I was saddened to learn of the passing of designer Dan Carithers earlier this week. Known as a true southern gentleman, Carithers’ classic and timelessly beautiful interiors will continue to inspire the design world, and his legacy will endure. Today we pay tribute to a great designer who was also a great man.
From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, via Legacy.com: Dan was born and raised in Jefferson, GA. After attending UGA, he began his career at Rich’s Department Store rising to the position of Director of Fashion Merchandising. After 18 years, he opened his own design firm while remaining as a consultant for Rich’s in addition to Baker Furniture Co. He consulted on the Althrop Collection, inspired by the ancestral home of Earl Spencer, and designed a successful furniture collection, DC Designs, for Sherrill Furniture. He has been published in numerous magazines including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Southern Accents, Veranda, Metropolitan Home, House and Garden,Town and Country, Elle Decor, Traditional Home, and Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles. Greatly acknowledged by both his clientele and his profession as “the southern statesman of style”, Dan was recognized as a “Giant of Design” by House Beautiful as one of the top 125 decorators in America, and inducted into the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center’s Hall of Fame. He was named an Icon of Design by Traditional Home and honored with the Philip Shutze Award presented by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. He was awarded the Horizon Award for Innovation and Design by the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society of Atlanta.
Some of my favorite images of his work are below…
In 2016, Atlanta Magazine featured real estate images of “Maison des Bois,” which was for sale at the time. The estate was updated by architect Yong Pak and Dan Carithers and was also featured in the May-June 2005 issue of Southern Accents.
Here is the home as it was featured in the May-June 2005 issue of Southern Accents, images via Sue Murphy Designs.
Dan Carithers’ legacy continues with Atlanta designers including Margaret Kincaid and Heather Dewberry. In an interview I conducted with Kirkland in 2016 she said, “My old boss, Dan Carithers, was a huge inspiration, both in his aesthetic and his work ethic. I got to work for him for over six years, and I learned so much.” Dewberry was called to draw upon her experience with Carithers when decorating a Buckhead home featured in Traditional Home. “I told Heather that she’d have to replicate Dan’s best work in my house,” said the homeowner. Dewberry was happy to oblige, saying, “I pulled out all my best Dan tricks.”
Legacy.com reports tributes in Dan Carithers’ memory may be directed to the Emory Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (c/o Courtney Harris, Office of Gift Records, Emory University, 1762 Clifton Road , NE Atlanta, GA 30322).