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!

17 August 2009

pairs of chairs week

For those of you who have been keeping up: the first week of August was Shark Week; the second was Hurricane Week; and now for the third... Pairs of Chairs week! Until a couple of weeks ago, I only had one pair of chairs at allora. I must admit, this was a little disappointing on my end, but I just couldn't find any chairs that I was wild about and came as a set. It seems, however, that the chair gods have heard my pleas, and my little place has been inundated with chairs as of late. And they came two by two. So this week, I'm going with my first theme blog ever and celebrating the arrival of these chairs--in whatever state they may currently be! To kick it all off, I thought I'd share these images of some rather famous Pairs of Chairs, with the most famous being the thrones of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip at Buckingham Palace. There is something so wonderful implied by having a Pair of Chairs--I love the idea of designing explicitly for company of such an intimate nature, which is perhaps why I'm so drawn to the Reitveld and Gaudi chairs above. I also like the way that the corner (or fireside) chairs finish one another, that they don't quite make sense on their own. So get excited for Pairs of Chairs; there will be a new set everyday this week--be sure to check in and have a great Monday!

14 August 2009

terrific textiles.
Finding the perfect fabric is one of the most exciting parts of the process for me; I've always loved perusing the bolts and, yes, touching the fabrics that I'm interested in. For as long as I've enjoyed doing this, my mother has enjoyed laughing about it, but this obsession with texture has now carried over into my professional life as well. I'm forever touching the tile and terazzo and glass finish samples that come into our office, trying to determine if the surface to which they're applied needs to be warm or cool, smooth or grainy, how it needs to catch the light and if it should be matte or shiny. With allora.signature and allora.custom chair fabrics, many of the same questions apply and are considered when selecting the perfect seat finish for a chair. I love these green and gold fabrics in wonderful raised, quilted, and embroidered textures. The fabrics in this collection can be seen on allora.signature.THACH, as well as allora.signature.ROSS and KATHWOOD, both of which will be featured on the blog soon. This afternoon I'm off to find some fabric samples for Logan & Jimmy and Sara, so I'll be sure to have some great new textiles to share next week! Have a wonderful weekend!

13 August 2009

what's in a name?
Allora, for the meaning of allora. I have loved this wonderfully ambiguous Italian equivalent for "so..." or "what now?" since its first melodic roll off my tongue as an eighth grade student ambassador in Italy. On consequent trips, I only grew to love it more, and while studying architecture in Rome, it was permanently adopted into my vocabulary.

My friend (and roommate on Via Candia), Elizabeth, and I would let out exasperated "allllooorrraaa"s after a long day of sketching in the city. Similarly after long days of work in New York, my favorite resident Italian, Stefano, would look at me sympathetically and say "allora, Miss Kennedy" before misting my face with Evian from an aerosol can. And of course, my sisters shares the same love for this wonderful word, which perfectly summed up our sentiments about my new Charleston apartment last fall. Allora. "What now?" in an idle, carefree tone.

That "allora" from Lauren (via a chair from my mom) translated into my refurbishing allora.signature.RUTLEDGE, and when we needed to give this hobby a name, she reminded me of "allora" once more. Va bene.

See what the official people have to say about what this word means, here and here and here.

12 August 2009

The clean lines of allora.signature.VINE are beautiful reminders of the more minimal solutions in furniture design, serving both an aesthetic and functional purpose. The chair is not only pleasing to the eye, it is also comfortable to sit in and proportioned to the human body. I'm personally a huge fan of the chartreuse finish--my room is the same shade of avocado; and the subtle variation in the creme and beige high pile fabric lends itself to more natural color palettes, while still harboring a little of the Zebra attitude. Additionally, the contrast in the lines of the Zebra pattern itself with the orthogonal lines of the chair creates a more playful feel. I visited the angel oak around the time that I was finishing the new seat and cushion for allora.signature.VINE, and I feel sure that I was influenced on some level by the hues and graceful lines of this majestic tree. This allora.signature is available for $115; for inquiries please contact me at marymac@allorahome.com!

11 August 2009

allora featured as
parker-sims product pick!

check it out here.

We're so excited and honored to be featured with such an impressive and creative group of local designers! Thanks Ivie and Adrian!

...and an interview with mary mac!read more here.

I love keeping up with the Parker-Sims blog myself, so check back often for their always interesting designs and ideas. Don't forget to check out their website, as well! You'll want to stay on top of what these creative ladies are up to!

vintage comforter.
Its not a secret that I'm quite the junk store junkie, so it should come as a surprise to no one that a couple of weeks ago I managed to leave the Habitat for Humanity Restore with something other than what I was looking for... Though I was hoping to find an incredible deal on a beautiful chandelier, I ended up with this vibrant vibrant vintage afghan. The style of the knit appears to be from the late 1960s, and the color combination of bright gold, yellow, orange, red, forest green, grass green, and brown only seems to affirm this assumption. After a little trip to the dry-cleaners, these colors only popped more, and as always, I began to imagine chairs in this interesting palette. A set? A collection? What color and fabric as a liner? Only time will tell... but as the weather gets crisper, the fall colors of this comforter will be finding their way to an allora.signature.chair!

10 August 2009

Happy Monday blogspot! My apologies for the negligence in posting this past week--one whole week! I do believe that this has been my longest break from the wonderful blog since its inception, but nonetheless I'm enthusiastic to begin this week with the world wide web debut of a great project and the first custom chairs to be featured on allora.blogspot.com.
The four piece antique dining set from Lucy Wilson's childhood home near Sumter, SC originally featured caned seats when they made the move to the family's condo in Charleston; however, after several years these seats were beginning to fray, and two of the chairs needed to be completely redone. So, Mrs. Wilson decided to update the look of her dining area by painting the chairs a deep neutral grey to perfectly complement the bright yellow and grey large floral print she discovered at GDC. To polish off the new look, silver upholstery tacks border the interior corners of each chair, providing contrast and interest as well as a more formal gesture in the versatile dining room.

03 August 2009

SO. It has been brought to my attention that it is not evident from my previous posts which chairs are for sale and what the difference is between the allora.SIGNATURE and allora.CUSTOM collections. I'm here to set the record straight. All of the chairs that have been featured on the blog thus far (and some yet to make their blogger debut) are available for purchase and are priced between $100 and $125. Generally speaking, allora.SIGNATURE chairs are finished and upholstered without client consultation, while the allora.CUSTOM chairs are designed around individual needs. If you have a chair or fabric already, or if you want a specific color or pattern or combination thereof, then allora.CUSTOM is for you! These prices vary according to quantity and finish. All chairs are 100% unique!