Capitol, Laura Vinroot Poole’s doted-on fashion boutique located in Charlotte, North Carolina, has long been heralded as one of the nation’s sartorial jewel boxes. So it’s no surprise that Laura’s home, a 1940s glass-for-walls structure, is filled with the same kind of style genius that pinned Capitol to the map. Filled with important vintage pieces juxtaposed against free-spirited pattern mash-ups and irreverent treasures, Laura’s home reflects the signature whimsicality that has had shoppers flocking to Capitol for upwards of twenty years, now. Even better, Laura’s just as chic and candid as her sensational sense of style might suggest. To go along with her recent collection of Chairish favorites, we asked the Southern doyenne to share some of her design and fashion loves. Here, Laura riffs on everything from Charlotte Perriand to Gucci, plus why the couple who collects together stays together!
What do you love about shopping on Chairish?
I have always been a pretty obsessive vintage shopper (I always say that I learned everything I know about well-made clothes from the Junior League Thrift Shop) and I travel so much that Chairish allows me to feel as though I’ve combed all the best vintage markets in the world.
Is there any particular product category where Chairish is your go-to?
I find great lighting to be one of the hardest categories to find. I love beautiful and well-made pieces with provenance and Chairish has a spectacular selection. Hence, I always go there first.
What’s your favorite thing about designing with vintage pieces?
I love things that have been loved and have patina. My husband, Perry, is a serious collector of mid-century French furniture and I think these pieces feel more comfortable with accessories that display more history and love.
Do you have a favorite source for design inspiration?
Travel. I’m on the road about half of the year as the buyer for our stores, and I am constantly inspired and amazed by the beautiful things that I see. Inspiration can come from fabrics, gardens, food, fashion shows, people…Inspiration is everywhere if you travel through life with your heart and your mind open to learning new things.
What are some of the major influences on your design aesthetic?
My husband and my friends. My husband has the best taste of anyone that I know, and being able to spend time in the homes of friends like Irene Neuwirth, Marie-Helene de Taillac, Jane Pendry, and Scott Newkirk is endlessly inspiring. I wish that even a little bit of their taste level would rub off on me. And recently I visited the amazing Milan apartment of my friends, Stephan Jansen and Umberto Pasti. It was absolutely mind-blowing!
What are home decor categories where you tend to go vintage rather than new?
Literally all …silver, linens, jewelry, clothing, furniture, lighting… maybe the only thing I don’t buy vintage is electronics, but I’d love to have a vintage Marantz 6370Q turntable from the 80’s, so yes… EVERYTHING.
How does your home reflect you as a person? How does it reflect your personal style?
One of the most enjoyable things that my husband and I have done during our 20 years of marriage is to collect together. We have saved and stalked and fallen in love with pieces of art and furniture, and it’s fun to look back of where we were in our lives when we found virtually everything in our home.
How have your design leanings at home changed over time?
I’ve become much more simple and edited. I’ve got closets full of pillows that I need to sell on Chairish.
Do you have a favorite way to mix high and low at home?
I don’t think of high and low, I just buy and live with things that I love. I use my silver and china and linens every day. My friend, Jane Scott Hodges from Leontine Linens always says, Life is short! Use the good linens.
Who are some of your favorite iconic designers?
I really appreciate living with pieces by Charlotte Perriand and Jean Prouvé because they are truly made for living. There were never moments where I worried about my toddler climbing the furniture because they were made for real life and for families and the little nicks that they’ve earned just make them more loved. I’m also in a serious Gio Ponti moment. I can’t get enough of him.
What advice do have for those struggling to find their personal style?
Sounds simple, and a little Kondo-ish, but listen to yourself. Don’t wear things that you don’t feel comfortable in or that don’t bring you joy. Confidence is very attractive and It’s hard to be confident when you are uncomfortable.
People often say fashion trends also end up influencing the design space. Have you noticed any shifts in fashion that you anticipate, or have already seen, become ideas that have permeated design as well?
The Gucci-fication of the world seems to be happening. The Heron print wallpaper has captured the zeitgeist of the early 21st century, right? I do think the beautiful thing about Gucci is that they encourage and celebrate loving what you love…there are so many ways to buy and interpret the collection. Anything goes! I also think that the post-apocolyptic, post-Recession years have been good for designers. They are most successful when they are true to themselves and not beholden to trends. Individuality wins in the end and that’s exciting for design.
How did you think about the design and decoration of Capitol?
We’ve always thought about it as if we were inviting people into an extension of our homes. I think we do this not only for our clients, but for our team as well. We spend a vast amount of our lives here and it’s important that the space around is beautiful and inspiring. We place furniture from our collections, we invest in special things like De Gournay wallpaper and a Patrick Blanc vertical garden and we always use the good linens:)
You’re famous for your perfectly curated store. Are you also a careful curator when it comes to items in your own home? Any advice for people that struggle to edit?
I’m a ruthless editor at work and not as ruthless at home. I fall in love with things and have a hard time letting them go, but luckily Perry has no connection to objects. He sells and trades and is always looking forward. We’re a good match.
Favorite travel destination to relax:
I’m not much of a travel relaxer. I like to explore and hike and move around. I love Mii Amo Spa in Sedona and maybe I need the energy vortexes to finally chill out.
Favorite travel destination for design inspiration:
Favorite hotel to check in to:
Nour El Nil dahabiya in Egypt
AllTrails hiking app
Favorite morning beverage (and how you take it):
Chai tea with raw milk
Favorite thank you/hostess gift:
R. Runberg’s candy colored Queen Charlotte bust candles
Favorite adult beverage:
Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose champagne
North Carolina’s state motto—Esse Quam Videri— To be rather than to seem.
Favorite entertaining essential:
Homemade cheese wafers by WrenHouse.
Sally Mann and Ingres and Cy Twombly and Rothko and Charlotte Perriand and Léger.
Favorite thing to collect:
Your City: Charlotte, North Carolina
Lang Van Vietnamese
Favorite hotel to recommend to visiting friends:
The Duke Mansion, Doris Duke’s childhood home
Favorite local culture hub:
Noble Smoke, a wonderful restaurant with specifically Piedmont barbeque and local treats like pickled okra, collard greens, and stewed squash
Favorite local flea market/vintage hunting ground for furniture:
Favorite local flea market/vintage hunting ground for fashion:
Old News Vintage
Lead photo by Lydia Bittner-Baird