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Interior Design Icon Charlotte Moss.

Image credit: Pieter Estersohn

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE?

I took a step back from doing too many projects so I can be more hands-on with the projects I love. I’m currently working on a renovation of a home in Houston that is an addition to an existing home, a project in Aspen, I’m doing a wine cellar for a client who has never built a wine cellar before.

When we began the process of creating Ultrasuede Interviews, who could have guessed that our very first interview would be with the ever-fabulous Charlotte, whom House Beautiful dubbed “Queen of the Accessories.” Her southern charm is evident from the very moment we begin speaking, and she is as gracious as she is talented. You may know Charlotte as an award winning Interior Designer, but she’s so much more: author, creator, artist, fashionista … but one thing you may not know is that she loves to teach.

 

TELL ME ABOUT AN IDEAL DAY IN YOUR WORLD…

It’s a calmer version of real life. Helping my decorating staff understand why we do what we do, how to communicate with clients, and what client expectations are and how to manage them are probably the most important lessons I can teach them. In a perfect world, we send our proposal to a client and everything we’ve shopped for comes back with a resounding “yes!” Rarely do we live in a perfect world…

But I also want to provide an example to my staff that life is about more than your work – have personal interests and take time to take care of yourself. When you’re too busy your peripheral vision isn’t fully engaged. When you take time, you see things you would otherwise miss. Encourage your curiosity.

THE INTERVIEW: Charlotte Moss

from Charlotte's book: Garden Inspirations

I like being involved in the beginning of a project with a client so I can hear their words, their priorities, and their vision for their house which only helps me create a decorating package. It allows me to really take a couture approach to their home. In a dream world, I get to create the whole home: soup to nuts. We’ve created libraries to go with clients’ interests, linens for dining room, china patterns …

• Walking through the antiquities galleries at the Metropolitan Museum [of Art] is a calming, grounding moment for me

• I’m a voracious reader. I enjoy reading things that totally unrelated to architecture or work

• In the summer: kayaking, riding a bike, scrapbooking {and it seems I’m always behind}, being in the garden

WHICH LEADS US TO YOUR LATEST BOOK

It all began because I hired someone to create the garden at my house in East Hampton, and it was time to write about it. The relationship of working with someone and collaborating, the things that went right and wrong … how gardens find their way into decorating, menus, how you set the table, and entertaining. I wanted a book that suggested to people how to understand what you don’t know and then find the people who do, so you can create together something that you both love.

Since not everyone has a garden, I also hope to inspire people through a garden to find of the art they select, their interiors, how people can be inspired to travel to see so many of the gardens that have inspired me. France and Italy are so rich with gardens … Belgium too. I think there’s been an awakening about how important the garden is to the house.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATION?

It’s always the next destination. I’m currently planning a trip to southern Spain to follow the Moorish Trail and see the gardens there. I’m fascinated by the way they use color and tile and gardens. I look forward to being compulsive and seeing the gardens while sitting under a palm tree and reading a book.

 

ONE THING ABOUT ULTRASUEDE IS…

My history with Ultrasuede goes back to the early 1970s. I remember my “going away” dress that I wore after I got married was made of blue Ultrasuede. Ultrasuede is wearable, feels luxurious, can be cleaned (which a lot of fabrics cannot be). Ultrasuede is a combination of elegance, luxury, and practical. And I like it because it’s a solid that give me an opportunity to do a number of things with it – like a blank canvas. And the color range is so vast that if you can’t find a color, something’s wrong you.

 

Ultrasuede just feels good, and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to feel good in their rooms (emotionally and physically). It was probably the first fabric I can remember that I was really aware of a fabric. It was like an awakening of what fabric could be.

 

Images courtesy of Charlotte Moss.

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