What’s inspiring designer James Wheeler right now

Beachy, sophisticated items inspired by the Bahamas
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James Wheeler's moody blues

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

A Georgia native, Wheeler founded J. Wheeler Designs in 2012 after a decade of experience in residential interiors. His classic-meets-contemporary style has been injected into small and large scale spaces throughout Atlanta and the Southeast. He believes the home should be a “haven and the primary centerpiece for life’s moments.” His work has been featured in national shelter magazines such as Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Real Simple, and Rue.

“There are two places in the world that I love: Paris and Harbour Island. My family started going to that spot in the Bahamas several years ago. It’s a magical and nostalgic place for me. I love visiting in the early spring, when the doldrums have set in here in Atlanta. These items have a sophisticated, beachy vibe that remind me of that special place.”

Vestal table
Vestal Table

Photograph by Gary Moran

The base looks like a fishing basket. Vestal Table with smoke glass, round, John Lyle, johnlyledesign.com

Peacock feather
“Plumas” and Ombre Tassel Fringe

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

The peacock feather’s vibrant blues reflect the blues of the water. “Plumas” and Ombre Tassel Fringe, both by Osborne & Little, Ainsworth-Noah, ainsworth-noah.com

Coghlin Ceramics
Keiko Coghlin’s ceramics

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Keiko Coghlin’s ceramics have a texture like coral. Matilda Morgan Ceramics, matildamorganceramics.com

Wallcovering
Wallcovering

Photograph courtesy of Phillip Jeffries

To me, this wallcovering exactly reflects the colors of the island. The blush tones look like the island’s pink sand. “Beyond,” Phillip Jeffries, phillipjeffries.com

Turquoise ring
Turquoise pawn jewelry

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Family heirloom turquoise pawn jewelry from the 1950s.

Harbour Island coral
Harbour Island coral

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

These are bits of Harbour Island coral I’ve collected over the years.

Sconce
Sconce

Photograph courtesy of Fuse Lighting

This sconce hangs like fishing line. Geneva sconce in polished nickel, Fuse Lighting, fuselighting.com

Opera glasses
Opera glasses

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

At the island, I often carry a pair of opera glasses for scanning the horizon.

Pendant light
Pendant

Photograph courtesy of Stone Yard

This pendant looks like a buoy. Vidra Pendant Light, Stone Yard, stoneyardinc.com

Joli boucle
“Joli” bouclé

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

“Joli” bouclé in teal, Holland & Sherry, R Hughes, r-hughes.com

This article originally appeared in our Spring 2017 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.

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