Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Charlotte Moss

My love for Charlotte Moss has been on going now for well over 10 years. Since my computer is completely dead and it looks like there will be a new one on the horizon soon, any suggestions for what kind to get would be appreciated, it is impossible to post the pictures that I took last weekend that I promised earlier. In the mean time you can see some of the weekends pictures on Sheryl's blog http://friendshipcottage.blogspot.com/

Back to Charlotte. I can in no way compare myself to her but after reading her interview on http://habituallychic.blogspot.com/ this morning I can relate to her even more. She attended interior design school but dropped out after deciding that she couldn't draw well enough which is exactly what I did. She went on to study a new area and I studied business. She went on to Wallstreet and I went into banking. OK, so she was on Wallstreet and I was a new mother working as a bank teller, but hey it was banking ~ After becoming disillusioned with Wallstreet she went into retailing and opened her own shop. After the birth of my first daughter at age 25 my friend Pam and I opened our first shop. From there the similarities begin to fade. She went on to become a famous Interior Designer and author. I raised my three babies and dabbled in retail for the better part of 20 years and did some interior decorating for people when they insisted but mostly later regretted ;)

When her books first started coming out I became an instant fan. A Passion for Detail was first published in 1991 and it was love at first sight for me. I started collecting old books, looked forward to having a green stripped dining room with wallpaper like the paper on the back of the covers of the book, got a calico Caviller King Charles spaniel & planned on another, worked for Pat Wood who sold staffordshire lamps in her shop like Charlotte, collected old framed Victorian botanical prints, majolica, needlepoint pillows and silver.

Creating A Room came out in 1995 while we were decorating our home and cottage. Both of her books strongly influenced the decor of both. In Creating A Room, Steinmeyer's illustrations really brought Charlotte's visions to life for me and probably many others. I loved the collaboration of Charlotte the visionary with James the illustrator, both artists of immense talent.

Steinmeyer's illustration on pages 39 and 40 of A Passion For Details is still one of my favorite rooms. His work on A Sunny and Sophisticated Living Room form CAR is where I got the idea for the curtains in our house we were working on. With the book in hand,I approached a couple of gal's that had work for Laura Ashley in NYC that had moved back home to our area, to help me. My first choice for fabric was a Rose Cummings rose printed lined that turned out to be way out of my budget so we settled on a sweet Waverly chintz that I love to this day. The girls did a great job that turned out to be more difficult that we had planned. It was a difficult install, so difficult that when I had them resized to fit the house we are in now they totally botched the job and my beautiful Charlotte inspired curtains look more like something out of a bad Victorian reproduction job. Alas, I still love the fabric so there they hang in their lame interpretation.

Charlotte Moss will forever be one of my favorite designers and I am thrilled to see that she has become so successful and influential today with her classic design and books now reaching a whole new generation of devotees,even the ones that are so strongly devoted to the Domino style. Congratulations Charlotte and best wishes for future success.

I really wish I would not have cut up my copy of Creating A Room so much. Today these two books are selling on her site http://www.charlottemoss.com/ for $150 each since they are now out of publication. Even at those prices I would buy them again and look forward to her next projects.


  1. Okay this too spooky...One of my all time fav ladies is Charlotte...been tagging along side of her since early days of Tradtional Home...same with Charles Faudree...now here we are friends and we each know Charlotte..I feel like my heart beats with hers...and now yours...how did you find my blog...always curious...

    chat coon

  2. Anonymous8:28 AM

    I have never heard of Charlotte Moss, but her books look like the type I love, so now I'm off to find them! Thanks!

  3. As always I am inspired by your recommendations! I went right to Amazon and ordered Creating a Room for $4.97!, Passion for Detail for $47.00 and Design Inspiration I for 17.00!!! Early b-day presents for myself! Thought you'd like to know they are available used and sound like they will be in good condition. I'll let you know!

  4. Ah, good to know. I couldn't believe it when they were listed for sale on her website for $150 each. Amazon is great for getting used out of print books, I've gotten a few that way but didn't even think about it when doing the above post. Now I don't feel quite so bad about cutting up my copy of Creating a Room I might just have to order another one ;)

  5. I need to start searching too for those books, can you believe I don't have them?

    Thanks for the Charlotte Moss story, I'm going to head over and read Habitually Chic as well. You and Charlotte and I all have similar stories, I walked out of interior design school too, because of the math! I wanted to design, not do math! I guess I figured someone else would do the math.



Thanks for leaving a comment. I so appreciate it when you take the time to leave a bit of encouragement.