"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about."
It's a defining personality trait I share with my friend Courtney Barnes (pictured below), who founded one of my favorite design blogs, Stylecourt, in Atlanta six years ago. My enthusiasm for beautiful things is sometimes high spirited in a knock-you-down-to-show-you-something-cool sort of way. Barnes is more measured but equally as passionate about what's happening and what's happened in the style world: she is insatiably curious about art, textiles, people, and history.
And since her house in Georgia is always evolving, I was curious about some of the things in it at the moment that are inspiring Barnes. She graciously filled me in on her faves below. Enjoy!
—An antique rug. "Every year, Sharian, the family owned and operated rug showroom that's been on the scene in Atlanta for eight decades, has a big tent sale. In 2012 I initially had my eye on an old Persian, so, with the rug bookmarked on my iPad, I headed over to their Art Deco building in downtown Decatur. Bedros Sharian helped locate the Persian but also unrolled a beautiful little antique Turkish rug with this wonderful, timeworn palette of heathery lavenders, olive greens, gray, and citrus shades. Apart from the colors, I was immediately drawn to the pattern—it can skew modern or old world. Although I didn't find the rug globe-trekking through Turkey, it was still great to support and be part of a local institution."
—Her "Dad" projects. "My Dad is incredibly patient and game to try pretty much any project I come up with," Barnes says. "He built me bookcases that are probably a hundred times more nicely crafted than anything I could go out and buy (photo below), a linen-covered trunk, and a custom sawhorse desk, just to mention a few examples."
"Anyone who gives up his Saturday to tackle precisely-spaced nail heads has to be special, right? One of my favorite elements on the linen trunk he made is the pair of handles I found at Horton Brasses (photo below). Specializing in hardware, they've been around since the thirties and still employ a team of craftsmen and craftswomen too. Several of their metal smiths live and work in West Virginia and Kentucky."
—Her art. "Nearly all of my art is small and some sort of work on paper," Barnes says. "They're more affordable and easier to shift around! Because of the research I do for my blog, I've become better acquainted with so many other fascinating regional artists, including: Anne Butrus (pictured below, at right), Andrew Bucci, Stacey Bradley, Hayley Gaberlavage and more. Of course, the hazardous side of all this is that I want to buy their stuff."