Ray Staples

ray staples: words of a designing mind

As most of you will already know, the great Ray Staples passed away recently. The world will be more beige without her. Ray was a shining light of interior design – and so much more – in Canada. I have been considering for these days since recieving the news what to write about Ray. But her family – the people who knew and loved her best – have already done a marvelous job at the writing. I hope you will read the post at the Ray Staples site and also the lovely tributes by her neice Elaine Loring, who took the photo above. 

For some inspiration, I went back and listened to a taped phone interview I did with Ray a few years ago and revelled in every word. I considered posting the whole interview but decided against that. I thought it might be a bit of an overstepping of bounds. Lord knows Ray was never one to be bothered by propriety, but still. Well, maybe it's just that I want to keep it just for me. 

Mr. A has been in close touch with Ray's son Kevan over the last few days, and through that contact this marvelous thing came into my possession.

Now, as a bit of a paper products nut I have owned special cards and paper that I have only used for very very special circumstances before. But this, this takes that to another level. What could I possibly write on a piece of Ray Staples' personal stationery? The idea came in a flash. Of course I would write Ray's own words. So here they are. Most of these are excerpts from the phone interview I did with her mentioned above, some are from in-person meetings. All are quintessentially Ray. 

And one last thought: If you feel inspired to share a story or comment about Ray, I hope you will hop over to the Ray Staples page to share your thoughts there. It has become a hub of great memories of a great lady!

Now, enjoy Ray! (be prepared - there's a lot.)

UPDATES:

some more mentions of Ray. Some have repeat content but it's nice to read each person's own view, plus the comments. And don't miss the video of Ray herself!

My own previous post 

De tout, de rien

Summerhill Still Life Blog

Michael Penney Style blog

Quills Quotes & Notes by Rosemary Phillips 

Girl Meets Design 

In the Corners of My Mind

Dawna Jones Design

DOMINION MODERN\ Ray E. Staples from dominionmodern on Vimeo.

the magic

The other day I heard the words that I think will become my mantra for 2011. Mr. A and I were paying a visit to Ray Staples. Do you know about Ray? She is Canada's most sensational and outrageous and brilliant interior designer. That's Ray above with her beloved husband, Everett. We went to visit Ray to extend our condolences to her on Everett's recent passing. These were two peas in a very colourful pod. They shared 62 years of marriage. The photo above is from their 60th anniversary and was taken by their niece Elaine Loring, who kindly left a comment below and posted the photo on a special site devoted to Everett. He was a dancer, painter, fashion designer, choreographer, figure skater and, well...the love of Ray's life. She is a straight-talking fearless creature who lives for creative people, beautiful rooms, colour and objects with a story to tell.

Mr. A struck up a friendship with Ray and Everett a few years ago, since Ray is a frequent visitor to his shop. I have interviewed Ray a few times for the magazine. She speaks in sound bites -- knock-your-socks-off sound bites that remind me of Diana Vreeland. She loves to shock. So, what's my new mantra? Well, it came up when Ray was telling us a story about being asked to speak to young interior designers with ARIDO. She talked about how designers today can be very capable and do rooms that are tasteful and such but...

"Where's the fucking magic?"

So this year, thanks to Ray, that's going to be my gut-check on all matters of style. Where's the fucking magic? And my resolution? Spend more time with Ray Staples.