Jon Taylor (standing) and Jim Prout (sitting) of Blue Face Designs. Photo by Isaac Harrell
A summer vacation to Amsterdam inspired the tone of Carytown's new home-décor boutique in the space formerly occupied by Millstone Antiques. "All the shops there are very crisp and clean," co-owner Jon Taylor says of the European influence behind Blue Face Designs. An interior designer with more than 30 years of experience, Taylor owned home-décor shop Silk Jungle in Carytown from 1989 to 2001, but he says customers should expect something more contemporary with his latest venture. "[Silk Jungle] was a heavier look," Taylor says. "I like to keep everything streamlined now."
Past the shop's glass enclosed front porch, bookshelves display art deco clocks and furniture renderings. Black-and-white photography of Richmond buildings adorns the boutique's "Tiffany blue" walls. The ground floor of the 1,600-square-foot shop operates as a display area for furniture and home décor from around the world, while the second floor carries interior-design elements such as window treatments and area rugs. "We can do from a shell to the full-scale house," Taylor says of the interior-design component of the small business.
For the 10 years leading up to opening the shop on Nov. 18, Taylor and co-owner Jim Prout, a master carpenter, flipped houses in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, Fla. "My design sense really changed being down there," Taylor says, referencing the store's tropical sailboat mobiles and shimmering fish prints. They returned to Richmond after the decline in the real estate market, and Taylor says affordable pieces are a key element to his new shop. Home accessories and artwork range in price from $20 to $1,150. "I used to carry very high-end only, and with the economy, I think it's changing," Taylor says.