Based in Washington, D.C., this cerebral former lawyer turns out cool, calm, and collected spaces that are distinctive in their masculine rigor and minimal yet evocative atmospheres. They are full of smart neutral fabrics, dark-wood furniture with soulful patinas and strong silhouettes, and restrained accessories, often set against walls painted chalk-white to heighten the poetic effect.
His rooms and his furniture designs are spare without being austere.
In terms of color, Carter sticks to a mostly monochromatic palette that allows the antiques and unique objects he finds to take center stage. Upholstery is mostly washed linens and is casually comfortable. Pops of black accents are also one of Carter’s trademarks.
His book “The New Traditional” is one of decorating books for inspiration. Happily, this breed of “New Traditional” decor has been cropping up beyond Carter’s personal reach.
The rooms shown here all capture some of the essences of Carter’s style: Lots of antiques, including rich-hued wood case pieces and coffee tables paired with chairs and sofas with gracious curves and muted upholstery. And, like Carter’s rooms, many of these rooms play with vertical scale in a dramatic way (large statues or figures, for example, or boldly tall coffee tables). Finally, these rooms share Carter’s sense of calm and subdued beauty; elegant yet unfussy.