I’ve always thought of closets as a rich, untapped vein of gold when comes to lifestyle and design, For me, the act of dressing is so rich in the colors, textures, and unexpected treasures that inspire and feed my soul..
I blew the doors off my own closet years ago, needing so much more than a place to park my clothes. I wanted a space that celebrates this essential daily routine. Without doors meant applying the same organizing principle to my clothes that I did to my library bookcases, which I arrange by color. Hanging garments from light to dark, and by category and length, not only looks lovely but helps me find things in a hurry. Rolling racks are another favorite tool I use to put archival or favorite pieces on display, and to help me see old finds with a new appreciative eye. My favorite vintage Chanel chunky gold chain and other loved accessories hang in plain sight on a tall vanity counter nearby. I can grab those pieces standing, or sit at a pink leather counter stool to fully weigh the possibilities.
My fantasy closet is based on a Parisian salon: An open room that has everything neatly tucked away behind boiserie doors. It’s a beautiful experience to open doors and look at each piece individually instead of being overwhelmed by so many colors and textures at once. At the room’s center is whatever you want wrapped into the moment. A tête-à-tête or double chaise like our De Wolfe (top, right), a sectional for t.v. watching or, better yet, a gorgeous clawfoot tub to unwind from the day’s frenzy with a favorite book in hand (above).
For clients we do all kinds of things that are unorthodox, where it’s not just a closet. There’s an increasing demand for rooms to combine both closet and office, where a beautiful desk floats at center. The mix melds a little business with the pleasure of seeing all ones pretty bits concurrently. One client I had adored his beautiful wife and all her pretty dresses so much, that we built a wall of mirrored closets down one wall of their dining room to create a cabinet of curiosities out of her couture. Okay, it might not seem practical, but it certainly is for them. The flicker of light off mirrors during a dinner party is irresistible. And after the last guest leaves for the evening, they can open a bottle of wine while she tries on all her dresses!
I can’t remember if it was a nostalgic, glossy-white paneled country club, or a fabulous grand hotel where I first spied lacy fabric doilies wrapping the stems of cocktail glasses. Something about this thoughtful touch just echoes classic hospitality. For me, every stem wrapped at home is a lacy remembrance of a civilized time when cocktail hours were a time-honored ritual of relaxation versus today’s too often, grab-quick-after-work libations . As a bonus, I love how these pretty stem dressings protect our furniture finishes without having to (ahem) ask guests to use a coaster. Now that’s beauty with purpose!
I admit it, I’m obsessed with equestrian design. It’s the rare mix of ergonomic forms and contrasting materials that inspire me to the drawing board every time. For our latest lounger, we saddled up! Marrying lean contemporary curves with luxurious velvet and leather corner buckles feels so now, and so timeless. Its very sight is a warm welcome to hunker down…
What specifically about fashion inspired your new line of flooring and wall paneling?
Fastenings, buckles and rivets….In architecture as in fashion, I’m fascinated by brilliant moments of joinery.
Behind the scenes planning our new “Couture” line of flooring and wall surfaces for Jamie Beckwith Collection, we spread out a virtual runway of inspiration on the kitchen table: Gucci chain links, the intrecciato weave of a Bottega Veneta bag, Hermès saddle stitching… Viewed together, it’s amazing how great fashion creates such strong, unique style statements in reduced form. What seems so simple can be so distinctive—and still so very adaptable over time through great artistry.
“Color Blocked” (top, left) is our remix of a classic cube pattern, inspired by fashion as well as modern art. Crave a larger foyer? I love how its optical illusion stretches space! Try it in two carefully choreographed trios of finishes, and watch how its quick color shifts create a push-and-pull effect for high volume impact.
“Hot to Trot” takes its cue from the nipped waists and fastenings of dressage. I love its interlocking tiles in all six hues (top, right in “rouge” and center, right in “noisette”) or in alternating colors for contrasts as sharp as a stirrup’s strap!
“Nailed It!” (right) imagines a weave inspired by woolen menswear fabrics punched up with embedded nailheads and color stain inlays. An industry-first, the amazing minds at Jamie Beckwith Collection pioneered how to marry nailheads with wood surfacing. The result? A mix of classic warmth and urban cool!
I’m big on petite stools with strong graphics. A pair of these faux-zebra stripe beauties sit side-by-side with pony hair upholstered cube chairs in my own home. Stacked with a tray or a few books, they serve as side tables most days, and as seating in a pinch. In brown and cream—versus starker black and white—those racy stripes surprisingly fade to a neutral.
Really, who doesn’t love dressing up ? The thrill of wearing something special and unique can feel as fresh as the first time we snuck into mom’s closet to stumble in her heels. Our closets are personal places, off-limit hideaways where we keep all our best treasures and secrets… where we try on new visions of who we are and want to be. No doubt that’s why they’re such a classic metaphor for our lives—and worth reinventing every time !