If you like Charlotte Moss, you'll enjoy this interview she gave recently where she dishes on decorating. Comments?
In an interview with Main Line Media News before the event, Moss shared these decorating tips:
“Trust your gut and develop your eye. A lot of my designs are based on instinct.”
“The biggest mistake people make is doing things on the cheap because they’ll end up replacing it sooner and spending twice as much money. Put your money where the traffic is. For example, an inexpensive sofa fabric won’t take a lot of wear.”
“Don’t decorate according to arbitrary rules. I don’t believe you have to have, say, one pattern and two solids in a room or that every room should contain something black.”
“Be aware of trends but don’t follow them. Do what you really like. Forget about what your mother-in-law likes or your girlfriend likes. Pick colors that resonate with you. You don’t want people to see your turquoise and brown room and say, “Oh, that was from 2010,” or your avocado and lime green room and say, “That was 2009.”
“The acid test of a successful room for me is: will I feel comfortable in it? That’s why most modern rooms leave me cold.”
“Rooms that are done for decorating’s sake bore me to tears."
“Smart money shops everywhere – flea markets, big boxes, resale shops – especially in today’s economy. It’s boring to do a room all at once. Part of the process is to going to those flea markets and finding a great discovery.“
“Have a sense of humor about your decorating mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes with color and scale. Relax a little bit; it’s just decorating.”
Published: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Wonderful! May I copy?
Thanks so much for sharing!
This statement presumes that everyone who is interested in decorating has the economic choice to "spend twice as much"
I'm here to tell you that many people (like me w ho is winding down her decorating life) have never had and never will have the funds to invest in better, finer, stronger, classier, etc etc. versions of anything!
It's true I did replace the one other dining room table (a freebie from someone's basement) with a different table. . . but this one is from Bob's furniture store. . . a place I'm sure Charlotte (whom I do admire) would shudder at.
It's also true that I replaced the garage sale sofa (for which I quilted the really cheap fabric . . . as in 78¢ a yard. . . and which did hold up!) with a sofa made out of probably bonded leather from Marden's, Maine's famous discount store. These are the only two sofas I have ever owned.
So while her statement is true for many it is not true for all. . . but then do decorators ever take people like me into consideration? Probably not as we do not hire them.
I got two settees from my girlfriend in Virginia. They are custom made in a Custom high-end shop in Williamsburg. This shop is high dollar and my friend spent around 10,000 (yes $10,000 includes RL fabric) for the two settees. When she purchased another house, she asked me if I wanted to buy them so she could get something else for her new house. Of course the price was very good less than 1/10th of that cost for me for both. And in the end cost me ZIP (yap zero $) because we ended up doing a lot of work in her house, so the profit well paid for and much more for us. Well, the point is those settees were about 5 yrs old when I got them, and in great shape, I have had them about 5 yrs now and they are showing wear on the cushions. The point is they need work now and the estimate is high, will have to make slipcovers myself.
She ended up wanting the same settees again and purchased same for more due to inflation and different fabric, and with new drapery to match well she said 'cost the price of a new car'. I am sure she will love them for years to come. But they do wear out, need cleaning and such.
The frame of my two well made hand tied springs is in good shape, I will add a layer to the cushions when I recover them. The Ralph Lauren red plaid is so faded now. If I had spent full price for this set, I would now again probably for the second time have to recover and spend about 1/3 more to refurbish. TG my friend was selling these when I happen to be around!
We also had a great craftique solid mahogany 4 poster bed I also bought from my friend for a steal. Had to sell it when we moved because DH fell out of it (we stayed in guest room while putting hardwood flooring in our master bedroom) and he almost broke his neck the fall was a long way to the floor! We needed steps (that came with the bed) to get into it. We didn't want our relatives or guests to take a fall like that and here in Florida we will have tile flooring in the guest room too. So, a great purchase but not for the long haul for us.
I am not saying it is not good to buy good furniture. I think the good 'lines' of a style you will stick with might be the better wording. And upholsters would tell you that a good frame can be redone forever. The fabric and cushions are another matter as new materials are always coming out that is better than what we have as far as cushion's insides go.
And secondhand and bargain items in a second hand store or like the steal you and I got for our furniture, are not included in the 'buy the best' meaning in NEW furniture stores. The reason ours were a great deal for us is that they 'were' well constructed and lasted long enough to serve more than one owner! So you and I DID purchase for the long haul, for the best buy, for the good furniture that would hold up for years for us! they just happened to NOT be new!
*This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Ruth,
Emily, Charlotte Moss meant that one should buy the best possible quality furniture one can afford. That should be self-evident.
something black in each room...hmmm; didn't know that o:
Sure. Why not? I am not the author, but when I copy and paste something that doesn't require written permission, like this interview, I give the proper attribution or credit. You can see that at the top of my post.
I also noted this statement and that is the basis for my support (of that comment) on my reply to LOS.
"We all need to relax, it is just decorating"! I agree!
I love the journey more than the results! It is a much better story than 'I bought it here or there' or 'it matched my pillows'. I would rather hear a treasure hunt and discovery story and the process of making it happen story! much more interesting! An Antique dealer in Manhattan (The Village in the 70's) told me that a good story commands more money for a piece than just 'got it from a neighbor' type story. So stories were invented, added some 'Royal' blood, and then intrigue by having it lost in a warehouse or better yet 'vault' only to be 'discovered' recently! The layering of the intrigue and suspense and mystery of how it arrived at that particular shop can weave a hefty price on the object.
In Massachusetts I had a friend that only purchased haunted items and there was a White witch who owned a shop just for customers like her. How I found out? I had the misfortune of witnessing someone one night and talking at a vision, only to find out in the morning (I spent the night at her house sleeping on the very comfy sofa) she was not there... ??? Questions were answered that took an hour to explain the originality of the trunk with contents locked inside as a mystery! The answer my friend gave was 'Oh you met her?' LOL NOT my type of accessory!
Why did I mention the stories? Because those are 'perceived' value. The value we want for our homes and we search for are those we can collect and make OUR story!
posted here some time back:
I loved CER's story of her neighbor's furniture she coveted! That upped the value of those pieces so much more! We were all rooting for her to 'get' what she desired!This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Ruth,
I agree with her whole-heartedly! Modern leaves me cold. Don't care what others think about my decorating style, don't follow trends, and she didn't mean spend twice as much, she meant buy cheap and sooner or later you will end up spending twice as much (or more) anyway.
Perfect example, 23 years ago when I met DH he had been divorced 6 months and just spent $800.00 on a sofa from Hudsons, which was what he could afford at the time. After 3 years that sadly made peice was sent to the dump.
The replacement was a leather sofa costing 3 times as much. That sofa is still in our living room, aged to perfection. Now if I would have gotten a new $800.00 sofa every 3 years ....hmmmm lets see, $2400 is better than $6K.
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
I agree about the quality, you did good on that sofa!
I find I DO love modern furniture, BUT cannot live with the coldness of it. But when I see it in a Victorian with all the molding and wood, or a cabin type cottage with natural wood around, or textured interiors, then I can live with the sleek modern. OR lastly a windowed wall with nature as the backdrop. I can even tolerate it with cement as a loft setting. But in ordinary square no-trim plain rooms, I find it is very cold to look at. I have been in these environments and feel they feel sterile.
Thank you Aychihuahua for bringing this to our attention. I really enjoyed reading this. Good insight and direction from Designer Charlotte Moss. I appreciate that.
Thank you Aychi. I enjoyed the article, brief yet insightful. I had the pleasure of meeting Charlotte Moss a few years ago at a designer showhouse in Rumson, N.J. called Stately Homes By The Sea. As you can imagine she was charming, funny and chicly dressed. She is also a fine looking woman! I was smitten.
Aren't you lucky. Indeed, she is a very photogenic woman, as are her rooms.
Ah to be talented AND beautiful! Some have it all! (humorously said....sigh)
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