The Style Files: Annie Selke

For more than 20 years, Annie Selke, Founder & CEO of The Annie Selke Companies, and her team have applied a spirited, design-driven approach to creating bedding, rugs, home furnishings and accessories for everyone to love – stylish pieces that stand out, and stand the test of time. Annie distills her ideas into a variety of fabulous and functional products for the home, available through the eponymous Annie Selke brand featuring her acclaimed companies Pine Cone Hill, Dash & Albert, Luxe, and Annie Selke Outlet. Prior to starting her eponymous company, Annie Selke held corporate roles at Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Salvatore Ferragamo, and the Museum of American Folk Art. The Annie Selke Companies aim to inspire people to create and enjoy happy homes. Through their catalogs, website, social channels, blog, and all other touch points, the brand provides a platform through which consumers can bring joy and comfort to their favorite spaces. In the summer of 2017, Annie Selke expanded her growing empire by opening 33 Main, an eight-room luxury inn located at 33 Main Street in Lenox, Massachusetts. I hope that you’ll enjoy getting to know the creative force behind these beloved American brands.

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Annie Selke: Classically informed eclectic.

PC: How has living in the Berkshires influenced your aesthetic?

AS: I think living in the Berkshires, a place of such physical beauty, provides a respite from intensity of the urban experience where I find you can be overloaded by stores, people and the products of others.  I think having so little daily commercial input keeps our point of view free from the influences of the world allowing us to create a unique point of view.  That is not to say that I don’t love travelling (which I do all the time) both here and abroad. I love all the visual stimulation and hustle and bustle, but I am so grateful to live and work somewhere peaceful.

PC: What does your home say about you?

AS: In my Lenox house, I’ve kept the finishes and furnishings as neutral as possible, with the exception of my bedroom, in order to put the focus on the beautiful Berkshire views. I’ve tried to offset all the glass by putting an emphasis on comfort and coziness inside.  My place in Palm Springs is pretty much the antithesis – I’ve stayed pretty clean but it’s crazy colorful.  Somehow the light and the landscape in the desert can stand up to color and pattern in a way that seems like overkill in the Berkshires.  So, you see, I get to explore both the subdued and colorful sides of my personality in my houses!

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

AS: Everywhere! I am a sponge, constantly absorbing new inspirations, ideas, color palettes from nature, art, travel etc. I also make a point of reading and learning about people who have created their own destinies in their chosen fields. 

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

AS: Chanel, John Fowler, Nancy Lancaster

{Coco Chanel’s Iconic Apartment on the Rue du Cambon}

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

AS: I always admire integrity first and if I can pick a second, I always admire people with their own true sense of style.

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

AS: Binge watching Say Yes to The Dress with my daughter Charlotte lying on sofa with our dogs – often while baking decadent cookies!

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

AS: I was fortunate enough to have some really wonderful bosses who let me take on as much as I could handle which allowed me to learn a lot in a shorter period of time.

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

AS: I’ve found that striking a happy balance between work life and home life is really the key to a “dolce vita”. If you love what you do then every day is an adventure and the more you can integrate your work and home lives the happier you will be.

 

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

AS: I am excited about growing our home furnishings offerings including fabrics, wallpaper, furniture, art and accessories.  We are pleased to be working on some really fun product collaborations – one with decorator Mark D. Sikes and one with artist Laura Park coming in Spring 2018.   I am also thrilled to be introducing an Annie Selke licensed tile collection with The Tile Shop launching across the country in Fall 2018.

Go-To Outfit: Great cut white shirt, blue jeans or black pants, fabulous shawl and good jewelry

Scent: Jo Malone Orange Blossom

Piece of Jewelry:  Elsa Peretti bangle – I have a gold one, a silver one and I just got a black one

Color I Never Tire Of: robin’s egg blue

Flower: Lily of the Valley – peonies- ranunculus

Indispensable Design Element:  Shine – I love a shiny surface – mirror, chrome, gilding….

Era for Design: Architecture – torn between 1880’s and the 1960’s

Dream Project: To design and open more inns around the country -similar to 33 Main, the one we opened last year in Lenox.

Fabric/Textile: I love ‘em all!!! Hand Embroidered Pashminas if I have to choose just one.

Hostess Gift: Linen napkins and an Annie Selke candle

Drink: Vodka Thyme Lemonade

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: A great long soak in the tub

3 Things I Love About My town: The historic buildings, the green spaces and the Tanglewood music festival.

Weekend Destination: Home!! I travel so much…..

Hotel: anything by Kit Kemp – The Whitby, The Crosby in NYC and The Charlotte Street in London

City: Paris

Museum: The Borghese Gallery (Rome) , The Hugh Lane (Dublin), The Louvre and the Met

Artist: Matisse, Hockney

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Anything by Bruno Mars

Actor/Actress: Helen Mirren

Prized Possession: An oil painting that used to hang in my mother’s bedroom and now hangs in mine.

Risk Worth Taking: starting your own business!!

Greatest Extravagance: traveling business class & staying in luxury hotels

Go-To Color Palette: Too many to name

Rule to Break: Too many to name….. rules were designed to be broken!!!

Movie Set Design: “Something’s Gotta Give”

I can never have too many… accessories – shawls, scarves and shoes

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