Designer Spotlight ... Margaret Kirkland

A few weeks ago I shared with you my lovely day touring the Southern Living Idea House in Mt. Laurel, Alabama.  The house is incredible and my favorite room was that of the darling and talented Atlanta designer Margaret Kirkland.  I met Margaret a few years ago when she designed a bedroom for the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays showhouse and I adored her immediately.  Those blue lacquer walls were everything! Her love for traditional design mixed with fabulous color inspires me and speaks to my heart.  Defined by Southern Living Magazine as the "lively traditionalist" Margaret says "I just want to bring out the pretty in spaces".  As you peruse her work you would agree she has definitely met her goal.  

When I wrote about touring the house I kept my photo sharing of Margaret's incredible dining room to a minimum knowing I would write this post.  I am thrilled today to share my photos along with some Margaret shared with me and a fabulous interview she lovingly agreed to.  You will notice the amazing details in the space complete with personalized menus and monogram place cards.  And, as you know, those little details are everything to me. 

First of all, tell me about Margaret Kirkland. How did your career as an interior designer begin and how have you grown?

I studied Art History & Studio Art at the University of Georgia, and ended up getting a job for NY designer Sara Bengur. Later I moved home and worked for Dan Carithers in Atlanta for many years. I was lucky enough to have studied at Parsons while in NY and to have worked for great designers.

Would you do anything differently?

I really feel so lucky with all the opportunities that have come my way, and I always think everything happens for a reason, so you should keep an open mind. My biggest wish for living differently is carving out more time for seeing all the people I care about more often!

Share two people who have influenced your career and why?

I have learned so much from everyone I have worked with, from bosses to great clients to wonderful vendors. I consider my former boss, Dan Carithers, a major mentor in my design life. Dan taught me so much about design with fabrics, the different provenance of antiques, and layering everything together to make a space comfortable and inviting. I am also grateful to my mom for teaching me the value of a good work ethic, to think creatively to find solutions, and to always think of other people before yourself.

Between those two people, and their big personalities, I have enough great one liners to do a stand-up routine!

What inspires you to create?

I love the challenge of giving personality to an empty space, and having clients love and feel connected to their homes.


Southern Living called you "The Lively Traditionalist" which is the perfect definition of your style. How did your love of traditional begin?

I think my love of traditional design began young having my mother and grandmother who were both classical enthusiasts, so instead of beaches, we were always visiting historic homes and towns during our family trips. Also working for Dan Carithers for years gave me a huge appreciation for traditional design, and reinforced that classic design never goes out of style because pretty is timeless. More than anything, I think that in the South, people have a lot of love for tradition, and honor tradition by trying to keep and use family pieces. Being a good Southern girl, classic style has always spoken to me.

Tell me more about working on the Southern Living Idea House?

It has been a dream to work on the Southern Living idea house all the way around! To be chosen to participate in this very special ideahouse celebrating the magazine's 50th anniversary is a huge honor, and it is a thrill to have worked with such talented designers. Also, SL's staff is so helpful and hard working, supporting us every step of the way in the design and installation process. southern Living's staff are the consummate hosts, always making you feel special and welcome any time you see them.

I LOVE the dining room ... what is your favorite thing about the completed space?

The mix of color, textures and all the natural light! Giving modern feeling to Southern classics and making it comfortable and approachable.

What is your favorite space to design?

I love to do them all! Bedrooms, Libraries, Living Rooms, Dining Rooms...just trying to create cozy comfortable spaces!

Five things you think every good design needs.

In general, Contrast, Color, Comfort, texture, plenty of seating

For a Dining Room, you need comfortable chairs, plenty of seating, a beautiful chandelier. I also love wallpaper in Dining Rooms, and lots of layering of different finishes, great art, flowers, linens, china, and anything else to make the room feel like your own (like maybe a pair of palm trees made of white canvas!)
Anything you think needs to be left out.

Fads are not my thing, and neither is buying something simply because its popular. You should surround yourself with things that make you happy.

Five must haves.

Good lighting, great patterns in fabrics and rugs, happy colors, fresh flowers, and a piece of porcelain somewhere in the room.

What is your favorite way to unwind?

Reading with a good cup of coffee

Favorite quote.

"Decoration is really about creating a quality of life, and a beauty in that life that nourishes the soul, that makes life beautiful."
-Albert Hadley

There are so many things I love about Margaret's dining room.  I love the mixed patterns on the wall with a third pattern on the drapery.  Mixing pattern is something I love to do so this is fabulous.  The incredible mix of the Sally King Benedict paintings and the palms add in new and playful elements to the traditional space.  I love Margaret's use of symmetry with the matching tables and lamps and the placement of the paintings.  She has created a traditional dining room that is anything but formal or fussy.  It is simply perfect!

On the table no detail was left undone.  I love the napkins layered with the menus and the place cards.  I do not use place cards enough and Margaret's room has inspired me to make sure I add them in to my next dinner party.  

You can view the entire Southern Living Idea House in my previous post and you can see more of the dining room in the Southern Living article here.

Thank you sweet Margaret for agreeing to let me feature your work and for the fun interview.  I always adore our time together and seeing your incredible designs is always a treat.

Happy Wednesday lovies ...

images courtesy of Margaret Kirkland Interiors and Southern Living


Lake House Perfection ...

We are off on Fall Break and are at the lake with friends for the week relaxing and enjoying the amazing house and scenery.  I am a girl who loves any day spent on the water ... lake, beach, truly doesn't matter. When I was little my father had a boat and we spent many weekends boating while he and his friends spent the day skiing.  There is nothing more relaxing to me than a day spent near the water.


Front Porch Dressed For Fall

It is definitely fall every single place I look.  The pumpkins are out at the store, the fall drinks are flowing at the local Starbucks and the amazing fall clothes are stocked and ready to be purchased and worn at all my favorite stores.  It is still quite hot here in Atlanta, so  I needed to get inspired for the season.  It was time to bring fall to the Minear house!

I wanted new pots for the front steps since the urns I have are amazing but don't really hold much in the way of dirt and plants.  They are perfect for topiairies, but if you want anything more they just don't work.  I moved them to the deck and hunted for a larger pot.  I spotted these amazing planters at my local At Home and loved the brown for fall.  The size is perfect and the color is clearly ideal for our home!

One trip to the local nursery and these babies were filled and ready to usher in the cooler weather we are promised by the weekend.  I love the size of the new planter, I can mix so many different plants to make an amazing presentation.  Since I am not the best of gardener (read, black thumb lives here) I relied on the expertise of the Hubs to help me get the right dirt and good plants for our very sunny stoop.  He loves it when I need his "help".

I love Cinderella pumpkins and the market had an amazing selection of them!  They were not as pricey as normal which is good since my neighborhood squirrels like to visit.  I will be shooing them away on a daily basis I am sure.  I loaded up my cart and was excited to get them home!

Since this pumpkin was as close to pink as I could find it definitely make it into the cart!  Isn't he darling?

I absolutely love fall and the incredible colors ...

I really needed a new fall wreath and I searched high and low and just didn't find anything I really liked.  A few years back I bought some leaf swags and made a wreath with a grapevine base.  It lasted a few years but last year it was faded and just ready to be passed on.  I searched At Home for another swag and found these which I knew would be perfect for my project.

I grabbed three of them and proceeded to tie them onto an evergreen wreath I had.  I was all ready to add a bow and then when I hung the wreath I realized it was perfect just the way it was ...

Sometimes when you can't find what you need it is best to create it for yourself!!  Don't you agree?

I absolutely love the front steps, I have walked out each morning to sit here with my coffee and take in all the season has to offer.  I can't wait for crisp mornings and all the fires we will build to end the days.  The front porch is ready to welcome the new season.

Happy Monday lovies ... here's to cooler weather on its way!


TPC Closet

About ten days ago I launched a new Instagram account so that you can shop all of the amazing things I find when I am antiquing ... introducing The Pink Clutch Closet.


Bar Cart Series .. No. 16 Sequins & Lipstick

Happy Friday Lovies ... you know this is my favorite day of the week!!  This one is extra fabulous for us because the littles have fall break next week so we are off on a fun fall vacay!!  Even more reason to celebrate with a fabulous bar set up, right?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

design + development by kelly christine studio