This month's Friendly Home Tour is of Craig Jackson's 750 square foot condo in Uptown Charlotte, NC. If you love diverse patinas, modern art, and masculine farmhouse-chic styling, you're going to love this space! Each piece in Craig's home has a story and draws you in with color, texture or light. Who knew so many different styles could work so well together in such a small space? 


Craig has been one of my closest friends since I moved to Charlotte, and has taught me gobs about design - even though I didn't realize it at the time. He's hilarious, has the best handwriting of anyone I know, and he's definitely a very talented "picker." He has the ability to see past the dents, dirt and grime {and the patience to remove the grime}, to imagine a vintage or antique piece in a new and functional form.

Craig & Bruno, one of his two sweet doggies, relaxing in the den.
I give Craig most of the credit for teaching me how to see and appreciate vintage and antique cast-offs. When I moved to Charlotte in 1999, Craig used to take me "antiquing," but not at antique shops or even thrift shops. Rather, we'd drive to remote spots in the country side where the "antique shop" was mostly outdoors on a property covered with what looked like decaying bits of history: industrial tables, cabinets, wood chairs, glass, cast iron everywhere - he even found decorative pieces buried in the dirt! I wonder if that place is still open? Craig, I think a reunion trip may be in order. 

The good news is - Craig uses and shares many of his talents as a home designer in Charlotte making up the other half of Vasseur Home Design {Peter being the first half.} Their complementary skill sets and fun personalities make them an award-winning design team - literally...they've won a lot of awards for their historic home renovations. Craig is responsible for the interior planning and design of client renovations and new-home building projects. You can flip through their stunning portfolio here. You can follow Vasseur Home Design on Facebook, too - here.

Even though Craig doesn't think he has a "style," as you'll read in my interview with him, I think his style is mod, but eclectic with repurposed industrial cast-offs, and hints of modern farmhouse. He also uses colorful and bold local and vintage art pieces, including his own art, throughout his condo. So maybe he's right...I'm having a hard time labeling his "style" as well. What do you think?


I took both daytime and evening photos because {Craig INSISTED} Craig understands the value of mood lighting in a space, and made superb lighting choices. You can see all the photos of Craig's condo on my Flickr page here.

My interview with Craig...
{me}   Describe your style. 


{Craig}   I think what best describes my sense of style is that I really don't have one. I have them all. I like everything and I think that's probably apparent in the photos.

Craig's den, kitchen and office nook all function together in one open space.

View from office nook to the hallway that leads to the foyer, bathroom and bedroom.

{me}   Your one-bedroom condo is about 750 square feet,  how does that affect the way you design your space? What are the advantages and challenges of living in and designing a small space?

{Craig}   I absolutely love living in a small space. It forces me to really think about the things I need vs. the things I want. Sometimes you score and achieve both goals, but I think if I lived in anything really big, I'd end up on one of those 'Hoarders' episodes. The smaller footprint keeps me focused on what's really important because things and spaces absolutely have to be used. You can liven the walls with some superfluous stuff, but the core spaces have to function. Hopefully they look good too.
The real challenge? When I find something that really catches my eye, I think about whatever piece I currently have that this new find would have to replace - there's no room for "more". I just weigh which I like better, and decide from there. At this point, if something new comes in, something old has to go. It keeps it simple, so maybe that's a challenge and an advantage.
{me} {Case in point... I photographed Craig's home three times over the course of two weeks and captured some of his new additions. He bought the new gold leather chair to replace the black leather and chrome chair in the den, and a new sleek office chair replaced the vintage wood chair.}

Plus, for what I need, it's senseless to live in a three bedroom, den, & family room kind of space just to have "space". I don't care for waste on all levels.
Modern chair is a stunning contrast to the 150 year old farm table & chipped door

{me}   How has your style changed over the past 10 years?


{Craig}   I think like anyone else, I just keep refining it. The core of my design sensibility hasn't really changed. The fundamentals, to me anyway, are timeless. I have some old photos of my condo and though most big things remain the same, I look around now and think how much the space has evolved to another level with just the detail changes. I think that's true for most everyone though. I don't know how many people pull 180's with their sense of what they like now vs. what they liked a decade ago.

{me}   Where do you get your pieces?

{Craig}  Everywhere. Flea markets, antique stores, junk yards, cast-offs from friends (I can't believe some of the stuff people want to get rid of), and a lot of my mom's old stuff she doesn't want anymore. She's a die-hard antique collector.

200-year old Portuguese cobblers bench and vintage rug greet guests upon entry.

I love this little vignette - that vintage doggie painting is fabulous! 

Craig made this center island table with vintage wood table top & new metal pipes.

{me}   What is your favorite "vignette" in your home right now and why?


{Craig}   The office nook, for sure. I think that spot is a really great snapshot of my taste in a single frame. I really like the 150-year-old farm table with the $79 Ikea Tobias chair. Whatever. (in a good way, not the snarky 90's way). That pocket has a little of everything and the lighting at night in that area is unbelievable.

Craig's office nook AFTER with new chair


{me}   How do you keep the clutter down in a small space? Any simplifying or organizational tips for non-organized people like me?


{Craig}   You know, I really don't try to keep clutter down. My best advice? If you really use it, show it. I just like to try and get the most interesting "tools" I can find. I think the transparency adds to the space. I'd love to have a back-lit glass door refrigerator. I'd buy the healthiest, best looking groceries I could show off. Health insurance companies should buy us those fridges. We'd all be better off and healthier for it.




{me}   How do you decide which pieces to buy?


{Craig}    To sum up what I think constitutes the best "style": If you like it, buy it. Don't over-think what's going to match this or not go with that. That's how you end up with one of those catalogue-style spaces. I appreciate the stories that go with each piece I have and the fact that guests always ask about them, and that they really "get" the space as a whole. It creates authentic interest that shows you really thought about it. Or more importantly, that maybe you didn't think too much about it at all.

Oh, and I'd also like to add that, yes, I'm the infamous "Unkie" from Chanee's September 4th home tour post. Kate & Peter's daughter wanted a KISS poster and Unkie's job was to find her the best one he could. I make no apologies.






























Thank you so much, Mr. Jackson for opening up your home to me, and for sharing your design sensibilities with us!

You can see the rest of the photos of Craig's condo on my Flickr page here.



Which Outdoor Rug?

As promised, here's my outdoor rug round up for my little patio makeover. I've narrowed down my choices to four eco-friendly styles. Now I want to know which rug you think I should use on my patio. Please help me choose! Just leave a comment with your vote for the rug you think would look best on my patio {see before photo below}.

1.  Tauna Kilim Indoor and Outdoor Rug from Pottery Barn made from recycled polymers.

my neglected patio in waiting 


Get Out! Three Looks for Your Patio

Even though the cold and rainy weather has kept me inside and away from my patio refresh project most of the week, I'm still eager to give my patio a little makeover. Especially since there are so many home furnishing stores featuring eco-friendly outdoor furniture and accessories this season - yay!  If you're in the market for some new patio furniture, you'll have many stylish earth-friendlier options to choose from this year.

Since there are so many eco-friendly outdoor decor styles available, I couldn't create just one patio style board - so I created THREE boards using three different color palettes. Which is your favorite style?


Brunch at The Parker in Palm Springs

I'm in Palm Springs relaxing and celebrating the New Year with friends. For our first outing, we ate a delicious brunch at Norma's in The Parker.  I had no idea I was walking into a hotel designed by Jonathan Adler. I was ecstatic and overjoyed to walk through the huge, bright orange doors into the glamourous mid-century-inspired foyer.  So dreamy, people!




There were many cozy and colorful nooks for guests. The shapely black lamp and red tuffed-velvet sofa were only a few of the many dramatic pieces in the hotel lobby.

Loving the metallics - suit of armor and the mirror. The orchid in the head planter is divine!





I wish I could've photographed a few of The Parker's guest rooms - they look super cool on the website.
See the rest of my photos from our sublime time at The Parker.