Posts Tagged: Pierre Frey


We are delighted to be participating in the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens which opens this week!  Not only am I glad to have a reason to spend more time in my hometown, but I am also beyond excited to spend time with so many other favorite design friends that are also designing spaces in this year’s showhouse. Atlanta is at her finest during April and May.  When I first began contemplating the design scheme for our rooms,  I wanted to incorporate the glorious spring shades that reveal themselves each week a new flower or tree begins to bloom. For the past several weeks, we have been feverishly working to pull together our bedroom, bathroom, and hallway that all began with this spring palette…

I wanted to create a fantasy bedroom where I would look forward to waking up each morning surrounded by everything I love. I am a colorist at heart…color energizes me, comforts me, and evokes joy for me. The palette was inspired by some of my fondest travel memories of the past year. I kept coming back to certain images I had taken where the indescribable colors stayed with me. I was continually drawn to the combination of spring green with shades of lilac and orchid. 


“Art is not what you see but what you make others see.” -Edgar Degas

I was delighted to be included in Charlotte Urban Home this month for their Design Board feature. I am always preaching to my clients to start the design process with the art.  It is a dream come true when it actually happens! For my favorite art collecting clients, I was thrilled to create the following scheme for a project we are currently working on. DESIGN BOARD

In addition to the items above, we have also created a bar nook clad in antiqued mirror, and bejeweled with custom brass hardware for the finishing touches. The walls have been lacquered, the furniture and fabrics are on order and we install in a few short weeks. Of course,  I am most excited to hang their works of art on the glamorous ebony backdrop to make the pieces pop even more!

Be sure to check out the entire issue featuring fabulous modern interiors by clicking here.

charlotte urban home

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“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!



Matthieu, Vincent and Pierre Frey

Pierre Frey has always been one of my favorite design houses. From studying their textiles in design school to working with their products on current design projects, the quality, history and originality the company represents is incomparable.

The company was founded in 1935 by Pierre Frey in the heart of Paris and is still headquartered there. Since 1972, Pierre’s son, Patrick, has run the company and still remains active in the day to day activity as the President and Creative Director. Patrick’s sons, Pierre, Vincent, and Matthieu assist running the business side of the fabric house. Pierre serves as the brand ambassador and travels the world presenting the launches of new fabric, home and accessory collections.

Patrick Frey
President & Creative Director

Patrick instilled in all of his sons a love and appreciation for design. Many of their family trips have led to the creation of new fabrics that are added to the collection.

L’Entree avec Steve Nobel

In 2003, Pierre Frey created the archives which now include over 30,000 documents dating from the 16th century to the present day. The designs, fabrics, carpet samples, and garments can be searched by period, color, motif and technique. Pierre Frey gave us a wonderful tour of the showroom, offices and archives.  The Pierre Frey archivist walked us through the history of textiles drawer by drawer….

This piece was likely used as a vestment for clergy and dates from the 17th century. I was surprised to hear that it would have been used for this considering the brilliant coloration until I saw Jacques -Louis David’s Coronation of Napolean (1807) at the Louvre a few days later….voila!

These vibrantly colored fragments provide inspiration for the new Pierre Frey fabric creations. Patrick Frey visits the archives (located on the bottom floor of their offices) very frequently. The archivist told us that he looks to the historical documents for motifs that can be reinterpreted through changing the scale or coloration. By looking to the past, he can then recreate something completely modern for the contemporary market.

These more classical fabrics are circa 18th century.

In 1991, Pierre Frey acquired Braquenie, a French fabric house that was established in 1824. The house is best known for their Indian fabrics, cottons, toiles de Jouy, and carpets.



After our visit to the archives, we had a behind-the scenes look at the design studio of the fabric house as well as the personal offices of the Freys. I am fascinated by the creative process and watching the step by step of how the textiles come to life was mesmerizing!

These images above of Patrick’s office reflect not only his personal style, but also the philosophy of the company. A gorgeous antique desk blends beautifully with mid century modern furniture and contemporary touches.

Patrick also let us glimpse at a couple of designs in process that will be added to upcoming collections.

In addition to Braquenie, Boussac, and  Fadini-Borghi, Pierre Frey has also recently acquired Maison Le Manach  It was one of the last French houses able to produce French silks and velvets on handlooms. This addition to the Frey empire reflects their dedication to preserving the tradition, legacy and innovation of French design.

If you are interested in any additional information on any of the fabrics seen here, please do not hesitate to contact us at the design studio.



The A-Ha moment is one of clarity.  It is a defining moment when you gain real wisdom that can be used to change your life. This moment can be inspiring, surprising, original, deeply personal and worth sharing. It often arises when there is an obstacle that needs to be turned into an opportunity.

Last week at Blogfest 2012, the editors from House Beautiful encouraged us to share an A-Ha moment from our design work.  Up and coming designers Michael Herold, Jill Goldberg, and John Call shared their A-Ha moments with the group and challenged us to do the same.

My A-Ha moment came while working on the Pink House, a unique respite for breast cancer survivors and the Carolina Breast Friends organization. The Pink House serves breast cancer survivors in numerous ways: Wellness Education, Library and Computer Research Center, Fitness and Nutrition Centers, Self-Image Services, Arts & Crafts Workshops, and Counseling Services.

When I first saw the house, it was a beautiful historic home that had recently been renovated, but there were no funds to furnish the interior. What seemed like an insurmountable obstacle at the time turned into the most wonderful and fulfilling opportunity.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Living Room
The Living Room
Upholstery from Charles Stewart
In order to raise funds for the interior, we held a ladies-only “Pink Party” in November of 2010.  In one evening, we raised enough the furnish the first floor of the Pink House. Then, we approached several vendors and workrooms to see if they would be willing to donate their time and talent to help with the cause. Many were cancer survivors themselves and were thrilled to have the chance to help out. Thanks to the donations of the Charlotte design community, we were able to complete the entire house which opened its doors in May of 2011.
Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Living Room
The Living Room
Accessories donated by Circa Interiors and Antiques

The organization wanted us to create a sophisticated, calming and feminine atmosphere.  This was a haven where women would come together for fellowship, support and inspiration.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Living Room
The Living Room
Re-upholstery donated by Design Services, Inc.

Albert Hadley said, “Decorating is not about making stage sets,…it’s really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul.” We wanted the survivors that entered this space to feel like their spirits had been lifted and their souls nourished.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House/ Artist Kate Long Stevenson
Painting donated by Kate Long Stevenson
in honor of her friend Neil Maddux Miller

We found several pieces at local flea markets and tag sales. With some refinishing, new paint and re- upholstery, we were able to turn others people’s cast off furnishings into beautiful pieces for the Pink House.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Dining Room
The Library
Window Treatments donated by
Custom Window Treatments
Several fabric houses such as Kravet, Lee Jofa, Cowtan and Tout, Jane Shelton, Pierre Frey and Schumacher gave us discounted fabrics so we could stay on budget.
Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Sunroom
The Sun Room
Carpet donated by Stark

When we first began this project, I honestly did not know if we would be able to pull it together. We had several different rooms that needed to flow together along with random assortment of found items and upholstery that needed some unifying element. I finally understood the expression “making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!” Fortunately, we ended up with our A-Ha moment and we were all thrilled with the final product.

Catherine M. Austin Interior Design/ Pink House Exterior
The Exterior
Renovations donated by J.E. Dunn Construction
To make the experience even more satisfying, we were completely humbled by everyone’s kindness and generosity.  Not a single person we asked declined to help. This greatly added to our A-Ha moment- bringing a community’s talents together for a higher cause!!!
Yours truly with Newell Turner, Editor in Chief of House Beautiful
and Beth Greene, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Branding
for Kravet, Lee Jofa and Brusnchwig & Fils
To read the full blog on The Pink House , please click here.