Photos of interior designer Anna Spiro’s home always seem to surface on Pinterest and the various design blogs I follow, so I’ve long coveted her style. If I lived in Australia, I could just pop into her store, Black & Spiro, to pick up some unusual treasures. Alas, the plane fare from The Big Apple to The Land Down Under wouldn’t make that very cost-effective for me. Thankfully, Anna just launched a new online store, the aptly-titled Anna Spiro’s Absolutely Beautiful Things.
The store is laid out as a “vignette” where each item is numbered, and you can click the product numbers for more details and purchasing info. My favorite objects from this Winter 2011 vignette are the clever floral/geometric reversible pillows and the punchy Mexican embroidery, but I love seeing how all of her picks work together (even though it makes me want to go crazy, buy everything, and recreate the look at home).
Designer Erica Islas has long been a friend of HGTV.com. She is always willing to share her design secrets and has one of the most extensive resumes on HGTV’s Designers’ Portfolio. She can transform a large, stark space into a personalized and comfortable home or turn a tiny, non-functioning room into the best spot in the house. This month, Erica takes us on a tour of a restored 1920s Spanish bungalow that was in dire need of a makeover because of a previous owner’s complete disregard for what defines this style of house. Erica’s clients reached out to her after they bought it, because they knew they needed a designer who would bring the home into the 21st century while also restoring the integrity and charm of the original design.
All photos by David Young-Wolff.
Erica says: As with any old home, construction codes today will be different from when the house was built. In this renovation, the changes in codes presented us with challenges like making doorways bigger in a house where there wasn’t enough room to begin with!
When renowned interior designer Charlotte Moss agreed to take time out of her busy day to talk with HGTV.com about her new book, we were thrilled. Ms. Moss has enjoyed a celebrated career; most recently she was honored with Elle Decor’s Vision Award and named a top 20 design icon by Traditional Home. Charlotte Moss Decorates is an entertaining and insightful read. Packed with more than 200 photographs of sublime interiors, coordinating scrapbooks for each space, as well as an abundant offering of Ms. Moss’ “Why Not?” decorating maxims, it’s impossible not to feel uplifted and inspired after finishing the book. It’s a resource to turn to again and again. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did our time talking with Ms. Moss, who exudes great warmth, humor and Southern charm. (And now we know what podcasts she downloads on her iPad to get in the zone!)
Photographer Pieter Estersohn
AM: The gorgeous interiors featured in your new book, Charlotte Moss Decorates, are Kips Bay and other show house rooms. Why?
CM: When I sat down, I thought, “What are the messages in my head that I want to communicate? What can they learn from me?” The only time a designer is really on equal standing to someone decorating on their own is in a show house, because it’s blank and up to you. When you have a client, they are giving opinions. A show house is all about me. I’m just like someone at home staring at four blanks walls and asking where do I start?” That is the question I get wherever I go—”where do you start?” Everyone wants to know, do I start with the rug? You don’t start with a damn thing! It’s not about things. It’s about ambiance. You want a place where you walk in and say, “I want to be there!”
Design Trade Secrets & More
I discovered in my conversation with architect and interior designer José Solís Betancourt and interior designer Paul Sherrill that this gallery space with the Peter Fox painting (notice the “dripping” bottom) was almost the cover image of their first book, Essential Elegance.
The equally stunning and opulent living room focal point, in fact, graces the cover. Both are from their complete renovation of a grand estate in San Juan and are a tantalizing preview to the “couture” design work of their firm, Solís Betancourt. While their stunning high-end interiors featuring master works of art are a signature of their more than 20-year career, I cannot help but fall for designers on the AD 100 (the Oscars® of the design world) who also see value in framing the art works of their client’s children.
AM: José, you’re quoted as saying, “Designing a residence is like designing a set for an opera.” Elaborate on that in terms of one of the houses featured in your book.
David Scott of David Scott Interiors opened the doors to his design firm in 1991. A graduate of New York School of Interior Design, he now serves on the Board of Trustees and continues to design beautiful spaces across Manhattan. He’s given us a peek into his new home in New York City’s United Nations Plaza and shares his inspiration, plus design tips you can use in your home.
See David’s New York Home
Linda Allen of Linda Allen Design is a lover of light. Before she began her interior design career, Allen apprenticed with several renowned lighting design firms, including Horton Lees Brogden and Lighting Design Alliance, and was selected by Walt Disney Imagineering to create custom light fixtures for the “Tokyo Disney Seas” and “Disney’s California Adventure” theme parks. One look at her beautiful rooms and you’ll see her background in lighting has only enhanced her aesthetic.