I'm sure that most of you are familiar with Dan Carithers, the Atlanta decorator who has achieved éminence grise status in the design world. (It's well deserved too, I might add.) And I'm also sure that many of you admire the various hallmarks of the Carithers' look. It tends to be traditional but oftentimes mixed with contemporary accents and furniture. The color schemes lean toward neutrals. And for me, I always think of creamware when I think of a Carithers' interior, but I know that not all of his work included it. I guess this is all why I was rather surprised that this contemporary Atlanta apartment, featured in a 1981 Southern Accents, was decorated by none other than Mr. Carithers himself. This Carithers project is almost the reverse of what he usually does; this time it was mostly contemporary but with a dash of antiques. Would you have guessed it?
At the time, Dan Carithers was the Corporate Director of Home Fashion Merchandising for Rich's department store (how I miss old Rich's!), and the clients were the CEO of Rich's and his wife. We must remember that this was the early 1980s, so it's inevitable that certain rooms look dated...like that bathroom. But the kitchen? To me, it still looks good, but that might be because my own kitchen is stuck in 1968. A 1981 kitchen would seem downright au courant to me right now!
What I don't know is if this project was a wild card in a career dedicated to a more traditional look. Does anyone know of other predominately contemporary projects of his?
I believe that a built-in bed module and vertical blinds were considered chic at this time.
Louis XIV gilt chairs act as a traditional foil to the more modern elements in this space such as the Bauhaus staircase.
A modern upholstered banquette and Louis XVI opera chairs provided seating.
Mies van der Rohe chairs surrounded a glass and acrylic dining table.
The kitchen was quite state of the art for the time. And no, we don't grow pears that big down here. Those are ceramic ones by artist Paul Nelson.
I'd probably take my evening cocktail and sit in that Regency chair every evening in order to gaze out at that view!
The bathroom and what looks like a John Dickinson stool.
(All images from Southern Accents, Spring 1981, Paul G. Beswick photographer.)