Category Archives: Home Furnishings

Splurge | In Search of the Big “O”

Big OFollowing a tour of Bert King’s mid-century addition at Asheville High School I stopped in to visit Robert at Splurge. It was a long, cold winter and the rumor was he had just what I needed — a big O — in neon. As if one wasn’t enough he has a dozen more set to hit the gallery tomorrow. Better get in line! Robert is Asheville’s King of Upcylcing and he is the guy many folks look to for artful additions and rustic theatrics to their interiors. He is consulting and adding his vision to several downtown restaurants today.

Wanting more? Click here or stop by his gallery behind the Wedge studios in the River Arts District. Tell him Troy sent you!

Finding Heather Knight

I’ve been a fan of Heather Knight ceramics for years. Her work was one of the main reasons I would walk into the Woolworth Gallery. Her organic shapes and colors seemed fresh and modern mixed in with the more earthy crafts. When I hold them I’m fondly reminded of California pottery. My good intentions to look her up for a story were circumvented by time and travel. On Thursday, while dropping off some real estate flyers I stumbled upon her studio. Seriously? Where have I been to miss her big storefront and studio space. I’m loosing ground in keeping up with the rapid evolution of the River Arts development.HK comp

Truly, there isn’t much more that I can add that you can’t find out by visiting her website or going to her working studio and peronally saying hello yourself. Now that I know where the Heather Knight mothership is {362 Depot St} I’ll be dropping by more often myself. See you there! Troyheatherknight56382238062

K2 Studios: Locally Made Tables

While enjoying a beautiful fall day in downtown Asheville I stopped in at K2 Studios for some retail exploration. The home furnishings retailer offers a creative and eclectic mix that makes for fun wandering. My question to Kim Hubbard, the Creative Director, was, “Do you have anything locally made?” I did discover that they offer these custom concrete and steel tables that can be made into everything from small accessory tables, desks and kitchen islands. Often, they will work with local architects to design integrated furnishings.

K2 Comp

The custom tables are hand-made by local craftsman Billy Sproul. To find out more about Billy and his relationship with K2 Studios click here.

Enjoy your day,



Red CHair

Roger and I were on a mission this past Saturday to find a craftsman to fabricate a modern daybed for our office. Chris McMillan’s latest adaptation of his showroom, Dwellings, offers a variety of home furnishing vendors within one store that specialize in eclectic, modern and industrial style furnishings. Not expecting to walk in and find exactly what we wanted, we stopped by to see if there was someone who could make us something custom to fit our specific needs. Two hours later a rental truck was following us home with our new industrial daybed. Cool!


As always, I was impressed with the well curated collection assembled by Chris and others. Its a shopping experience that offers a sense of discovery, an inspiration for good design and great values. (Don’t miss the lamp shades!) If I don’t leave having purchased something I always leave with a smile on my face given my experience as a customer. Haven’t been? Click here for details.


Simply-Stated Contemporary Design

I finally stopped in to meet Barbara Zaretsky today at her studio in the Cotton Mills.  I have seen her work in shops and magazines and was an instant fan of her simple and sophisticated patterns and color palette.  They lend themselves to a clean modern environment of Asheville which is why many interior designers visit her to consult on projects.

All of BZDesign’s home furnishings and wearable accessories are hand-dyed and block-printed.  The are made with natural fibers, plant dyes and textile paints making each piece subtly unique.  Furthermore, she uses “Peace” silk which is silk created by a humane process allowing the silk moths to emerge from their cocoons and live out their full life cycle.  Because the silk fiber has been broken into many smaller strands by the emerging moth, the harvested silk is spun similar to cotton or linen, instead of being reeled.  The resulting yarn is soft, fluffy and light as a cloud.

At her studio in the River Arts District her silk fabrics are washed, mordanted, dyed and printed.  To achieve the natural earthy palette, she uses concentrated plant extracts from a variety of plants including osage orange, madder root and walnut.

After the fabric is dyed and rinsed, it is folded, clamped and dyed again.  The next layer of surface design is created by hand, block-printing or embroidery.  Each piece is then either hand or machine-sewn into pillows, wall pieces, scarves and dresses.

Overall, the work at BZDesign reflects many of the core values we aspire to in Asheville’s modern lifestyle; simplicity, sustainability and sophistication in design.

k2 studio – HOME redefined

“Take uncommon materials – corrugated cardboard, styrofoam – cut into dramatic shapes, multiply and illuminate from within.”

That is how k2 studio on College St downtown describes these new lamps available for sale in their shop.  They caught my eye from the street and I was drawn in to investigate.  k2 is an exclusive supplier of these lamps that retail for under $250.

Sky, who works at k2, says this about the lamps, “We obviously love the fact that these lights are so unusual and eco friendly at the same time. All materials are selected w/ environmental responsibility in mind. The steel used is 85% recycled, cardboard is 100% recycled and the plywood comes from responsibly farmed new growth timbers. All the hardwoods come from drop cuts from board manufacturing that were destined for the landfill. Also, these lights are manufactured using CNC technology, so there is very little waste involved in the finished product.  Plus, they are just really cool and they fit the stylish and eco-friendly vibe that abounds in Asheville.”

I say they are very cool and worth a visit!

Article by Troy Winterrowd

Four Corners Home – Warehouse Sale

Attention everyone! 
Four Corners is having their first ever warehouse sale at their Biltmore store on March 6 & 7.  Michael says,”we have got some great items from Four Corners and Mobilia and all clearance items are at least 50% off.  In addition, everyone attending the sale will get a voucher for 20% off any special orders or instock purchases made that weekend at Four Corners and Mobilia.  All in all, a great time to save some money.”

Modern spins French Industrial in Biltmore Park

Chris McMillan, owner of Dwellings in Biltmore Village, has opened a second location in Biltmore Park.   The 1700sqft storefront will include everything from upholstered furniture, large display pieces from India, home decor accessories and will soon have a dedicated lighting section.  Stylistically, Chris has taken a more traditional spin on modern.  He maintains a very neutral palette of whites, charcoals and metals, but throws in some traditional French inspired shapes to create a clean and comfortable look to interior styling.  

Mobilia Reinvented

Four Corners Home, Inc., a locally owned home furnishings business announces its forthcoming acquisition of Mobilia, a mainstay of downtown Asheville’s retail community.  Four Corners co-owner Michael Forde anticipates the purchase to be finalized in mid June.  Mobilia will then close for approximately thirty days for store up-fit and remerchandising and will reopen with a series of events to showcase the store’s new look and product line.


Mobilia’s history parallels downtown Asheville’s revitalization.  Architect Cynthia Turner opened the design/furnishings business in 2003 at 43 Haywood Street in the Smith Carrier Building, then recently renovated by downtown developer, Public Interest Projects, Inc.. The building, designed by Richard Sharp Smith, had served for years as the J C Penney department store.  When Ms. Turner returned to her architectural practice, Public Interest Projects acquired the business.  After exploratory conversations with Four Corners Home early this year piqued the interest of both parties, more serious discussions followed.  Pat Whalen, President of Public Interest Projects summarizes, “Four Corners Home possesses both strong retail experience, and a complementary design aesthetic, and their acquisition of Mobilia creates natural  economies of scale.  It will be good for the businesses and great for everyone in Asheville who values good design.”

Four Corners Home opened at Grove Arcade in 2004 and now occupies the largest retail unit in that landmark building.  In 2007 the business opened a second, larger location on Thompson Street in the Biltmore Village area and now attracts locals and out of town customers alike to both stores.  Four Corners features home furnishings and accessories from over thirty countries and focuses on a style they term “organic modern”.  Co-owner Bill Griffin defines the look as one incorporating clean, simple design and a variety of natural materials and textures.

For Mobilia, Four Corners plans changes which will make the store relevant to a broader range of shoppers. “The furniture will remain decidedly contemporary,” Griffin says, “but our gifts and accessories will be fresh and fun, appealing to everyone, regardless of their style preferences in furniture. Griffin adds, “Our goal is for customers to enjoy both Four Corners and Mobilia. If we see people carrying shopping bags from both stores, then we’ve succeeded.”  Forde and Griffin also hope to continue Mobilia’s close ties with Asheville’s creative community.  Both stores will continue to offer design services and home staging.

Michael Forde concludes, “We are committed to downtown and its retail community. With the addition of Mobilia we will certainly realize operating efficiencies for both businesses, but more importantly, we hope to contribute further to downtown Asheville’s vibrancy as a shopping destination.


Inspired Home Furnishingsintro-photo

Dwellings is an eclectic home furnishings store in Biltmore Station, along the river’s edge of Biltmore Village.  Owner, Chris McMillan, has been growing and nurturing his business for six years, having spent 20 years employed in the furniture business.  He expresses the style of his shop as “Soft Modern”.

When Dwellings first opened it featured smaller gift products.  After Chris started importing display pieces from India, the shop quickly evolved into a one-of-a-kind furniture showroom displaying upholstered furniture, modern lamps, industrial finds, large-scale graphic art and the original, hand-made display pieces manufactured in India.


It is apparent upon entering Dwellings that Chris has an eye for creating rooms that are both modern and fresh, yet reflect history and warmth.  The space feels more like a home than a retail shop with pieces that Chris has meticulously collected for the past several years.  Whether it is a simple sectional to anchor a living space, a 100 year-old industrial cart for coffee service, art books or your Doc Martin boots, it is a experience of discovery.  So, when you want to add comfort and a timeless quality to your new, modern condominium or a clean modern style to your craftsman home…his selection works. 

Recent Projects: Market Club and Tessier Assocs. Office at Capital Center in downtown Asheville.design1

Offerings and Services:  design services, free-local delivery, friendly customer service, great shopping environment and complete mix of products including custom upholstery.

What make Dwellings unique:  one-of-a-kind pieces – both new and old, custom designed and hand-made furnishings from India.  (text and photos by Troy Winterrowd)

Four Corners Home


Bill and Michael, owners of Four Corners Home, have gathered a smart, earthly collection of furnishings from the four corners of the globe.  Michael likes to describe their pieces as “Warm Modern”.  You’ll notice that their collection truly represents nature. They have found a great home in “planet conscious” Asheville.  In fact, they specialize in earth and people friendly products.  A great percentage of their furnishings focus on sustainable woods such as bamboo and rugs made in India manufactured without child labor using 100% New Zealand wool.

Starting seven years ago as importers of artisan handcrafts and accessories, the partners have gradually expanded their products to include a complete line of interior furnishings, from earth-toned fabrics, sparkling ocean glass, and an assortment of metals and wood grains.  Whether you are furnishing your downtown urban loft or cozy cabin in the woods Four Corners’ collection feels right at home in Asheville. 

Four Corners has two locations. One 3500sq/ft store in the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville, the other 5500 sq/ft location with their complete collection is behind Biltmore Station on the edge of the Biltmore Village where they recently opened a new section at called “The Loft”.  Here they are staging smaller scale furnishings to show buyers how to furnish smaller and more sustainable rooms. four-corners-loft-ensemble1


Recent Projects: Southern Living Show House with designer Tracy Kearns, The Ramble’s Hand-made House with designer Susan Neilson

Up-Coming Projects:  an eco-remodel photo shoot for WNC Magazine – by staff designer Talli Allen-Roberts, Sales Center inside the Grove Arcade for Residences at 151.

Offerings and Services:  design services, free-local delivery, friendly customer service, great shopping environment and complete mix of furnishings for all rooms of the home and office.

What makes Four Corners Home unique:  a large selection of sustainable furnishings, two convenient locations, ASID Interior Designer on staff, special services for industry trade, web-based sales.

(text and photos by Troy Winterrowd)