She now calls New York home, but Charlotte Moss’ roots are buried in Richmond, Va.
At age 27, Charlotte, now an interior design icon, packed her bags for Wall Street, fostering a successful business career before launching her own firm eight years later.
Susan and Michael Bloomberg were among Charlotte’s 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 next spring.
Charlotte is the speaker at this year’s Antiques at The Gardens Red Diamond Lecture Series. She’ll be speaking Oct. 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the BBG’s Linn Henley Lecture Hall.
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at www.bbg.org.
In a recent telephone conversation, Moss shared her elegant ideas, passion for style and concepts from her most recent book, “Charlotte Moss Decorates.”
BBG: 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 checkbook. 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 called “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 were in our own communities. It’s not the country club pink and green that it once was.
– Compiled by Blake Ells, Birmingham Botanical Gardens