Charlotte Moss speaks at SCADstyle

Charlotte Moss. Image courtesy of scad.edu.

Last week interior designer and author Charlotte Moss visited SCADshow at SCAD Atlanta as part of SCADstyle 2016. The interior design student who introduced her prior to the talk explained Moss’ style as a mix of Southern charm from her hometown of Richmond, Virginia and New York City, her adoptive home. Moss has written nine books so far with her most recent being Garden Inspirations. She also had a coffee table book on dining in the works. 

Moss bought a spec home in East Hampton in 1988, and the home had no landscaping. Moss wanted to add gardens to her new home, so she reached out to people who knew about gardening to help her. Through this expierence, Moss said she learned about the importance of collaboration in business and travelled to gardens around the world to get inspiration for her soon-to-be master garden.

Moss talked about some of the gardens that she visited in her travels. Among these places she showed beautiful images of Alhamara (a Spanish garden), Haseley (an English garden) and several French gardens, including the Château de Groussay, Bagatelle, the Château de Courson and Versailles. She also visited Villa Gamberia and the Garden of Ninfa in Italy and a garden in Kuskovo, Moscow. After recounting her European travels, Moss talked about some of the American gardens that she enjoyed visiting: Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, and Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington.

Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello. Image courtesy of www.monticello.org.

Moss explained that it was important to her to determine which ideas and inspirations that she wanted to take from these places and apply them to her own gardens. She encouraged the audience to find the “notions” that inspired them from daily observations and figure out how to adapt them to suit their space and circumstances.

Nancy Lancaster was a huge inspiration for Moss, as was Edith Wharton. Moss also mentioned Coco Chanel’s ingenuity and architects Louis Kahn, Hubert he Givenchy, Franch Ghery and Philippe Stark as powerful role models and influences.

Charlotte Moss' latest book Garden Inspirations. Image courtesy of Kate Betts.

Moss advised the audience to spend less time caught up in thinking and more time being in the moment. “Don’t overthink it. Just breathe,” she said. She pointed out that anything could be a source of inspiration, even walking down the street. We can stumble upon things that stick with us and spark ideas. Moss laughed as she recounted a project of hers, which consisted of wandering around her house and taking many, many pictures of little details on the furniture.

Towards the end of the talk, Moss talked about her love of arranging flowers and creating collages. Sometimes these collages even appear in design projects that Moss undertakes.

Throughout the presentation, Moss showed numerous breathtaking images that accentuated her points and her eloquent way of speaking coupled with her clear passion for gardens revealed her to be not only a fan of interior design, but also a master.