CREATIVE MINDS: DIVINE DESIGNS WITH DANIELLE ROLLINS

“Be daring. Be different. Be impractical. Be anything that will assert the integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” – Cecil Beaton 

Please join Jane Schwab and me for a trunk show this Thursday, February 8th revealing the beautiful creations of Danielle Rollins benefiting the Levine Children’s Hospital. Her new capsule collection has been a labor of love for Danielle using glorious fabrics ranging from colorful Liberty of London cottons to exquisite floral warp taffetas and a collaboration with Brunschwig and Fils. Danielle has taken great lengths to make sure the impeccably tailored clothes can be worn in many ways from day to night…perfect for upcoming Spring Galas or Spring Break!

I think of Danielle as the quintessential “steel magnolia.”  She has overcome much adversity by combating it with beauty through interior design, entertaining, and now through her new fashion line. I had the pleasure of interviewing Danielle several years ago and have reposted it again below. I am so proud of how far she has come making her dreams come true!  Enjoy getting to know Danielle and please join us on Thursday to see the beautiful clothes in person…

INTERVIEW

1. If you had a theme song, what would it be?

I have been through the ringer in the past decade plus so there is no way I can pick one. When I am ultra down I play a few of these & eventually it brings me back up to a Rocky Balboa level of “yes I can, again.”  And yeah I sing. Loudly. Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”, Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”, Katy Perry’s “Roar”, Cher’s “Strong Enough”, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”, and AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” (Yeah, I know, I know, a shock! But when you’re in a really bad mood this take-no-prisoners song does the trick to make you feel like a complete bad ass bitch – try it).

2. What is your idea of bliss?

Doing nothing or doing something for no reason. 

3. What was your latest creative breakthrough?

I am doing my own renovation & I have purposefully tried not to look at other designers’ work but tried to go for my initial gut instinct, make a decision & stay with it.  I have been told by some pretty good authorities that I have a very distinctive style & look. And typical me, I am a bit pleasantly puzzled but profoundly pleased because I don’t see that yet. I am always the last to see my own talent. I had to let go of a lot, not by my own choices, but I’m finding once I have accepted things that it opened up more space for creative ideas & that I have a completely open view point to try new design things.

Château de Villandry in France’s Loire Valley

Royal Botanic Gardens in London

4. What would be your dream vacation?

I am an consumed, passionate & utterly obsessed gardener. I would love to go to the great gardens of Europe – but would settle for a chance to do multiple trips just to get them all in! A second but very close runner up would be the great country houses of Britain.

5. What is your secret vice?

I rub the inside of my front teeth with my tongue. It drives my kids crazy & I have been photographed no less than a dozen times doing it. If you see me doing it, just slap me – it’s what my kids do! I have tried everything from the kooky, having hypnosis, to the extreme, having that area bonded!  Now that it’s out, maybe I will quit!

6. What is your favorite design trick?

Painting a room a rich saturated color and/or doing everything all one fabric. Nothing can refresh a room more than a change of backdrop & the Texan in me can be seen in almost every aspect & can apply to just about everything – Go big or go home! Simple elements in repeating multiples & used in abundance makes a great impact.

7. What would people be most surprised to learn about you?

I left an abusive relationship that I covered up for decades from the shame & fear of retribution. Now I am an advocate & mentor to other women who are currently in or leaving the same. It is not anything I ever expected to happen to me. But it isn’t anything anyone ever seeks out or expects to happen to them. It isn’t something that happens overnight. I hope I can use my influence to educate others on what I think is one of the final barriers for our society to recognize, accept & force a meaningful change to occur through public pressure.

8. What is at the top of your bucket list?

A bold statement but I believe I have what it takes: I want my own line of home, entertaining & lifestyle, but it’s the how to get there I am still working on. I love what I am doing & I love teaching others how to create more beautiful lives – even when they are not!

9. If you could own any work of art in the world, what would it be?

In a world with justice, my René Bouché fashion illustrations would be returned. They were my most personal obsession & they were wrongfully taken from me. It is something that I am still deeply haunted by & having them referred to now, repeatedly as “bathroom art” is an insult to injury. Karma.

10. What is your favorite interior of all time?

Again another of those cant have one but if I had to it would be the elegant simplicity & comfortable interiors of La Fiorentina. But for inspirations & references I not only look at the work of Billy Baldwin, but also Nancy Lancaster, Albert Hadley Sister Parish, Elsie De Wolfe, Edith Wharton.

VERANDA

Click HERE to see Danielle’s home in the December issue of Veranda magazine and see my favorite closet of all time. More gorgeous images of the home…

ABOUT DANIELLE

Mixing a dash of glamour with an approachable flair, Danielle sets the standard for Gracious Living and Stylish Entertaining™. Channeling the style of Grace Kelly, the wit of Lucille Ball, and the decorating and entertaining approach of Dorothy Draper (mixed with a little fantasy from the ever-imaginative, flamboyant Elsie de Wolfe), she inspires and encourages others to celebrate any and every opportunity to create a memory.Danielle shares, “I love the “lights, camera, action” of a party! I enjoy every second of entertaining from the initial spark of inspiration, to the preparation logistics, to the final zip of my dress, the greeting of friends, and the sound of tinkling glasses blending with the hum of the music. Through the atmospheres I create, celebrations allow me not only to express myself but also express my love for family and friends. Entertaining enables suspension from the real world and escape from the near-constant digital onslaught; it gives loved ones a chance to truly connect in the moment and create lasting memories.”

Nothing else relaxes Danielle quite like making order out of disorder. She doesn’t believe in a right or wrong way to entertain—or in any rigid, hard-and-fast rules. Instead, Danielle believes that if you focus on the essence of entertaining (what is important and what is not important), you can figure out a way to pull off a scintillating and memorable soirée with aplomb! With a little effort and imagination, simple ingredients used abundantly and a sense of humor and humility, she believes that entertaining can have a truly transformative effect.

Veranda calls Danielle a “genuine expert—a natural born entertainer” and Southern Living, to which she has been a frequent contributor, proclaims her “Atlanta’s preeminent hostess and tastemaker.” Her book has garnered praise for both its beauty and practicality on various websites and blogs, including Martha Stewart.com, Oprah.com, Things That Inspire, and Stylebeat. Danielle has also received coverage in Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Post, she has been featured on several TV morning talk show segments such as Marie Osmond’s show “Marie” as well as national and local radio shows.

Especially meaningful to Danielle are the contributions she has made to the Atlanta community by serving on various charities and boards. She is particularly proud of her efforts in establishing one of the city’s most popular events, Women of Style and Substance Annual Luncheon benefiting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which was inspired by the healthcare professionals who cared for her daughter following a near fatal accident. “Soirée Entertaining with Style evolved during a low point in my life. My middle child suffered a life-threatening accident and spent over a year recovering in the hospital and at home. Entertaining at home was easier than going out, and I began to actually enjoy making all the decisions that involve creating a special celebration”, Danielle explains.

A native of Dallas, TX, Danielle now lives in Atlanta with her children and a menagerie of animals including four dogs, two cats, fish, reptiles, and an aviary filled with birds. She is passionate about traveling, cooking, gardening, and all things design related.

LEVINE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Whether your family is dealing with a child’s sudden, serious health concern or a chronic illness, you’ll find help and support at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte. We care for our patients in a warm, child-friendly environment, to help them feel better as they get better. And we do it by involving you – the family – every step of the way.

  • Levine Children’s Hospital is the most comprehensive children’s hospital between Atlanta and Washington, DC, helping children receive high-quality care close to home and family, no matter their medical needs.
  • We treat more pediatric patients per day than any other hospital in North Carolina.
  • Our hospital features the region’s first 24/7 emergency room for children, staffed by physicians trained in pediatric emergency medicine.
  • MedCenter Air’s specially trained pediatric critical care transport teams can bring even the most critically ill infants and children to Levine Children’s Hospital, via ambulance or helicopter.
  • We have the region’s only pediatric cardiovascular surgery program, and offer the region’s only pediatric cardiovascular intensive care unit dedicated to caring for children with heart conditions.
  • We have the region’s only ECMO heart-lung bypass capabilities for newborns and children, and we offer 24/7 coverage in the pediatric intensive care unit by physicians board-certified in pediatric critical care.
  • Our doctors provide the highest level of neonatal care in the region, including cardiac and fetal surgery, with expertise in caring for premature infants and those with congenital conditions.We are the first neonatal care program in North Carolina to earn the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission.
    We offer the region’s only pediatric transplant program for heart, kidney, liver and blood and marrow transplant.
  • We are the only hospital in the region offering pediatric hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis and the second-largest pediatric dialysis unit in the nation.
    Our doctors and patients participate in pediatric medical research including clinical trials in cancer, infectious diseases, neonatology, kidney, neurodevelopmental pediatrics and more.
  • We employ more than 30 child life team members, dedicated to providing emotional support for hospitalized children, and helping explain hospital procedures and treatments in a way children can understand.
  • Our hospital features a playroom on every floor of the hospital, providing children the opportunity for fun, safe and supportive play.
  • We provide music and entertainment for patients through Seacrest Studios, an in-house multimedia broadcast center, broadcasting game shows, celebrity interviews and performances, and allowing patients to play DJ and reporter.
  • U.S. News & World Report Rankings
    Levine Children’s Hospital was recently named a Best Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report in several specialties. These rankings are evidence of who we are. We are committed to clinical excellence and family-centered care. We are a place where children and their families are partners in healthcare. Learn more about our rankings and what that means for our patients. 
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