Charlotte Moss

charlotte moss: überdecorator

I spent a bunch of time with this book today, and boy am I happy I did. All this talk of undecorating and relaxed style and the rise of DIY was starting to get to me a bit. Sure, I've written before about sometimes getting decorating enui, but I always come back. Always. I find Charlotte Moss rooms positively intoxicating. I remember seeing this room below at the 2006 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse and just standing at the velvet rope staring while other visitors filed in and out around me. The room was large and was roped off so you weren't able to walk through it. So, I started scanning the space from the left and worked my way back and forth and across the space, trying to read every detail. Photos were not allowed. This new book of hers opens with extensive coverage of the room. Wonderful. 

Now, I know this is super wrong in the world of copyright, but I just have to share a couple of pages of the books that I very much enjoyed today. 

Charlotte Moss can decorate a room like few others -- she doesn't miss a trick. I LOVE the large wicker chest as coffee table, the classic slipcovered sofa in plain fabric, that delicate little floor lamp that's happy to play second fiddle to the mirror -- all are fantastic. But the moment that really gets me here is the interplay of texture, colour and pattern between the wallcovering, drapery, the green pillow and the leopard one. I just love this. This is decorating.

And then I came upon this space:

 You know how I adore this coral colour. I just DIE for it. Just look at how the drapery is bordered in it. And I have a thing for skirted tables lately -- this is a fine example. But the pièce the résistance is the little gem on the floor on the left side -- it's an exquisite little dog house ottoman. My girl would love that thing - so cozy and chic.

And look at the yumminess of this image.

Ms. Moss devotes a whole chapter to how she employs flowers and scent in her rooms. Bless her for including this in her book. See, I told you, she doesn't miss a trick.

All images from Charlotte Moss Decorates (Rizzoli, 2011) by Charlotte Moss with Mitchell Owens. Photos Pieter Estersohn, Eric Striffler (coral accented room), John Hall (flowers).


instant ancestors

That's what cheeky antique dealers call vintage portrait art. I love portraits. They are like poetry, with so many stories to tell. I study the clothes, the furniture, the room in the portrait, the jewelry. Of course the eyes, the eyes, the eyes. 


sources: 1&2: darryl carter. 3: house beautiful. 4&5: jasper conran, his house, his line for chesney's. 6: simon upton (I think this is Charlotte Moss's home, anyone know for sure?).

And I love this story in pictures. My husband did a story on auctions for S@H and he did some shopping on the job. He is an amazing gift giver, my husband. But this, this is an exquisite work. I treasure her. Here she is at the auction preview, then him bidding and then her first home with us. photos: edward pond.














And lastly, do you remember the scene in Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth Bennet is travelling with her aunt and uncle and they stop for a tour at Pemberley? They walk along the portrait hall -- amazing scene. Then she stops at his portrait (a painting in the BBC version, a bust in the more recent version). The housekeeper asks "Is it a good likeness?" Elizabeth lingers. She is lost in thought. I think THAT is when she falls in love with him. It's the portrait, not the letter, the portrait. The idealized version of him. I love both versions of the movie but there's no denying the appeal of the Colin Firth wet shirt scene. Watch it here. You know you can't resist!

Garden inspiration. Nobody could ever call me a gardener, but I do so love looking at beautiful ones. My ultimate dream garden must-haves: plenty of green, boxwood, white blooms, statuary, topiary and treillage, vegetables, herbs, oh yes, and a conservatory would be lovely too, thanks! Here are some pretty examples I've seen on my travels.

from the gone-but-never-to-be-forgotten Charlotte Moss Townhouse shop in the heart of the Upper East Side. Oh Charlotte, a jaunt to NYC won't be the same without your lovely shop! This is the best treillage I have ever seen. photos: margot austin

the courtyard garden at the Number Sixteen, London. Didn't have enough time to enjoy properly. Excited to see chairs that are almost identical matches to my own set of 8. photo: margot austin

A tiny pocket behind a glass door but open to the sky at the Hotel des Grands Hommes in Paris. So French, so chic, such a beautiful urn. photo: margot austin

Well, really no garden to speak of, just a couple of boxwood balls in pots (foreground) but with butler service and a view over Mayfair, I'd take it (if, that is, I could afford it). Terrace at the Connaught Hotel, London. photo: margot austin.

Oh my, really quite envious of this exquisite conservatory and surrounding green and white garden. If I could hire a gardener, this is where he would work and I wouldn't lift a finger -- except to sip some iced tea. photo: marston & langinger.