The Style Files: Charlotte Moss

Charlotte Moss needs no introduction. She is among the leading design talents in the world. The design doyenne opened her eponymous firm in 1985 and in the decades since, has designed residences all over the world. Like so many of the greats in the design industry, this is actually a second career for Charlotte, who launched her career working on Wall Street. Luckily for us, she has been sharing her gift for beautiful spaces and inspired living for many years now. In addition to having projects published in every major magazine, Charlotte has published ten books, including her most recent, the inspiring Charlotte Moss Entertains which was just published by Rizzoli last month. Charlotte also has licensed collections with Century Furniture, Stark Carpet, Fabricut, and Pickard; as well as capsule collection with IBU Movement and a jewelry collection with PE Guerin. She is also quite the decorated decorator having earned numerous awards including The New York School of Interior Design’s Centennial Medal, The Royal Oak Foundation’s Timeless Design Award, and inclusion on the ELLE DECOR A-List.

I have admired Charlotte’s work for many, many years and was lucky enough to meet her for the first time last month. Since then, I’ve gotten to know her a bit and have to say she is one of the coolest people I’ve met. She is obviously tremendously talented and accomplished, but she is refreshingly down-to-earth, intelligent, as well as incredibly charming. Did you know that if she were to have any other career in the world, she would be a race car driver and that her dream car is the same as mine– a Porsche 356 Speedster? She is an enigma in the best possible way. I hope you’ll be as inspired by today’s interview as I am. Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Charlotte Moss: In dress, classic at the heart, lots of vintage and boheme accents. In design, elegant, eclectic, and feminine comfort.

PC: How has living in New York influenced your style?

CM: New York is visual stimulation, full on energy, the learning curve is 24/7. Because everything at your fingertips, it’s influence seeps in daily.

PC: What does your home say about you?

CM: It says I am curious, a collector, a reader, and a fool for comfort.

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

CM: Time off, reading, gardening ,being the flaneur, exploring wherever I am, Doing NOTHING is when the ideas come.

{A Beautiful Moment Captured on a Recent Trip to Milan via Charlotte’s Instagram, @charmossny}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

CM: The free spirits…Leslie Blanche, Lauren Hutton, Gloria Vanderbilt

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

CM: Generosity, honesty and a sense of humor is essential

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

CM: Pleasure never makes me guilty!

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

CM: HOME, because it was always the center of our world as children. I saw my mother and my grandmother fuss, strive to make them better, prettier. I got that gene.

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

CM: Long lunches and candlelit dinners on a terrace somewhere overlooking a beautiful landscape or the Mediterranean, where everyone is dressed for dinner and savoring the moment. In Easthampton, by the pool, when the sun is starting to drop..cocktail in hand.

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

CM: First, I will enjoy the fact that book ten, Charlotte Moss Entertains, was published last month is in its second printing. But next, this fall, will be a new furniture collection for Century, a second collection for IBU Movement, and some jewelry based on the PE Guerin archive.

Go-To Outfit: pants, boots, a vintage top or jacket; always pack a white shirt wherever I am headed

Style Mantra: Be Yourself….and good grooming comes first,always

Scent: Portrait of a Lady, & Un Fleur de Passie both by Dominque Rupion for Frederic Malle

Piece of Jewelry: a pair of cuffs

Color I Never Tire Of: camel and vicuna

Flower: garden roses..for their variety, voluptuousness and fragrance

Era of Design: the 60’s Italy..the original La Dolce Vita

Dream Project: the house in my head

Fabric: anything made by human hands

Hostess Gift: wherever i travel I bring back gifts, this year I shipped dozens of baskets from Tanzania

Drink: a great Pinot Noir like Kosta Browne ‘Gap’s Crown’ or Sea Smoke TEN

Weekend Destination: Easthampton, home sweet home…

Hotel: Ballyfin in Ireland, Villa Feltrinelli in Lake Garda Italy, Hotel Caruso in Ravello, Italy, Villa d’Este in Lake Como

City: the next one I plan to explore

Artist: John Singer Sargeant, Jean-Etienne Liotard, Matisse

Actor: Colin Firth

Risk Worth Taking: try me, I’m game!

Greatest Extravagance: traveling the way i want

Go-To Color Palette: The colors of bearded irises, ambers, violets, browns have been haunting me

Rule to Break: any of them

I can never have too many ….. flowers in the house

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  1. I love all the photos, but maybe the first one most of all. She looks like the kind of intelligent, fierce woman I like to be friends with–and it was confirmed in the Q&A.