Friday, May 15, 2015

You are UNIQUE . CREATIVE . PASSIONATE & the INSPIRATION for Ethan Allen's new design book MUSES

A MUSE ... awakens creativity.

... becomes the driving force behind a body of work.

... helps you see things  through fresh eyes,

again and again.

What does this have to do with interior design? 

Only everything.

When Mr. Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President & CEO of Ethan Allen Global, and his team set out to make their new inspirational coffee table book MUSES, which is not a catalog but a journey of inspiration, it wasn't long before they realized that it was you, as readers, who are their muses.  "You're Unique.  Creative.  Passionate."  What inspires you- architecture, art, dance, drama, history, laughter, love, music, poetry and spirit inspired them to create the beautiful things you love to live with.  This book is full of inspiration on living your best life and incorporating it into your home - really it's the art of living beautifully.  It's full of design strategy, personal poetic advice, numerous style sheets, and a wealth of beautiful photos.  Mr. Kathwari was kind enough to contribute his response for how he lives beautifully, and I would like to say thank you, I feel honored that he participated, but his new book MUSES answers the question in 324 glorious pages of inspiration.  Come take a peek.

"Je t'aime  I love you. 

It's a promise.
It's a compromise. 

It's the beautiful balance that turns "yours" and "mine" into "ours."  

It's the joy that makes the work so worth it, 

knowing that whatever you build, you'll build it together." 

(It's also a darling block-printed Ethan Allen pillow.)



habitual museum - hopper 

well - read and well - heeled (only the best shoes will do)

on the pulse of fashion

obsessed with independent films

dreams in black & white

relishes lazy Sundays

has a soft spot for furry felines 

would rather be wrong than predictable



Leads with a strategic mind

 follows a creative heart

has a way with words and with patterns

knows success lies in the plans

inspired by the art of dressage and the artistry of the Renaissance

indulges in spa days and opera nights

loves the feel of hand spun wool beneath bare feet

is sweet on tufting and decadent desserts

believes form follows function

but will never compromise beauty

"Design inspiration comes in all forms.
The elements of a well-dressed bed are a lot like the building 

blocks of a good wardrobe: quality reigns supreme. 

But colors, patterns and textures go a long way to guarantee 

originality. "



finds harmony in the simple life

considers homemade the ultimate gourmet

delights in the sounds of birds chirping at sunrise

adores the character in all things weathered and worn

regards comfort and happiness as one and the same

marches to a slower beat

believes in doing what's tried and true rather than what's easy




"Living beautifully to me means spending time with my family and 

enjoying the great outdoors.  Natural surroundings offer so many 

beautiful things - art, color, life, and comfort.  Nature is both a 

great teacher and a powerful muse, providing a sense of balance 

and great design inspiration in its many colors and seasons." 

- Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President & CEO Ethan Allen Global 
- And may I add visionary

Stop by your nearest Ethan Allen Design Center and get your free copy, (yes free) of this beautiful style guide MUSES.  Or I have 5 copies available to me to send out.  Just contact me by email or leave comment with contact info and Ethan Allen will mail one directly to you.

My sincere thanks to Mr. Farooq Kathwari, November Rawlings and Sandy Como Puswicz of Ethan Allen Inc.  I wish you all the best of everything.

*All photos and text provided by Ethan Allen Inc.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Charlotte Moss: A Conversation and her new book GARDEN INSPIRATIONS

"Setting the table each meal with a tablecloth, flowers from the garden, and a mix of china makes every meal beautiful and enjoyable."  "Summertime is picnic time; and the table on my terrace in the country has replaced the picnic tables of my childhood but not the memories."

"This is Charlotte Moss"...  

I took a breath, sat up straighter and said,

"Good Morning."

Her voice was rich, generous, of a life well lived, full of grace, full of class as only a Southern woman could possess.  You knew from the onset the conversation would be her pouring out of her knowledge, sharing.  I was an observer at the hand of a master, lector, gardener, preservationist, designer, friend.

Her book Garden Inspirations is gorgeous and personal.  There is no pretense, it's a master artist giving it all away, encouraging you to "erase the fear", breathe, live, enjoy, see, do.  To observe the world with an eye of a collector ... bringing beauty into the everyday.

My son asked me one day, "If you could meet anyone who would it be?" A tall order and I had a short list, and honestly Ms. Moss was on the top of it.  Not as a groupie, but as one who could just follow her around throughout a day, Observe  Learn  Absorb.  At the end of our conversation I thanked her for the privilege, for I feel I did just that, and it was no less affecting or inspirational because it was over the phone.

Come, spend a day following her around: her garden, her home, and meet the ladies and the gardens around the world that inspire her.  With 250 stunning photos, Garden Inspirations is a gorgeous table top book that should be read and then read again.  Pour over it, observe it, and apply it.  Follow in the hands of a master designer and live beautifully.

"At the end of a design project I always tell my clients 
to throw a big party...   
enjoy every room with your family and friends."

"Southern hospitality is everything you have heard, read about, 
 and experienced...  but the Key is YOU.  
 Put every bit of yourself in the details and it will be noticed 
 and appreciated..."

"Good housekeeping is the foundation to everything."

Terracotta towers are filled with herbs in the kitchen garden or potager.  While roses trail across the top of the fence with honeysuckle intertwined.  Don't you love the gorgeous crushed shelled path!  Sigh.  My family would know where to find me, I would never want to leave this gorgeous garden.

"As I walk from room to room in East Hampton, I see that the garden, in its very subtle way, 
has made a path that leads to every room.  
I think gardens just have a way of doing that while you are not looking."

"I think I came by gardening naturally.  The visuals of my grandmother's house are still so clear: flowers and plants in the house, a sun porch full of plants, and many of them 
grown from cuttings.  This is what surrounded me and 
sparked my curiosity as a child."

Gilles Guillot, the head gardener of the Prieure Notre-Dame d'Orsan, France was commissioned to weave willow benches, and frames for the espalier.  Isn't it stunning!

"Creating a garden means giving consideration to the house, it's aspect, the views from the windows, the places you will sit outside, the paths leading from one place to the next, and what will greet you at the front door."

"I have been traveling to and visiting gardens for many years.  I have photographed every detail so I can carry them back home to revisit time and time again.  Every garden has a story.  
Some have a way of getting under my skin."

"We MUST have roses"

"Decorating is a foot note to real life for me, 
a means to an end: living well."

"The best decorating advice I received came from my father, 
who wasn't a designer but a colonel, he told me to observe. Observing never cost a dime and it really opens up your eyes allowing you to 'see'."

Create alternate locations in your garden for En Plein Air dining at it's best

"...There is no single formula for successful entertaining.  
I believe that the intangible, or in other words, the ambiance, 
is just as important in entertaining as it is in the grand scheme of decorating or gardening..."

"...and, lastly PRACTICE...  
 Setting the table is everyday decorating.  How do you except to have a successful dinner parties, luncheons, or tailgate picnics if you are not doing it every day for yourself and family?  You must first be hospitable to yourself" 

Ms. Moss desk in her garden room where she relaxes by arranging flowers, potting, or trimming her topriaries.

"Some people play golf; I prefer gardening and flower arranging... My husband, the golfer, and I joke that my garden room is my ninth green..."

Amazon - A Flair for Living

To Ms. Moss,  A Thank You

For a conversation ...

For inspiration ...

For seeing ...

For sharing ...

For an invitation (wow) ...

My prayer for you: everything Beautiful.

Rié Moratto

*All photos and quotes courtesy of Ms. Charlotte Moss
*A special thank you to C. Cloutier and K. Power at Charlotte Moss, LLC for their kind assistance.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


Santa Barbara, California
and the surrounding towns are always a great place for inspiration: sun, sand, a small but fantastic zoo, great places to eat, sleep, and shop.  Since it's a day trip for me, we make the drive several times a year and always stop on the way at Summerland, CA, and peruse all the lovely finds at Botanik . garden . style . home.  Molly Hutto, the former manager, now the new owner, of Botanik has brought a new, fresh, and lovely feel to the store.  When asked, "What does living beautifully mean to you?"  She was happy to share her answer with all of us.

One of my favorite quotes is

"Never stop dreaming ... become your dream." 

I believe living beautifully is achieved by being happy with yourself, appreciating what life has to offer and designing your life in a way that brings you happiness.   I have always enjoyed my role in the home and garden design business; it has been the creative outlet of my dreams. Getting my hands dirty planting succulent gardens, merchandising, or interior design consultation for my clients, has kept me challenged as manager at Botanik.  

Now I get to step into a new role as owner;  I still find myself dreaming of limitless possibilities for Botanik, and for my new role as a business owner.  I am excited to bring new life into the business, a fresh take on a classic store.  Botanik has a neutral color pallette to bring serenity, with color and texture in the merchandise to engage and excite the mind.  I advise my clients to do the same in their own homes, to surround themselves in a neutral pallette allowing for color and texture in accents, while adding objects and keepsakes of happy days past, to remind them of the joys in life.  I am lucky enough to see my dream become a reality.  I try to live everyday with a smile, and a feeling of gratitude for life and all it has to offer.  

Live Beautifully one day at a time and never stop dreaming.

- Molly Hutto - Botanik, Summerland CA

2329 Lillie Avenue
Summerland, CA  93067
p  805 565 3831

Congratulations Molly on living your dream, and encouraging us to do so as well!

*All photos by Portobello Design

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...