Southern Style: Richmond Symphony Orchestra League's 2010 Designer House, Mary Douglas Drysdale, Tobi Fairley and Me.

A few months ago, my dear friend, Mary Douglas Drysdale mentioned to me that she had been asked to participate in the Richmond Symphony League's 2010 Designer House. Mary said she saw in the house a great opportunity to showcase the embodiment of Southern Style by inviting a group of designers who live and work in the South to participate with her in this project.What a wonderful idea!  Imagine my excitement when she asked me to be in that group and to design some of the lighting for the Showhouse!



I have to say that I've been in awe of Mary's many talents since the first moment I laid eyes on her work, and have followed her career ever since.


I've long admired Mary's architectural approach to composing her interiors,  her exacting attention to detail and her fearless use of color. Her outlook has been a great inspiration to me throughout my career from the earliest days.


Mary's use of balance and symmetry create interiors that are both memorable (who could ever forget opening Veranda and seeing this room for the first time?) and timeless. They are deeply rooted in the classical and simultaneously modern and fresh.

In an interview on the Doxa Home blog, Mary says she sees herself as a sculptor of interiors, and she obviously draws inspiration from the sculpture and antiquities which she uses to such great effect.


She also draws on sculptural inspiration in designing the custom furnishings which grace many of her interiors.  I have always swooned over her tabletop compositions.


Mary's ability to create, find and compose fabulous objects and art within a room are part of her unrivalled signature style.




The painted furniture, rugs and floors Mary designs inject an additional element of delight into her richly detailed spaces.



In my opinion, Mary's unswerving attention to every detail that goes into the architectural and interior design of a room is the wellspring from which her talent flows.


Mary always makes sure all her i's are dotted and her t's are crossed. There is an underlying basis of classical order which creates the resonant simple elegance which always informs her work.



In her own words:

"The difference between something you take the time to see and something you just pass by is sometimes just a fraction of an inch."

So it is with great excitement that I approach my opportunity to work with someone whose work speaks volumes on everything that is good about architecture and interior design.


Mary was recently interviewed on The Skirted Roundtable, and Tobi Fairley has been blogging about her adventures with Mary and the Richmond Showhouse.

I'm so very excited about working with these two fabulous designers as well as some of the Richmond Showhouse designers, also.

So stay tuned because I will have lots more to tell as things progress!

I am the owner of Julie Neill Designs in New Orleans where we create beautiful custom lighting. This blog is my love letter to the unique people, places and happenings which make New Orleans the amazing place it is.

Please visit my website to learn more about my lighting and our fabulous shop on Magazine Street.

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