Windsor Smith is a designer whose career is on fire. In addition to her interior design work, she just debuted a fabric collection, a furniture collection, and a rug line as well (whew!). I recently had the opportunity to speak with Windsor and it was quite a treat. Her personality is as warm and sparkling as her interiors.
To borrow the tagline from the National Enquirer, "Inquiring minds want to know", and that's the way I feel about design. So I decided to get Windsor's thoughts on anything and everything design related.
On Her New Fabric Line:
Windsor's new fabric line for Kravet has received rave reviews, and it's not hard to see why. The fabrics that caught my eye were her bold and graphic prints. But don't think that these are "in your face" prints. Windsor likes the snap and pop of strong pattern, but she chose to render them in soft colors like celadon and clove. And she wisely chose to use no more than two colors per print. The result? Prints that are classic and easy to live with. (Fabric available through Kravet showrooms and through her website.)
"Insignia" in Seafoam
"Continuum" in Chestnut
On Mixing Prints...With Style:
One question that I am asked often is how best to mix prints. I'll be the first to tell you that I'm not completely comfortable with doing this myself. Fortunately, Windsor shared some tips. First, mixing florals can be difficult, so you might want to stick with just one. Also, stripes, especially tone on tone, can work with a variety of prints. And if you're mixing multi-color prints, proceed with caution! Windsor advises using no more than two. Interestingly enough, Windsor gives the green light to mixing vintage fabrics, saying "anything goes". Her rationale? Vintage textiles become found objects and art and should be displayed almost like a collection. In her mind, Lynn von Kersting's work is a great example of this kind of mix.
See how well this gray and white striped fabric works with the pink and white paisley print? Windsor obviously practices what she preaches!
And look at the smashing combo of the green tonal stripes with the punchy pink print.
On White... and Blue:
It seems that every designer has one color which they add to every room. For Albert Hadley, it's red. For many others, it's black. For Windsor? White! As she says "the absence of color makes other colors sing!" That said, she also admits that she has a weakness for blue.
Blue and white in an East Coast Traditional home à la Windsor Smith.
On the Stars of her Collection:
So unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know that Windsor recently introduced her new furniture collection. And just what are her picks for the stand out pieces?
Brittany Secretary. Works as a TV cabinet, desk, or in bathrooms to hold makeup and towels.
Slim Chaise. Looks especially good nestled at the foot of a bed.
Entry Round Settee. Looks very "Grand Hotel" to me!
On Her Dream Clients:
(Jane Birkin- in case you're wondering)
Legendary style icon Slim Keith
On Her Current Favorite Design and Architecture Books:
An Affair with a House
Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People
On the Details that Make a House a Beautiful Home:
1) Art and found objects that reflect the personality of the homeowner
2) Large bundles of the same type flower in a casual vase
3) Lighting that makes a room come alive day and night
4) Floor plugs
Windsor has some wonderful Found Objects for sale on her website, including this Early Chippendale Table and the Antique French Fireplace Canopy
On the Future:
So what's next for Ms. Smith? Plenty. She's working on some amazing projects including a late 1940's equestrian estate. And, big things are in the works for her website. In addition to her online shop, there will be decorating advice, newsletters, and video. I'd say Windsor is in need of a vacation.