Do you have a favorite spot in your house? Of course--we all do. A window over the kitchen sink with a wide shelf for plants, an armchair that fits the frame just perfectly, a bookshelf full of loved books, a deck with a view of the garden. And it's those favorite places and things that make our homes really suit us and give us reasons to spend time there.
This issue of Casa takes up the subject of favorite things with a special flair.
Kate Dobbs Ariail writes about a contemporary designer, craftsman and artist whose graceful designs fulfill the ideal of "elegance that arises from the perfect conjunction of form and function." Bill Neville, of Caseworks, located in Carrboro, is in the business of creating custom-designed furniture that will stand the test of time. Ariail argues convincingly that putting money into handmade furniture is a better investment than buying a fancy car. And once you see Neville's work, we're sure you'll agree.
Frank Hyman introduces David Dreifus, a Raleigh lawyer, who, in his other incarnation, fashions furniture in the Shaker style--with an emphasis on respect for the grain of the wood, rather than fancy ornamentation. Dreifus also builds and plays guitars. He's finding that his woodworking and his lawyering are complementary, providing both intellectual stimulation and the satisfaction of meeting creative challenges.
I visited Sandee Washington, muralist and furniture painter, who treats her art as an extension of her interest in people, in that her works reflect to her clients an accurate and inspirational image of themselves.
About an hour's drive north of Raleigh lies the small town of Milton, population about 400, once the home of famed African-American furniture maker Thomas Day. Beth Livingston traveled to Milton recently to bring back the story of this unusual historical figure, a man clearly ahead of his time, whose exceptional craftsmanship and innovative designs resulted in works that are in great demand by collectors today. Livingston brings you up to speed on the places where Day's work may be seen--and tells you about the current efforts to restore the tavern that was both his home and workshop.