Charlotte Comer

by Kristin on October 7, 2009

in Design Inspiration





I have been wanting to post about this lady forever.  She is a tremendously gifted designer and has become a wonderful friend and mentor to me.  Charlotte Comerhas been featured in Southern Accents, Verandah, D Home, and numerous other shelter magazines.  Charlotte has been working with a neutral palette for years – long before it became the trend – and her gift for layering and accessorizing her work is incomparable. 

Charlotte was kind enough to forward these images to me about a recent project.  This house is a bungalow and it’s obvious that Charlotte made great use of the proportions that make a bungalow so charming. 


This is the very charming and feminine living room.  You’ll see many feminine and graceful touches that carry throughout the house.  When Charlotte creates a feminine interior, she does so with a great deal of sophistication and panache, so as to avoid the appearance of being  sweet or saccharine.  In my opinion, that’s a difficult balancing act, but Charlotte does it beautifully.  Charlotte worked a great deal with her client’s existing furniture on this project.  But she added that wonderful white cowhide rug and fantastic chairs.  I really like the placement of the mirror on the front of the fireplace as a counterpoint to the chairs.


The other side of the living room and surprise – here is a modern edge.  The color on the walls reads alternativly a lovely gray or a seaglass green. Either way, it’s very tranquil.  Charlotte almost never uses paint “off the shelves” and prefers to tweak it to get just the right effect. 


A more overall shot of the living room reveals some wonderful zinc topped birdhouses, white linen covered settee, and charming root table.  What I love about this project is how carefully Charlotte preserved the existing architecture of the house.  It really adds to the charm of the home.


Here is the dining room.  Isn’t that tablecloth lovely?  Charlotte gets many of her antique linens from Antique European Linens.  I can imagine in the evening how the table will glow in the reflection of the mirrored sideboard in the room – magical!


Among the many things that Charlotte and I share is the love of a beautifully set table.  This is almost ethereal.


Can you see the detailing on the back wall?  This buffet opposes the mirrored one and look at how beautiful the starburst mirror and gold and crystal candlesticks look on top of that piece.


This is a detailed closeup of the architetural piece in the dining room.  Look at how incredible those clear vases look with white flowers and simple foliage in them.  Again, you’ll notice that Charlotte’s work always seems to juxtapose the old and wonderfully crusty with a bit of shine and glamor.  Love it.


This is the sun room.  The color on the ceiling is scrumptious and relates back to the living and dining room areas.  Charlotte’s mixed in some more mirrored surface in that lovely dresser and it somehow looks just perfect next to the rustic vintage wicker settee.


On closer inspection, it looks as though there may be some decorative painting on the ceiling.  Charlottee has also incorporated one of my favorite garden stools from Mecox Gardens.  Note how she brought the art work down right to the top of the stools.  Very clever.


This is a detail of the large table next to the wicker chair.  It’s an antique baptismal font filled with glass fishing floats. 


This is the bathroom!  Charlotte kept the original tile and worked her magic on the walls and the wonderful dressers and dressing table.  Look at that intriguing little nest above the dressing table.  The glass bottles atop the mirrored dresser add the perfect touch.


The mirros above the dresser are medicine cabinets, and the dresser is actually a cupboard… Very ingenious and oh, so practical.


I know that I am violating an unspoken rule to NEVER show a toilet, but this view shows the enchanting mural to its best effect.  The colors are just so rich, yet tranquil.


This is the dining room from Charlotte’s own home here in Dallas.  Does anything look familiar to you?  The chais should be ringing bells – she sold these chairs to her client and repainted the decorative detail on the back for contrast.  I can’t decide whether I like them better this way, slipped in a sheer, or painted with contrast, although they are lovely either way.  What do you think ?  Her client was smart to keep the lovely fabric on the seats. Notice again Charlotte’s  use of color.  It’s very soft, yet very luxurious at the same time.


This has to be one of my favorite rooms that Charlotte has done – her sitting room.   The walls are plastered with faint gold flecks, to once again give that great juxtaposition of age and texture against a bit of sparkle.  The beams are fantastic, and I am fairly certain that the Comers added them to the house.  And the wonderful bird sculpture perched high above it all was created by her son-in-law, Larry Whitely, a prominent local artist.  I am not positive, but I think when I saw this room for Verandah or Southern Accents, the pots and topiaries were absent, leaving just the great columns.   Once again, it’s lovely either way.


Charlotte’s bed is made up with layers of  antique linens.  A handpainted antique birdcage houses Charlotte’s zebra finches.  She keeps them there for their wonderful song.  Look carefully at the back wall with the stunning window surround and decorative murals anchoring the built in bookcases.  Beautiful.


More decorative painting appears in the master bath – a grisaille pattern on the dresser and whimsical patterns encircling the windows.  The tub and floor feel like they could be original to Charlotte’s older home, but they are new.  She had enough room to angle her bathtub into the corner, which is just so eye-catching. 


This is my favorite image of all.  It seems to encapsulate Charlotte’s style perfectly.  Isn’t that wall mirror a stunner?  Every detail and layer is just sublime.   I am going to close with the image that I started with – the wings.  The wings are actually in her client’s home, but they could so easily represent Charlotte – someone whose imagination is always in flight and who has been something of a guardian angel for me. 



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