You may not know his name, but if you live in Charlotte you surely know his work by now. Eric Boyd, the owner and lead designer of Reaching Quiet and its offshoot, Curated, has made his mark on the Charlotte artisan community. The designer is behind a number of local favorites like Stagioni, 5Church, and Nan & Byron’s. Boyd is distinctive in his habit of producing twists on traditional notions of timeless design. Now, with the creation of Curated, Boyd can offer exclusive local access to a handpicked collection of furniture, lighting, and home accessories from the very design houses that inspired that eclectic and beloved Reaching Quiet aesthetic. We sat down with Eric to get the exclusive on Curated, its motivation, and its influence.
Eric, how has your role as a craftsman and designer developed with the creation of Curated?
I’ve always had an interest in creating things that last, have meaning, and resonate with my clients; as a craftsman, I found that concrete was a material that expressed permanence while allowing me to create any form. The driving force of the Reaching Quiet brand has always been to fight our disposable culture by creating products that defy trends and blur the boundaries between art, craft, and product. It seemed unusual to me that the brands and designers that had influenced the Reaching Quiet aesthetic were not represented anywhere in Charlotte, so when a developer colleague offered me the opportunity to lease a space in the South End Design District, it was the perfect chance to bring those brands to this market. That’s when Curated was born.
How does the local Charlotte community influence Curated’s style, if at all?
Curated was less born out of the direct influence of Charlotte’s community and more as a response to it. In the South, traditionalist style is a prominent influence, which is to be expected. The traditionalist style is often accompanied by a serious, perhaps stoic, aesthetic. A good portion of the products we offer combine the traditional with an unexpected twist; they provide the perfect opportunity to introduce excitement and wonder into an otherwise mundane setting. At the same time, Charlotte’s unique architectural style, that blends traditional and modern in an exceptional way, is an inspiration to mimic the same balance indoors.
How would you describe Curated’s style?
Sometimes the choice is for pure whimsy or adding a surreal touch to a room. Other times, it might be a response to the traditionalistic design that you find often around town. Often, it is thinking about how the products we carry could work harmoniously in tandem with the products that Reaching Quiet designs and fabricates. In all cases, our products echo a core motivation to provide lasting products with meaning.
What is the running thread between all of the pieces you include in Curated?
Many of the design houses that we carry have been influential in employing designers that engage in out-of-the-box thinking and producing twists on the traditional notions of what timeless design and lasting fabrication can be. This has been an ongoing inspiration to the RQ aesthetic since the creation of the company, as designers will never stop their quest to produce answers to inherent problems that present themselves in design.
How does the quote, “we have to replace beauty, which is a cultural concept, with goodness, which a humanist concept,” displayed on your website guide the work that you do?
The idea that “beauty” is relative, but “goodness” is universal; I think we can all agree that the things that improve ourselves, our culture, and our perspective is “good.” Our hope is that the work we do at Reaching Quiet and the products we offer at Curated serve this aim: to bring “goodness”, not just beauty, to the homes and businesses of our clients and customers.