If you could have a second home anywhere, where would you live?
We do have a second home in my home town of Montecito so thinking icing on the cake... a pied-à-terre in Manhattan with room service, a townhouse in London, and a villa outside of Florence. Prego!
Tell us about your childhood bedroom:
My sister had a larger bedroom than mine with a canopy bed (which I coveted) but I loved my smaller bedroom because it was covered in a small floral print and had a jib door to my closet. I imagined it as my secret hiding spot because no one could know that my closet was really there!
What’s the first investment piece you ever bought for your house?
Many years ago I fell in love with a beautiful 18th century Italian walnut commode. I could ill afford at the time but thirty + years later I still have it and love it. Every room needs a piece with some age, and as I tell my clients: you don't want to be the oldest thing in your room!
In the history of design, if you could hire any designer other than yourself, who would it be?
Probably Nancy Lancaster because of her Virginia roots which we share and her innate sensibilities of creating the most elegantly comfortable houses.
No room is complete without a touch of black.
People think of me as a “traditional” designer, but I am really quite comfortable working in a contemporary style. It’s all about scale and proportion no matter what style.
Things you omit from:
• A flower arrangement Baby's Breath, leather leaf ferns and Irish Bells (yuk)
• An hors d’oeuvre platter Anything that’s more than a single bite!
• A bar cabinet Snappy Tom and Clamato juice - staples from my parents’ bar!!
A song for:
• Dinner at home The Nearness of You
• Working at your desk All or Nothing at All or anything by Diana Krall
• Going for a run – (Highway to the) Danger Zone (I’m not a runner!)
Biggest vice? Chocolate – and tardiness. Unfortunately they don’t cancel each other out!
If you were on an Ambien high and internet shopping, what would you buy?
Art, jewelry and books. Not necessarily in that order.
Do your clothes reflect your design sensibility, if so, how?
I think so, in the sense that my clothes aren’t trendy. I tend to go for classics - flattering proportions, high-quality fabrics with yummy textures and beautifully executed details. Doesn’t everyone?
Who is your star crush?
Michelle Pfeiffer because as an actor she’s timeless and as a longtime client, she’s a dream.
And George Clooney because he’s dreamy! Duh!
What is the thing you would never do on a project, but don’t detest when you see others do it?
Hard edged modern and clashing colors.
If there were a fire, and you could only keep one design book, what would it be?
My first editions of Billy Baldwin’s books.
For posterity, what would you like your work to be known for?
Timeless... that it stood the test of time
A Few Favorites:
• Movie: Out of Africa
• Book: Memoirs of a Geisha
• Scent: Eau d’Hadrien by Annick Goutal
• The fabric you always come back to: Anything from Claremont. And one of my own Suzanne Tucker Home linen prints, Hatley (named after my daughter)
• Dream project: Anywhere with nice clients who trust, understand the process and value good design
• Meal: Caviar and potato chips
• Drink: Aperol Spritz – or a fresh lime Margarita on the rocks
• Hotel: The Lowell in New York and Ballyfin in Ireland
• Travel Destination: Anywhere in Italy
• Artist: Perhaps rather expected but I’ve never seen a John Singer Sargent or a Mark Rothko that I’d turn down
• Thing to collect obsessively: Antique antique cowrie shell snuff boxes and sunbursts mirrors
• Era in the history of design: 18th Century Georgian
• Museum: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston
• Paint Color that always look great: Clunch by Farrow & Ball and Dove White from Benjamin Moore
• Favorite person to follow on Instagram: That’s an impossible question as there are so many great accounts to follow and be inspired by! I admit I do love the inspirational voyeurism of Instagram.
• Dogs, Cats, or No Pets? Both – at last count, Tim and I share the our home with one naughty Abyssinian, a rather needy black lab, and my daughter's two sweet-as-can-be rescue dogs who have clearly adopted us!