Elle Decor Celebrates Women In Design

Editor and Chef of Elle Decor Margaret Russell with last year’s Vision Award Recipient Paula Wallace

Last fall Elle Decor honored Muriel Brandolini, Celerie Kemble, Rose Tarlow, Paulette Cole and Annabelle Selldorft for their accomplishments as women in the design field and on October 26th in New York Charlotte Moss, Holly Hunt, Kelly Wearstler, Josie Natori and Michelle Nussbaumer will be honored. Editor and Chef Margaret Russell said of the event:

“For some, design is merely decoration, but for women in design, it is so much more—it is essential. This program is about recognizing and inspiring women such as Paula who are making their mark in a field historically dominated by men. These women aren’t just changing the course of the design world, but the world itself.”

Elle Decor sat down with each woman to ask about what drives them as designers, women and of course probed for pearls of wisdom for the rest of us aspiring interioristas.
Authoress, Interior Designer and this year’s winner of Elle Decor’s Vision Award, Charlotte Moss spoke candidly with Elle Decor, revealing quite definitively why she came out on top in 2009.
ELLE DECOR: What is the most important thing you have learned about your craft and your business?
CHARLOTTE MOSS: Listening and absorbing. My job is to interpret what the client wants, and sometimes they aren’t entirely clear about the details, so you have to listen and listen carefully.
And interpret she does, drawing from her style influences.

CM: I’m more influenced by people’s attitudes and spirits than by their particular style. Whether it’s Elsie de Wolfe or Pauline de Rothschild, I always admire women who had a vision and stick to it. Because ultimately, the way you live has to be a reflection on you.

The famed and somewhat infamous Kelly Wearstler is synonymous with style and innovation. In 1994 as Kelly Gallagher, she graced the centerfold of Playboy as September’s Playmate of the Month and now she is the author of three books (Hue, Modern Glamour and Domicilian Decoratus), is the designer her husband’s, Brad Krozen, Viceroy Hotels, snippy high-haired judge on Bravo’s Top Design and the creative head for her line of products with various luxury companies. Elle Decor sat down with Wearstler to tap into her creative genius.

ED: How has your aesthetic evolved?
Kelly Wearstler: It evolves every time I find a fantastic artist or designer or am seduced by a new material. Hollywood Regency is a label some people put on me, but I consider myself a modernist in that I always try to make the work feel fresh.

ED: What are your inspirations?
KW: Travel is the biggest, but I can find it in vintage books and fashion or spend hours in a button store and see one that inspires a pillow. And I greatly admire David Hicks and Ettore Sottsass.

Do even the great ones make mistakes? Yes.
“My biggest mistake was once doing a stripped entry hall in sex colors. It turns out you can go overboard.” ~Kelly Wearstler


Furniture Designer and CEO of her eponymous company, Holly Hunt, knows a good piece of furniture when she sees one, mostly because she probably designed it. Elle Decor asked the guru what trends she thinks will endure, Hunt answered saying:

“…Modern- that momentum is only becoming stronger. With the world being so chaotic, people want a serene space in which to feel safe and cozy. We’re going to see more straight lines and less multicolor.”
ED: What is the most essential element of any room?
HH: The energy. At the end of the day what’s key is how a space feels- how it enhances your life experience.
Josie Natori has the brass for business and intelligence for interior design. There is no stopping this President and CEO of The Natori Company.
ED: In the new economy is good design less important-or more?
Josie Natori: More. Innovation is more important now to get a customer to purchase something.
And this former Wall Street-er certainly does have the corner on female shoppers; Natori does make one hell of a bra and a nice sheet.

Designer Michelle Nussbaumer’s work has been featured in Veranda, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, House and Garden as well as The New York Times. Her traditional designs never seem drab, in fact, her use of bright colors makes the classic pieces look fresh and new. She sums up her design philosophy up saying:
“More is more. Less is never more-less is obviously less. Who wants less?”~ Michelle Nussbaumber




Well, certainly not us! As a female owned and operated company, The Well Appointed House congratulates Elle Decor’s female standouts in design. Now take from the mind’s of your great femme designers and apply it to your home and come shop around with us.
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