Dissecting the Details: Darryl Carter

Hello everyone! Nancy of Marcus Design blog here with you today, sharing another installment of Dissecting the Details. Milieu Magazine held a designer showhouse in Houston in the month of June, and each of the spaces featured were truly inspiring. Particularly, Darryl Carter’s family room reminded me of how much I admire his inspiring work. Darryl is an internationally sought-after Washington D.C. based interior decorator, his signature style is often referred to as ‘classically minimalist.’ He creates the perfect balance and tension between modern and antique. So for today, lets hone in on the design work of Darryl Carter, there are so many key elements he includes to create these crisp and classic family spaces:






Whether in casual linen, sumptuous velvet, or relaxed leather, much of the soft upholstered pieces in Darryl’s spaces are shades of cream, white, and grey. This not only keeps a room timeless and classic, but also allows the silhouette of each piece to be the main focus. Mixing other natural materials such as dark marbles or stone & concrete against the light upholstery allows your eye to really take in the texture and shape of each piece.




You can see that in virtually each picture posted here there is the addition of dark wood antique furnishings. They ground each vignette, they give a sense of history and a sense of soul to the space. And my, how perfectly they pair with all of that white & cream upholstery! I’m going to venture to say every room could benefit from a brown wood piece of furniture, just like every room needs a does of the color black. It doesn’t have to be much, but it works wonders. Note that even though each space is a sparse white-walled backdrop, there are so many architectural details within the ceilings, arched doorways, and paneled walls.




How incredible are these stand-out works of art? Whether antique mirrors, tapestries, or plaster cast friezes (as seen directly above), each brings texture that speaks volumes. The all-white casts are hung in the room below and provide three dimensional relief to an otherwise smooth background.

All in all, you can see from these family & living rooms that Darryl prefers a pared-down, well edited space. It’s very intentional; it’s as if to say it’s better to have fewer key, stand-out pieces in a spare space than to have many things without purpose and beauty. He utilizes an often white, blank-slate canvas as a backdrop to tell his story. And with all the key elements listed above, we can clearly see that the results are outstanding! See more from Darryl Carter on his site here, and his instagram account here.

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  1. I love the work of many designers, but I think I love Darryl Carter’s work the best. So beautiful.

  2. I have always admired darryl carter’s work. Thank you for highlighting more of his beautiful spaces. One part I found refreshing is after zooming up to see what picture he had hung over the fireplace in the cover image, I saw nothing other than a woman wearing a mask!! I had to laugh as I realized it was actually a mirror. Thank you for wearing a mask.