The Style Files: Beth Webb

Beth Webb is a renowned interior designer and tastemaker based in Atlanta, Georgia. Recognized for her tailored interiors and sensual approach to design, Beth believes in incorporating classic proportions and iconic design details in the inspiring, light-filled spaces she creates for her clients from coast to coast. Beth began her career in design as an art dealer upon graduating with a Master’s degree from Sotheby’s in London. In the years since establishing her eponymous design firm, Beth’s work has appeared in the pages of Veranda, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Milieu, and Luxe among other publications. In 2015, Beth was awarded the Southeast Designer of the Year award and she was inducted to Luxe’s Gold List in 2017. I am super excited to share more with you about my friend Beth because her first book, An Eye for Beauty is being released today! Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Beth Webb: I always say one cannot live well without being centered, content, and connected to your home. Balance and a sense of well-being is as central to my design as line, form, texture, and color. Homes need to be restorative sanctuaries, easy to live in and rich with detail. Rooms are meant to be felt as much as seen. I think my interiors would be best described as clean, edited, and timeless with a restrained use of color, an abundance of texture, and washed with light. Classic interiors with enduring and essential furnishing choices like a classic wardrobe should be elegant and comfortable I believe we all long to be nourished by our homes– inspired and restored– with lasting beauty and genuine happiness always being the end goal. The truest gift of interior design is the opportunity it affords us to create meaningful, thoughtful, entirely personal spaces for my clients.


PC: Has living in Atlanta influenced your aesthetic in any way?

BW: Growing up in the South of course has a profound influence on your aesthetic sensibilities. Southerners have a profound love of their land and houses. Tradition and the idea of just what home means is passed down from generation to generation and lifestyle is as important as interiors in that gracious living is what we are all about. Entertaining is extremely important and entertaining at home even more so. I regularly get calls from my clients to come “fluff” the house prior to some big party as we always try to put our best for forward. It’s a bit of a competitive sport!

PC: What does your home say about you?

BW: In my own spaces, my priority is always to create order, beauty, and peace. A place where I’m able to breathe deeply and rest my mind. I crave order out of chaos and in our work as designers, days can often be quite chaotic and rather messy, so that quiet, edited space becomes a necessity and a respite. Comfort is the keyword. That, coupled with an elegant simplicity. A welcoming house is always of the utmost importance. Both homes are always a work in progress and totally different. In the low country, we live in a modern glass house on the marsh and in Atlanta, a Georgia flat, giving me a yin and yang  of design opportunities.

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

BW: There are so many things I turn to these days– museums, books, magazines, Instagram, and Pinterest, but most of all it has been and always will be travel. I live for it, truth be told, and it’s always the impetus for the next chapter. I return reinvigorated and ready for what’s next.

{A Photo of The Lowell that Beth  Shared on her Instagram during a Recent Trip to New York}

PC: Who are your style icons?

BW: Babe Paley for her faultless fashion sense and inherent good taste. Grace Kelly for her poised elegance and Audrey Hepburn for her style, her work, and her essence.

{Babe Paley, Photographed for Vogue in 1946}

PC: What traits do you most admire in a person?

BW: Authenticity, integrity, straightforwardness, and passion

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

BW: An exquisite hotel, room service, and ironed sheets.

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

BW: Charlotte Moss– brains, beauty, and style. She embodies all that I admire in a woman. She is formidable and forever curious, that, along with being incredibly kind and generous.

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

BW: I’ve been traveling so much the last few years that just being home is the new definition of luxury. I got married last December and we have a beautiful house in South Carolina at Bray’s Island Plantation which is nothing short of idyllic. I love to cook and entertain when I have the time and to me, there is nothing more relaxing or restorative than a weekend there with family and friends.

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

BW: It’s going to be a whirlwind of a Fall with my first book with Rizzoli, An Eye for Beauty: Rooms That Speak to the Senses coming out today! I’m looking forward to the book tour with great anticipation and although I’ve been told the schedule is intimidating, it is also invigorating to travel the country and meet so many fresh faces as well as see some old friends. The book tour is listed on our website, so I hope to see everyone there. We have several things in the works on the product front and as always, many new projects all over the country from Sea Island to San Francisco. All I can say is thank God for Delta!

{Beth’s Beautiful Book– Order your copy here}

GO-TO OUTFIT: I don’t have many clothes, surprisingly, but I do believe in buying good pieces and love a “uniform”. Anything Loro Piana or The Row. The more architectural, the better, and it goes without saying, with a great hat.

STYLE MANTRA: The “KISS” principle– Keep It Simple Stupid. It’s always harder to do than it would seem.

SCENT: Dominique Ropion Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle

PIECE OF JEWELRY: Cuffs are my go-to and the horn cuff with rough cut diamonds by S. Carter Designs is my latest everyday accessory. That, along with my Cartier Ballon Bleu watch from my husband.

COLOR I NEVER TIRE OF: Black

FLOWER: The palest of pink peonies and Lily of the Valley

INDISPENSABLE DESIGN ELEMENT: A little something with patina in every room– that and texture, texture, texture.

ERA FOR DESIGN: 1920’s American Architecture

DREAM PROJECT: I’ve always fantasized about doing a boutique hotel in St. Barths with a client who gives you carte blanche.

FABRIC/ TEXTILE: I’ve never met a cashmere I didn’t like–thank you, Loro Piana! Sandra Jordan alpacas are sublime and C & C Milano linens and Holland & Sherry wools are indispensable. We use them in virtually every project.

HOSTESS GIFT: Being from the South, no cocktail party is complete without a cheese straw. Callie’s Cheese Crisps are perfection. And is there anything better than getting a bouquet of fresh cut flowers?

MEAL: A home-cooked one during the winter months. I make Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese. It’s an all-day event, but oh-s0-worth-it!

DRINK: An ice cold vodka martini– up and a teensy bit dirty

WAY TO UNWIND AFTER A LONG DAY AT WORK: Scrolling through Instagram drink in hand. It’s like traveling with all my friends. 

WEEKEND DESTINATION: St. Barths for a very long weekend

HOTEL: The Beaumont in London, The Lowell in New York, and the Sunset Tower in L.A. where everyone knows your name.

CITY: Paris always is and always will be a great idea!

MUSEUM: The Frick

ARTIST: John Singer Sargent

SONG THAT PUTS ME IN A GREAT MOOD: “I’m Alright” by Madeleine Peyroux 

ACTOR/ACTRESS: George Clooney and Audrey Hepburn 

 PRIZED POSSESSION: My Costa Rican rescue dog, Catalina. She owns me!

RISK WORTH TAKING: Falling in love. I am a hopeless romantic!

GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE: Luxury travel. You only live once, so do it well! Things are just things but experiences are priceless.

GO-TO COLOR PALETTE: Black and white, camel and white, taupe and white, blue and white, white on white– I see a theme.

RULE TO BREAK: I don’t follow rules well…

MOVIE SET DESIGN: High Society

I CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY: Pink Wine Lunches

{Photography Courtesy of Beth Webb}

The Style Files: Wendy Labrum

Chicago-based interior designer Wendy Labrum considers herself a true Francophile, so naturally, both her clients’s homes and her own home are infused with her signature, Parisian-influenced style. Wendy’s aesthetic is a wonderful juxtaposition of masculine and feminine, traditional and modern, all executed through soft, classic color palettes . Each space Wendy designs is undeniably glamorous, yet a sense of comfort and practicality is ever-present. After living abroad in Europe for two years, learning as much as she could about art, architecture, and fashion, Wendy returned home to establish her eponymous design firm in 2007. In the years since, Wendy has completed numerous projects in Chicago as well as across the country. Her projects have also appeared in Luxe, Interiors, and Rue magazines, as well as online on My Domaine and ELLE DECOR. I feel that Wendy and I are kindred spirits of sorts because we share a very similar design aesthetic and gravitate to many of the same things, so it was a treat to finally meet her in person at Legends of La Cienega in Los Angeles back in May. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Wendy as much as I have!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Wendy Labrum: I always say I’m part Parisian/part Prep – French design is in everything I do, but I can’t escape the preppy influences of my upbringing. I always strive to create a curated mix of periods, styles and textures – every yin needs a yang.

PC: Has living in Chicago influenced your style in any way?

WL: Chicago is a town with a great sense of understated style, in fashion, in art, and in architecture. Things that are overly flashy feel inauthentic here. It also possesses a certain practicality – call it Midwestern sensibility – that is inherent in all of my designs as well as my everyday life.

PC: What does your home say about you?

WL: My home is a collection of my favorite things and colors. When we bought the house we did a substantial renovation that brought the home to life – it felt like a banal blank box beforehand. By adding architectural interest and detail, it created a backdrop for my collection of antique and contemporary pieces. My home also says that I have three young children.  

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

WL: My first love was fashion and its still a big part of what drives my design. I also find inspiration in books, art, shelter magazines, Instagram—everything! I rely heavily on travel to give me fresh perspective—it’s hard to reframe your mind when you’re walking the same path everyday.

{A Pretty Moment Wendy Shared on her Instagram account @wendylabruminteriors}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

WL: Elsie de Wolf, Albert Hadley and Jacques Grange

{Albert Hadley’s influence is evident in the chic room Wendy designed for this year’s Lake Forest Showhouse.}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

WL: Selflessness. It’s so easy in our busy lives to get wrapped up in your own stuff and forget about the world around you. My parents are the most generous people I know—they never really talked overtly about it, but they taught us the principle through their actions.

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

WL: I have too many and most come in edible form. I’m a foodie at heart even though I can barely boil water. A doughnut (or three) possesses magical powers to make any day better.

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

WL: At the risk of sounding gooey, I have to say my clients. They inspire me, challenge me, and are an integral part of my personal evolution.

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

WL: Having the time to spend with the ones you love. It doesn’t matter where you are if you’re laughing with loved ones.

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

WL: We’re working on several exciting projects in Chicago—both new construction and historic renovation. Out of town we’re working on a gorgeous San Francisco pad for longtime clients, a south Florida house and a mountain retreat in process that is a passion project for me.

 

Go To Outfit: Jeans and a Balmain blazer

Style Mantra: Wear what you love

Scent: Tocca Giulietta

Piece of Jewelry: I’m a jewelry minimalist for day. My staples are my engagement and wedding rings, an Elsa Peretti diamond necklace, Cartier man’s watch and Cartier bracelets—all gifts from my husband.

Color I Never Tire of: Lavender—it can be sweet or edgy.

Flower: Peonies, classic for a reason.

Indispensable Design Element: Antiques—they add interest and flavor.

Era for Design: 1940’s France

Dream Project: A giant pre-war Paris apartment with all the original plaster mouldings OR one of the great old American estates from the first part of the 20th century.

Fabric/ Textile: Mohair and silk – preferably in the same room

Hostess Gift: A pie from Bang-Bang Pie Shop in Chicago’s Logan Square

Meal: A heaping plate of fresh pasta pomodoro

Drink: Diet Coke (After several unsuccessful attempts to kick it, I’ve now embraced it!)

Way to Unwind: An hour-long run every morning. It pairs well with my doughnut routine.

 

3 Things I Love About My City: We have some of the best museums, restaurants and weather in the country. Okay okay, I’m kidding about the weather.

Weekend Destination: We head to Park City as often as possible. I’m never happier than when I’m in the mountains. We also try to sprinkle a bit of Miami in whenever we can for napping in the sun.

Hotel: The Ritz in Paris

Museum: Musee D’Orsay

City: Paris!

Artist: Cy Twombly and Elliot Puckette

Actor/Actress: Jessica Chastain – she’s badass

Risk Worth Taking: Having a child

Greatest Extravagance: Frequent travel with my children—we splurge for convenience

Go-To Color Palette: Ivory and Grey—punctuated by rust, lavender or rose

Rule to Break: Don’t paint a small space a dark color—I think small spaces look best when painted glossy dark colors!

Movie Set Design: Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby

I can never have too many… Fancy shoes!

 

The Style Files: Randy and Courtney Tilinski

{Photography by Chris Little}

I have admired the style of Atlanta shop owners and designers, Randy and Courtney Tilinksi since before I even knew them personally. Years ago, on my first visit to Atlanta, I made sure to stop by their beautiful store, Bungalow Classic in the Howell Mill district in midtown Atlanta and instantly loved the classic, fresh aesthetic. Fast forward a few years, and we have become friends as we have had the opportunity to spend time together in High Point a couple of times each year. Not only are Randy and Courtney incredibly talented, they are also amongst the kindest, most genuine people I have the pleasure of knowing in our industry. They have a wonderful sense of style which has recently expanded beyond their fabulous shop and into a furniture collection with Highland House which will be in its third season come October market. I love seeing great things happen for nice people. Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Courtney Tilinski: Classic meets modern in the way I live and the way I dress. Never overly formal, definitely leaning more casual in either.

Randy Tilinski: Classic meets surfer. Maybe the professor from Gilligan’s Island?? Wish it was more John Robbie in To Catch a Thief, maybe one day.

PC: Has living in Atlanta influenced your style?

CT: Having grown up in the South has definitely made me have a classic side to whatever I do. However – my mother who is from Charleston loves modern tossed into traditional. I think that is where I got my love of mixing styles from.

RT: Atlanta is a beautiful city with great architecture. It is a traditional city, which challenges my more modern nature. I think this has helped us create our look, which is a soft modern based on classical form.

PC: What does your home say about you?

CT: That it is a work in progress and I have a serious love of books, magazines and modern art (that is not yet hung). This house is much more traditional than our last so we are taking our time and keeping it true to the architecture.

RT: It is definitely a direct reflection of Courtney and I. It is effortless, casual but sophisticated and always evolving. It also says I was probably a Librarian in a former life and we have the need to own every design/architecture book available.

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

CT: TRAVEL!! It is a big beautiful world out there with lots to see and do. I think I love planning the trip just as much as actually taking it. At the top of the list is Japan – but it may be a bit before we get there.

RT: Books and Travel. Usually travel is the spark. From travel there is that desire to dig deeper and study the places we have been and things we have seen. I also love to watch documentaries.

{Courtney and Randy’s Instagram accounts are among my favorites. Courtney shared this shot of Villa Rufolo in Italy from their recent trip. Follow them both @mrs.bugalow and @mr.bungalow.}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

CT: Pauline de Rothshield, Bunny Mellon, Deeda Blair and Marella Agnelli. Style for days.

RT: Alain Delon, Cary Grant, and Hubert Givenchy. Delon in the St. Tropez years. I love all of his old photos with Bardot, Fonda, Romy Schneider and of course his wife Nathalie Delon.

{Alain Delon with Brigitte Bardot}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

CT: A solid work ethic and I always admire good manners!

RT: Kindness.

{A Recent Bungalow Classic Ad in Milieu}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

CT: Theo dark chocolate w/ salted almond bar. There is always one somewhere on my desk or in my purse. Fortunately Randy prefers the milk chocolate version.

RT: Late night bowl of granola with chopped walnuts, almonds, raisins and buffalo milk yogurt.

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

RT: Experience and exposure. I have been fortunate to be exposed to some great people. Growing up with two Uncles who were professional surfers they showed me how to live an authentic life and to find my own beat. They also showed me how to evolve and make a life out of my passions. After their pro careers they have gone on to opening a shop and they shape surfboards for some of the best surfers in the world. Through watching them shape and finish boards I learned how important details are in design and product design. It was definitely form and function.

 

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

CT: Sand, sun, surf and as many meals outside as possible!

RT: Sun, water, a beautiful setting, good food and good company.

{Living La Dolce Vita in Italy | Photo via @mr.bungalow on Instagram}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

CT: Our 3rd release for Highland House Furniture will be this Fall at the October Highpoint show. We will be in our new space/building which has been really fun planning!

RT: This Fall we are adding several new patterns to our fabric collaboration with Clay McLaurin. We just finished them and they are so good.

{A Vignette featuring the Furniture Collection Randy and Courtney designed for Highland House}

{Courtney’s Favorite Things}

Go-To Outfit:  It is so hot in Atlanta right now – I usually have on a very classic shirt dress and some sort of tasseled or studded fun sandal.

Style Mantra: Better to be overdressed than underdressed

Scent: Santa Maria Novella – Latte per il Corpo Body Milk – the perfect mix of rose and gardenia and not too over powering. Since it is a lotion it travels well.

Piece of Jewelry: I always have something from Vaubel Designs on.

Flower: Rose 

Indispensable Design Element: Antiques. They add soul to a room which all brand new furniture just can’t do.

Dream Project: This is going to sound left field but I would love to do a modern house with a sea view. Something along the lines of Eileen Gray’s E-1027 villa in the south of France would be amazing.

Hostess Gift: I love giving books –Current faves are How They Decorated by P. Gaye Tapp or The Garden of Peter Marino 

Meal: Spaghetti w/ garlic, olive oil and sea salt. So simple and so perfectly satisfying.

Drink: Patron Silver shaken with lime

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: dinner in bed & a documentary with my fur babies.

Weekend Destination: Washington, DC – I have never been so we are planning a weekend trip there soon!

Hotel: The Mark in NYC. I love the design and the location is perfect. If I am having breakfast there I am a happy camper.

City: Always Paris. There are endless things to do and I love that you walk most everywhere.

Museum: Maight Fondation in Saint Paul de Vence, France 

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: My favorite summer song right now is “Feel it Still” by Portugal The Man

Actor: Cary Grant. Sometimes when there is absolutely nothing on tv I will just watch one of his movies.

Risk Worth Taking: Do something that someone else isn’t doing.

Greatest Extravagance: Travel. We did not travel for quite a while. We are now making up for lost time.

Go-To Color Palette: Camel and Cream plus any color or print that you like.

Rule to Break: I definitely don’t follow rules but I do like to keep dark rooms dark and small rooms small.

I can never have too many… Rattan anything!

{Randy’s Favorite Things}

Go-To Outfit: White shirt/navy pants/zespa white sneakers or Light blue shirt/white jeans/rivieras espadrilles… I’m a summer (Gemini)

Style Mantra: Do You

Scent: Acqua Di Parma lotion

Piece of Jewelry: Timex with ribbon band

Flower: Ranunculus, beautiful flower and fun name to boot

Indispensable Design Element: Off white upholstery and antiques

Fabric/Textile: China Seas, Kediri Batik

Meal: Hotel Breakfast at Le Sirenuse

Drink: Italian Macchiato with two shots of espresso

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Yoga and a bath

Weekend Destination: Surfside (Miami)

Hotel: Le Sirenuse

City: Paris

Museum: The Musee Picasso in Antibes

Artist: Pablo Picasso

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: ELO, “Mr Blue Sky”

Actor: Cary Grant

Risk Worth Taking: Adopt a pet

Greatest Extravagance: Travel

Go-To Color Palette: Cream loves Camel

I can never have too many… Sneakers

 

The Style Files: John Robshaw

John Robshaw is a prolific textile designer who has brought the ancient techniques of Asian textile printing to a new audience by updating them through his modern lens. The dashing designer studied art at Pratt and went on to work as an assistant to painter Julian Schnabel. In 1990, he traveled to India for the first time– a pivotal moment in his life and career. John fell in love with the fabric-making traditions of local artisans as well as the rewarding immediacy of the craft. Over time and after more extensive travels, John had become an expert in the textile-making techniques of several cultures and countries. Inspired, he sought a way to combine the styles and traditions in a modern way and his eponymous textile brand was born. John sells his bedding, textiles, and wallpapers, and fabrics by the yard via his website as well as through exclusive retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s. In addition, John has a collection of fabrics by the yard and custom-made furniture with fabric manufacturer, Duralee. He possesses an uncanny understanding and mastery of color and pattern, which is evident both in the textiles he designs, as well as in his homes, including his Connecticut country house which is currently featured in ELLE DECOR. I hope you will enjoy getting to know more about John as much as I have!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

John Robshaw: Waspy hippy.. lost on a world tour wearing a block printed shirt.

PC: How has living in New York influenced your style?

JR: The edges of NY and the walking the streets of NY keep me casual yet dapper when need be- lots of sneakers and good jackets as sort of my casual go to from studio, to art opening, to dinner.

{John’s Home as featured in ELLE DECOR | Photography by Richard Powers}

PC: What does your home say about you?

JR: My home says I travel a lot, that I collect all colors, shapes and sizes from old Samarkand carpets to art school paintings to demons from Sri Lanka.

{John’s Home as featured in ELLE DECOR | Photography by Richard Powers}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

JR: India and just travel, there are so many ideas floating about and to see them in different light. The colors people wear all over the world, the casual style of villagers in India smiling zipping by on motorbikes.

{Indian Adventures}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

JR: Bryan Ferry

{John’s Home as featured in ELLE DECOR | Photography by Richard Powers}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

JR: Creativity

{The Inspiration Board in John’s Connecticut Studio}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

JR: Peanut butter and deep dark chocolate otherwise I am pretty dull.

{John’s Home as featured in ELLE DECOR | Photography by Richard Powers}

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

JR: Charles Jacobsen who I met early on in his cavernous showroom in LA put together pieces from around the world in a magical unexpected way. The actual Jim Thompson with his cool teak house in Bangkok where he had dinner parties and he might have been a spy and he disappeared into the Malaysian highlands with no trace.

{A Recent Bedding Collection}

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

JR: The good life is long distance with an intrepid partner to places to think, read and draw for weeks at a time.

{Vibrant Colors in India}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

JR: Next I am focusing on limited edition textiles made by artisans and telling their stories on the website.

{A Block-Printer at Work}

Go To Outfit: jeans and block printed blazer

Style Mantra: PRINT!

Scent: Eau D’Italie Le Sirenuse Positano

Piece of Jewelry: an old Rolex and John Hardy bracelet given to me by Mrs. Hardy

Color I Never Tire of: indigo

Flower: marigolds

Indispensable Design Element: antique textiles in any form

Era for Design: Baroque

Dream Project: designing a crazy Indian hotel in India

Fabric/ Textile: old Tapis, wedding sarongs from Indonesia

Hostess Gift: turban, she probably does not have one.

Meal: Japanese curry

Drink: coffee, coffee and more coffee.

Way to Unwind: yoga every morning and squash

3 Things I Love about my City: art museums/ book shops/ ethnic food

Weekend Destination: country home in Sharon, Ct

Hotel: Imperial in New Delhi

City: Roma

Museum: Rubin

Artist: Carol Dunham

Song: “Got to Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye

Actor: Jeff Bridges

Prized Possession: clay temples replicas from Madurai

Risk Worth Taking: starting your own company

Greatest Extravagance: business class tickets to far away places

Go To Color Palette: blue and coral

Rule to Break: print on top of print on top of print

Movie Set Design: Wes Anderson

I can never have to many… antique textiles

{Photography Courtesy of John Robshaw}

 

The Style Files: Meg Braff

{Meg Braff | Portrait by David Land}

Meg Braff is known for her exuberant, yet classic style. Meg fully embraces color and pattern and is quite adept at mixing pieces from various eras to create spaces that are effortless and inviting. A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, Meg completed her studies at Vanderbilt University, then went on to study design at Parsons School of Design prior to founding her eponymous design firm in 1994. Her firm is now based in Locust Valley on Long Island, where Meg also runs her shop, Meg Braff Antiques & Decoration. In addition to having an impressive roster of projects across the country, Meg also has a line of beautiful wallpapers, and recently published her first book, The Decorated Home with Rizzoli, which features a slew of stunning images and Meg’s sage advice for decorating novices and experts alike. I have admired Meg’s work and her penchant for color for years and was so happy to finally meet her in High Point a few months ago. I hope you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Meg Braff: Exuberant, classic, timeless, playful, colorful.

{Photography by J. Savage Gibson}

PC: Has living on Long Island influenced your aesthetic in any way?

MB: The North Shore of Long Island is abundant in rich architecture from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. I love the opportunity for a little throwback glamour that these houses set the stage for.

PC: What does your home say about you?

MB: I am now putting the finishing touches on my new home in Locust Valley. It’s less traditional than my previous home, bright and cheerful with room for a crowd; ideal because I have four teenage boys and love to entertain. I hope the house feels open and welcoming to guests, and that they’ll find as much joy in the colors, patterns, and dramatic design statements as I had in designing them.

{Photography by Nicholas Mele}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

MB: I love Pinterest! But really, I am inspired at every turn— books and magazines, museums, home and garden tours, conversations with colleagues and friends. There is so much to see and learn and the more I travel and observe the more I am inspired.

{A Photo of one of Meg’s Projects in East Hampton via her Pinterest Profile}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

MB: Currently I am loving images of Aerin Lauder, her beautiful homes and her great personal style. In terms of historical figures, I am continuously inspired by Frances Elkins and Albert Hadley. Francis for her pioneering mixing of periods and styles, and Albert for his inventive use of color and pattern.

{Aerin Lauder’s Southampton Living Room via Vogue}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

MB: Humor, honesty, loyalty and good manners

{Photography by Tria Giovan}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

MB: Dark Chocolate

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

MB: Charlotte Moss has been a wonderful friend and mentor throughout my career. She was even so kind to write the foreword to my book. Her aesthetic eye, sense of color, and thoughts on gracious living are endlessly inspiring, as is her amazing philanthropic work.

{Photography by Francesco Lagnese for House Beautiful}

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

MB: Enjoying the company of family and friends in beautiful spaces and locales.

{Photography by J. Savage Gibson}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

MB: I’m currently working on some really exciting projects, including several residences in South Florida, a New York apartment for longtime clients, historic homes in Bermuda and off the coast of Maine, a ranch in Texas and a really special estate in Locust Valley. I’m also continuously expanding my wallpaper and fabric lines with new patterns and color ways. Come fall, I’ll continue traveling in celebration of my book, The Decorated Home. I’m excited to be visiting Houston, Dallas, and Washington DC.

{Photography by Tria Giovan}

Go-To Outfit: Solid color dresses with bold jewelry and big sunglasses!

Style Mantra: Buy what you love!

Scent: Jo Malone’s Lime Basil

Piece of Jewelry: I’m never without my Cartier watch, my engagement ring, and a chunky gold ring designed by my friend and client Blair Hussain

Color I Never Tire Of: I love almost every shade of green. Its blends so seamlessly I love the transition that green provides, brining indoors out and outdoors in

Flower: Ranunculus

Indispensable Design Element: In my opinion, chinoiserie pieces, rattan and lucite are appropriate in almost every space.

Era for Design:  The thirties- I love the furniture of this era, and that the rooms were usually less “designed” than they are today.

Dream Project: My ideal project is a beautifully restored 1930s house, with detailing that provides a great backdrop for a mix of modern and antique pieces.

Fabric/Textile: I love Les Indiennes from Quadrille, Les Touches from Brunschwig & Fils, and Tweed, from my own line. All are versatile, playful, and available in many great colors.

Hostess Gift: I love to give truffled Almonds, and I send a lot of flowers as a Thank You.

Meal: I order Dover Sole whenever I spot it on a menu.

Drink: Love a crisp white wine, or Rose in the summer

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Catching up with my husband and boys, and scanning the days flagged emails.

3 Things I Love About My City: Locust Valley is a small community filled with beautiful gardens and some grand old homes. There is a great little design community, with many decorators and a strip of home decor and antiques stores (including mine!) right in the center of the town. Its friendly, cheerful, but at only 20 miles of New York City the conveniences of the city are easily accessible. Truly the best of both worlds!

Weekend Destination: Palm Beach and Bermuda are great weekend jaunts, especially during cold and dreary winters. Newport, RI is one of my favorite spots in the world and wonderful for a weekend, a week or a Summer!

Hotel: The Berkeley in London

City: Musee D’Orsay

Museum: Paris

Artist: I love color and vibrancy of Henri Matisse. Right now I’m loving Roger Muhl and Gabriel Godard

Actor/Actress: Michelle Pfeiffer

Prized Possession: My 1969 Mercedes “Pagoda Top” 280SL convertible that I bought myself as a fortieth birthday present. White with Navy interior, its a dreamy summer car.

Risk Worth Taking: Start your own business, just go for it!

Greatest Extravagance: I love having an abundance of cut flowers and orchids in my home,

Go-To Color Palette: I am always in the mood for Aqua, Chartreuse and Aubergine, all together or in any combination.

Rule to Break: I love symmetry and balance, but too many pairs can feel unimaginative.

Movie Set Design: I love movies filmed in fabulous old houses such as The Philadelphia Story, Dinner at Eight and other movies of that era. Recently I loved The Queen on Netflix.

I can never have too many… Cabbage ware and throw pillows

{Photography Courtesy of Meg Braff Designs}