Fabulous Room: 12.8.17

I recently got to know Mallory Mathison Glenn, a talented young designer based in Atlanta while on an antiques buying trip in Paris back in September. Mallory and I share a love for Chinoiserie and traditional design elements. This love of classic style is evident in her work, including the beautiful little boy’s bedroom she designed for the Atlanta Holiday Home. Mallory definitely knows what she is doing in designing a space for a young boy as she is the mother of adorable, three year old twin boys. For her showhouse room, affectionately named the “Little Boy Bleu” room, Mallory selected a tried and true, classic American palette of red, white, and blue, but executed it with French flair. We recently sat down to discuss what inspired this lovely space.

Paloma Contreras: What was your inspiration for your “Little Boy Bleu” bedroom at the Atlanta Holiday Home? Did you design the room around a specific piece or idea?

Mallory Mathison Glenn: My initial inspiration for “Little Boy Bleu” was the benefactor of the Atlanta Holiday Home, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, and the many children they care for so lovingly every day.  Next I thought about the past few children’s rooms that have been in Atlanta area showhomes and they have all been for a little girl.  Since we have three year old twin boys at home it was a natural fit to design a room for a very special little boy.  There were three main design inspirations for this space after it was decided to be for a little boy; 1) tented rooms 2) the French flag 3)Schumacher’s Plaisiers de Chine fabric.  I’ve always loved tented rooms, as many designers do, and have studied and admired images from Malmaison to Madeleine Castaing and in current day Miles Redd to Alex Papachristidis.  So the first element we decided on was a must have tented space! The French flag was also of paramount inspiration for the color palette.  This fall, I was a part of an inspiring, outstanding antiques buying trip to France and was fortunate enough to meet a group of brilliant, like-minded women.. including you!!  Having such a fantastic trip on my mind as we began to design this space led me right to the color combination of rouge, bleu and blanc!  Red is one of my all time favorite colors and I use it in many of my designs.  Blue and white is of course always classic, chic and fresh so I wanted to combine those to develop a cheerful, crisp yet layered space.

Last, the Schumacher Plaisers de Chine fabric.  This fabric has been a beloved pattern for as long as I can remember in the Document color way and I have it in my home.  When this fabric was recolored a few years ago I fell in love with it all over again in ALL the new color ways and especially the Bleu/Rouge.  We have used this invigorating yet calming color palette for a client and were so happy with the way it turned out I immediately knew it was the right lead fabric for “Little Boy Bleu”.  The fanciful, whimsical Chinoiserie “pleasures of life” that are depicted in the vignettes in this fabric have me forever entertained. 
PC: I love the color palette of pale blue and classic red as well as the mix of textiles in this room. What advice can you share for mixing multiple patterns successfully?
MMG: This palette is quickly becoming one of my favorites! I’ve used blue, white, and red in a few spaces for clients but this was the first time I could really unleash and use it freely at my own inclination; which is the most fun part of designing a showhouse room!  We were very fortunate to work with F.Schumacher & Co. on this space and they do such a splendid job with their fabric design.  They are a “go-to” for my office on the daily for interesting patterned fabrics.  Traditionally tented rooms utilize the same fabric on the walls and the tented ceiling treatment so we wanted to mix that up and layer the color, texture and pattern to create an unexpected twist on the classic “tent”.  For the walls we selected Belvedere designed by Veere Grenny for Schumacher for it’s scale, beautiful soft sky blue and white color and the garden like trellis pattern then brought in a pinstripe for the tented ceiling.  Recently Schumacher introduced a new collection of stripes in various sizes/scales and I couldn’t love them more – a stripe is of course always timeless and for us a perfect complement to the trellis wallpaper. 
PC: You used several pieces of interesting, abstract art in the space. Could you tell us a bit about how you selected the various paintings?

MMG: My love of original art goes back to day one. My mother is an artist and I was lucky to grow up around an ever changing environment of art and visual inspiration. I’ve taken this longtime passion for original art and infused that into my own home, client projects, and always into a showhouse space.  When I was creating this dear, little imaginary client, “Little Boy Bleu”, I wanted his room to be a place that evoked creativity and imagination – and what better way to impress that on a child that surround them with bright, colorful, thought provoking original abstract art!  The selection of art was curated from various artists and Atlanta galleries that represent Southern artists.  While there are artists from around the country and world that I am drawn to and yearn to collect, my love for regional art is very strong.   This space’s collection includes art by Atlanta-based Sally King Benedict and Blayne Beacham, Charleston-based Brian Coleman, Birmingham-based Lindsey Porter, New Orleans-based Alexis Walter, Auburn-based Montaigne Mathison, and Vero Beach-based Tommy McDonnell.  It was very important for me to curate a collection that felt appropriate for any age; so it works in a child’s room but could also be ideal in a family room.  One way to introduce children to art is to gift them a small piece of local or regional art each year for Christmas or a birthday.  It doesn’t have to be expensive and is a great way to identify and support emerging artists.  By the time your child is in high school they will have not only a special collection but hopefully a life long love of original art and collecting.

PC: What is your favorite element of the room?
MMG: There are a few things that could qualify as my favorite but I’m going to go with a bit more of a general answer; the details.  The details in this space are what gives it a sense of surprise, wonder and interest.   From the hand written note to Cher Papa Noel (created by Monteigne Mathison) to the darling custom lampshades the details make the difference.  

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