I was heartbroken to learn that Joe Nye, a designer whom I considered to be a friend, died last week. I got to know Joe about six years ago when he gave my sister and me the grand tour of Los Angeles. It was then that I learned what a kind, gregarious, and generous person he was. I remember a day spent seeing the city's design hot-spots, chatting about Sister Parish and our favorite fabrics, and relaxing at his lovely, chic, jewel-box of an apartment in Beverly Hills. (You can see photos of his apartment, below.) It was a day I won't forget.
Over the years, I enjoyed seeing his work featured in magazines such as House Beautiful, and I was thrilled when his first book, Flair: Exquisite Invitations, Lush Flowers, and Gorgeous Table Settings, was published. It seemed appropriate that Joe's book was about entertaining. After all, he was warm and hospitable and cared a great deal about creating beauty, both for himself and for others. He had great, effortless style, and he was a good old-fashioned decorator in the best sense of the profession. He loved Chinoiserie, antiques, modern art, books, Dodie Thayer lettuceware, Mottahedeh Blue Canton, and all of the other time-honored things that I also love. Perhaps that is why we always had so much to talk about.
I will miss visiting him, and my future trips to Los Angeles just won't be the same without our get-togethers. At least we have his work, and his book, to remind us of what a talented man Joe Nye truly was.
Image of Joe from his book, Flair, Rizzoli 2010. Images of Joe's apartment from House Beautiful, August 2009, Roger Davies photographer.