what is your idea of perfect design happiness? A WELL-PROPORTIONED ROOM WITH PLENTY OF NATURAL LIGHT AND A CLIENT WITH A GOOD BUDGET WHO SAYS: “AMAZE ME!”
what is your greatest fear in design? PLASTIC-COVERED FURNITURE… I SAW SOME IN A FRIEND’S HOME IN COLLEGE AND HAVE NEVER GOTTEN OVER IT!
which historical design figure do you most identify with? JEAN-CHARLES MOREUX DID IT ALL. HE WAS AN ARCHITECT, HE DESIGNED INTERIORS, HE CREATED FURNITURE AND HE DID LANDSCAPE DESIGN. A TRUE RENAISSANCE MAN.
which living designer do you most admire? NEW YORK DESIGN ICON VICENTE WOLF HAS BEEN A GREAT INSPIRATION.
what profession other than design would you like to attempt? I WOULD LOVE TO BE A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT. WHAT A JOY IT MUST BE TO INTEGRATE SPACE, SHAPE AND FORM WITH THE MOST WONDERFUL OF ALL MATERIALS - TREES, SHRUBS, AND FLOWERS.
what is your greatest design extravagance? MY PORTRAIT COLLECTION. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED PORTRAIT PAINTINGS BECAUSE THEY HAVE THEIR OWN KIND OF ICONOGRAPHY THAT TELLS YOU ABOUT THE TIME AND PLACE THAT THE PERSON IN THE PORTRAIT LIVED.
when and where were you happiest with your design? MY PLACE IN THE FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE, THE CHATEAU DU GRAND-LUCÉ. I PURCHASED THE CHATEAU IN 2004 THEN UNDERTOOK ITS MASSIVE RESTORATION AND DECORATION, BRINGING IT BACK TO ITS FULL GLORY. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT I AM DOING THERE - PULLING WEEDS, FEEDING THE SWANS, OR WALKING IN THE WOODS - THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE I FIND THE TRUE MEANING OF JOY.
what do you consider your greatest achievement in design? I HAVE SO LOVED THE DEVELOPMENT OF MY NEW LINE OF FABRICS AND FURNITURE FOR SCHUMACHER AS WELL AS CARPETS FOR PATTERSON, FLYNN & MARTIN THAT ARE ALL COMING OUT NEXT SPRING.
if you died and came back as another designer or design object, who or what do you think it would be? EMILIO TERRY WAS AN INCREDIBLE TASTEMAKER WHO NEVER REALLY RECEIVED GREAT FAME. I WOULD LIKE TO COME BACK AS HIM TO INSURE HE ACHIEVES THE LEVEL OF NOTORIETY HE DESERVES.
what specific design related talent are you lacking that you would you most like to have? GOOD HANDWRITING AND THE ABILITY TO SKETCH WELL… WHEN IT COMES TO A PEN OR PENCIL, I AM SEVERELY CHALLENGED!
what is your most treasured design related possession? A SMALL SILVER AND VERMEIL BOX WITH ENAMEL AND PORCELAIN THAT WAS GIVEN BY EMPRESS ELIZABETH ("SISI”) OF AUSTRIA TO HER NIECE, MY GREAT, GREAT GRANDMOTHER. IT’S FILLED WITH AN ODD COLLECTION OF SMALL MEMENTOS FROM MY FAMILY AND CHILDHOOD, LIKE THE FIRST STARFISH I EVER FOUND AND SOME OLD KEYS TO THE STABLES AT MY GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE. IT HAS BEEN WITH ME THROUGH TODAY AND SERVES AS A KIND OF TOUCHSTONE.
what do you regard as the lowest depths of misery in design? CLOSED MINDED PEOPLE WITH NO DESIRE TO GROW OR LEARN. IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO ALWAYS BE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS AND WAYS OF LOOKING AT THINGS… THAT’S WHEN MAGIC HAPPENS IN DESIGN, AS IN LIFE!
what curse word do you most frequently use? I AM EMBARRASSED TO SAY IT, BUT IT WOULD HAVE TO BE “WHAT THE FU-CK?...YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!”
what is your favorite design related word? ELEGANT
what is your least favorite design related word? DELICIOUS OR FABULOUS… REALLY, WHAT SELF-RESPECTING PERSON WOULD UTTER SUCH SILLINESS?
what turns you on in design? HAVING NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES TO TRY NEW AND DIFFERENT THINGS. I ALSO LOVE THE CHALLENGE OF TAKING ARCHITECTURE FROM AN EARLIER TIME, IN WHICH PEOPLE LIVED VERY DIFFERENTLY AND THEN FIGURING OUT HOW TO APPROPRIATELY UPDATE THAT STRUCTURE FOR THE WAY WE LIVE AND WORK TODAY.
what turns you off in design? OH, WHERE DOES ONE BEGIN HERE? 1. I AM SO OVER IKAT THAT I COULD SCREAM. 2. I HATE ROOMS THAT LOOK LIKE THEY JUST CAME DELIVERED FROM A SHOW ROOM. 3. I DON’T UNDERSTAND MOST OF THE PLASTIC FURNITURE FROM THE 70’S… IT WAS CHEAP THEN AND HASN’T IMPROVED WITH AGE.
what is your motto in design? COMFORTABLE ELEGANCE. I TRY TO CREATE ENVIRONMENTS WHERE PEOPLE FEEL AT HOME AND WELCOME. COMFORT IS THE KEY INGREDIENT.
ABOUT PROUST ON DESIGN | Answered by our design icons, these must-ask questions come from a 19th century parlor game made popular by Marcel Proust, the French novelist, essayist & critic. Proust believed the direct questions and honest responses that they elicited revealed the true nature of the individual. For this column, we have put a design related spin on the traditional questions. While this method has been used by many journalists throughout the years, we were primarily inspired by The Proust Questionnaire, which appears monthly on the back page of one of our all time favorite magazines, Vanity Fair (also Krista’s alma mater). Read all of the previous Proust on Design questionnaires here.