Charlotte Interior Designer Successfully Combines Traditional Elements With Clean Lines And A Fresh Modern Feel

Posted on | April 27, 2015 | No Comments

Every designer’s approach is different, and reflects their nuanced and complex individual aesthetic. A good example of this can be found in Dickey Choate, owner of the Charlotte interior design firm, Upscale Urban Design. Dickey’s dynamic, upbeat personality and love of all things different and new shines through in her bold designs, which layer traditional elements with clean lines, a fresh modern feel, and wonderfully original touches of artistry. North Carolina Design talked to Dickey to find out more about her distinctive and upscale approach to design.

Images Courtesy of Upscale Urban Design ©

Dickey begins each project with a needs analysis. “At our first meeting, we have a conversation about what the client wants most to achieve,” she explains. “We talk about their pain points and priorities, and how they will drive the project. Do they want to tackle the whole house, or do one room at a time? Do they have an at-home wedding coming up? Are they more concerned about the public areas of the home, or the more personal spaces?”

True to form, Dickey embraces the newest methods of putting design ideas together for clients. “In the old-timey days we would do color boards,” “Now I can create online concept boards. I love it – I can drag and drop images of furniture, fixtures, lighting, draperies, etc., from the internet. The homeowners can write on the board, and tell me what works for them and what doesn’t.”

Collaborating with clients is always essential for a successful design outcome. “It might take a couple of tries, but as long as you communicate and work together, you can ensure that they are getting the look they want,” Dickey asserts. She admits that she does sometimes push her clients a bit to help them imagine new possibilities. “I try to introduce them to new ways of thinking, and give them some options that are innovative and unique. That’s what personalizes their home and sets it apart.”

Dickey is in an ideal position to introduce her clients to new ideas. “I have access to products that the public doesn’t,” she affirms. “I visit interior design showrooms that are only open to The Trade, and I subscribe to multiple trade journals, belong to multiple design forums, and follow multiple design blogs. I’m always on top of everything that’s going on in the market, and I’m constantly looking for new resources for my clients.”

Dickey’s passion for all things new and interesting complements, rather than competes with her respect for tradition. “I do love the classics, but I like to mix things up,” she notes. “I like to combine traditional and modern aesthetics to create something new. For example, I once took an old chair that belonged to a client’s grandmother and upholstered it in zebra skin fabric. Now what he has is edgy and innovative, but is still something of a family heirloom.”

Dickey has plenty of resources at the ready to create her eclectic designs. Urban Upscale boasts its own furniture shop, which produces high-quality custom furniture and upholstery. “We can literally make or modify anything,” she asserts. “It’s really fantastic, because it gives clients freedom to design their own furniture. And, because we have no overhead and no manufacturing costs, they end up with custom items, handmade by high-end craftsmen, at a very affordable price.”

Dickey acknowledges that, while she has earned a die-hard client base, her bold design aesthetic isn’t an across-the-board fit for all homeowners. “I’m not for everyone,” she concedes. “But if you like my work, and if you’re looking for a design that’s new, a little edgy and a little outside the box, I’m ready. Let’s do this.”

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