Like a plot out of a romantic comedy, Daniel Soder randomly wandered into Jayme Armour’s Virginia-Highland home furnishings store, Armour & Company, looking for decorating help. But over the course of a few years, their creative collaboration grew into a love story. And while Jayme has since closed her retail store to focus on custom design, she and Daniel have merged forces—and decorative styles—at his Midtown cottage, where they now live with four dogs and two cats.
Although only about 1,800 square feet, the house is packed floor to ceiling with meaningful treasures. “The chandelier in the dining room was one of the first things we chose together,” says Jayme. “His request was for me to find something ‘trippy’ that reminded him of Asia.” The cascading floral fixture visually hints at their diverse backgrounds—his years as a creative director in the Far East, and hers growing up near the white-sand beaches and modern architecture of Florida’s Gulf Coast. “After we got the chandelier, the entire room grew around that piece,” she says.
Because the dining room is square, Jayme added a round Saarinen table to Bertoia chairs Daniel already owned. Silk wallpaper resembling travertine marble provides a dramatic backdrop to the iconic modern furnishings, particularly since it was applied in large-scale geometric patterns.
In the adjacent living room, each object tells a story. “We’ve given every room a complete overhaul, but Daniel already had a few key pieces we wanted to use,” says Jayme. “He inherited the George Nakashima coffee table from his father, who actually hand-selected the slab at Nakashima’s studio.” Grasscloth adds texture to walls filled with art the two have collected over the years.
Jayme acknowledges that this room is all about “more is more,” particularly the combination of patterned fabrics and rugs. “I’ve always loved pattern, but this room definitely took it to a whole new level,” she says. “When mixing patterns on any project, I usually start with one or more amazing, can’t-live-without-it fabrics and then look for others that will balance them.” Here she combined Tony Duquette “Tibetan Sun” fabric and Neisha Crosland “Hedgehog” curtains—adding leopard print and batik for good measure. Sisal covers the hardwood, but then Jayme layered on colorful area rugs, many collected during Daniel’s years abroad. She jokes that he developed a “rug fetish” while living in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Bangkok.
The living room’s streamlined brass light fixture came after everything else was in place. “I like its modern, understated appeal,” she says. “I think you want to zig and then zag.”
The couple’s favorite space? A side porch they call the “get low” room, where wall-to-wall floor cushions and pillows guarantee comfort. “Daniel’s concept for the space was that it would double as a great venue for cocktails on a Friday night and a spot for reading on Sunday afternoon,” Jayme explains. Although the lounging area was designed to hold as many as 14 people, the couple’s pets particularly like the setting. “All the animals love to hang out in here,” says Jayme, “so it’s impossible to keep it totally dog-hair-free.”
Different architecture might have inspired Jayme to go in another direction, she says. But a cocoon-like setting of dark colors and textural elements seemed to fit their cozy quarters. “I found that the more I layered, the more authentic the house seemed,” says Jayme.
Interior design Jayme Armour Interiors, jaymearmour.com; Landscaping David Ellis, Ellis Landesign, 404-261-8488; Porch Mirror: Made Goods, madegoods.com. Wall paint: New Moon by Pratt & Lambert, prattandlambert.com. Fabrics: “Hedgehog” by Neisha Crosland, neishacrosland.com; “Tibetan Sun” by Tony Duquette for Jim Thompson, jimthompsonfabrics.com. Custom cushions: Marla Henderson Design, marlahenderson.com. Dining room Chandelier: Flowerfall by Oly, olystudio.com. Wallpaper: “Ponti” by Fromental, fromental.co.uk. Neon sculpture: Karen Tauches, ktauches.com. Living room Light fixture: Arrow by Apparatus Studio, apparatusstudio.com. Guest room Light fixture: Coral by David Trubridge, davidtrubridge.com.
This article originally appeared in our Winter 2015 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.