Last weekend, I stayed at the enchanting Wolterton Hall with a group of design friends following the Design Leadership Summit in London. After jam packed days of learning and inspiration following in the footsteps of the great British architects and designers of centuries past, the retreat to the countryside was pure heaven. Our home for the weekend was the charming Garden Cottage on the grounds of Wolterton Park. Under the expert care of Peter Sheppard and Keith Day, the 18th century Palladian villa is lovingly being restored and brought back to life. We received a behind the scenes look at what it takes to restore such a significant property while enjoying the spaces in the main hall, east wing, and cottages that are already complete. Peter and Keith have an incredible master plan for the estate that includes creating more guest cottages, restoring the walled garden and adding a pool, equestrian facilities, additional dining faclities, and possibly a spa which our house party encouraged.
The beautiful estate has been featured in the World of Interiors and landed on House and Garden UK’s list as one of the best places to stay in England. Peter and Keith along with Laura Foster and Chris Patten took excellent care of us entertaining us with their hospitality beyond measure. Their precious pugs, Coco and Trump (after William Hogarth’s pug) captured our hearts and even let us take them out for their daily strolls. Our days consisted of shooting parties, country house hopping, antiquing along the coast, gin tastings, and long dinners by the fire hearing fabulous tales from our hosts.
I was thrilled to participate in this fun interview with Sotheby’s Home. Working at Sotheby’s straight out of college was the best experience I could have ever wished for as a young creative. Not only did I work with some of the most fascinating people in the art and design world, but I was also exposed to the best of the best. Cataloging works of art alongside the design experts, working on condition reports, arranging the sales and pre-sale exhibitions was the best training in the world. Thank you Sotheby’s Home for letting me share my design philosophy and favorite finds below…
Capture Cathy’s technicolor design sense with her personally selected pieces from Sotheby’s Home.
It is always a thrill to see a favorite project published. This labor of love with longtime clients was recently published in one of my favorite publications, Atlanta Home & Lifestyles. The Atlanta design community is near and dear to my heart. Not only did I grow up there, but I also went to design school in Atlanta and began my design career there. Many of the items featured were sourced through the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center and made their way through previous homes for these dear clients before ultimately landing in Washington, D.C.
One of the most special opportunities we have worked on this year was designing a window at the Janet Yonaty showroom for the LCDQ’s Legends event that took place this past week. Every May, the design community descends on Los Angeles for three days of inspiration. Forty interior designers are invited to design showroom windows inspired by this year’s theme: Legendary: Icons of Design presenting their homages to legendary interior designers of the past. We were VERY pleasantly surprised to WIN the contest for “Favorite Window!” Heartfelt thanks to everyone who voted for us and to all of the amazing vendors, artists, and craftsmen (listed below) that brought our vision to life. A special thank you to Tamar Mashigian for inviting us to participate in this incredible event!
Chairish is one of my favorite resources to find vintage pieces for client projects. This month, I am delighted to have been selected to participate in their exclusive Designer Showhouse sale, a curated collection of pieces hand-picked by designers from some of the country’s most prestigious Showhouses! See all of the beautiful finds, available now on Chairish by clicking HERE for my shop and HERE for the rest of the sale. The sale goes live TODAY (Saturday, March 2nd) at 12 noon EST.
I have included items from the Southeastern Designer Showhouse presented by Atlanta Home and Lifestyles and the Charleston Symphony Designer Showhouse. There are some incredible finds in the sale that are marked well below the wholesale prices. Happy hunting!
Marella Agnelli at Home, Horst P. Horst, 1967
Regarded as one of the twentieth century’s most glamorous and cultured women, Marella Agnelli led an incredibly fascinating life married to Gianni Agnelli, also known as “the rake of the Riviera,” for his love of fast cars, sailboats, clothing, and beautiful women. Gianni’s sisters introduced him to the stunning Marella and thought she was the only lady suitable for their brother. The famous Agnelli fortune was made In the early 19th century when their father Giuseppe planted mulberry trees for silkworms on his estate in Villar Peroso. This incredibly successful venture led him to launch Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino, aka Fiat. which his son Gianni ran for 30 years.
Richard Avedon nicknamed her “The Swan” in 1953 after taking this iconic portrait of her below. Throughout her lifetime, Marella collaborated with the best artists and designers of her day, offering her gardens and residences as their canvases that spread throughout Turin, Rome, Milan, New York, St. Moritz, and Marrakech. The projects range from classic to ultramodern filled with amazing art and groundbreaking decorating innovations.
When the opportunity arose to host an event in Paris during Deco Off and Maison et Objet, I thought what could be better than to have a celebration of creativity surrounded by the most talented people I know? In searching for a theme for the evening, I decided to take a cue from two of the most fascinating figures in design…Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette. Gay Gassman of Architectural Digest captured the magic of the evening in the lovely article below…
The table setting for Cathy Austin’s Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette-themed dinner party in Paris. Photo: Kelly Marshall
Design has taken over Paris this week with the 10th anniversary of Paris Deco Off and the opening of global trade fair Maison + Objet. Besides the massive fair, this means more than 100 fabric and furniture showroom open houses, countless pop-ups and special events, and streets festooned with oversize lampshades swinging from the buildings in the City of Light. It also means every night is jam-packed with cocktails and dinners hosted by the big industry showrooms, but there are also smaller private events. One of the most intriguing invitations of the season was the beautifully designed one for “An Unforgettable Romp in Paris: An Evening Inspired by Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette,” hosted last night by Charlotte, North Carolina–based interior designer Cathy Austin of Catherine M. Austin Interior Design at the Paris home of AD 100 designer Frank de Biasi and designer Gene Meyer.
The second annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House opened in Palm Beach this past weekend showcasing the work of 21 talented designers. Overlooking Lake Worth, the Mediterranean-style villa provided a beautiful backdrop for the designers to work their magic. The house is open until February 20th and tickets may be purchased by clicking here. See below for a tour and if you are headed south, do not miss seeing these spectacular spaces in person!
We are excited to be up for the LUXE Red Awards this year in the 3 categories below. The Reader’s Choice Voting is open and we need your vote!
Please click on the image below to cast a vote in the three categories before THIS FRIDAY January 25th.
I would be so grateful for your vote. Thank you in advance for your consideration!
I am delighted to share this lovely article that appeared in Architectural Digest this past week about my passion for working with artists and connecting them with clients. Using original art and educating clients is a cornerstone of my design aesthetic. I am so grateful I found a profession that allows me to combine all of my desired careers (artist, art history professor, curator, and designer) into one! Thank you to Katy Olson for sharing our story and to all the artists and galleries I have had the privilege to work with over the years!
Austin works with artist Charlie Havanich, pictured here, who is represented by Hidell Brooks Gallery. “I adore Charlie and I just acquired one of his works,” Austin tells AD PRO. “The image in the picture is a commission for one of my clients that bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Jackie.” / Photography: Charle Hanavich
Cathy Austin began her career not in design, but in art, working at Sotheby’s across departments including European Porcelain, American Paintings, and American Furniture. “I assisted the experts cataloguing the works for the auctions, handling archives, client contracts, condition reports, and arranging presale exhibitions. I began as an intern and archivist and also worked as an administrator,” recalls Austin. When she transitioned into interiors, Austin kept connected to the art scene, attending shows like Maison et Objet and TEFAF—but also in a more tangible way, sourcing local Southern talent for her interior-design projects.