Meet Julianne from Taylor Burke Home!
Good morning! I’m excited to introduce another amazing guest to my “Guess who’s dropping in for coffee” series. I had the pleasure of meeting Julianne Taylor of Taylor Burke Home at The Southern Coterie Summit this year. She told me about her boutique furniture company and that her studio was located in Mount Pleasant, SC. What?!!??! I live in Mount Pleasant, and I had no clue! So, after a fun lunch when I learned so much about this amazing woman, she allowed me to come over, interview her and snap some photos of her beautiful pieces.
So, grab a cup of coffee and join me!
Q: Tell me your story. Where did this all begin, and how did you get here?
I received my degree in design from UGA & Parsons. My MBA is in Human Resources. I started in Atlanta doing commercial design, and then after graduate school had a whole career in Human Resources with PepsiCo before I got married. My husband’s career with General Motors took us to Australia, where I found a renewed passion for my first love– DESIGN. We moved several times to places such as Spain, China and Korea, where I enjoyed a home-based interior design business in all of these inspiring places.
Q: When did furniture come into the picture?
I got the bug to make furniture when I was living in Shanghai. So many of my interior design clients needed custom furniture, and there are so many manufacturing resources in China. I really enjoyed the custom side of furniture design, and this sparked my passion to start Taylor Burke Home– a boutique furniture company that sells to the trade. We also still work with interior design clients through Julianne Taylor Interiors. Each business funnels through to the other as many of our interior design clients want to purchase Taylor Burke Home furniture.
Q: Tell me something most people would not know about you?
I speak Mandarin – not fluently – but enough to get around. I call it “Survival Mandarin”. I also have a guilty pleasure of watching reality shows on Bravo– Real Housewives, Million Dollar Listing, etc.
Q: Tell me when you felt like people noticed you?
After we moved our furniture manufacturing to the US at the end of 2012, two of our largest customers– One Kings Lane and Jayson Home stumbled upon us at Atlanta Market in January, 2013. I think that was the moment I felt like I was onto something. People really responded to our bold use of color and geometric shapes, and the fact that we are made in the USA. We’ve worked hard to source the best local manufacturers and eco-friendly materials to become members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. It’s important to us to product luxurious, super-comfortable furniture while also guarding the planet’s resources.
Q: What was your inspiration for the Kings Grant chair?
I was in Paris shopping for a Korean client in the Saint Ouen market. I saw these chairs and fell in love. They were for my client, but I had to keep them for myself! They were not the most comfortable, and the original cane seating was broken. I loved the lines of this chair, so I revamped the dimensions, added a nice pitch to the back, and put in a super comfortable upholstered seat… and that is your Kings Grant chair!
Q: Where are all of the names from for your logo and your products?
The company is named after my sister and me. Lauren Burke is based in Charlotte, NC and we work together at all of the Taylor Burke Home tradeshows. Not only do we have great fun– it is wonderful quality “sister” time away from our hubbies and kids for a few days. We like to name our pieces after family members or places we’ve been. Our “Kelly” Collection is one of our most popular items, and it’s named after Lauren’s husband.
Q: What is your design inspiration?
I’m always inspired by Fashion Week. I love how elements in fashion can translate to home decor so easily. I usually find that whatever is shown on the runways makes it into home décor within 12-18 months. We look to see what colors are hot– but we always look at ways to translate it into realistic and beautiful designs. For example, the hot color this year is orchid– but we pushed it a bit further to fuschia. We are showing it with navy, turquoise, and emerald– super hot!! Sometimes a literal translation of the “color of the year” can be a challenge to incorporate into your home– as is the case with Orchid.
Q: What is your favorite color?
I love color, period. I design things I love and what I want in my own home. I like over sized geometrics, bold colors and mixing patterns. On the interior design side of our business– clients that want a “restoration hardware” type of look are very hard for me as I struggle to insert color somewhere into the project.
Q: What are your top three favorite pieces in your collection?
My favorites are all pieces that we’ve designed. The Tribeca Brass Console is a collaboration with The Detroit Wallpaper guys. Anytime we meet other folks that have exciting and new ideas– we look for ways to collaborate. This console design incorporates their fun geometric decals on our glass side panels. I also adore our Gregg Park spindle coffee table as we designed it as a take-off on the very popular spindle chair. Thirdly, I love the whole Kelly Collection. The sleek lines of these brass and chrome designs are so versatile.
Q: What is your favorite Southern meal?
I have two favorite meals, depending on the season:
Winter – slow roasted beef pot roast with gravy and rice.
Summer – fried chicken, biscuits, mac and cheese and broccoli casserole.
Q: How would you spend your day off?
I would love to sit on the porch, drink tea, catch up with the hubs, watch the kids play and maybe read a magazine OR shopping in some antique flea market to prowl junk finds. Family is very important to me. Some of our counterparts will ask why we don’t do all of the tradeshows. We never started this business to be “tradeshow junkies”. I need time with my kids. As a result, I’ve missed (show) opportunities, but I’m OK with that. Right now we show in High Point, Atlanta, and we are thinking of adding Vegas to our show schedule. NY, Dallas, Chicago, etc. will have to wait– unless I can clone myself!
Q: What magazines can I find on your coffee table?
Southern Living, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor & Better Homes and Gardens
Q: Tell me about your design style.
I approach design the way I dress. It’s all about the accessories and the mix. A room should look collected, and not everything has to be “high-end”. I can throw on a GAP black t-shirt with a Chanel necklace, and my approach to interior design is the same. One good piece can really make a statement.
Locals, you can see the Taylor Burke Home line at Domain Interiors and Design on Coleman Blvd!
I hope you join me next week when I have another amazing guest drop in for coffee! Questions for Julianne?