Sunday, February 9, 2014

Celebrity Designers, Alexa Hampton, Mario Buatta (The Prince of Chintz) and Clodagh headline the DCOTA Winter Market

Mario Buatta,  Alexa Hampton and Clodagh Davis all together for one incredible event?   How lucky can I be? I guess you might say I am a little star struck when it comes to meeting celebrity designers.  Fortunately for me our local design center, DCOTA, offers several market events each year that spotlights some of many the icons of the interior design industry.

Clodagh Davis

I have to admit I was not familiar with Clodagh Davis or as she is known, Clodagh.  But the title of her presentation, "You Are Who You Are No Matter Where You Are", intrigued me.  Clodagh is a leading innovative designer of hotels, spas,commercial spaces and residences.  She spoke about her integrative approach to life-enhancing design. I was awed by the photos of her projects.

Whiskey Blue
Whiskey Blue 

She told us to use our senses to direct our designing.  She uses materials that will create a feeling of well being.  Our spaces effect us and our emotions are being fed by what we see, feel, and sense.  Clodagh encouraged us to create spaces where our clients feel supported. 

 Design the  passages and entrances as carefully as the places behind the doors was another one of her design aesthetics.

She says her experiences inform her.  I just love her approach to design.  Clodagh began her presentation with a 90 second video of a dog bounding through a field of wheat....popping up and disappearing again and again.  She said she wanted to share what 90 seconds of pure joy might be.  What a wonderful way to begin our day.

Interior Designer and author, Alexa Hampton
Alexa Hampton, is the head of Mark Hampton LLC, the renown interior design firm founded by her father.
While I had heard of her before I was not all that acquainted with her design style and projects.  Now she could be one my favorites.  Her presentation centered around before and after images of several of the homes she had designed.  Before and afters are always fun and  her narrative about how they all came about was wonderful. Alexa's sense of humor and grounded honesty was so refreshing.   

She  likes to focus on the detail of good design.  What can we as designers and you who are your own decorator do that will set your home apart?  It is all in the details.  Add a tassel to the arm of a chair or sofa, set a band of trim atop another band of fabric,  make your wainscot lower than expected or hide a distracting door by removing the hardware and running the baseboard along the bottom. She calls this a jib door.  Lacquer walls for drama.  Upholster walls for intimacy.  And use bamboo shades everywhere.  They have become a favorite of hers.

These lacquered walls may be dark but they also reflect the light.
Bamboo shades bring in nature and texture.  Don't you just love the zebra rug?

A jib door 
Timeless design with classic pieces and modern styling.
So elegant!

The legendary Mario Buatta is celebrates his fifty years of his career in interior design with a new book, Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration.  He has decorated homes for celebrities including Presidential guest quarters.  He has became known for his English Country style and made his use of chintz so popular he is called "The Prince of Chintz".  Once he made pants out of fabric samples of chintz!

He was charming and witty as he entertained us with stories of his personal and professional life.  His interiors are elaborate and filled with colorful palettes, fabulous furniture and antiques.  No detail is left unattended.



                                  (Sorry for the fuzzy images)
It was a day of fun and inspiration.  My design colleagues and I always come away with our heads spinning
with ideas and inspiration.

My friends Lucille Giannakopolus from Gianna Designs, Ginger Westmoreland  fromWest Dezine and myself with the incredible Clodagh.
Alexa Hampton and me enjoying a funny story.

Another wonderful addition to my every growing design library.
Mario was as debonair as ever.

Mario Buatta opens with a practical joke.....he said he made a few notes for his presentation!

Mario and my friend Lucille enjoyed some lively conversations.
What celebrity designer do you admire?  How have they influenced the way you decorate your home?  Do you collect their beautiful books like I do?  How do they inspire you?

As always I invite you to share your experiences and ideas in the comment box below.  You must also type in the encoded numbers/letters and click on submit.  Your comment will appear after it has been sent to me.

                              HAPPY DECORATING!

If you would like assistance with an interior design project please email me at   

   (Some images courtesy of the designer's websites and google images)                                                                                                                                                                                              

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