Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Favorite Room Ever (by Mr. & Mrs.Howard)!

I think this is my favorite room ever. I've collected many photographs of beautiful rooms over the past 2 years as I've been seriously indulging my love of decoration. But this room takes home the blue ribbon.

I first discovered this room in a book I bought called "Easy Elegance", a compilation of elegant rooms from Traditional Home. I have looked at this book a thousand times and each time I sit and admire this room and its quiet elegance.

I'm not sure what quality it possesses that captures my heart most, but the combination seems to sum up my tastes. It's the creamy white walls, the pale blue-grey (?) drapes, the classic mahogany furniture, and the crisp slip-covered chairs. I love the perfect, simple and elegant chandelier, the hurricanes with their white candles, the exquisitely clean architecture (dentil moulding, be still my heart), and the beautiful landscape painting. On the walls, there are antique mercury glass candle sconces that are two of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. I love the "H" monograms on the slipcovered chairs. I love the rug. I love everything! Looking at this room is like staring into heaven. Can you imagine a dinner party here?

This room speaks my language. It says that I'm a traditionalist and that I love simple elegance and lots of white and pale colours (but you knew that already).

So, you can imagine my surprise when I visited the website of James Michael Howard (after a tip from my friend at the lovely blog Things That Inspire) and discovered this room!  My room!  I was aware of the beautiful work of decorator and beauty purveyor Phoebe Howard (who owns the store "Mrs. Howard", among others), but did not realize that her husband, Jim Howard, was the accomplished interior designer behind the interior design company "James Michael Howard".

(I always considered myself a bright person, but sometimes it takes me a while).

When I realized that designer James Michael Howard was in fact Mr. Howard (the other half of the famous Mrs. Howard), and that it is their room I've been loving, I was gobsmacked. As I looked through his site (for about 2 hours whilst at the office supposedly working!), I came across several other favorite rooms I'd seen and loved before.

So, not only have I discovered that my favorite room (above) was designed by the Howards, but that it's in their own riverside home in Jacksonville, Florida. I'm terribly excited by this fact because I finally have a context for this beautiful room. And I think I have a new favorite designer, Mr. Howard, judging by the beautiful, quiet spaces on his website. It's like all the stars have aligned in the universe.

Now I have a major design crush.

I will post some of my favorite rooms by Mr. Howard this weekend. He is my new interior design icon. And do check out his wife's exquisite site Mrs. Howard, which features her amazing body of work, their combined projects, and various rooms from their now-famous shops.

Perhaps a trip to Jacksonville (or Atlanta) is in order? I might need an autograph!


  1. My favourite sentence in this post: "As I looked through his site (for about 2 hours whilst at the office supposedly working!)". So relieved to find that I'm not the only one who does that!!

    A truly beautiful room - I hope you make it to Jacksonville.

  2. I love the room too - also love the quote by Phoebe Howard on her website. "You should always be the best decoration in your own home."

  3. Ahhhh, it does sound like love.

    Well, I've spent a few minutes looking at that room and wondering what it was about it that you loved so much. Yes, BEFORE, I read why you loved it. I came up with the dentil moldings (though I didn't know that you loved them, but I do) and the colors. I would never have guessed that you adored rich mahogany furniture. In fact, I would have assumed that you would wish to have it painted stat. I completely forgot about your love of mercury glass and had not picked up the fact that those sconces are made of it.

    I do hope that you have the opportunity to visit the Howards one day! Are you able to leave comments on their sites? Be careful, though, you're in that smitten stage where you may come off as a bit of a loon. Just teasing!

  4. Wowza - that's a beautiful room! I can definitely see why you have a new design crush.

  5. And a very worthy design crush, indeed! I love those chairs...

    What a talented duo! Can you imagine how much fun it would be for them to go shopping together?
    And I bet it's not to Target!!!

    Have a great weekend, Terri!

  6. i thought he was an architect - i need to go look at his site!!! i love her site - thanks for the tip.

  7. I can see why you would love this room, Terri.
    It's gorgeous. Love the pleated skirt on the chairs, the muted colors in the rug, and the elegant simplicity of the draperies. I had to pop over to Amazon to buy the book!
    Happy Weekend, Terri.


  8. Anonymous7:44 am

    Ho ho ho, ha ha ha, hee hee hee ~ a beautiful room, YES. Ever to be found in MY home ~ NEVER! That is what I call a beautiful museum piece. I'd glass off the entire area and just look at its impeccable condition while not allowing anyone in.

    I'm amazed that there are elegant, sophisticated people like yourself who can live and USE rooms like these.

    I still haven't put out any breakables out...from when my son was born 16 years ago! He is a force of nature when he moves. Things happen in a weird way, when he is around. I didn't realize just how encompassing this was until I visited a well-kept pretty home. No holes in the walls, no doors off its hinges, or trim pulled off the doorframe. No underwear hanging around under the bed or crumbs leaving a trail for the animals.

    *sigh*... it's nice to visit your world sometimes!

  9. Lovely room! very insightful comments, and I agree with you, the serenity and combination soothes the soul.

  10. Anonymous7:28 pm

    Terri, Iove your site I just found it today and was pleasantly surprised to see your affection for the Howards! They are wonderfully talented designers! I would know, they are my bosses! I have worked directly under Jim Howard for a little over a year. He has an amazing wealth of knowledge in all things related to interiors and architecture. His passion is interior architecture and specifically the historic styles. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have learned from him! I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be apart of such thoughtful design projects. I work directly under Jim day in and day out designing these magnificent spaces! Normally I manage the initial design phase of the projects to include the drafting of floorplans, elevations and millwork drawings. Almost every Jim Howard home is completely custom from the kitchen to every vanity, mantel, and bookcase. He even designs his own cornices and millwork profiles. Our latest big project has been the design and construction of our newest store in Charlotte. Opening in June! It is going to be our best store yet, the mouldings alone will blow you away! Again, I love the site and will be checking back often! I hope to see you sometime in the store, I can get you that autograph! ;) FYI Phoebe has a new blog you can check it out at:
    Happy Designing!

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