25 November 2009

abode features allora!
As if this wonderful week couldn't get more exciting--with the Southern Living article, Thanksgiving, Auburn v. Alabama, being home with family and friends, and Carolina v. Clemson--allora has been featured once again in a great publication! There is something so sweet about making it into my favorite Columbia weekly: the Free Times. Along with several other fantastic products for your home, allora's GIRARDEAU chair was featured in the trends section of abode--a monthly home insert. You can officially sign me up for VH1's greatest week ever! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

24 November 2009

website update
Many of the most devoted allora followers will note that earlier this month, the website was upgraded from the long-lasting "under construction" page to the logo; however, due to the overwhelming (and incredibly exciting) response from the wonderful Southern Living readers, the website is ready for a complete overhaul. Expect big things in the next month, including purchase options and a gallery!

23 November 2009

southern living!
I could not be more excited on a Monday morning! allora has been featured in Southern Living!!! It is so flattering to be included with so many wonderful products in the 24 Gifts Made by Southern Hands story. What an honor! I recently read an article about Pat Conroy, whose Aunt didn't count him as successful until he was written up in this great publication, and I can't help but giggle at the surreal feeling that allora has been included! Not to mention the fact that, as a Southern woman I have grown up with this magazine all around me and have no doubt been influenced by it. I wish I could describe to you the joy I felt when I popped into a Hudson News in the Birmingham airport yesterday and found the write-up (alongside the Robert Pattinson Vanity Fair, no less)! In this week of Thanksgiving, there is so much to be thankful for! Thanks to everyone who has helped allora along the way!

20 November 2009

chic color
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of not only viewing a sampling of Betty Thalheimer's most recent works (while sipping on champagne at Oak, I might add), but of meeting the artist herself. I first read about this talented woman on Charlie and quickly decided that we are destined to be the best of friends! Full of spunk with a knack for color, Betty doesn't disappoint. I particularly like her combination of pink and citrus orange, one I've been trying to use myself. If you're in Charleston, stop by and see her at her new King Street studio! For more information, click here. Have a great weekend!

19 November 2009

write on
Who could have guessed, after the introduction of marker boards and smart boards, that the chalkboard would make such a unique and original comeback? I've eyed chalkboard paint for quite some time now and used it on several small craft projects and am officially ready to experiment with using it as a finish for an allora.signature chair. I have a very appropriate one in mind but am already looking past that and thinking there will have to be a collection! Be on the lookout for the first chair in a week or two...

17 November 2009

before & after:

allora.signature.GIRARDEAU is the perfect example of an adequate-but-wallflower before turned into an interesting-accent after with a few minor changes. The "bones" of this chair are remarkable; it is well-designed, but the shrimp and taupe colors of the fabric were only dated more by the linear pattern of the cushion and highlighted by the dark finish of the chair. Sara's choice of bright red enamel gives this chair a personality, while the jungle print's non-directional pattern is bold without being distracting.

before & after:
Today's before and after images of allora.signature.CANDIA show the transition of a pair of rusted lawn chairs into mod accent chairs on my very own screen porch. By scraping and treating the rust and finishing the metal chairs with a rustoleum enamel in cobalt, this pair was given a new life. Add white vinyl upholstered seat cushions, and you've got an instantly updated look!

16 November 2009

before & after:
There aren't many things more gratifying (or motivating!) than a good before and after, and I certainly love how the juxtaposition of the images makes the change all the more clear. I have been admittedly negligent in documenting the transformation of some of the allora chairs, but luckily for you (and for me!) I did manage to get some before shots of a few of the most recent chairs, which I'll be sharing with you this week. To kick it all off, here is allora.custom.KIAWAH!

12 November 2009

happy colors
I am so happy that Taco Boy is downtown these days. Where else can one get delicious flights of tequila and a healthy dose of fun color all in the same place? If that doesn't spell out a remedy for recession, I'm not sure what does. In addition to good food and good friends, Taco Boy deserves a shout out for their creative bathroom decor--I love a good surprise when I walk into a bathroom! These contained little spaces are very often mundane, so anyone that gives them a little attention gets an A in my book. Most of you have probably noticed the uber cool Mexican maps in the main restrooms, but have you ventured to the ones outside? If there is an award for the most creative use of marmoleum, these people should get it. The walls are covered in brightly colored tiles made of this earth-friendly material. I might not recommend it for your home, but its definitely worth a trip to take in the fun colors! Lucky me, I'll be there tonight!

11 November 2009

eye for style
How would you define your style? Are you more of a Risom lounger or a Chippendale high boy? Get to know yourself before you invest in a new piece of furniture or paint job with the style quiz (the perfect cure for the mid-week doldrums). Curious about my results? Check here. Happy hump day!

10 November 2009

'tis the season
...for turkeys, mistletoe, and unexpected house guests! Be prepared for the mysterious re-emergence of dear old Uncle Joe Bob without wasting valuable floor space (that would be better used for air mattresses or small children anyway...) by stocking up on some exciting and versatile folding chairs! The image above is from anthropologie, and though I truly love the chairs, they are a little on the expensive side at almost $200 apiece... yikes! You could have the same thing, customized for less than half the price; and the possibilities for adding cheer are virtually endless. Think fabrics in different (yet coordinating) colors, patterns, and textures brought together by a bold color enamel--I don't know about you, but this gets me excited for the holidays and ready to plan for some festivities! The more the merrier with extra folding chairs!

09 November 2009

You met her companion last week in a sneak preview, so I'm proud to introduce allora.custom.MONTAGU! This lounge chair marks a new look and new type of upholstery for allora with a removable seat cushion made of exterior grade natural canvas that allows for the tractor green enamel of the chair to really stand out. Coupled with a pillow, the lounger has a more casual look that allows for comfort without completely hiding the spindle structure of the chair back--love to show off those lines!

06 November 2009

word of the day: cabriole
I love how Dr. Suess-like that sounds: word of the day: cabriole. Fun for a Friday! In my recent work with chairs (and some recent reading), I've discovered that there are several very descriptive words that are used to identify styles and details of chairs. Not only do I love this word--its fun to say!--I love the style, and I love that I first encountered this word in ballet several years ago, where it means a quick, jumping, brushing of the legs. In the world of furniture, however, cabriole refers to the curve that flows so seamlessly from concave to convex on the legs of a chair (or settee or coffee table or what have you). This motion very appropriately reminds me of the set of French curves that I purchased in my first year of architecture school, so that I could draft these movements by hand. One of my very favorite chairs, allora.custom.KATHWOOD features cabriole legs; for more information click here. And have a great weekend!

05 November 2009

the new computer chair
When clients inquire about a chair, I love to ask them what they plan to do with it; mainly this is because I am quite attached to all of these chairs, but also, I'm always looking for new ideas--and it is quite interesting to find out what people are doing with their spaces. That said, the past three chairs that I have parted with (most recently, allora.custom.GIRARDEAU) have coincidentally all been used for the same unique purpose: desk chairs. Why didn't I think of that? I've given a lot of thought to this "market" that I never anticipated and have come to a few conclusions: 1. Most of us are in that post-college, pre-"adult" time in life that involves work (yes...) but does not yet include the ideal salary (no...), however; 2. we have our "beat up and dying but we can't afford a new one" computers that function just well enough to need a dedicated desk, ergo: 3. we don't have the room in our homes for a proper home office, so the desk for the computer goes in our living area.
This contemporary addition to the young adult's home is not something that our parents' generation dealt with. So, how to incorporate? I've found inspiration for integrating work areas (my personal one also includes a sewing machine that is often interchanged with the old laptop) on several design blogs, but what better way to make this unique aspect of your room versatile than to give it an interesting chair that can be used later (sans desk)? I learn new things about myself everyday, but one thing I know for sure is that I'm happy to "splurge" on things that are utilitarian in nature or have another use. Basically, since I have a desk chair already (and its not moving out of my living room anytime soon), why shouldn't I make it a fun and interesting place where I want to be? What a great (and responsible!) way to give the place a face lift!

04 November 2009

tutty fruity
Fall is in the air, but that doesn't mean your favorite bright colors and patterns are on hold until spring rolls back around again. I recently discovered a new fabric store near North Charleston (exciting!) and while perusing their bolts, I discovered a variety of interesting and very diverse textiles. These two are very definitely some of my favorites. With their bright tones, these two are the equivalent of resort wear: a fresh breath of the tropics in the midst of November! Each fabric has a wonderful texture, one is a heavy, embroidered canvas, while the other is varying piles of velour. Delightful!

03 November 2009

bright shiny morning
Bright Shiny Morning isn't only the name of one of my favorite books by James Frey, it is also one of my favorite parts of "falling back." The extra hour of sleep only lasts for one night (and the sun goes down before I leave work), but the sunshine on my porch in the morning is positively splendid! This chair is not quite done (or its partner--more later!), but I am so excited that the cushions (even without the zippers that they will get soon) are finally sittable! I'm test driving this lounge chair type and honing my sewing schools, so you might be seeing more of this look available in the future! At any rate, the fall light on my porch this morning made me want to share this sneak peak--be on the lookout for this chair's "official" debut (and name) sometime next week!

02 November 2009

dining with jeff

As you all know, I've been working on getting my new and awesomely huge screen porch in working order, particularly in time for the lovely fall weather. I have visions of myself snuggled up on a day bed in the sun--perhaps in a snuggie--reading a good book, watering my ferns as they grow bigger and greener, and last but not least, serving friends delicious chili around my science-lab-desk-turned-dining-table. Designing with a budget that tends to get way-laid by irresistible items, such as sweater vests at J. Crew, I'm taking this a day at a time, but thanks to ikea, I'm well on my way to the chili dream. Enter Jeff. Best dining companion ever. He's sleek, cheap, and oh so practical. It was love at first sight when I spotted him online, but I was slightly dismayed when (in typical ikea fashion) he was only available for purchase in store. Bah! Luckily, my incredible sister was planning a trip to Atlanta, so I didn't have to wait long for this new man in my life (x4!)... I love Jeff for lots of reasons. He's $9.99, quite the acrobat (you can see how he folds), happy to stay outside, good to sit on, and of course, because not every chair needs to stand out (Jeff hangs with allora.signature.CANDIA and the ladies can be quite diva-like).

30 October 2009

happy halloween!
Have a safe and happy Halloween from allora.signature.BEAUFAIN and allora home!

29 October 2009

charleston home: recognize anything?
What an exciting week! Charleston Home unveiled its first issue [and a new look] on Monday and low and behold, guess what I spotted while perusing its pages? allora.signature.VINE! We're thrilled to be the image to accompany one of our favorite blogs: Parker Sims Interiors! If you haven't had a chance to check out the magazine, grab a copy and a glass of wine and indulge yourself this evening with all of the wonderful ideas for your home! Oh, and yes, let us know if a custom chair is what you need!

28 October 2009

burlap: revisited
After last week's post about burlap, my sister and I decided to give this industrial textile another look. Has the potential to bring the burlap out from the bottom of allora chairs been there all along? After further investigation, we decided: yes. Lauren came to town with the supplies, and we got down to business for our "craft weekend." Between her post-consumer, green coffee bean filled burlap sacks and my pillow form collection and sewing machine, we were pretty busy! AND happily surprised to see that the natural burlap (i.e. pre-dyed) is much softer on the skin. The pillows are everything we hoped they would be and then some! We also worked on some chairs this weekend (surprise!) that are different than the rest of the allora collection... you might be seeing more of the burlap soon!

27 October 2009

charles. ray. gustave.
Charles and Ray Eames made several significant contributions to design, but the Eiffel Plastic Side Chair (1950) is without a doubt one of my favorites. Aptly named, this chair has a distinct chrome-finished base that suggests the Eiffel Tower. The seat of the chair is made of molded plastic and comes in a variety of colors. This chair is versatile and modern and altogether lovely! Perhaps one day, I'll have these around my dining room table.

26 October 2009

I love to start a week off with the debut of a new chair, and I am especially happy to bring allora.custom.GIRARDEAU to you on this otherwise typical Monday morning! Leave it to my friend, Sara, to have the coolest chair just hanging around her house... I love the lines and the detail and oh, the upholstered back, the arms, everything about this chair! I am so happy that she let me borrow it for a few weeks to give it a little face lift! Painted "regal red" and upholstered in a dyed linen jungle print, this chair is overflowing with character and should--hopefully--make sitting at a home computer that much more exciting! I also love how the bronze upholstery tacks bring out the darker tones in the fabric and provide some additional interest. Have a happy Monday and look for photos of GIRARDEAU at home soon!

23 October 2009

barcelona, me encanta
I just realized that today's post is the third day in a row featuring a fantastic chair "we love." I must say, of all the many many chair and furniture designs that I love, I would be a happy and content woman to own just this one. The Barcelona chair. Ah... one day. I've mentioned my trip to Spain last April on several occasions, yet somehow I have managed to neglect this most important detail. My poor sister had to spend the last weeks of her semester abroad racing around with me to see every significant and insignificant item relating to architecture that I could think of (and some more that we stumbled upon). I am satisfied, however, that she took away at least one thing from the craziness; she too loves the Barcelona pavilion (and even recognized the meaning of a "faux-Mies structure" in a book she was reading, but I digress). A sort of Mecca to architects around the world, this recreation of Mies van der Rohe's German pavilion for the Barcelona International Exposition is simple and clean and oh so modern. I mentioned yesterday that all good design is, at a minimum, detail deep, and the Barcelona chair designed to go in this spot, in this building, is a fine example. Have a good weekend!

22 October 2009

high on the high line
Like that marketing genius before me, I HEART NEW YORK. There are a million and one reasons to love the city to begin with and now my all time favorite architects have given us another. The first part of the High Line has officially opened up on the west side, right at the Meatpacking District, and I'm doing everything in my power to not blow my whole budget and get up there immediately to explore it. It looks absolutely incredible! My friends, Brian and Jennifer--lucky ducks, have already gotten to visit this wonderful urban intervention that hovers over traffic and reaches out to the Hudson, and I'm overwhelmed with jealousy (but very thankful for the pictures!)! I was looking at said photos, and just when I thought I knew every reason to love the High Line, BAM, another one. I firmly believe that good design is based in good details, so I'm not sure why I was surprised to discover that even the furniture in this raised park is wonderful! Now, wouldn't you feel special if you got to sit in the lovely green chair?

21 October 2009

a special place to sit
"my father fed me on this when I was a baby
M.L. McArthur
(mother's arm was in a cast)"
I know that a stool isn't necessarily a "chair," persay, but I would venture that they are not so distant relatives. Nonetheless, a good seat is a good seat, and this stool happens to be one of my favorites. I distinctly remember where this stool sat in my grandparents' kitchen on Roslyn Drive, remember sitting on it and eating sundaes with cherries on top, remember pulling it up to the table crowded with family. It is a rather basic stool, painted white with four legs, sturdy and utilitarian. But it is also a special stool. In the rough times following my grandmother's passing, my whole family, my mother in particular, found comfort in small notes left by Ga-Ba in the most interesting of places. It was as if she knew the joy we would find in the memories she left for us, some of which we might never have known, such as the one we found on this stool. I use this stool in my home now to put dishes up on shelves that are out of my reach, to sit while I chat on the phone, for guests when there aren't enough chairs on the screen porch, and even, on occasion, as a plant stand. And every time, I think about my grandmother, as a toddler being fed by her father on the same stool. Its a type of physical memory that I love! It makes me want to record my thoughts with an indelible marker on my favorite items, so that somewhere down the road, someone will find them and remember.

20 October 2009

did you know?
Yesterday, my friend, Jennifer, passed along an exciting do-it-yourself redecorating website called Homage. It is filled with wonderful ideas that are not only attainable for the masses, but actually doable in the DIY sense--perfect! One of my favorite stories featured on Homage happens to be about one of my favorite textiles, burlap. The warp and weft of this distinct material is just so... honest. I love it! There is something very natural and basic that is beautiful in burlap, and I'm fascinated by all the fresh ways to use it as suggested by Homage. Among their many exciting ideas, this set of chairs upholstered in screenprinted burlap are at the top of my list! I must say, however, that I've never considered using burlap as a seat material for one reason: comfort. I can't help but think to myself "OUCH" when I look at those ridiculously cool chairs. I have been using burlap all along though... on the bottom of the seats of every allora.custom and signature chair! I love a good surprise, so what could be more fun than discovering a delightful and bright color hiding on the other side of your seat? Can you guess which chairs go with these swatches from my burlap scrap drawer?

19 October 2009

The official debut of allora.signature.CANDIA--an exciting way to start an otherwise boring Monday! I know several of you may have seen the sneak peak of CANDIA last week, and I'm positively certain that you are dying for the details about these fabulous chairs. Well, fret no more. Different than any other chairs in the allora collections, this pair is made of tubular metal, rather than the usual wood. This is exciting for several reasons, however, perhaps the most exciting benefit of this material is its resistance to the perils of outdoor living. Yes, allora.signature.CANDIA will work outside! The chairs themselves have been coated in Rustoleum enamel in cobalt blue, while the seats are covered in an equally hardy white vinyl. Is it possible to be so instantly retro and so instantly contemporary all in the same moment? I would say yes. Bold. Blue. Beautiful. These chairs define the space of the table so wonderfully with their high backs, while providing fresh character to their screen porch home! Click here to see allora.signature.CANDIA back in August.

16 October 2009

it's my party
Well, its official! allora reaches the one year mark this month! Who could have known all of the exciting things that allora.signature.RUTLEDGE would get me into just a short 365 days ago? Things do change in a year... but not as much as I would have expected! I'm still mentally "moving," as I break in the new apartment, but as I said before, things don't change that much. I'm still on Rutledge. There are some exciting things coming in the next year... magazines, blogs, websites, and of course--more chairs! I'm going to be sure to keep all of the surprises surprises though! Just be excited--its good to be a year old!

15 October 2009

sneak preview
Usually I like to debut a newly finished chair--or in this case, set of chairs--with the finalized, typical black and white allora images, but after spending my lunch hour sitting outside (finally!) and reading in this refreshing autumn air, I couldn't resist sharing the most recently completed allora.signature chairs! Here they are in their new permanent home, my screen porch--allora.signature.CANDIA! There are so many things that I love about these chairs, but I'll have save that for the official debut next week! Hope you're all enjoying this weather as much as I am; see you at the design walk tonight!

14 October 2009

babies rock

Aside from eating, a baby's only other priority is sleeping. Conveniently, this is often a priority of both parents as well--particularly after a few nights of restless, cry-awakened sleep. For this reason, no nursery is complete without a rocking chair. Rocking chairs come in a variety of styles, fashioned to about any taste and can truly become a feature of your baby's room! New parents might also have an old rocking chair that has been passed on to them by siblings or grandparents that only needs to be updated to match the nursery's decor. Reusing a chair that has meaning is not only thrifty, it adds sentiment and provides a special story. It is amazing how the most outdated looking chair can be updated with a coat of paint and an interesting fabric to achieve that something extra in your baby's first room! An allora gift certificate for a mom-to-be is also a great gift idea to help with the nesting--as well as assisting in getting the little one to sleep! I can't wait to meet all the sweet babies that are on the way! "Peanut," "Strawberry," Kate, Wright, and Ra--happy rocking!

13 October 2009

haute chair
It is only reasonable for one to assume that following the wedding season of your generation of friends that the baby season will not be far behind, however, I assure you, it has taken me by surprise! Don't get me wrong, I am THRILLED--more than thrilled--for all of my soon-to-be-moms-and-dads friends; it has just taken me a little off guard! I feel quite educated on folic acid regimens and trimester timelines, but lets be honest. Part of the fun of these blessed little people is in preparing for their arrival (namely, while they are still quiet): decorating the nursery, stocking up on clothes, wandering through aisles filled with such exciting finds as desitin and bottles...

Once the baby arrives, life consists primarily of eating and sleeping, so these two functions quickly begin to fill the minds of soon to be new parents (at least in my experience). So in honor of the first of these two activities, I give you... haute chair.

While the nursery is the child's exclusive domain, your kitchen and/or dining room will still (hopefully) remain pleasantly civilized and adult, with one exception: the highchair. So why should it be boring or basic? There are so many great options... all waiting to be customized, not just to match your existing space but to accent it! What better way to celebrate the new one's arrival? What a great and thoughtful gift! Fun for the parents and good for the child... as I recently learned that high visual contrast helps with brain development. Tomorrow, we'll focus on a baby's other favorite activity: sleeping!

12 October 2009

urbanSHED arcade
I know that I've mentioned that September was a crazy month, and I feel certain that in the same breath, I mentioned, among other things, deadlines. One of these deadlines was the urbanSHED competition that Alicia and I entered on behalf of Liollio. Our scheme, ARCADE, is built around over-emphasized structure which is secured by water ballast via q-drums. These q-drums roll on site easily before being filled (again, easily) with water. They not only serve, however, as efficient connections, but as street furniture for passers-by and regular pedestrians, as a place where they can read the paper, talk on their cell phones, rest their feet, or wait to hail a cab. Seating at its best!

09 October 2009

warning: graphic nature
I've come across several new and exciting fabrics lately, but these most recent graphic prints have truly caught my eye. Stylized, simplified, bright and 2-d, these patterns are bold and playful, fresh and contemporary. Dandelions seem to be the favorite amongst textile designers, who have provided us with a plethora of different interpretations from which to choose. I love the mini green sunbursts of the bottom right hand print, and I'm dying to make the oversized, golden yellow dandelion head into a fabulous pillow or abstract cushion finish! Graphic nature at its best--have a great weekend!

08 October 2009

Alas, a new chair to share! This custom creation was made for Jimmy & Logan Fowles as a wedding gift--you can follow their process from gift certificate to fabrics right here! This chair is particularly special because it has belonged to the groom's paternal grandparents' family for many years. The clean lines of the modified chair (some embellishments had to be removed because of the wear and tear of time) instantly make it more contemporary, while the crisp hue (great choice Logan!) makes it feel fresh! Completing the look is the plush, raised velveteen paisley on linen. The tone on tone of the airy blues is a first for allora and a great call on the bride's part; I can't wait to see allora.custom.KIAWAH in its new home!

07 October 2009

chairs for charity
I was alerted of this idea earlier today and did some google researching... this could be a GREAT addition to the Charleston charity scene! See more about one of the Chairs for Charity organizations here... they put the chairs "on parade," similar to the "Ants Marching" that Darkness to Light has put on in Charleston! LOVE IT!

05 October 2009

admit you have a problem
One of my friends forwarded this link from Lovely Listing to me yesterday, and it was just too funny not to post. Even funnier (or perhaps scarier): I find myself relating to the people whose home is shown above! I think Cooper will find this particularly familiar...

04 October 2009

ode to the holy city
For my birthday, I requested and happily received Pat Conroy's new novel South of Broad, in which I have been immersed (when possible) for the past two weeks. I love Conroy's Prince of Tides for many reasons, but it struck a particular chord in me as a South Carolinian reading with familiarity as a transplant to New York. Reading this most recent ode to the Holy City while actually being here has been quite a juxtaposition, if not more of a palimpsest, and though I find the same familiarity when reading, it has become somewhat of a distraction. The penultimate master of name-dropping, Conroy made this book for blue-blooded Charlestonians who will recognize, appreciate, and best him in the category. With this undisguised social and physical context, I feel like I could be reading about people I know and thus am currently having quite the heightened experience of this city.

Add to that the general Charleston-y weekend that I had, and I'm sure you will all understand the complete and eerie confusion that I am experiencing between the fictional and the real. Friday marked the first French Quarter Art Walk of the season; the weather was perfect, the wine was good, and we had a wonderful time! I awoke early on Saturday with the french doors to my screen porch wide open and headed off on my bike to the Farmer's Market in Marion Square. I managed to fit in a little more reading time before making my way to the first of two weddings downtown, which were appropriately located S.O.B. and/or sufficiently near by. I found myself moving between St. Michael's, St. Philip's, Society Hall, and Hibernian Hall all in the space of a night. I'm not sure if I would call it irony, but I was definitely feeling something like it, while imagining characters with names like Worth Rutledge circulating around the cheese table with me.
I've been known to get a little too involved with the books that I'm reading (I thought at one point in college that my life was The Odyssey), but I thought it was only appropriate, in light of the circumstances, that I reveal what has been consuming my mind as of late! I've also been thinking about an allora tribute to the Holy City, which is full of such rich, deep colors and textures that I can't help but want to translate into a chair. Be looking out for the Charleston signature collection; you heard it first here!

02 October 2009

got ikat?
Alright, so I know that we are all familiar with the lovely textile that is ikat. It had quite a run of popularity in fashion last spring, and several of you probably even own a garment made from its distinct weave; have you, however, considered ikat for your home?
I must admit, until recently I thought of ikat as a great fabric for dresses and skirts, but I have quite suddenly been overwhelmed with requests and/or suggestions for allora chairs upholstered in it. Typically ikat comes in a melange of earth tones and muted hues, but there are also several bright patterns and bold, dichromatic versions available in broad ranges of color. If it is appropriate to refer to this ancient weave's aesthetic as pixelated, I am not sure, but the playful variance of focused and blurred patterns truly provides a visual treat and can be a classic, yet subtle way to add some oomph to your room! Have a great weekend!

01 October 2009

a new month
Looking at the blog, it is oh-so painfully evident that I have neglected allora for quite sometime now... one post all month! Unbelievable. T.S. Eliot said that "April is the cruelest month," but I do beg to differ. My vote is firmly for September. On a brighter note, I'm so happy to have a clean start for October: a month of football, renewed commitment to boot camp, and several fun weddings. Ladies and gentlemen, its going to be a great month!
Now, back to business. I'm so excited to share with you that allora has spread to the far-reaching lands of Georgia--even to the big city of Atlanta! Lulu Interiors featured several of our favorite chairs on their design blog! Check it out and stay tuned for the multitude of posts to come!

18 September 2009

my dearest readers,
PLEASE pardon the absence! It was not without good reason (well, a few of them...)! Some of you may know, but approximately 20 days ago I was confronted with the disappointing and shocking news that a. the "big house" in front of my carriage house had been sold and b. I needed to be out as soon as possible. Given the fact that my weekends exist in a perpetual wedding season and with football starting up, I realized that "sooner rather than later" meant immediately and set out to find a new place and move all of my possessions in the time span of one week. Add to that a big interview in Columbia for work, and I was down to the three day mark when I finally got looking. Luckily my mom and sister-in-law were able to do a lot of the ground work for me, and we found the perfect place! Coincidentally, it is only 2 blocks north of where I was before... and still on Rutledge! There is plenty of room for all of the chairs, which is exactly what I've been needing. Though the walls are all boring beige, the ceilings are a soaring 12'. Needless to say, I won't be painting them... sigh... but I'm already working out other ways to brighten the place up! SO, I wanted to share some images of the new NORTH{rutledge} studio (basically what I've been doing after work instead of blogging)!

I'm not quite sure if its the time of year or my new favorite lamp (from the Habitat ReStore) but wonderful, bold, beautiful orange has quickly set itself aside as the color inspiration for the new pad. I've always been partial to coral, the lovely and delicate relative of orange, but perhaps the Auburn girl in me has come out at long last--I am now full-fledged in the orange camp! You'll recognize some items from the old place--i.e. my trusty old NY map (which will help integrate a whole pallette of great colors!) as well as some new items, like my awesome new coasters (complements of hip city chic Corona). I also couldn't resist throwing my CADC 100 book out on the coffee table for just a little more of that bright orange pop. War eagle. Now that I'm feeling a little more settled, I'll get back to working on some chairs! Jimmy & Logan, you're up next! Have a great weekend everyone!

31 August 2009

roygbiv? somewhere in between?
I was recently inspired to take a color test when my friend Raven of Fat Beagle Studio posted her own color test results to her blog. We were in studio together at Auburn and in New York for a year together as well, and I've always admired her sense of style! Now she's making quilts and coasters and all sorts of wonderful things that can be purchased on Etsy--definitely worth checking out!

SO, back to the color tests. I'm not sure how valid they are, but it is kind of fun to try anyway--particularly on a rainy Monday morning. To take the test, click here. Here are my results, though I'm not sure that "shades of pale" is necessarily what suits me best... Have a great day!

28 August 2009

allora.custom.KIAWAH fabrics
Many of you saw the blog post about wedding gift certificates, featuring Jimmy and Logan Fowles, and I am happy to report that their new chair is finally under way! I recently had the pleasure of seeing their precious first home on Kiawah Avenue in Columbia, SC, which is decorated in great, muted shades of blues, cremes, and browns. With Logan's great eye (and a little help from the old husband!), the fabric for allora.custom.KIAWAH was selected. Stay tuned to see which fabric they went with--the finished product should be ready soon!

27 August 2009

mmm chairs!
So last week I was feeling a little nostalgic and somehow find myself looking at images from the time that I spent studying in Rome... and low and behold, I (re)discovered pictures from a trip that several of us took to Florence. One of the highlights of this little jaunt was most definitely Moyo's, an incredibly designed and incredibly delicious tapas bar tucked just between the Arno and the Piazza Vecchio. Cleverly, the chairs in the restaurant were all Ms, Os, or Ys and were occasionally arranged to spell Moyo, however, when I passed by this table of all Ms, I knew it was for me! Its not everyday you find your initials on chairs and can have a killer Caipirinha too!

26 August 2009

allora on facebook!
Did you know that allora is on Facebook?? Before the website, before the blog... allora was participating in this wonderful social media. allora has her own profile, so you don't have to join any groups or fan clubs--just search "allora home" in Charleston. You can find updated albums of allora.signature and custom chairs as well as other updates and access it all via your favorite website! Lets be friends!

25 August 2009

allora.signature.KATHWOOD is a classic wood chair finished in a dark grey enamel and upholstered in a quilted gold and grey wedgewood fabric. The natural curvilinear lines of this beautiful fabric are complemented by the cabriole legs and graceful, effortless lines of the chair's back, while the seat cushion has a similar high, gentle curve for added comfort. allora.signature.KATHWOOD's strong, clean curves provide for a stunning silhouette and instantly relate this traditional chair to a more contemporary setting. This ability to blend traditional and contemporary is a key component of my mother's style, something that I have always envied and appreciated, and is the reason that this chair--one of my very favorites--is named for her. allora.signature.KATHWOOD is available for your home; e-mail marymac@allorahome.com for more information!

24 August 2009

red chair = fun fabrics
Recently my friend Sara expressed some interest in fixing up an old chair and painting it a bright shade of wonderful red; I've been dying to do a red chair for myself lately and last week, decided to see what types of fabrics I could find. Here are some good ones! I've got more coming later this week!

21 August 2009

Last but not least, allora.signature.ROSS is the first pair of chairs for allora. These rather traditional, scalloped back chairs are painted in metallic silver enamel for a fun, surprising look. At first glance, this pair appears to be made of metal, however, on closer inspection these chairs retain the warmth of their true material, wood. The seat cushion is finished with a retro slate and fern starburst weave fabric. Have a great weekend!

20 August 2009

I'm so excited about this sweet pair and cannot wait to begin working with the caning on the back. The rounded curves of these two chairs mimic the seats, which sit atop slender, fluted legs for a soft feminine look. These chairs are being primed this week and are available for allora.custom.

19 August 2009

This pair of chairs started off as a trio (the third is going to be allora.custom.KIAWAH for cute newlyweds Jimmy & Logan Fowles) that was given to me by my Aunt Nora, who remembered allora while cleaning her attic! These chairs are obviously in need of a little TLC in the back department, but are no worse for the wear as far as sturdiness and character goes. Currently, I'm reassembling the delightfully unembellished but beautifully curved wrung for one of these two, and then they're ready to be primed and finished! The seats have been refurbished, but no fabric or color selections have been made! These could be your allora.custom chairs, made to match your space (or to jazz it up a little!) and as always, 100% unique.

18 August 2009

This contemporary set of chairs features a fabulously exaggerated extended back that is symmetrical about the horizontal access formed by the seat. They will surely add interest to your home or patio! Both chairs are made of tubular aluminum (an allora first!) and have been finished in a bright cobalt enamel. I know you're probably wondering where the seats are, and they have been cut but not recovered as of yet. I'm still looking for the perfect fabric--and am contemplating an exterior fabric, so that this lovely pair can remain the green grass! As I mentioned yesterday... some of these chairs are still a work in progress, so let me know if you're interested in this set, and we can work together to select a fabric!