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Our Style Stories

Inspired: Our Style Stories | CLOTH & KIND

We are seekers of good design - in any form and fashion. We're also big believers in openly sharing the brands, companies, products, blogs, and things we find in our scouting and scavenging so that others can come to love them too. We are quite literally an open book - hence our Little Black Book! One of our latest delights is Hilary Walker's new blog - Our Style Stories. Do you remember Hilary's awesome Show & Tell from a while back? Still adore that incredible vintage screen of hers. Sigh. Needless to say, we are mad about her style and so naturally we're all into the unique perspective that she'll be sharing on her new blog.

In her words… 'Inspired by the many unique ways in which other creatives adorn themselves and their homes, Our Style Stories first found form in a monthly series called “Style Story” on Hilary’s original blog, Hilary Inspired. After much soul-searching and blog regrouping, Hilary chose to retire Hilary Inspired in the Summer of 2013 and relaunch with a new vision and concept focused around the “Style Story” series.'

'A core concept of Our Style Stories is the idea that our personal style and specific backstory are mutually revealing. How we choose to dress, speak, decorate, live, and serve are all wrapped up in the context of our personal style. Some folks have an especially beautiful and interesting way of expressing their style and these are the subjects of Our Style Stories.'

'Beyond the attractive exterior, however, Hilary is very much interested in the inner matters that make creative and successful folks “tick”. What inspires them, challenges them, how have they found their success, and what motivates their art, craft, or calling?'

Inspired: Our Style Stories | CLOTH & KIND

Please stop on by to take a peek and say hello to Hilary! You'll want to put your feet up and stay for a while because if you're like us, a look into the style of other creative minds is endlessly interesting and inspiring. Let us know whatcha think, why don't you?

IMAGE CREDITS | Header by Hilary Walker, Photograph of Hilary by Amanda Marie Lackey of Amanda Marie Portraits and Styling

 

Susan Hable

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Guest edited by Tami Ramsay

Artist and textile designer Susan Hable spent her formative years in a microcosm of creative support. Encouraged from an early age by her parents, Hable studied art in various mediums and methods with two talented and local female artists in her small hometown of Corsicana, Texas. Greatly inspired and largely influenced by these experiences, her eye for color and form were coaxed into life and, in many ways, set the tone for what was to come. Formally trained as a graphic designer with a minor in art history, her focus has always included a blend of fine art and design, specifically painting and sculpture. With stints in Florence, Italy to study jewelry design with Betony Vernon and mixed media work with the Fuji Studio, as well as studies at Parsons in New York City in fashion accessory design, Hable’s particular brew of art has strong and deep roots in the power of form and seduction of hue but her path to painting simply for the sake of art has been a winding one. The journey initially started in the fashion accessories industry which ultimately led to textile design and the founding of Hable Construction in 1999 in Brooklyn with her sister and business partner, Katharine Hable Sweeney, a company aptly named after their great grandfather’s twentieth century road construction business. “We used textiles to get my art into the commercial world,” she said. This shift into the world of interior design, screen printed fabric and home accessories production provided a different platform for Hable’s designs and marked the beginning of a successful career as a textile artist.

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Her unique spin on design has landed Hable Construction multiple collaborations including creating products for Garnet HillBarneys New York and Neiman Marcus, as well as exclusive fabric lines with S. Harris, LoomSource and Hickory Chair. Additionally, because of her expertise in the nuances of color and hue, Hable serves as a committee member on the Color Association of the United States, whose members split hairs to create a concise color palette that is agreed to be representative of the major influences, trends, and directions for upcoming seasons. Her whimsical designs can be also found in their newly launched project Gosluck, where you can find playful, fanciful and practical products, like the bullseye watercolor dartboard above.

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But life will have its way, and Hable found herself beckoned at an interesting crossroads. Tagged by Didi Dunphy, curator for The Gallery at Hotel Indigo, to contribute a few of her textile designs as art for an exhibit, and encouraged by Hickory Chair creative director Ron Fiore to include some of her paintings in the decoration of their showroom at High Point Market, Hable's art was front and center. In both cases, her work created a buzz and several of her paintings sold on the spot with requests for commissions to follow. “It really ignited something in me,” she said, “and I realized I hadn’t tapped into this part of myself and it was time.”

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Hable hit the sweet spot though when she and her husband Peter moved two 1918 tin mill village houses, snatched up at $400 a pop since they were slated to be burned down, from Eatonton, Georgia, into the backyard of their home in Athens. Reconfigured and refurbished as her art studio, “I told myself that I would repay the cost of it one painting at a time,” she said. Having moved from New York City to Athens four years ago, her studio now is a sun flooded creative respite. “It has been such a huge part of my painting. Just having the space for the large paper, plus the beautiful northern light, the quiet and no distractions,” she said. “It is one of the most important things that Athens has given me for my art.” Plus, the history of the tin mill houses is the stuff of legend. “People would come from the train tracks behind the mill houses and say that their great-grandmother died in the front room or that their family lived there for 50 years,” she explained. Although the closets were absent any skeletons, the walls were full of relics from the past. "We found, among some other odds things, a huge skeleton key, a baby shoe, a child’s toy top, an old spoon, and a magnet,” she said, all of which are now at home in the new studio.

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Hable now finds herself an artist, in her own right, creating original works of art that are bold, fluid and honest. Her draughtsmanship is part abstraction, part minimalism but unmistakably Susan Hable. Her distinctive quality of line and unassuming technique of hand is everywhere evident, equally in her art as it is in her textile designs. Whether working solely with india ink or with bleeding pools of Hydrus liquid watercolors, her work is a graphic study of free floating flora and fauna, an interpretive color story of her keen observations and inspirations. “In my world, whimsical forms are combined with a unique color palette inspired by nature and beauty, rather than trends,” she said. “My design process begins with the most mundane of moments.” Humble beginnings though they may be, the resultant work is nothing short of a beautiful confluence of graphic shapes, unabashed color and negative space.

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IMAGE CREDITS | Photography by Tami Ramsay at the art studio of Susan Hable; Gallery wall vignette image photographed at Bungalow Classic, an interior design retailer of Susan Hable's artwork in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tami Ramsay Design

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Fabrics: Left, Middle, Right

I'm so inspired by this lovely living room that is at once delicate and ecclectic. Not an easy combo to achieve, I might add.

Tami Ramsay of Tami Ramsay Design and I met on Pinterest and are quickly becoming fast online friends. I adore her design sensibility and dare to say that the feeling is mutual. One of the things that I appreciate about her, aside from her insane creative talent, is her openness. In this itty-bitty, yet simultaneously vast world of online design and social media there's a whole heck of a lot of people who don't take the time to stop and say hello. It often feels like everyone is so busy going a million miles a minute doing their own things that they are hardly able to slow down to appreciate the very thing we all have in common - a love of beautiful interiors. And yes, I am guilty of this at times too. Tami reached out to me and has been a total breath of fresh air in the midst of all the chaos of the online design world.

OK, enough of that little love rant and on to her crazy good design talent! So, the room featured above is Tami's very own living room. Don't you kinda wish it was yours? It's ok, I do too. Let's discuss...

NO. 1: That chaise! Tami and I first met online in a discussion over that killer vintage grey cane chaise that she was reupholstering. It turned out so unbelievable after she reupholstered it in Hable Construction's Aventurine Rope. She effortlessly pairs it with a couple of my all time favorite fabrics, Kelly Wearstler's Edo Linen & Sea Urchin (on the sofa opposite the chaise), both from Lee Jofa Groundworks.

NO. 2: The soft pale pink feminine walls are Benjamin Moore's Paisley Pink. The perfect shade of not-too-sweet yumminess.

NO. 3: The shaggy vintage Beni Ourian Moroccan rug (Note: if you want one for yourself, see my previous post about Maryam Montague of MyMarrakesh - she's the lady with the ultimate stash of these gorgeous rugs).

NO. 4: The beautiful original artwork gracing the walls that lead up to the barrel vaulted ceiling.

NO. 5: The relaxed Belgian linen roman shade + drapes on brass rods that are original to the house. So cool!

NO. 6:  The symmetry. It's so subtle you hardly notice it, which I like, but this room is very nicely symmetrical indeed. It makes the space feel calm and orderly despite all of the pretty things you can look at every which way you turn.

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Just one last shot of that chaise, please.