Monday, April 5, 2010

Celebrating the Ruralist Aesthetic with Bill Ingram

Well anyone who knows anything about me, knows I love a "barefoot" approach to luxury and none fits this ideal better than one of my personal favorite architects/designers, Mr Bill Ingram.  A native of Alabama, lngram is a fellow southerner, and as I recently discovered and much to my glee, also a fellow honorary Bahamian, Ingram's homes always ooze charm, seemingly executed with ease and grace and not the least bit forced.  You can just imagine how elated I am that he is every bit as gracious as the homes he designs and made himself available to be interviewed by yours truly...can you say beaming;)

 Below are a few images of various projects he has designed:

Image courtesy of Southern Accents

 Image courtesy of Southern Accents

 Image courtesy of Southern Accents

 Image courtesy of Southern Accents

 Image courtesy of Southern Accents

Image courtesy of Southern Accents

Now on to the conversation...

Jaime Rogers:  When I think Bill Ingram, the three words which immediately come to mind are: well appointed, relevant and charming.  What methods do you employ to bring such consistent charm to your projects?

Bill Ingram:  Well first off I like to think that I can bring comfort to a house by
using appropriate and thoughtful furnishings to compliment the architecture.
The house may start off this way in spirit, but I think of the interiors as
an extension of this and not just filling up space.   I'll arrange a
furniture plan at the same time I design the house, usually with specific
pieces in mind.  I've moved into houses that looked just about as good on
the first night as the did after settling in. Some things you explicitly
plan for and some things you play with and massage.  That can really help
keep everything from looking too arranged  and brings a relaxed feeling.

JR:  Where do you seek and find inspiration for your work?

BI:  If anything I am a classic eclecticist a little like the English who
always threw in a little French or Chinese in the mix.  If I really like
something I run across I'll get it, but I'll tell you at the same time that
it won't work if it is something kooky. That would be the first thing you'll
want to get rid of when the novelty wears off.

JR:  How do you go about kick starting your design process?

BI:  I usually am able to start off with a property that the owners or the
owners and I have selected.  I think the land tells you everything.
Sometimes a difficult property can afford you a better house by forcing you
to be more creative. If the project is a renovation it is usually a house
that isn't living up to its potential, usually through bad additions or lack
of  thought.  So we'll tap into what the house wants to be.

JR:  Which architects and designers do you follow?  And why?

BI:  Honestly most of the architects and designers I like are all long gone,
but the houses that have stood untouched or memorialized in old books that
exemplify a single vision are always the ones that attract me.

JR:  Sadly, our newstands are no longer graced with the presence of Southern Accents; however, you seemingly had a great working relationship with them, would you mind sharing how that came about?
BI:  The demise of Southern Accents has been sad for so many people who enjoy
houses and design. The magazine had just gotten better and better. I think
from the outset I had a connection and mutual respect with the magazine

JR:  Are there any new or upcoming projects you would like to share with us...if only in concept?

BI:  I am asked that all the time and every project in this office starts
with me personally and so I am constantly refreshed with a new challenge.
Sometimes these build on a previous house a client has seen, but often my
clients are vague about the "style" they want - leaving that up to me.  I
love it!  When they jump in with some degree of trust, then I have that same
trust of them and am challenged exponentially to give them something beyond
their expectations.

JR:   What are 5 things Bill Ingram can not live without?


1.  My lake house at Lake Martin (click this link for an inside peek!) and all the friends who consider it their house too. 

2.  The Mahogany Grand-Craft for boating around on the lake. (Which I later found was custom made, complete with white and beige leather seating piped in burgundy with outdoor seagrass flooring!  He stated that it simply would not be feasible to build an all wood home and then have a plastic boat...I knew I loved this man, lol.)  I am guessing this may be the beauty we spoke of:

3.  My Bentley to get me to the lake.  

4.  Sadly, my iPhone, which might as well be surgically implanted.  

5.  Lastly Harbour Island at Christmas and New Year's, there is no place better.

 And finally Mr Ingram's favorite picks from DOXA Home;)

Doxa Home has so many beautiful pieces it is hard to decide on five, but I love the Geoffrey sofa

The Lorraine Tufted Chair

The Vintage Inspired Reflecting Sconce

The Caned Colonial Bench 

And the fantastic Madeira Four Post bed!

Please do not forget in celebration of the Ruralist Collection we are running an online sale through this Sunday, 15% off all orders over $500, simply enter the code, BI15, at checkout and your discount will be applied!

And finally many, many thanks to Mr Ingram, it was such a pleasure!  We anxiously await your next project...



Tina Steele Lindsey said...

Absolutely classic and solid, an amazing and gifted man in every respect.

Karen Carroll said...

Bill is an incredible talent and a true gentleman. We were fortunate to feature his work in Southern Accents many times over the years. And in addition to his beautiful houses, I can confirm how fabulous and fun his boat is too. Nice interview, Jaime!

Hamptontoes said...

Wow, those are some gorgeous homes on the outside and his touch on the inside does not disappoint...perfection!!!

Things That Inspire said...

WOW - I loved this interview, and getting to know more about Bill Ingram. His work is incredibly beautiful! I follow him on Facebook, and love it whenever new pictures are posted.

I love the term - "classic eclecticist" - this perfectly captures what I like the best about classic architecture with an American interpretation; when it draws from the best of different traditions, and blends them to work with each other and be at ease. It takes a great architect to be able do this effectively.

oh my ghodsi! said...

lovely interview!
Keep them coming!!

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Jaime - 4 thumbs way up. Your questions that you asked the magnificently talented Mr. Ingram were great ones and really brought out this mans personality. He indeed seems so charming and his architectural & design talents have such timeless style and distinction. I would be in such awe in his presence as well. His remark in regards to his sometimes designing a furniture arrangement plan @ the time of designing the house reminded me much of Frank Lloyd Wright. Was he also not famous for sneaking into his clients homes & re-arranging the furniture has he saw fit? I also remember an architect (name eludes me) who was famous for his mid-century modern structures who built furniture into the home. Architects who think to that degree above & beyond the structure itself truly impress me.
I truly enjoyed this post and keep up the great interviews! xoxo

Sanity Fair said...

Wow - his work is so lovely. I'm also a Southerner, so delighted to find another talented designer in our midst!

Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll said...

Such a great interview. Just love Bill's work. Hope you are well. I've been so busy and out of touch but trying to make all my rounds to my favorites.

Have a great week!


Lila said...

Love the architecture of these homes. They're gorgeous, luxurious, and classic. I love that he picked the Lorraine Tufted Chair. One of my faves!
Lila Ferraro
Queen Bedroom Sets

my favorite and my best said...

great interview jamie...what an inspiration.
and i am dying over that bed...DYING!!! in fact i want to die IN it.

Love Where You LIve said...

thanks for that! I'm starting a little file on stone houses, and so I pulled the one using stone and wood from above. NIce post -- and how fun for you, too.

Renae said...

I love Bill Ingram's work. I first came to 'know' him when his Lake Martin home was published. My kind of living!


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