Interior designer Charlotte Moss has seven books and several retail collections including a fabric line for Calico Corners under her belt, but she still makes time for national tours to discuss her passion for design. In Strafford this week for a lecture, “Rooms I Love and the People Who Made Them,” Moss sat down with us to discuss Philadelphia design’s deep roots in history.
How would you describe your personal style?
CHARLOTTE MOSS: I love history and things that have a history, but I believe that putting them together to create a great future for them all is critical. Really [my style] is traditional, eclectic, and sometimes surprising, if you want to distill it.
What changes in design have you noticed for 2012?
CM: The movements are going more toward saturated notes and saturated color. I think there’s going to be a richness restored. Not overall, but I think it will be reinterpreted.
I think we’ll figure out how to bring it back to life. It’s the antidote to technology. We need that softness when we’re sitting here with our hands on a machine all the time. I don’t think we’ll return to the levels of excess and over-decoration like in the ‘80s. It was suffocating. Now we want to breathe a little more.
How would you describe the overall design aesthetic of Philadelphia?
CM: Philadelphia is very much like Richmond, VA, where I was born and raised. It’s so steeped in history. It's just there, so it becomes part of your DNA almost. How it effects how you see things I think. There’s clearly strong tradition in Philadelphia.
But I think anyplace where you have universities, activity, and people who are aware of what’s going on today, they are part of making history vital today because they’re studying it and thinking about it. Clearly some of the greatest furniture in this country came out of Philadelphia—some of the greatest pieces of decorative art and furniture (cabinet-makers and furniture-makers) come from here. It’s something we must preserve.