Listen in as the superlatively knowledgeable Mitchell Owens, Decorative Arts editor at AD (@ADaesthete), talks with the greatest design-world talents of our time about all things aesthetic. From the legacy of iconic decorators to the promise of design’s future, his lively, bold, and engaging conversations truly appeal to a mixed audience of industry pros and design enthusiasts. New episodes Tuesdays.
Here's the Latest Episode from The AD Aesthete:
Bunny Mellon may have been well known as an art collector, a philanthropist, and a self-taught landscape artist—yet it is the latter that is the focus of two new books debuting this fall: Bunny Mellon Garden Journal and Garden Secrets of Bunny Mellon (Vendome), in collaboration with garden historian Linda Jane Holden; interior designer Bryan Huffman, Mrs. Mellon's close friend; and Thomas Lloyd, Mrs. Mellon's grandson and president of the family's Gerald B. Lambert Foundation. All three join me to discuss the Mrs. Mellon, her life, and her gardens; I hope you enjoy the program.
Architectural criticism has been a constant for centuries, with buildings under scrutiny throughout the ages. Interior design, however, has always received the white-glove treatment. Why? Join me for a lively discussion between Wendy Goodman, of New York magazine, and Suzanne Stephens, of Architectural Record, as we discuss the critiques of interiors and the history of aesthetic judgments.
Jayne Wrightsman rocketed to international prominence from Midwestern obscurity, transforming herself into one of the most distinguished collectors of both French and English decorative arts along with her husband Charles B. Wrightsman. With the upcoming auction of her estate later this month, Christie’s experts William Strafford and Alan Wintermute join me as we discuss not just her many treasures but the woman who has rightly earned her place in the pantheon of American connoisseurship.
Historian Clive Aslet and photographer Dylan Thomas have captured a dozen romantic British country homes in their forthcoming book, Old Homes, New Life (Triglyph, July 2020), exploring in great detail the stories behind each property. Join me as they share how the younger generations are making their mark on these estates, from structural improvements to clever onsite businesses that are designed to keep these family homes preserved and productive for generations to come.
Though we live in the age of machines, we find ourselves drawn time and again to natural materials tooled by hand. With its focus on traditional craftsmanship, The American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) in South Carolina understands this instinct, offering instruction in areas like blacksmithing, stone-carving, and timber-framing. Talking about the importance of these centuries-old arts are William Bates, ACBA's chair of Architecture and Allied Arts, and Joe Whisonant, a recent graduate who has contributed to the restoration of Versailles and Notre Dame. I hope you enjoy the program.
Wallpaper, once scorned as fussy, has come into its own lately, with powerful patterns and brilliant palettes. But the genre's history is deep and even surprising. Join Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz, the world's leading dealer in antique wallpapers, and Chris Ohrstrom, co-founder of the handmade wallpaper firm Adelphi Paper Hangings, as we look at the papers that decorate one's private rooms, the provocative designs that persist today, and the mode of creation, which remains as laborious and precise as it was more than 200 years ago.
When one of the most admired interior decorators in the world teams up with the founder of one of fashion’s most popular labels, something special is bound to happen. For Robert Kime and Tory Burch, it sparked the Nara Collection, their new line of beautifully patterned fabrics and wallpapers inspired by visits to Japan. Join me with Robert and Tory as they retrace their steps through private sources in Kyoto and Tokyo to bring these textiles to life.
AD100 architect Lee Mindel knows 20th-century design inside and out. But what intrigues him most is how many of the world’s most-admired projects were created not to celebrate beauty alone, but to celebrate wellness, both mental and physical. Join us as we talk from our homes about the buildings and interiors that embody style—and humanity.
Like most of us, AD100 designer Markham Roberts and art and antiques dealer James Sansum are sheltering in place. But also like many, they are dreaming of getting away, in their case to their beloved Victorian house off Puget Sound which was recently featured in AD. Joined by interiors and garden director Alison Levasseur, together we go behind the scenes of their "hodgepodge lodge," exploring its rich history, curious decor, and breathtaking setting which includes views of both an active volcano and nuclear submarines. Escape with us.
As we continue to shelter in place, three leading figures in the American design landscape join me from their homes: AD100 architect Annabelle Selldorf, interior designer Ellie Cullman, and landscape architect Janice Parker. In a conversation most topical, they share their personal experiences as women in a largely male-dominated industry, whether focused on leading their own firms, mentoring their associates, or encouraging diversity in the workplace. I hope you enjoy the program.
Wellness is a trend, to be sure, yet it has always been a consideration for designers and architects as they create spaces for people to express their best selves. Irish-born designer Clodagh joins me from her home to discuss her feel-good design philosophy incorporating wellness, which started in her teenage years and has grown to incorporate biophilia and feng shui, and which has won her projects such as communal hotel lobbies and deluxe spas. I hope you enjoy the program.
For those growing up aware of the rich, intelligent, decadent style of the 1980s, it was a time of American tastemakers creating the most influential interiors. Today, designer David Netto joins me in recalling three of the most absolutely unapologetic and memorable of those homes, each inspiring his own work in its own way.
Like many people around the world right now,, we and our guests are doing our best to shelter in place. The audio may not be as fine as in the past, yet perhaps you will still find our episodes to be as bright, lively, and informative as before. We hope you too can stay home, be well, and continue to enjoy our program wherever you are. Thank you, now as ever, for listening.
Our newest book, AD at 100, celebrates the most incredible homes of the past century, showcasing the work of top designers and offering rare looks inside the private worlds of artists, celebrities, and other fascinating personalities. Joining me in the studio to discuss the three-year process from ideation to publication is Amy Astley, editor in chief of AD; Alison Levasseur, AD's interiors and garden director; and Michael Shome, AD's visual director.
Heritage businesses often grow out of enviable, deep roots, yet today many legacy companies are run by corporate types wanting to trade on a brand name, not recognizing the original family creativity. Today I'm joined in the studio by three young powerhouses—Eliza Crater of Sister Parish Design, Valentin Goux of Rinck, and Freddy Victoria of Victoria & Sons—who discuss how they are working to respect their origins while innovating to remain relevant.
Swedish-born British designer Beata Heuman, an undisputed star of her profession, is an AD100 honoree who was named "Designer of the Year" in 2018 by Britain's House & Garden. Thoughtful and reflective, she chatted with me about unexpected details (that sometimes tip into the strange), being thrown into the deep end, and the secret to her appeal—part joy, part fearlessness, all talent. Listen in.
Interior designer, writer, historian, and scholar Thomas Jayne may be devoted to traditional design, but as his rooms and books clearly show, the results are decided unstuffy. Of many decorators who hold high the torch of Anglo-American style, he prefers to bring its classicism into modern times, injecting it with vibrant colors, unexpected juxtapositions, and an inventive sense of frolic. Tradition not only can be taught new tricks, it demands them! I hope you enjoy our chat.
British illustrator and designer Luke Edward Hall, a true leading light with thousands of fans and followers, may channel a glamorous, golden era—citing legends such as photographer Cecil Beaton and poet Jean Cocteau—yet beyond the gloss lies a hardworking talent whose tongue-in-cheek, creative whimsy has justifiably propelled him on his meteoric rise. Join us as we chat about his fascinations, inspirations, and most ambitious projects yet.
Interiors have long been enriched with handmade tassels, fringe, lace, braid, and other trims, all of which contributed to a significant percent of many a decorating budget. But with the rise of modernism in the 1920s, the art of handmade trim fell out of fashion. Could a revival be underway now? If textile historian and consultant Annabel Westman, who is executive director of the Attingham Trust and author of Fringe, Frog and Tassel: The Art of the Trimmings-Maker, has anything to say about it, the answer is yes.
America's first president was a renowned military tactician, a Revolutionary War hero, and Father of the Country. Yet George Washington was also a man of surprisingly style, and the home he and wife Martha Washington created, Mount Vernon, astounded visitors and has always occupied a prominent place in the American cultural landscape. In recent years, however, Mount Vernon has dramatically evolved as researchers discover how the house and its rooms were ablaze with color and pattern, and the vibrant palette is being reinstated—but not without controversy. Joining me today to talk about the changing face of Mount Vernon is Curator of Fine and Decorative Arts Adam Erby.
Architecture and landscape design both enhance and anchor each other, never moreso than when the creative talents behind them collaborate as well as my guests AD100 architect Gil Schafer and landscape designer Deborah Nevins, who have several projects to prove it. Bonus: Listen in as I get persuaded to recite a Wallace Stevens poem.
Back in the late nineteenth century, the premier international arts and antiques advisories were the Duveen brothers, counselors to the very wealthy one percent on what to include in their private collections. As those artworks were donated to public museums and galleries, it's become clear how influential Duveen Brothers was in shaping American tastes today. Join me with Charlotte Vignon, a curator of fine arts for the Frick Collection, and art and design scholar R. Louis Bofferding, to discuss.
"No matter where you go, there's always something to see," the acclaimed American decorator Mark Hampton once told me—a guiding principle for so many in the design industry. AD100 honorees Alexa Hampton and Steven Gambrel tend to travel the world with an eye for the unexpected, always returning home with snapshots that serve as a springboard for creativity. Join us as they sift through the details of their latest journeys.
Some of the most beautiful and affecting objects—a salt shaker, a stained glass panel—can carry an ugly thought, politically or socially. Mitchell "Micky" Wolfson Jr, a self-described preservationist whose collection of more than 70,000 treasures fill The Wolfsonian-FIU museum, always seeks a prismatic, human view to complete the portrait of these seemingly innocent items. Join us as we explore the stories behind a few of the rarest and fascinating pieces in his collection.
With a passion for cross-collecting—that is, appreciating items from different time periods and genres—Philip Hewat-Jaboor, the founder of the glamorous British collector's fair Masterpiece London, has a lot to say about how observing the beauty in objects is as much about living with them as it is about looking at them. Listen in.
Design historian and dealer Emily Evans Eerdmans is coordinating "Mario Buatta: Prince of Interiors," a much-anticipated auction of the late AD100 designer's belongings at Sotheby’s in January—nearly 1,000 lots’ worth. "Collecting is a very personal thing," Buatta, who died in 2018 at 82, once explained. "It relates to your childhood, it's about insecurity, and it's about wanting more." Join me and Emily in the studio as we explore the style of this timeless tastemaker.
The Shingle Style of architecture, born in the late 1870s in the United States, has since been revived and recalibrated by successive generations of architects, from the Hamptons to France, even China. It was especially popular at seaside resorts, leading it to be called the architecture of the American summer. Discussing its invention and evolution with me are Tom Kligerman, a principal of the AD100 firm Ike Kligerman Barkley, architectural historian Willie Granston, and AD100 architect Robert A.M. Stern, who has been a leading proponent and inspiring reinventor of the Shingle Style since the 1970s. Join us!
Since the 1970s, British photographer Derry Moore, who is also the 12th Earl of Drogheda, has been one of the world's most celebrated chroniclers of interiors and gardens. Some of his most iconic work has been produced for Architectural Digest over the last 30 years, as well as for The World of Interiors and other publications; and a selection of his legendary images for AD appear in the new book "AD at 100: A Century of Style." Derry and I worked together at the magazine Nest, and I was privileged to write the text for one of his books, "In House." Join us as we catch up on photography, publishing, and the pleasure of a well-lit room.
Elsie de Wolfe, an American actress of the Gilded Age, became the most famous decorator in the world when she changed professions in 1904—and she's still a force in the field today, Her work and her work ethic has inspired many of today's leading interior decorators. Join interior designer Charlotte Moss, a longtime de Wolfe aficionado; cultural historian Charlie Scheips, the author of "Elsie de Wolfe's Paris: Frivolity Before the Storm"; and Gillian Davies, author of "Gender, Modernism, and Interior Design: Sex, Class, Home." Listen in!
Listen in as the superlatively knowledgeable Mitchell Owens, Decorative Arts editor at AD (@ADaesthete), talks with the greatest design-world talents of our time about all things aesthetic. From the legacy of iconic decorators to the promise of design’s future, his lively, bold, and engaging conversations truly appeal to a mixed audience of industry pros and design enthusiasts.