Charleston-based interior designer Cortney Bishop is no novice when bringing a fresh & honorable take to existing design communities. Take, for example, the launch of Harwood House – her textile collection – with the well-respected Holland & Sherry that pays homage to her late father who had suits made by the London fabric house decades ago. And now her most recent collection named Kalos is a sentimental nod to her Greek heritage…specifically her influential Yia Yia. You can almost say that this venture is a love letter to her past.
The ethos of her textile line all ties back to family & the little reminders of cherished moments that connect us to one another. We wanted to hear more from Cortney regarding her influences & desires with the line.
R HUGHES: Where did the name Harwood House come from specifically?
Cortney Bishop: HH was the name of my mother’s interior design firm. It seemed fitting to honor her and my heritage at the same time. Harwood is my maiden name.
RH: With various designers launching their own textile lines, how does one offer a fresh point of view? What makes Harwood House standout in your own words?
CB: Harwood House has a muse, a story to tell. It is a love letter to people who have influenced my life. It’s also an illustration of colors, patterns, and textures that offer layer-ability within the collection itself. It was important to address all applications within each collection. As a designer, fwe need specific weights for different applications. I encourage the collection to be used together, it’s a vibe.
RH: How did creating your own line of fabrics provide a solution for your design problems?
CB: In creating Harwood House, we are able to explore a variety of qualities and hues we are feeling inspired by for our own projects. I am drawn to earthier colors and small-scale woven patterns; this is not always easy to locate in the market. With Kalos we found ourselves looking for something a bit richer and sexier, so we created it for ourselves.
RH: What does a woven fabric collection crafted with a classic nod to the southern cool mean to you? What does it mean for a potential client?
CB: The South is grounded in hospitality and tradition. My intent with the Cardinal collection was to honor classic patterns while incorporating a fresh edge that brings the pieces to life. These fabrics are timeless yet modern, they will always be cool.
RH: What lessons did you learn from your first release that you were able to apply to your second?
CB: With Cardinal, I learned so much about the creative process; how important it is to take time to feed your soul and create something meaningful to you. With Kalos, I was able to dive a bit deeper into quality, weights, and patterns to explore more ways to layer the collections together.
RH: Cardinal introduced many wovens which you were able to expand upon with Kalos. Are there any special weaves or techniques that you would like to highlight?
CB: We created these collections with a variety of applications in mind. From heavy upholstery to sheer woven drapery weights. We love the nettings and sheer stripes we designed and use them obsessively in our projects for window treatments. I often use the same sheer netting throughout the house to bring a sense of balance to the play of patterns I like to layer throughout a room.
RH: Why collaborate with Holland + Sherry? What made them an ideal partner?
CB: Holland and Sherry was the dream. Their timeless elegance and quality is iconic in the men’s fashion and home industry. I knew it had to be them even years before the connection came to be. Dare I say I manifested?
RH: We know choosing a favorite fabric might be like choosing a favorite child…but which one is currently yours?
CB: ‘Quilted Folkore’ in Rust and Olive, rich and moody, they upholstery so beautifully. ‘Infinity’ in slate – so sexy in drapery application and bedding. I am also amazed by ‘Prizm’ and how beautifully each color combination upholsters because the pattern has great depth. The ‘Striped Sheers’ – these are finding their way into every project we are working on right now.
RH: What has been your greatest challenge as a designer?
CB: Saying no. I have learned the hard way and sacrificed valuable time engaging in projects that have drained my creativity. Choosing the right partners and nurturing good relationships is my forever focus.
RH: What is your dream project?
CB: Our soon-to-be created River House. My husband and I recently purchased a beautiful spot on John’s Island, miles from where I grew up on Kiawah. Grounded with incredible Angel Oaks on the deep water, I plan to build our ultimate weekend retreat. A place to enjoy my favorite people and pieces in harmony.