A girl and her dollhouse (my early love affair with custom made)
Every Thursday, interior designer Sally Henninger shares her thoughts on design, furniture and the custom made world.
Like many passions, my love of interior design began at an early age. After receiving a dollhouse from an older cousin, I remember the excitement of being able to pick the furnishings and have something of my own that I could design from the ground up. Months later I had wallpapered, electrified, and spent weekends scouring for miniature custom made furniture. Even my father got involved, making me some artwork using a Sotheby’s catalog and some balsa wood which he had gilded. While most kids were out riding bikes, I was thrilled to find a miniature mahogany highboy with brass hardware.
Besides decorating my dollhouse on weekends, I also took to rearranging my mother’s house when she would leave to do errands. I would enlist the help of my older brother and we would move antiques up from the basement and I would spend hours rearranging my room as if I were getting ready for a House Beautiful photo shoot.
I eventually grew up and became a real designer but never forgot those early lessons – nothing compares to custom made. Unlike something you find in a catalog, when you have something custom you have something unique, something that fits perfectly into your space.
On one of my latest projects I wanted the lightest shade of blue with a grayish hint to it. Not one paint company had exactly what I wanted so I knew I would need to do the mixing myself. A touch of cream paint, a touch of blue and so on, and after a few hours I had the perfect color. Everyone that saw the room wanted to know where to get the color, but it was a one of a kind!
For those of us decorating full-size homes, we should always think custom. You can have something made for any purpose, in any configuration, in any style. I am loving these Louis XVI chairs by J Rivers Furniture & Millwork.
More updated and not too uptight and formal like some Louis furniture can be. How amazing would they be in a living room or flanking a buffet in a dining room?! Beautiful.
About Sally Henninger
Born in Newport, Rhode Island, Sally learned to cultivate her design aesthetic at an early age. After attending Boston University and holding numerous design internships, she ventured out on her own in 2007. Her style is sophisticated classics with an updated sensibility. Her taste lends itself to classic interiors that are timeless and suited to her clients’ needs.