Eclectic Chic
By Karen Parr-Moody

GasLamp’s “Front Collaboration Booth” takes on vibrant life under designer Jason Parker Counce’s creative direction, and this month it is done up in what he calls "Eclectic Chic."
"It's like Victorian meets modern eclectic," he says. "It's more of a well-traveled look, very picked up here and there. It's posh and comfortable and pulled together."

Slipped in among the various furnishings is a mix of metals and carved woods and fancy blended with simple. Counce veered away from an overdone look, where one "shows off all of their possessions." But he wanted the room to feel pulled together, so he kept enough structure in the mix to achieve that look. As always, the booth inspires shoppers to put together a look with items from various booths.
The booth illustrates the notion of the personal details, where one blends handcrafted and beautifully made objects with those that are slightly worn, such as the bowl of baseballs in the photo, left ($85).

"The collection, that's a simple trick you can do if you group anything in multiples to make it look a little more significant," Counce says. That was originally a trick devised by the late Albert Hadley, the designer from Springfield, Tenn., who designed for clients with top-drawer names such as Rockefeller, Astor and Whitney.

Counce also loves what he calls the "Americana nostalgia" of old baseballs used in a vignette.

The Victorian sofa carved out of walnut is another fabulous touch that proves that a bit of finery amid the modernity can blend into a cohesive whole (photo, right; $695; includes sofa and two matching chairs; Booth B-105).  

"I like the lines," Counce says of the sofa. "I think Victorian can look really modern in the right setting. It is a little 'grandmother,' but now everyone's lacquering the wood and it's giving it a whole new vibe."

While this piece is not lacquered, it shows the beautiful, original walnut. That is part of its charm: This piece is move-in ready.

"You can just pick it up and put it in your loft," Counce says. "And the fabric is in great condition. That color would have been done in the '40s or '60s."

The banner in the photo, left, takes on some more of that American vibe that Counce loves for this look.

"It's still patriotic, yet it's not an American flag," he says. "It makes it more interesting."

With a portrait of President George Washington in the center, this banner does take on a patriotic twist. It is, in fact, from a Knights Templar organization in Washington, Indiana.
An interior done up in the Eclectic Chic style that Counce espouses is artfully arranged, despite looking organic. And there is a lot of warmth mixed in with the symmetry. For example, Counce puts bohemian prop onto a neat surface with the camel hair rug on a dining room table. This is a North African handwoven rug from the 1940s ($195; Booth S-104) on top of a painted dining room table with six chairs ($1,000; Booth B-150). 

 "Here I show that you don't have to use a rug on the floor," says Counce. "You can use it on the table as well to give it a more fall-ish warmth."

What's wonderful about Eclectic Chic is that it makes for a personal and creative home that simply oozes ambience. There is no "what is right and proper" in this equation. Just blend in polished items with those that are well-worn and you have just the right formula.


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