Fresh and modern with a twist on the traditional, Lindsey Coral Harper’s designs radiate bold pattern, texture and color. Shop pieces from her 2017 Southern Living Idea House, exclusively on Sotheby’s Home.
How did you discover your passion for design?
I grew up redecorating my room and saving my money to buy anything I could to put on my walls. I don’t mean anything fancy, I mean monthly trips with my tiny earned allowance to the Hallmark store to buy anything I could pin on the walls. I was often figuring out how to install my stuffed animals to my bedroom door artfully. I even insisted on having my own personal small Christmas tree each year, so I could decorate my room for the holidays. I think I’ve always had a passion for what I do.
What is your favorite decorative object at home?
There are too many to pick just one, but I do have this massive piece of white, cat paw coral on an antique decorative iron stand, which I found in Charleston — it’s the bee’s knees!
Can you pick your five favorite items you are consigning and tell a little bit about what makes them special?
The vintage yellow double X bench: when I found it, it was upholstered in velvet stripes with really old tassels all over it. The fabric combo was ghastly, but the shape was so great! I recovered it for the 2017 Southern Living Idea House on Bald Head Island, and it fit perfectly in a bathroom niche.
The green and white humpback settee came out of the original Shelter Harbor Inn in Rhode Island. I bought it last winter at auction and just had it recovered in Sister Parish. It is a great piece with a little bit of history. What’s not to love!
I love the pair of vintage yellow artichoke lamps — the oversized scale is so fun. They would be so great in a large family room.
I have an affinity for anything bamboo. The vintage bamboo desk is perfect as a side table between a pair of twin beds.
The small vintage light fixture with fruit is adorable in person. I really like to use unexpected and whimsical lighting, such as this hand-painted piece.
Is design an art or a science?
Trick question — it is both!! There is a definite art to design, which is obvious because not everyone can do it. But there is a lot of chemistry and science involved in textiles and understanding color. Let’s not forget the math portion — you have to have the right balance of everything, or your room will be a disaster!
Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
Not really. I love the unexpected color palette, but those combinations change all the time. Chartreuse and Prussian blue with something unexpected like red. I really like pink and reds together. Aubergine and acid green. I really love to mix and match prints, and you cannot go wrong with a stripe.
When do you consider a completed project a success?
When the client is happy!
Share your biggest design secret.
I have no idea!
What is the most common design mistake you see?
This is a tough question. Decorating isn’t as easy as you think — it’s so easy to make mistakes.
How do you balance style, comfort and functionality?
I think about the purpose of the room or space, and then figure out the layout for function. Style is the easy part — find great textiles for pillows and window treatments, and mix in some great art and accessories. If you want people to enjoy a space, you have to make it comfortable and interesting. Never make anything too precious if you want people to hang out in the room.
Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point? (ex: rug, artwork, statement piece, furniture)
I often start with the most dominant pattern in the room, the common denominator for balance, whether it’s the rug or a beautiful printed fabric. However, the most important piece in the room could be a piece of art or furniture, and that sometimes dictates your starting point.
What do you think about Sotheby’s Home?
I think it’s wonderful — long overdue! I especially love shopping for things that are previously owned/vintage, and the convenience of shopping for these online with Sotheby’s Home is so easy.