HOME          March 28, 2020
As seen in Architectural Digest, June 2004


MY INTEREST IN HISTORIC HOUSES and their interior design began in my childhood when I heard stories from my mother and her family about growing up in a large Victorian house in St. Louis.

Within the house was “The Library,” the room where many of the family activities took place. I remember hearing about its etched-glass bay window and glass-fronted boaokcases filled with leather-bound volumes; a big desk filled the center of the room. In the stories I heard, the warmth of the library’s design and furnishings were central to family happiness – they created a tone that framed every activity. Somehow, the stories of turn-of-the-Century life in this St. Louis house created the notion in me that good design and happiness at home went hand-in-hand. It seemed only logical that wood, leather, and detailed appointments would contribute to the moods of the people in the room and would help shape their ultimate satisfaction with life.

I started visiting historic houses whenever I had the opportunity. In college, I lived in an historic mansion that had built by the state’s former governor. I studied architecture, but transferred to Fine Arts, and soon after graduation found myself in New York, creating decorative painting projects for Albert Hadley and Sister Parish.

It was my first trip to Europe that really changed the way I looked at the world and gave me a solid view of architecture and design that I use to this day. I saw the great museums and mansions of Paris, the chateaux of the Loire Valley, and the Palladian Villas outside of Venice, Italy. I stayed on the French Riviera in Villefranche, amid the beauty of the sea, the faded stucco colors of the houses, the dramatic brown and greens of the cliffs and trees – all bound by the one element that brings everyone to that place, aqua. I didn’t realize it at the time, but Europe’s grand houses, filled with exquisite decorative painting, and the vibrant light and color of the Continent’s contemporary life combined to form a standard to which I hold and judge every design choice I make to this day.

Silver Tea Paper Panel