By Patricia Sheridan
HIGH POINT, N.C.
She comes from a long line of artists.
Dana Gibson’s great-grandfather, Charles Dana Gibson, painted the famous “Gibson Girls,” at the turn of the last century. Her mother and grandmother were both artists and her great aunt, Nancy Lancaster, owned the design firm Colfax and Fowler. Gibson is continually reminded of her heritage as she admires portraits painted by her great-grandfather that hang in her home in Richmond, Va.
With such an illustrious background, it seems she was destined to be a designer. In her case, her canvas is a collection of upholstered furniture that she introduced at the Fall International Furniture Market in High Point. Her line of sofas, ottomans, beds and chairs for the MT Company (Miles Talbott) are in stores now.
“I was actually trying not to become an artist because I didn’t want to be depressed and struggling. That is what I thought it was,” she said, laughing. “I have always wanted to make things that bring a sense of joy to people’s lives.”
She began her career in ceramics and is a fan of the decorative arts. Before her upholstery collection, there were the lamps, trays and other home furnishing accessories.
Gibson was discovered by Stroheim, a wallpaper and textiles company that was attracted to her use of bright color. She remembers the first time she saw her designs as fabric and wallpaper.
“I was at Stroheim, and I got to choose the color combinations for the designs. It was wonderful, like being in a candy store,” she said. “When I first saw it in the books, it was so exciting.”
She is using the Peregrin pattern in her front hall with picture molding.
“I never thought I would be so in love with it,” she said. “It’s basically a modern toile.”
Gibson also has a coral pattern. She said she used to wonder when coral would go out of style but has come to see it as a classic pattern.
“We did it in five different colors. Its large scale is what makes it strong, bold and powerful.”
For the upholstery collection, she was very hands-on, choosing all of the frames and paying close attention to details such as nail heads, carving, tape, trim and lines.
“In my own decorating, I love getting the old French sette or old carved chair and mixing it with a modern bold design.”
Although she is focused on how the furniture looks, she said she was happy to find products are “even comfortable!” Her collection is nice blend of classic and modern, giving it a fresh appeal.