Friday, June 28, 2013

An Interview with International Interior Designer Alex Papachristidis

Introducing Interior Designer Alex Papachristidis

I was very fortunate to have a long conversation recently with a the very talented Interior Designer Alex Papachristidis

Alex also sent me his book "The Age of Elegance" which I cannot recommend  highly enough.

It is filled with page after page of the most sumptuous rooms!

Please enjoy images below of some special projects including The Kips Bay Showhouse.

1)     Alex please tell us about your early years and your beginnings in good taste.
  I understand your childhood was not only quite interesting; it was an international adventure as well.

I had an amazing young life. My Mother believed in new style education, I was not left with nannies. I experienced seeing the world, foreign films, fine dining. One year we went to Greece for the summer and ended up staying for two years!
We went to Paris and Venice to visit museums and galleries.

2)    How did these experiences influence you and your career decisions?

I was influenced by style, sensibility, an understanding different cultures. I never thought of being a designer and so went into the family business; shipping. Then I understood how important is is to do something you are passionate about.

3)    Did you take classes early on in design or go to a school of interior design?

A friend told me that I always had great taste one day and I had an epiphany.  I immediately enrolled in the Parsons School of Design for classes. 

When I think back as a child I had collections of small scale houses which I styled. Friends and family gave me Steif Figures that I dressed for the homes; so I suppose there was a prediction to design.

4)  How would you describe your design style? A client has probably seen or heard of your work when you get a call to take on a project!

     Traditional with a fresh touch. I like to see a juxtaposition of the new and old! My friends and family have had me design their homes. Stay open and life has a way of bringing great experience and knowledge one's way!

5)    Whether you are working on a residential or commercial design; in what ways is the connection with your client important?

    We have a very special relationship and become close. I like to be very personal and am not technology oriented, though it is taking over. I stay in a good mood, respect my clients. There is a process of understanding each other and building a personal rapport.

     Have fun! I feel it is a privilege to have this experience and want it to be their home and to enjoy every room. I help them build collections and artwork. It is a balance.

6)    Who are some iconic interior designers that you admire and respect?

The great Renzo Mongiardino, see his work in "Roomscape" He was the Interior Designer for The Hotel Particular in Paris, Renzo was the designer in the 1960's for Stanislas and Lee Radziwill's home in Oxfordshire, England, and many more great projects as both Architect and Interior Designer.

     Georges Geoffrey, who designed for Gloria Guiness, the Rothchild's and more. The cultured Mona von Bismark, one of the best dressed and most influential woman of her time!

7)  Your new book is named “The Age of Elegance”, in which the Forward is written by the esteemed Mario Buatto. Alex how do you apply that description to your personal and design aesthetic?

    I am somewhat "old school", I am very aware of the architecture which sets the tone. I want to create a place of beauty, even in my own homes which I share with my partner Scott. 

    There has to be variety, every room a visual feast. I combine my love of 18th Century antiques with contemporary art. I am very detail oriented and stay open to new directions. All is luxurious (not necessarily expensive) and tasteful.

8)    Alex, you are also a designer who is featured in Ronda Rice Carmen’s “Designers At Home, Personal Reflections on Stylish Living” Your apartment on the Upper East Side, where you live with your partner Scott is luxurious, sumptuous and artful to the nth degree. I absolutely loved what I saw!  Comments?

     Ronda and I know each other through mutual friends. She has written about me on her site, so when she asked me to participate,I did not hesitate. Our apartment is a beautiful place to live and work in. (an understatement I believe)

9) Alex, what words of wisdom would you impart to the beginning interior designer?

    I tell young people to think of hobbies they like and how that can apply in choosing a career. Do what you are passionate about! 

      Work with a designer you admire to gain experience, be an intern. You will get a sense of scale and have great exposure. Study the classics, go to antique shops, go go museums. See the best there is. Study the best and most  luxurious fabrics and furniture lines.

    Build great relationships with all of your vendors. It is so important; I have worked with the same vendors for over 20 years. Be a great Problem Solver; as they will arise and you will be remembered for resolving the issue.

 Alex thank you so much for participating in The 2013 Designer Series. You have  given us a great insight into your life, your work, and your inspired design aesthetic!

Alex has a line of incredible handmade ceramic lamps designed for Christoper Spitzmiller Inc. and a lush line of Langhorne Carpets; the next may be a fine fabric collection. 

I hope you will purchase his design book for your own book collection, You will have hours of enjoyment perusing page after page. "The Age of Elegance"  Simply click on the link! You may also contact Alex through his design site  Alex Papachristidis Interiors

Readers please leave a comment for Alex; I know it will mean a great deal to him!
Thank you for supporting the arts in every form and genre. The arts make the world a more beautiful place.

Art by Karena

The winner of The Enchanted Home Giveaway is....Betsy at Coastal Colors!
Congratulations and thank you Tina for sponsoring this Giveaway for the  Summer Hostess!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Artist Teresa Hatfield of Splendid Sass and a Giveaway!

Introducing Teresa Hatfield of Splendid Sass and TG Hatfield Company

1)    Teresa, welcome to The 2013 Artists Series. Tell us about some of your background

I was brought up in Montgomery, AL.  I am mother to two fabulous children and love design, art, cooking, and all things southern.  There is never a time that I don’t have sweet tea in the refrigerator and cheese straws hidden.
I have a undergraduate degree in molecular biology, a masters in law, and have studied liberal and visual arts extensively.  I was a banker for eleven years and a stockbroker for fifteen years.  While I do love the hustle and bustle, there was something missing.  I wanted to explore my creative side, and the rest is history.

2) Teresa your background and career choices are very impressing.
How did you get involved in the World of Blogging!? I am always amazed at the quality of images you post. Many are some of the most gorgeous rooms in the world by premier designers.

Thank you so much for your kind words, Karena.
I visited a few blogs that I found in design magazines, and I became hooked.  I knew immediately that I wanted to write my own blog.

3)  What brought out your latest artistic projects… the beautifully embroidered hand towels? Have you always had an interest in needle works?

I have always loved needlework, from cross-stitch, heirloom sewing, and embroidery.  If it is not glued down it is monogrammed. I decided to start my small shop.

4) Do you have plans for additional projects in the works?

 I have so many plans that will be implemented soon.  I plan to introduce a luxury linen line and monogramming services. 

5) How exciting! Oh I think there will be a huge market for those skills! Who or what do you look to for inspiration in your art?

Gosh, I can’t name just one.  There are so many talented artists and designers, not to mention the many talented embroidery designers.

6)I love how you describe yourself, the quote on your site. “With interests in design, art, cooking, and business, I stay very busy. After spending years in the world of finance, I decided to follow my heart and use my creative and marketing abilities. I plan to use the experience I have accumulated in the past to guide my decisions in the future.” If only we all would do that, at any age!

Thank you, Karena.
I believe that anyone can do what they dream of doing If they are wiling to work hard..  It is not easy and we all fail to get to where we wan’t to be.  I am still striving.

7)It does seem that more and more women in our age group are deciding to live a more enriching and rewarding lifestyle. 

Do you have any advice to those looking to go into business for themselves with their artistic talents?

Yes- love being poor!  But if you are happy, you can’t get any richer.  It took me years to realize that success is not the amount of money you make, but being fulfilled in what you are doing.


I want to thank you so much for this interview and allowing me to share my work with your readers.

Thank you Teresa! Dear Readers here are some ways you may reach Teresa:

My Etsy address is:

Blog Address:

My Pinterest is:

You can also order from Teresa and get a 10% discount The coupon code will be GIVEAWAY10 and will be for 10% off everything but custom orders. These make the loveliest hostess, birthday gift etc for any friend!!

This Giveaway is open to all readers!  (2)Two Winners have an opportunity  to choose One (1)of the  Pagoda Linen Hand  Embroidered Towels of any color available on Teresa's Etsy site:

All you need to do is:
1) Be a follower of Art by Karena via GFC, Linky, or Email Subscription.

2) Comment telling us what is your favorite Linen Towel Design you love the most!


Thanks to all of you who support the arts and our fellow Blogger Friends!!
Art by Karena

Much thanks to Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home for choosing me to receive The Rowan Bracelet and also to Patricia of PVE Design for the fun summer tote! I will also receive a Linen Towel from Teresa for sponsoring this post! I am so very blessed. Another Giveaway is coming up shortly so spread the word!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Introducing Scot Meacham Wood Interior Designer

If you have not yet met Scot Meacham Wood, you are missing out on the pleasure of knowing one of the most talented and interesting  Interior Designers in America.

Scot Meacham Wood: San Francisco Based Interior Designer

"I have always considered it a great pleasure to be part of the transformation of any home. Our homes should reflect our deepest passions, our true personalities, and show to the world who we are."

Scot has recently been featured in "Designers at Home: Personal Reflections on Stylish Living"  by Ronda Rice Carmen. He is a standout in the company of distinctive design leaders, including Charlotte Moss, Celerie Kemble, Ashley Hicks, Barry Dixon, India Hicks,  Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Suzanne Rheinstein, Rose Tarlow, Jay Jeffers, Jan Showers, Alex Papachristidis,  Matthew Patrick Smyth, Colette van den Thillart,   Bunny Williams and more.

Scot also specializes in Commercial Design and Custom Furniture

Four Seasons Residence
Please enjoy our discussion below!

1) Welcome Scot! Tell us a bit about your background. Did you develop a creative talent and design sense at an early age? How did that come about?

Thanks!  I guess I've always been creative to some extent.  I do recall, especially to my mother’s dismay, the number of times I would re-arrange and re-style my bedroom while I was growing up.  You know, move the bed over on this wall.  Re-hang all of the artwork.  And I was endlessly re-organizing my closets.  And we’re talking about a 6 year old here.  And I think because we moved so often, my father was in the military,  we were constantly being asked to re-imagine our lives in new and different places.  And seeing the same furniture from our house in Florida suddenly in our house in South Korea certainly opened my eyes to the ever-fluid world of design.  

Berkley Living Room

East Hampton Master Bedroom
 2)  I understand that you worked several years with Ralph Lauren; what 
did you gain from that experience? Who else may have influenced your Design Aesthetic?

My hope is that I never stop being influenced by people.  Though my ‘look’ is becoming very well established - there are numerous designers that always ping on my personal design radar.  Michael SmithMiles Redd.  Charlotte Moss.  Barry Dixon.  Eric Cohler.  And though their individual styles vary - there is always on strong aspect of ‘completeness’ to their work - with a strong sense of drama and style.  I always like a little ‘more is more’ to my work as well. 

I think the part of working for Ralph Lauren that was the most influential to me was his ability to re-create and re-imagine these ‘worlds’ whether it’s all about an English country house - or a New York penthouse - that always felt so specifically “Ralph.”  There was a running joke in the late 1990‘s - that the only store in London that felt like an actual, iconic “English Haberdashery” - was the Polo store on Bond Street!  

Working on the Home Collection rooms every season with a complete visual university all of its own.  It was all about the degree of detailing in the space.  The completely thought-out point of view of those rooms.  And the amazing romance that Ralph brings to all of his ‘worlds.’  That is the part of my own business that is most effected by my work with Mr. Lauren.  

Presidio Heights Bedroom
 3) Another thing I notice is that you work seamlessly from a feminine tone in a room to more masculine color palettes, fabric, woods, etc. Yet you often incorporate masculine touches into any room as opposed to having a “one man cave” in the entire home to call his home. How does that affect the client and finished project?

I always like to find that balance between husbands and wives - between masculine and feminine . . . and the spaces that they share.  I've never really designed a space that was specifically ‘male’ or ‘female,’ as I wouldn't want anyone in the house to feel as though they were being ‘left out.’  So one of my classic ‘men’s libraries’ might include a beautifully detailed custom lamp shades with gimping trim - and a ladies writing room would have a stout, manly antique dresser - for me it also gives the design a great deal of energy and movement to mix opposite influences in one space. 

California Homes Article "Antiques in a Modern Home"
Tartan Office
4)  Scot when I see projects that you have envisioned comes to fruition; almost all have a sense of comfort and warmth. What are your priorities for a project/ a home design?

In many ways, one thing that I often see missing from ‘residential design’ is that sense of ‘residence’ - the people that actually reside in these spaces.  So we work on a very lengthy questionnaire with our clients.  With everything from how they plan to entertain within the space to how many pairs of shoes they own.  

The most important thing to me is ‘how is the house going to be used.’  And then it is my job to create the most magnificent space for that ‘life’ to take place in. 
Atherton Residence

5) On a personal note I know our readers would love to know about your personal interests, collections and travels. I understand that you sing with a chorale group? ( a gift I have always wanted)

I think traveling is one of the most important inspirations for my interior design work - and the opportunity of seeing how other people and other cultures live.  I've been lucky to have clients across the US - so regional travel seems to be a constant for me.  It seemed as if I spent the entire 12 months of 2012 in an airport . . . lol.  And ‘Big Travel’ - or what we sometimes call ‘gotta find my passport travel’ - is always the best.  Being submerged in a new culture - even if it’s just spending a week in Scotland - always seems to awaken new creative ideas in me.  

As far as other interests - I've always been focused on being healthy - and living here in the San Francisco Bay Area is a parade of options.  Whether it’s spending my Saturday mornings running on the beach near the Golden Gate Bridge - or trail running in Marin County - I always seem to be out of doors.  

Sadly, because of my travel schedule - I've not been singing as much in the past few years.  Hopefully things will settle down soon - and I can get back into a small group.  

Piedmont Library

Detail Piedmont Tartan Library

6)  How do you relax after a long design job or even during that intense process?

What is this ‘relax’ you speak of . . . lol.  No seriously, I do spend a great deal of my free time running.  It really helps to clear my head - and gives me a great deal of focus.  

Woodside Showcase House Game Room

7) Scot, Finally, what words of advice do you have for the beginning designer?

I always remember that half of the ‘design business’ is the word ‘business.’  And you've got to run it that way.  Keeping an eye on your expenses and margins will help to create the financial basis for your business to succeed.  

Also - be amazing.  Listening to your clients.  And listen between their words.  They are describing their lives to you - and you need to be an active participant in creating ‘that life.’  

You can Reach Scot:


Click on images to ENLARGE (Courtesy of Scot Meacham Wood Design) and 
Pin it Button in the Left Corner  of Images 

Thank you so much Scot for participating in my 2013 Interior Design Feature

Art by Karena

I hope my faithful followers and friends will leave a comment for Scot.
As always thank you to all who support the Arts that make our world a more beautiful place!

The winner of the book by Leslie Sinclair, Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors is Bette from Ideezine

A copy of Designers at Home: Personal Reflections on Stylish Living has been sent to me for review

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