DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Robin Rains Interior Design

 

Robin Rains shown with our Adair Sconce. Photo by Austin Lord

If I had to think of one word to define Robin Rains it would have to be joyful. This woman simply radiates positive energy! I am always stunned by the variety of projects she takes on and her ability to accomplish them with creativity and grace.

And, in addition to her full time design business, Robin has created a “to the trade” showroom in Nashville’s Design District filled with her unusual one of a kind European finds. It’s a treasure chest!

Ironware is fortunate to count Robin as a long time client. So it is with great pleasure that we introduce Robin today on our Designer Spotlight.

 

Master bathroom feature in Southern Home Magazine Mar/April 2020 with our Desiree Chandelier. Interior by Robin Rains Interior Design, photography by Alyssa Rosenheck.

Southern Home Magazine with our Andie Lantern.
Interior by Robin Rains, photography by Alyssa Rosenheck.

Nikki Sconce
Interior by Robin Rains, photography by Alyssa Rosenheck.

 

Why did you choose Ironware for the master bath project above?

This master bath was created for luxury and indulgence and it’s intent was to be a solace sanctuary for the homeowners. We carefully chose each element in the space using beautiful gold leaf plumbing fixtures, custom hand painted tub and various European marbles. The Ironware sconces and chandelier were like the beautiful jewelry that completed this amazing bath.

Name something that inspired your work recently.

No doubt the Coronavirus pandemic has changed our way of thinking about design and how we use our homes. The most impactful changes I see will be functionality and comfort. We are forced to consider the most efficient use of our space, such as where we work in our home, where we dine, home school, relax, etc. Is the open floor plan working? Where do we go for private time? I think outdoor spaces will become even more important as this will allow for fresh air as well as social distancing when we start to have friends over. Now, more than ever, we need to be surrounded by beautiful and meaningful things that we love and connect with. As designers, our job just got a bit more challenging and critical. Our homes must function in many different ways than ever before. Let’s get to work!

Why is Interior Design Important?

Our homes are our safe haven and our comfort from the outside world around us…especially right now. Good design helps us feel better…when our surroundings are beautiful and orderly, we thrive in our environment  and are at peace and “rest”. Interior design makes our homes comfortable, functional and tells the story of who we are.

What is your favorite travel destination?

France, France, France…..I have been many times, mostly for work and it always inspires me. I feel a sense of home when I am there and each time I go, I experience something unique and different. Much of my design inspiration comes from my buying experiences, the country side, architecture, hotels and even the people I meet.

Name a designer you admire and tell us why.

Axel Vervoordt. I love his design aesthetic, his passion for artifacts, use of timeless antiques and natural materials.

Describe a favorite piece in your personal home.

When I first starting collecting antiques, one of the first pieces I bought was an Art Deco secretary. I bought this piece from an antique dealer friend of mine. I loved his style and he had sourced this piece in Italy. This secretary has moved many times with me and I love where it has lived in each home. I display my collection of antique tortoise shell boxes on the secretary and it brings me joy to see my collection each day!

What is one piece of advice you have for an interior designer just starting their career?

Work for and learn under a designer you admire. Learn all you can as this is THE most complex and detailed profession. Be patient as your skills will take time to cultivate.

What do I especially appreciate about Ironware?

Ironware pieces not only stretch creative boundaries in design, but they are made by a family of craftsmen. It is rare to find such uncompromised quality, finishes and customization options in lighting today.

 

A few Robin Rains Interior Design projects:

Interior by Robin Rains, photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

 

Interior by Robin Rains, photography by Leslee Mitchell

 

Interior by Robin Rains, photography by Alyssa Rosenheck

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Barry Dixon

BARRY DIXON’S signature blend of warm southern hospitality and global influences have made him one of the world’s most sought after interior designers. It’s a pleasure to focus our designer spotlight on Barry Dixon. After all, we have been a trusted source for the sought after designer for almost 30 years.

Barry Dixon’s work is featured in Barry Dixon Interiors and Farrow & Ball: The Art of Color and Barry Dixon Inspirations and Fortuny Interiors. Dixon lives and works in his 1907 Edwardian estate, Elway Hall, located on over 300 acres of farmland in the heart of Fauquier County, Virginia’s horse country.


“A room should start a conversation before people actually start exchanging words.” 
– Barry Dixon

 


 

 

Elway Hall

 

Why do you choose Ironware?

I love the mix that Ironware offers. I see so many aesthetic influences in their collection that span multiple cultures and periods. The variety of finishes offered along with custom variations allow me to create something new every time. And I adore the crafted nature of Ironware’s finished pieces. I can see the human hand in each creation…the art of craft.

 

Virginia home interior by Barry Dixon featuring Ironware’s Isadora Chandelier

 

From Southern Home Magazine, interior by Barry Dixon, showing Ironware’s Astrid Pendants

 

Bend, Oregon interior by Barry Dixon featuring a custom Ironware Dominic Light Mobile

 

Name a designer you admire and tell us why.

John Saladino. He is a master at melding past with present, as well as a superb aesthetic editor.

Favorite travel destination?
Home.

Current favorite color to use in projects?

I am in love with jades and blue-greens at the moment. Also, deep browns and warm
greys.

How would you best describe your style?

A mix of old and new, clean and complex…I like to pull favorite pieces from different
periods and mix them in a fresh, modern way for life in the 21st century.

Most memorable design challenge?

Completing an extremely large new private residence in Beijing several years ago in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics. It involved bi-monthly trips over the North Pole to China from D.C. over a long period of time. We prefer our projects a bit closer to home.

What is your favorite moment when designing a space, from start to finish?

Laying out the space plan of a home is my favorite part of the job. It’s the first time we start to see how the rooms will come together. And of course, installation day…the day the new rooms become a 3-dimensional reality.

What informs your aesthetic direction?

The rich history of our aesthetic past, the cross-cultural influences and confluences of
East and West and the views from the windows of a home.

Name three things you can’t live without besides family, faith and friends?

Dogs, antiques and coffee.

Describe a favorite piece in your personal home.

I am in love with anything and everything that I have in my home. Either for sentimental or personal reasons or just because I think the piece is beautiful. I am especially fond of a 7th century Chinese ceramic tiger “pillow” and a 13th century Asian “Scholar’s Stone” on its original wooden stand.

 

7th century Chinese ceramic tiger “pillow” and a 13th century Asian “Scholar’s Stone”

 

Other Barry Dixon projects:

 

 

To see more Barry Dixon Inc. projects, visit www.barrydixon.com.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Betsy Wentz Interior Design

Betsy Wentz

We first collaborated with Betsy Wentz on a stunning Palm Beach Mediterranean Revival home in 2016 and we continue to be amazed at the range and scope of her work not to mention her sheer enthusiasm. Never one to follow trends Betsy focuses on the sustainability of her design work and connection with clients for beautiful, meaningful and enduring results.

Captured for Modern Luxury Palm Beach. Interior by Betsy Wentz Interior Design, featuring our Antonia Chandelier. Photo by Nickolas Sargent Photography.

Captured for Modern Luxury Palm Beach. Interior by Betsy Wentz Interior Design, featuring our Madison Pendant and Pascale Sconces. Photo by Nickolas Sargent Photography. 

Captured for Modern Luxury Palm Beach. Dining room by Betsy Wentz Interior Design, featuring our Maresol Chandelier. Photo by Nickolas Sargent Photography.

What is your favorite and least favorite aspects of being a designer? My favorite part of being a designer is the relationships you build. So many people start as clients or vendors and end up as friends. I also love the collaboration. When you work with a client and they trust you, the end result is so good. My least favorite is the business side of the job. Making claims, tracking orders and collecting payments. I’m very lucky to have an excellent office manager who loves balancing accounts!

Name a designer you admire and tell us why. I have a designer crush on Kelly Wearstler. I love her use of color and her funky, edgy, eclectic style.

Favorite travel destination? We took a family trip to Mustique in the West Indies last year and I would go back over and over again. From the views to the food to the sea turtles – the whole place is really special.

Name something that has inspired your work recently. Participating in the 2019 Traditional Home Hamptons Designer Showhouse and the 2020 Veranda Kips Bay-Palm Beach Designer Showhouses has been an inspiration for me. It’s a real chance to flex your design muscles and also meet and see some really amazing design work.

Most common mistake you see in interiors? Under-scaled lighting and rugs. It kills me to walk into a room and see a dinky chandelier and a 6×9 rug that should be 10×14.

Current favorite color to use in projects? I am a color lover, so I get excited to add any palette to a project. If a client likes yellow – I am all in!

Describe a favorite piece in your personal home.  My favorite piece is a gift from my 93 year-old very eccentric and reclusive neighbor. I came home from work one day to find a beautiful electric blue lacquered mid-century modern coat rack at my front door. There was a hand scribbled note that said ” This is from the 1950’s World Fair and it belongs with a fun person who will appreciate it.” She was right – I love both the coat rack and the story behind it.

Why did you choose Ironware for the Ocean Block in Palm Beach project? Ironware was a perfect fit for our Mediterranean revival house. The first lights we chose for the project were the Maressa Sconces for the entry. The detailed millwork in those sconces complimented the front hall tile. We then added chandeliers and other pieces in several rooms.

 

Architecture by Kirchhoff & Associates Architects, Interior by Betsy Wentz Interior Design with Maressa Sconce.  Photo by Nickolas Sargent Photography.

What do you especially appreciate about Ironware? I appreciate the quality, the range of styles and finish options available from Ironware. The service is also exceptional. We’ve done a few custom lights and had the chance to talk directly with the person who designed and built our item.

What is one piece of advice you have for an interior designer just starting their career? Meet as many people as you can, there are so many opportunities to learn.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or not, who would it be and why? I’d give anything to have dinner with my mom before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It is so hard to watch someone you love go through this terrible disease.

A few Betsy Wentz Interior Design projects:

 

 

 

Thanks to Betsy for spending your time with us! Check out more of Betsy Wentz Interior Design at her website here.

DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT: Paula Daher

PAULA DAHER has been designing exceptional interior spaces since 1995. As the firm's principal creative director at Daher Interior Design, Paula's solid strategic foundation coupled with her frequent international travel provides boundless inspiration for the firm’s many projects.

"Our homes provide nurture and rejuvenation. In our busy lives, that moment you walk through your front door and say ahhhhh….happy to be home, that is what I want all of my clients to feel." - P. Daher

         
Interior by Daher Interior Design with Ironware's Cassiopeia Chandelier Photo by Michael J. Lee
 
Interior by Daher Interior Design with Ironware's Ondine Chandelier Photo by Michael J. Lee
 
Entry way by Daher Interior Design with a customized Ironware Twinka Pendant Photo by Michael J. Lee
 

What is your favorite travel destination? My latest muse is Morocco. I have been 5 times in the past 18 months (planning my daughter’s wedding) and the country has become dear to my heart. Marrakech is a designer’s dream with color, texture, and handwork. All this in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The ceramics bring a level of craft to be appreciated by all and the tile, oh the tile...intricate designs to inspire and send me over the moon! And then the food, the perfect combination of Middle Eastern with a French influence. Trés bon.

Is there a special detail you always add to your projects? Each project is unique and needs to appeal to the client. Art is the one element for me that, when added to a room, can make it sing and just feel complete.

Most common mistake you see in interiors... Accessories that do not add to a room or shelves, they detract. Less is more. Elevate the simple without clutter and the simple becomes beautiful.

What are you reading? Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver

Tell us about a lesson you learned on the job? Ha! When do we not learn from a job? Each project is unique with a different set of parameters unique to the home. Each project has an army of trades people to pull the entire project together from start to finish. There is always something new to resolve and work through and this becomes the basis of our decisions for each next project. In nearly 25 years of business, I have definitely learned a thing or two on the job. 😉

Name something that has inspired your work recently... Morocco has left an indelible mark on my soul and bits and pieces have been finding ways into my work. Nothing is more magical than a piece of pottery made in a Berber village, brought home and placed on display in a contemporary space.

What has been the most outrageous request you've ever had from a client? My latest request, and unbelievably, two clients simultaneously: three TV’s on the same wall! Yikes – a definite challenge.

What do you especially appreciate about Ironware? Ironware has become a go-to for my firm. The true customization of the products in terms of size and finish allow us to work them into a variety of rooms of various scales.  Many of our projects are in Boston’s brownstones, typically thin buildings with ceilings 12’ tall. Ironware is an easy resource in terms of customization with efficient fabrication and shipping.

Name something on your bucket list... My never ending quest…..to  be fluent in French and not just a fluent 4 year old.  A solid few months in Paris or Marrakech could do the trick!

Why is interior design important? Our homes provide nurture and rejuvenation. In our busy lives, that moment you walk through your front door and say ahhhhh…happy to be home, that is what I want all of my clients to feel.

   

A few favorites of Daher Interior Design projects, all photos by Michael J. Lee:

To learn more about Daher Interior Design, go to www.daherinteriordesign.com.