A Scouted Abode: TSG New Orleans Editor Taylor Morgan’s Uptown Apartment

tsg-Taylor-Morgan-Shaun-Smith-aptAs far as design maxims go, “surround yourself with things you love” is pretty much the only rule that we believe must always be followed. When discussing her new home, it’s clear that adhering to this principle has worked well for TSG New Orleans editor Taylor Morgan—though her abode is an example of the idea with a twist: Morgan chose to enlist local businesses she loves to create the perfect new personal environment, starting with designer Shaun Smith of Shaun Smith Home.

tsg-taylor-morgan-living-room-chairsRose Pave from Dunn & Sonnier // Pink pillow: Gerrie Bremermann signature pillow from Bremermann Designs // Slipcover: Alison Seeger Custom Slipcovers (TSG Savannah) // Orange, white, and gold boxes from Source.  

Following a year of contemplating a real estate move, Morgan found the perfect apartment on Audubon Park. Craving a new interior aesthetic, she decided to start with a clean slate in terms of furnishings. When she moved in, she bought a bed and a sofa, brought two chairs she’d inherited from her great-grandmother, and figured she’d fill the space over time. In mid-October, Smith, a high school friend of Morgan’s with whom she’d reconnected after TSG New Orleans Vol. 1 launched, came over to visit…and discovered that Morgan hadn’t added much to her spare surroundings.

Smith, a sought-after designer who manages his own store on Magazine Street in addition to working on high-profile design projects, offered to help Morgan turn her house into a home. She gave him a photo for inspiration—a room done almost completely in whites and creams except for a few touches of pink by renowned New Orleans designer Gerrie Bremermann, Smith’s Magazine Street shop neighbor and mentor, and a family friend of Morgan’s—a list, a deadline of December 4 (when Morgan planned on hosting friends for a Christmas/housewarming party), permission to purchase one “splurge item” from Bremermann’s store, and one special request: to source items locally whenever possible.

tsg-taylor-morgan-living-roomSix weeks later, on December 4th, Smith arrived at Morgan’s house and sent her away, instructing her to come back at 6. Morgan spent the day running errands for the party, then returned home. “Shaun opened the door and asked, ‘Are you ready for your new life?’”

tsg-taylor-morgan-apartmentThe Bremermann-inspired palette was beautifully executed. At their earlier meeting, Morgan had told Smith that at another point in her life she would’ve chosen bold, bright colors, but at that moment in time she was currently drawn to calm, peaceful hues. “I love it,” Morgan says. “And pink and white is trending!” Another pleasant surprise was how Smith had incorporated Morgan’s existing pieces. Although he’d brought in most of the big items, he put an unexpected twist on the few things she had, by having her great-grandmother’s chairs recovered in a dreamy light pink fabric and using a Queen Mary statue Morgan had received as a gift just days earlier as a centerpiece. “Now it’s my prayer angel,” Morgan says.

tsg-taylor-morgan-details-2Bar cart from Kathy Slater // Pineapple from Dunn & Sonnier // Wishbone from Eclectic Home // Demilume from Tara Shaw // Coffee table books: House Proud by Sara Essex Bradley, Linens by Jane Scott Hodges // Candle on pedestal: Jonathan Adler “Champagne” from Hattie Sparks

A natural storyteller, Morgan wanted to know the history behind all of Smith’s finds, but he resisted, hinting that she’d appreciate them more if he didn’t tell all of his secrets—just as she appreciated his work even more because he’d spared her the anxiety and stress of decision-making. Instead, he’d completely followed his vision without any interference, which allowed him to deliver his best work. “That’s why you hire an expert, someone you trust,” Morgan explains. “Removing me from the process, and therefore the pressure, was the best gift.” Still, her apartment is filled with stories. The 1,100-square-foot space holds items from every business that has participated in TSG New Orleans, and each one holds a personal memory and reminder of a connection with clients who have become friends. All together, these local finds create a beautiful home, but they also form a narrative. “I look around,” Morgan says, “And I think, ‘this is the story of a volume.'”

tsg-taylor-morgan-office-bookshelfLeft: Editor Taylor Morgan’s office, which was designed by her. Right: Bookshelf styled by Shaun Smith, which includes: Lucite American flag from Bremermann Designs // Small blue painting on top shelf by Alexis Walter // Elephant bookends from Source.  // Sercy from Jade

Photos by Sara Essex Bradley.


Up for Auction: The Personal Collection of Interiors Pioneer Lars Bolander

Lars Bolander Palm Beach AuctionThis Saturday, bidders will have the unique opportunity to acquire items from the private collection of celebrated interior designer—and pioneer of Swedish design—Lars Bolander. A consummate collector with an undeniably appealing and eclectic style, Bolander and his work have been featured in publications including Vogue, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, and The Wall Street Journal, making Saturday’s auction in Palm Beach (where Bolander has maintained a home and a showroom on Antique Row for many years), held by TSG Chicago’s Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, a highly anticipated event.

Lars Bolander Palm Beach AuctionThe items up for auction include Bolander’s personal treasures, including elements from his Palm Beach house, landscape (such as this a pair of cast stone models of dogs seated on rectangular plinths), and beloved showroom.

Lars Bolander Palm Beach AuctionBolander is the author of two books, Lars Bolander. Interior Design and Inspiration, which explores the designer’s influences from around the world, and Lars Bolander’s Scandinavian Design, which covers the design styles of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. The auction catalog is practically a third tome, showcasing stunning pieces in breathtaking spaces, like this 19th/20th century Burmese carved wood model of a horse depicted near-life size (dimensions: 77″ H x 72″ W) set against gorgeous, soft grey walls.

Lars Bolander Great RoomBolander’s diverse education and extensive travels are evident in his aesthetic. Throughout his Palm Beach home, hallmarks of Swedish design intermingle with European and Asian finds, allowing every element to pop. With a clean, light, airy space as a base, ornate mirrors and intriguing objects beautifully stand out yet also contribute to a compelling and cohesive whole. Inspired by Bolander’s incredible eye and expertise, we combed through the auction catalog and pulled some of our favorite pieces to feature here, but it is well worth the time to peruse every page.

The Great Room

Lars Bolander Palm Beach AuctionHow wonderful is this vignette? Each element comes together so perfectly (and they could be ours!). Table: 18th/19th century Danish painted occasional table having a rectangular dished top inset with 28 ceramic tiles over a frieze drawer, raised on cabriole legs (dimensions: 30.25″ H x 39″ W x 23″ D). Painting: British, 17th/18th century portrait of Elizabeth 1, artist unknown, oil on panel (dimensions: 41.5″ H x 31″ W). On table from left to right: 20th century Neoclassical style composition bust (dimensions: 21.25″ H); continental terra cotta figure depicting a North African man with polychrome decoration (dimensions: 15.75″ H); bronze shell: a cast metal table ornament in the form of a nautilus shell (dimensions: 9″ H); 19th century french terra cotta bust depiction a young Mozart, raised on a socle (dimensions: 20″ H).

Lars Bolander Palm Beach AuctionWe can’t get over the stunning seating on offer, either. Top: a set of three 19th century Gustavian painted fauteuils each having a shaped padded back, padded arms, and stuffover set, raised on fluted tapering legs. Bottom: a pair of 19th/20th century French painted tabourets each with rectangular cushion seats, raised on bent legs ending in hoof feet. Here are a few of our other favorite pieces from the gorgeous space:

Lars Bolander Palm Beach Auction

1. 18th century Danish painted and parcel gilt trumeau mirror having a rectangular plate beneath a ribbon tied trophy within a rosette worked frame (dimensions: 74″ H x width 38.25″ W)
2. Pair of late 19th century Italian marble recumbent lion sculptures
3. 18th/19th century Southeast Asian painted figure depicting a kneeling monk with hands clasped in prayer (dimensions: 32″H)
4. A pair of Italian, 19th century cameos, oil on canvas (dimensions: 30″ H x 25.5″ W); there are a total of four sets of two
5. Silvered brass rams head table ornament (dimensions: 6″ H)
6. 19th century continental marble center bowl (dimensions: 27″ W over handles)
7. Four 20th century stone Buddha heads (dimensions vary)

 IN THE STUDIO and Storefront

Lars Bolander Palm Beach AuctionMore beautiful painted pieces in soft palettes include: Top: 19th century Gustavian painted canape having a padded horseshoe back, with padded arms and a stuffover seat, raised on fluted tapering legs (dimensions: 33″ H x 64″ W x 26″ D); bottom, left: 19th century pair of Gustavian painted fauteuils (only one shown) each with a padded oval back, padded arms and a stuffover seat, raised on fluted tapering legs (dimensions: 34″ H); bottom, right: 19th century pair of Louis XV style painted bergeres each with a padded back and a stuffover seat within a carved frame, raised on cabriole legs (dimensions: 33″ H).

TSG Chicago: Leslie Hindman Lars Bolander AuctionWe’re also partial to the watercolors by French naturalist painter La Roche Laffitte, all signed. Top: Anemonum watercolor on silk 21 x 15 inches. Shells and Marine Life Studies (four works), watercolor on silk. Additional pieces we absolutely covet include:

Lars Bolander Palm Beach Auction

1. 19th century (with later paint) Swedish painted and parcel gilt occasional table having a rectangular white marble top over a fluted and leaf carved frieze, raised on fluted tapering legs joined by C-scroll stretchers centered with a shell (dimensions: 29″ H x 33″ W x 20″ D).
2.19th century Swedish painted fauteuil with a circular padded back and padded arms above a stuffover seat, raised on tapering legs (dimensions: 36″ H).
3. 19th century (with later paint) Swedish painted and parcel gilt daybed having a domed crest carved to show opposing lions over a rectangular back and sides and an upholstered seat, raised on carved legs (dimensions: 48″H x 75″ W x 25″D).
4. 19th century (with later paint) Swedish painted secretary bureau having a fall-front writing surface opening to a fitted interior above three drawers, raised on block feet (dimensions: 52.5″ H x 54″ W x 23″ D).
5. Late 18th century Swedish painted console table having a demilune marble-inset galleried top above a fluted frieze, raised on fluted tapering legs (dimensions: 30″ H x 28″ W x 15″D).
6. Swedish painted and parcel Ebonized console table having a rectangular marble inset top raised on monoped griffin supports over a faux marble plinth base (dimensions: 32.5″H x 29″W x 18″D).
7. 18th century (with later paint) Swedish painted sofa having a rectangular padded back, padded arms and a stuffover seat, raised on fluted tapering legs (dimensions: 38.5″ H x 59″ W x 26″ D).


 Lars Bolander Palm Beach AuctionThere truly is something for everyone and every space in Saturday’s sale, including unique outdoor elements like the above 18th/19th century Southeast Asian painted figure (dimensions: 40″ H). Whether you’re in Palm Beach or bidding from afar, this auction is not to be missed.

Photography by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The auction will take place on March 21, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. EST at the West Palm Beach saleroom located at 1608 South Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401. For more information, including detailed condition reports and bid assistance, please call 561.833.8053.

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Sitting Pretty

tsg-sofa-janie-moster-designs ric1Thanks to a seemingly endless winter, we’ve spent plenty of quality time with our sofas lately. In addition to sipping countless cups of tea and catching up on our reading list, this has given us the opportunity to reflect on the way this essential piece of furniture fits into our lives. From perfectly situated striped settees like the above example in a project by Richmond’s Janie Molster Designs to luxurious velvet versions that feel oh so inviting to low-slung leather interpretations perfect for lounging, a great sofa doesn’t just make a room, it can envelop you for an entire afternoon.

fireside-collage-2How fabulous is the antique bench from Baton Rouge-based Fireside Antiques? With its clean look and curved lines, it would feel at home in any space. The 19th-century Louis XVI walnut settee with new pale blue upoholstery and elegant swoop down corners is equally timeless, and we are absolutely smitten with the Louis XV carved and painted canape, which features a beautiful patina and could function as a daybed or deep sofa.

tsg-kw-sf-1San Francisco-based Kendall Wilkinson Design makes a wonderfully bold statement with this blue velvet number. The richness marries perfectly with both the modern coffee table and ornate woodwork, and the hue gives the room just the right pop of color.

tsg-simple-things-firesideThe leather chesterfield sofa by Cisco Brothers, available from Fort Worth’s Simple Things Furniture Company, is beautiful, versatile, and practically beckons you to sit and sip bourbon after a long day. In addition to the classic look and gorgeous finish, Cisco Brothers uses green materials and methods, making the piece all the more enticing. Fireside Antiques’ mid century modern walnut and cane sofa also combines a masculine vibe with a lovely dose of texture that we adore.

mcalpine-som-3Top: A tufted sofa anchors a simply stunning space by Atlanta’s McAlpine Booth & Ferrier Interiors. The cream-and-black palette and juxtaposition of soft curves with clean lines make it feel welcoming, modern, and completely fresh. We’re also taken by the field bench in vintage steel available from Atlanta’s South of Market, which is at once classic and contemporary and could easily be incorporated into any home.


Enchanting Mini-Ecosystems

tsg-terrarium-silver-leadWhile we don’t currently have any reason to complain about the weather in TSG Headquarters’s hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, the brownness of the landscape and persistent chilliness have sparked our desire for creating lush mini-gardens indoors. There is just something undeniably delightful about cultivating a contained ecosystem featuring items of our choosing as our actual gardens lie dormant. Take, for example, the above terrarium crafted by TSG co-founder Christy Ford. Inspired by TSG Tip 88 expert Pam Heavner, during a recent snow day Ford and her children gathered materials and got to work curating a little domed paradise sure to be enjoyed until spring.

tsg-terrarium-styling-objectsWith base materials procured (see our Terrarium Tip for details), Ford assessed items around the house that would be at home under the dome. Orchids as well as everyday pieces from her various collections were excellent candidates.

tsg-terrarium-partsMoss is always a must! Mini humidity-loving plants and colorful rocks are also great for adding into the mix.


Selecting a vessel is a key component to the process. Above is a terrarium by Pam Heavner set in an antique French cheese case, which Heavner says is perfect for terrarium projects thanks to the hinged door on the top, which allows for easy access. Ferns, African violets, wild violet, and sedum all imbedded in a field of moss combine to create a gorgeous garden in the 18-inch space.

tsg_Pam_Heavner_1Above is another one of Heavner’s creations: Orchid and African violet in 19th century serving dish, with rusted wire “gazebo” with bird’s nest on top. “Mixing textures—and centuries—with organic elements is unexpected,” Heavner says.

tsg-terrarium-glass-bowl-blue-candel-sticksA simple glass compote provides the perfect setting for this terrarium by Christy Ford, which would look great on a coffee table, bookshelf, side table, or windowsill. Refreshingly green and a bit whimsical, it will brighten up any space.

For more inspiration, see TSG Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill editor Hopie Avery’s posts on her past terrarium projects with Pam Heavner here and here.

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Room for Relaxation

tsg_m interiors_denAt the first hint of chill in the air, we tend to seek out cozy spaces perfect for curling up with a book or gathering for a casual evening, such as an intimate library, comfortably appointed living room, or thoughtfully designed den. As the above example by San Antonio-based M Interiors shows, a room composed of relaxing—yet refined—elements can be both conducive to conversation and the ideal place to enjoy some quiet time.

tsg_circa_heathersmith_denA soothing palette, plenty of comfortable seating, and a beautiful sense of symmetry make this room, designed by CIRCA INTERIORS & ANTIQUES‘s Heather Smith and photographed by Peter Estersohn, feel utterly serene and oh so inviting. We could easily spend hours on one of the soft pink chaises soaking in the natural light.

tsg_minteriors3_denThough adorned with antlers and featuring a NFL-ready flat screen, this space by M Interiors is no (man) cave, thanks to lovely touches like framed bird prints, stylish throw pillows, and soft, pleated drapes.

tsg_designlines_denRaleigh’s Design Lines Ltd. created the above scene in the NCSU chancellor’s house, the site of many events as well as private home, hence the need for wonderful places to retreat to read and enjoy a cup of tea.

tsg_kendallwilkinson_denThis inviting Kendall Wilkinson-designed space, situated in a San Francisco high-rise, is made even cozier thanks to shelving that envelops the sofa, layered rugs, a variety of patterns, and wood and rustic accents.

tsg_wood_densRaleigh’s Katherine Connell Interior Design Raleigh (top), and Kendall Wilkinson (above) offer excellent examples of why wood, leather, and luxurious fabrics make a cozy combination. We’d happily spend all winter in either space.


How lovely is the blue library by Anne Wagoner Interiors that we spotted in her Instagram feed (left)? The cool hue works beautifully with the leather bound books and tufted chairs, creating a charming seating area. Meanwhile, Savannah’s Rethink Design Studio‘s modern den easily draws us in with its cheerful pillows, plush rug, and wood paneling.

tsg_weaver_denWarm wood, leather chairs, a velvet love seat, plenty of books…San Francisco’s Weaver Design Group created a perfect haven in this Santa Ynez Ranch. It’s easy to imagine spending an evening ensconced in a club chair, rereading the classics while sipping a cocktail.

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Camel Classics

tsg-camel-interiorClassic and quintessentially fall, camel can take on a variety of tones that add a sense of sophistication to both rooms and wardrobes. Able to complement everything around them, shades of the hue are ideal for accents, as proven by the above room by Circa Interiors & Antiques’s Jane Schwab (photographed by Laura Resen), and effortlessly warm up a neutral room without competing for the eye.

tsg-camel-interiors-2Taking the color one step further by applying it to the walls, Circa’s Kathy Smith creates a luxurious, cohesive dining area filled with camel tones and wonderful texture, resulting in a room that practically glows.

tsg-camel-mensAt its most saturated, camel can be as smooth and satisfying as butterscotch—particularly when rendered in fall-appropriate fabrics. For men looking to update their wardrobes this season, Ledbury’s beautifully tailored cashmere and wool blend Calloway blazer and smart Alden suede brogues, available at By George in Austin, more than fit the bill.

tsg-camel-sweaterDenver’s A Line Boutique always has beautiful and unique finds, such as the above charming camel-adorned knits, stylishly paired with winter white pants and suede shoes. Simply throw on a camel coat and you’re ready to walk out the door.

tsg-camel-sutro-2Camel hues mixed with blues can result in a rich and refined combination, as illustrated by the above sitting area in a home by San Francisco’s Sutro Architects.

tsg-camel-abby-c-2TSG Designer Abby Ciucias appreciated the beauty of the camel on a recent trip to Morocco. Fortunately for those of us who couldn’t tag along, she took pictures like the one above.


tsg-camel-womens-2As soon as we saw the Joseph coat in the Facebook feed of Omaha’s She.la earlier this season, we started dreaming about fall; gold and moonstone earrings by Austin’s Liz James feel like a warm autumn day; and Givenchy’s medium leather Pandora Box, available at By George, inspires back-to-school-levels of excitement with its chic hue and clean lines.

tsg-camel-womens-4Layered with lighter versions and creams, camel can be oh so pretty, as in the Raquel Allegra example (left), which can be found at Charlottesville’s eloise. We’d love to top off an ensemble with an edgy Helmut Lang leather jacket, available from By George, or a cozy cashmere Bottega wrap from Aspen’s Souchi—both of which would enjoy places of honor in our fall closets.

tsg-camel-accentsCamel decor does not need to be limited to fabrics, paints, or wall coverings in the classic color. As the room by Page Home Design shows, a well-placed camel accessory can anchor a room, and who wouldn’t want to add a pair of camel bookends, available from Tchoupitoulas Furnishings in Northern Virginia, to their shelf?

tsg-camel-interiors-3Paired with a dusty pink velvet sofa, the plush camel-hued rug takes this room by San Francisco-based designer Kendall Wilkinson to absolute perfection.


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