Posts Tagged: Modern


“Culture just seems to be in the air, like part of the weather.” – Tom Wolfe on New York City

Cathy Austin Dering Hall Rendering

Welcome to my virtual “Artists Salon” for Dering Hall’s Wired & Inspired Showhouse in collaboration with the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center! When asked to design a space inspired by my favorite city, I let my imagination run wild creating my fantasy penthouse in New York City.  Be sure to click here to see the rest of the showhouse on Dering Hall including spaces by Angie Hranowsky, Beth Webb, Cathy Kincaid, James Wheeler Designs, Cloth & Kind, Tammy Connor, Yvonne McFadden, Melanie Millner, and Karen Ferguson.



Willem de Kooning Studio


Living in New York City in my twenties made an indelible impression on me.  I felt like I had encountered the center of the creative universe that attracted the most talented, imaginative, and artistic people I had ever met. Since space was so precious and provided solace from the grind of city living, I became fascinated with how people treated their interiors. I used to fantasize about my “dream” apartment and this is my version of heaven…a penthouse overlooking the Chrysler Building, surrounded by a blend of iconic furnishings and paintings by my favorite abstract expressionists that also came to New York for inspiration. Whenever I need to get my creative juices flowing, New York is always my city of choice…taking in the latest exhibitions, observing what is happening on the streets, and soaking up the vibe of the city.


WIILEM DE KOONING/ Gotham News, 1955, oil on canvas




HELEN FRANKENTHALER / Tutti-Fruitti, 1966, acrylic on canvas,


A double height penthouse overlooking the Manhattan skyline is the perfect backdrop to showcase the works of my favorite artists.  The Farrow & Ball color palette of the interior was inspired by the city lights, bold colors in the paintings, and Babe Paley’s infamous “taxi cab yellow” living room decorated by Dean of American Decorating Albert Hadley.





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The large scaled embroidered linen kaleidoscopic pattern used for the drapery illustrates the creative process of Patrick Frey who is constantly playing with shapes and colors to keep his work fresh and exciting much like the Abstract Expressionists featured on the walls.


On the pillows, another multicolored fabric by Pierre Frey depicts Japanese theatre masks, yet also evokes Picasso’s Les Desmoiselles D’Avignon at MOMA.



The Jean de Merry chandelier reflects the edgy glamour of the city.


The Clint sofa by Bradley in  Yves Klein blue  provides the perfect perch to absorb the city views and priceless works of art by Helen Frankenthaler and Willem DeKooning.b12a8bd3a8c5ab63e96caceece9904f2

An ebony and gilt Origami cocktail table by Angelo Donghia adds a 70s/ Halston-esque vibe to the space.

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A hand crafted hide rug by Kyle Bunting is a work of art on its own, yet the small scale of the pattern plays off of solid upholstery fabrics and large scale of the drapery fabric.


A pair of “Hadley” lamps by Chrisopher Spitzmiller pay homage to legendary NYC interior designer Albert Hadley while the touch of black punctuates the bold palette of the interior.


A Cuff Console by Natasha Baradaran plays with negative space and becomes another work of art placed against the taxi cab yellow walls.

A very special thank you to artist Becky Clodfelter for bringing my interior to life with her amazing talent!

For more design inspiration, please be sure to follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe to Bespoke Banter.  Thanks for reading and please come back again!



Every market, I am always anxious to see what Bernhardt Furniture is introducing.  Their showroom is always one of the best in terms of decor, styling, and creatively showing their new lines each season.  I have especially loved their most recent collections that epitomize “Modern Glamour.”  Their artisans take traditional forms and enhance them with luxurious finishes and jewelry-like details giving them a more contemporary feel.

In all of the new introductions, especially the Criteria Collection, each item is designed to be a showpiece. Lighter finishes such as pearly white and dove gray allow the character of the wood to shine through. Exotic surfaces including mother of pearl, silver leaf, mirror polished metal, lizard and embossed reptile leather add a unique and luxurious element to the collection. Inspired by jewelry, cabinetry hardware in intricate forms such as geometric pierced pulls and knobs inset with embossed leather adds a perfect finishing touch.  “The furniture we bring into our homes can be a form of self- expression,” says Heather Eidenmiller, director of brand development. “These inventive surfaces play with visual perception. We think they will help people to express themselves with a new kind of power, drama, and simplicity.”

In addition to these finishes, Bernhardt has also introduced pattern including inlays, laser-cuts, and frame motifs in casegoods and occasional furniture, along with patterned upholstery items. “Pattern creates energy in a purposeful object that can also be read as something decorative,” says Heather Eidenmiller. “As these pieces are intriguing, but not overtly trendy, we think people will find them to be powerful, fresh, and timeless.”

The entire Criteria Collection is sophisticated and sleek, showing influences of Sheraton furniture especially in the table bases and chair legs. The pieces can easily mix with various styles to create a modern and luxurious interior.  I have included some of my favorite pieces below followed by some other pieces that I define as “Modern Glamour” from Bernhardt’s other lines. All of the new introductions will be available this fall.


CRITERIA COCKTAIL TABLE . Elegant pattern. Translucent, low-sheen, Pale Ivory finish on quartered ash. Mirror-polished stainless steel inlines. The astroid inline pattern is repeated in the lower shelf shape. Solid brass nickel-plated ferrule.

NORTON SOFA AND CHAIR: Upholstered in dove grey texture with gentle padded track arm. Accents of lapis on a tossed petal shimmering pillow and damask pillow.


CRITERIA BAR: Pale Ivory finish. Constructed in ash solids and quartered ash veneers.Mirror-polished stainless steel inline.


CRITERIA DESK: Covered in Faux Lizard with jewelry inspired nickel pull and ferrules.

CRITERIA SIDE CHAIR: Heather Gray finish.


CRITERIA CONSOLE: Ash solids and quartered ash veneers. Heather Gray finish. Stainless steel metal inlay on top and drawer fronts. An elegant long and narrow profile.


CRITERIA ARM CHAIR: Lively shape feels retro and modern at the same time. Translucent, layered, pale Heather Gray finish. The astroid shape (neoclassic star-circle) backsplat, and arm, are curved for extra seating comfort. Shown in a multi-tone grey woven.

CRITERIA METAL BAR CART: Expresses a lot of creativity. Classic fretwork pattern, modern material. Nickel plated steel with a Radiant Nickel finish. Inset mirrored top and shelf. Casters.

CRITERIA SCREEN: Consisting of three upholstered folding panels with decorative nailhead trim in astroid pattern.


CRITERIA BUFFET: In ash solids and quartered ash veneers in Heather Gray finish. Stainless steel metal inlays on top and door fronts. Fancy face veneer pattern on door fronts. Drop pendant door hardware.


CRITERIA ENTERTAINMENT CONSOLE: Simple with an unexpected dazzle. Soft touch, low-sheen, pale Heather Gray finish on quartered ash. Mirror-polished stainless steel inlines and outlines. Solid brass nickel-plated pulls. Saber leg.



CHELSEA SOFA & OTTOMAN/ BERNHARDT UPHOLSTERY in winter white full grain leather. Track arm with buttonless tufting all over. Geometric velvet and flame stitched accent pillows.


DRISCOLL CHAIRS/ BERNHARDT UPHOLSTERY:  The mini wings and nailhead outline on charcoal aniline leather add to the masculine detail on a reinterpreted slipper chair.



WINSTON CREDENZA/ BERNHARDT INTERIORS: A gorgeous reeded silhouette is covered by hand in a nickel silver alloy. The interior containing drawers and shelves is painted black.


ELKA CHAIR/ BERNHARDT INTERIORS: One of the company’s best selling chairs, this sleek faux horn frame is covered in a hair on hide.

TRIMBELLE COCKTAIL TABLE/ BERNHARDT INTERIORS: A statement piece for any interior. White onyx stone top and case resting on a steel plinth base in an antique pewter finish.


BENNISON COCKTAIL OTTOMAN/ BERNHARDT INTERIORS:  Soft + hard. Cool + warm. Corrugated cast metal slab leg with a bronzy finish. Plush upholstery with softened lines, shown in a high-texture smoky grey faux-mohair.



CABOT CHAIR/ BERNHARDT INTERIORS: A cast iron faux bois frame extends down the back to the legs of this sleek slipper chair.


KENSINGTON BED/ BERNHARDT INTERIORS: The shining star of last year’s market, this bed embodies high style 70s chic. Highly polished plated brass in tightly-machined frame, posts, and canopy. Padded upholstered headboard with crisp buttonless tufting. Shown in a rich chocolate velvet.


BAYONNE BED/ BERNHARDT INTERIORS: Channeled upholstered headboard and footboard with nailhead trim between channels and around frame. Covered in a soft brown faux mohair.


EXETER COCKTAIL TABLE/ BERNHARDT INTERIORS: Square cocktail table covered in Faux Crocodile embossed leather



Heather Eidenmiller, Director of Brand Development with Alex Barnhardt, Jr., CEO & President

Bernhardt recently celebrated its 125th anniversary with a year-long celebration honoring culture, heritage and a legacy of giving. This iconic brand has always been one of the industry’s most dynamic and stable furniture institutions. I was very grateful to have Bernhardt sponsor me for this  past market and always look forward to seeing what they create next. Devoted to creativity and the artistry of furniture making, the new introductions each market are always highly anticipated. In addition to producing extraordinary collections, the company is still a family owned business with a strong commitment to people, relationships, and the welfare of the local community.

To see more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter….Thanks for reading and please visit again!