Charlotte Moss Talks the Pursuit of Beauty, Inspiration, and Interior Design
Since opening her business in 1985, Charlotte Moss has designed private residences and executive suites all over the United States and the Caribbean. In addition to designing interiors, Charlotte Moss’ career has included retail stores, celebrated for Charlotte’s unique blend of American, European and Classical influences.
Having launched her career on Wall Street, Charlotte has a keen sense for the shifting sands of change, amid all her decorating prowess. Widening her reach in recent years, Charlotte Moss, LLC now brings her signature Flair for Living to consumers worldwide with collections available under license. She has designed fabric and trim for Fabricut, carpeting sisals for Stark Carpet, and china for Pickard. Most recently, Charlotte has used her experience culled from twenty-five years of decorating couture homes to design a collection of furniture and upholstery with Century Furniture.
Charlotte’s capsule clothing collection with IBU movement launched in Fall 2017. IBU is a groundbreaking apparel and accessories brand that partners with women artisans in developing countries around the world who craft every piece by hand. This fall she will launch a jewelry collection with PE Guerin Hardware based on historical designs in their archive. Her third collection with Century Furniture will launch this month.
A sought-after speaker, lecturing widely on the arts of living. She has written ten books to date. Her most recent title is Charlotte Moss Entertains (Rizzoli, April 2018.) In addition to writing books, she frequently contributes to House Beautiful, Flower Magazine and other publications.
When asked to describe her professional journey she took to get where she is today with her career, her response was:
To quote Mikhail Baryshnikov….”work, work, work.” – Charlotte Moss
Take a look at our interview with Charlotte Moss below.
Tell us a bit about your day-to-day – and what you love most about what you do.
I feel blessed that there are people out there that need this service, skill, and profession that I am in called Interior Decorating. Creating beauty, searching for beautiful things, collaborating and seeing it all come together, everybody is a winner.
Where do you find inspiration?
In all the obvious places- beautiful estates, chateaux, country houses, gardens, the movies, great books, and then the unexpected… which are the best. When you see a pile of leaves laden with frost, the silver dust on brown can be a new color scheme, a detail on an iron railing could end up as a chair leg design, the weave of an antique basket could be a fabric or carving on the apron of a table.
Why is the pursuit of beauty important?
It is essential… Beauty is a tonic for the eyes… and for the soul. Manolo Blahnik said, “Beauty, we can’t live without it.”
But my favorite Diana Vreeland said, “I want to be drowned in beauty.”
I rest my case.
You’ve worked in so many areas of design, what has been your favorite and what has been the most challenging?
Actually, I love how one area informs the other and makes you better at what you do. What you learn from clients and their needs helps you design to those needs. To me, client work will always be the most challenging though, because it requires you to anticipate the needs and wants of others. Your antennae needs to pick up not only what is said, but what is not said. It is a business of relationships.
What piece of advice would you offer to new homeowners who are starring at a blank canvas and trying to figure out how to create an inspiring environment for themselves?
Quit staring at the walls. Sit down and talk about color, look at magazines, books, Instagram, Pinterest and see what you are drawn to. Themes will surface, you will be amazed at how clear you are about your likes and dislikes. Then, you go back and draw those rooms and start to scribble. let it flow, don’t edit yourself, take your time, it is your HOME and you’re going to be there a long time.
Do you have a specific person that’s inspired you or mentored you, that one specific person that’s really influenced you?
I left Wall Street and started my business… from scratch… so to speak. In the beginning, my vendors were my mentors. They provided advice, they were patient, I learned and I am still learning from them – Curtain makers, upholsterers, cabinetmakers, plumbers, they were my classroom.
What 3 pieces of advice would you offer to someone looking to start his or her own business/brand?
Have a good lawyer to guide with contracts, a good accountant to set up and monitor the books, and a good sense of humor. Those will get you through the day.
Want to hear more from Charlotte Moss? On September 25 at 1pm, she’ll be at Discover ADAC for the Beauty… A Life In Pursuit session presented by FLOWER magazine (reception to follow at Century Furniture). Discover ADAC runs September 25-27 in Atlanta. You can register here as well as see all the sessions they’ll be hosting for the event!