Saturday, May 22, 2010
Are you a design chameleon? I am. Just as a chameleon changes color to adapt to a new environment, I can change my style, or design aesthetic at the drop of a hat, or at a glimpse of a decorating magazine or a film set.
My personal design career began at age five, in an attic garret of the family home at 109 Maxwell Ave in Geneva New York. As kids, my younger brother and I were each given a room to decorate, and full reign of an attic loaded with miraculous clutter from many generations: tattered overstuffed chairs, framed prints, damasked curtains and other treasures.
Breaking early with tradition, (all the women in my family were partial to Williamsburg green interiors), my first one-room studio apartment was considered very Boho, with its white walls, purple and orange accents, and a Rya shag rug. Early on, I experimented with fashioning curtains from paisley Madras bedspreads and linen bed sheets. In one house I exposed all the brick of the walls, and in another I enthusiastically papered everything in sight.
Our ugly duckling wreck of a house in Massachusetts, became a sweet country farmhouse with the help of many gallons of Laura Ashley sage green paint. A more difficult decorating challenge presented itself in the form of a fifties retro ranch house in Geneva Switzerland. It was beautifully situated on “Chemin des Muguets”, in the shadow of the Salève Mountain, and with a magnificent Magnolia tree out front. But a few quirky bits made this the house that no one wanted. We instantly fell in love with it, especially wall-to-wall French doors throughout, which gave way to the gardens. Eventually, we also made peace with the dreaded shiny black ceramic tiles in the master bath by hanging some colorful framed fish posters from the Monterey Aquarium.
From Shabby Chic, to French Country, to China Retro I’ve dabbled in it all. My most recent decorating incarnation might be described as Rough Luxe.
Our tiny cottage in Carmel-by-the-Sea sheltered a hodge podge of family pieces and flea market treasure.
On the move again, we’re leaving behind the tranquility of Carmel-by-the-Sea for the rugged landscape between the dunes and mountains on the other side of Monterey California.
Channeling the design chameleon within,