She now calls New York home, but Charlotte Moss’ roots are buried in Richmond, Virginia. The interior design icon packed for Wall Street at 27, fostering a successful business career before launching her own firm eight years later. Susan and Michael Bloomberg were among her first clients. Today, she has been recognized as one of Elle Decor’s A-List designers and has been given the opportunity to design her own line of furniture for Century, a collection that will arrive in the Spring.
In a telephone conversation, Moss shared her elegant ideas and passion for style, and she shared concepts from her most recent print release Charlotte Moss Decorates.
Blake Ells for Birmingham Botanical Gardens: Does an elegant design always require a big budget?
Charlotte Moss: Heavens no. Because style doesn’t require a big budget. Anybody can have a check book. Some people with a checkbook don’t know how to use it. Pauline de Rothschild’s room in Albany has just two or three pieces. It’s not about volume or money. It’s about being selective. It’s about editing. It’s about knowing when to stop.
BBG: My living room needs a makeover. I can’t afford to take care of everything at once. Where do I begin to make the room more inviting?
CM: Good seating is the key. There’s no way you can have a room like that without an invitation for someone to be there – and a good mix of it. I don’t even think you start with a rug. That’s bogus. Great – so you blew your budget on a rug, now where do I sit? Even a loveseat and two chairs – then I would move to a great mirror or painting.
BBG: What antique pieces are easiest to incorporate into a modern design?
CM: It could be as simple as an antique globe or a pedestal. I don’t think there is one type of piece, you just have to love what it is. The key is being great.
BBG: What can we expect from your new line of furniture with Century?
CM: You’re going to see some classic pieces, and some classic things with a twist – painted furniture.
BBG: What do you hope people will learn from your most recent release, Charlotte Moss Decorates?
CM: That there are no bloody rules. And that’s why I put the chapter in there call “Why Not?” They will learn to question things and ask themselves, “Why not?”
BBG: What distinguishes Southern style from other regions?
CM: The South is all about hospitality. Southern style is gracious style. People love their homes and they welcome you into them. Quite readily. There’s an ease to Southern living that distinguishes it from the rest of the country. I know so many Southerners that are francophiles. We’re not as chauvinistic as we once wer in our own communities. It’s not the country club pink and green that it once was.
Click here to learn more about Antiques at The Gardens.
Click here to purchase tickets to the Red Diamond Lecture Series with featured speaker, Charlotte Moss, on Friday October 7 at 10:30 in the Linn Henley Lecture Hall.