Windsor Smith is known as a tastemaker, influencer, interior, fabric, furniture and lighting designer and self-professed “odd sprout off the family tree.” Her highly anticipated first book reveals all of these talents, yet something more soulful beyond her artistic accomplishments. Friend and client Gwyneth Paltrow describes Windsor’s sixth sense in her foreword, “Windsor’s questions to me would often veer away from color palettes and curtains, and I came to know her essence through these queries…I started to see that a beautiful home is only truly beautiful if it is serving the togetherness of the family, a concept that previously I had never paired with good design.”
Her gorgeous new book celebrates her ability to mix old Hollywood glamour with modern practicality. She breaks down her creative process into five chapters focussing on her design intuition, sense of color, creating balance, mixing the past and present and creating all-embracing spaces for today’s modern family. The photography is not only stunning, but the story behind her designs is as captivating.
Becoming an interior designer was not intentional for Windsor. She says, “I sort of snuck up on it, and my journey was purely intuitive.” She grew up in Kansas and Texas, taught in Manhattan and Tokyo, and then landed in Los Angeles. She would frequent flea markets as a hobby to furnish her own spaces and this led to buying trips abroad and opening her own shop. She come upon the trade somewhat by accident helping her clients select pieces for their own homes.
As she worked with clients, she realized people were not always connected to their chosen lifestyle and she could help them bridge that gap. Windsor would create rooms for how her clients actually lived. She was more interested changing the way her clients lived in their spaces than just creating beautiful interiors for them.
An underlying sense of balance is evident throughout all of the rooms Windsor designs. She credits her dance background for her balancing prowess, “When I look back, I realize I had the perfect education without even knowing it. Dancers have a daily discipline of exercising both sides of the brain as they learn to dance with both sides of the body, reversing all movements and repeating them so there is no weaker side. Just holding a drawing up to a mirror will immediately reveal any flaws in its proportion and execution, the unique exercise of watching your dancing form in reverse trains your visual skills to identify what’s ‘off’ or not in line. That hyper-developed sense of balance means I see rooms and their contents as a series of lines: I can ‘walk’ through them in my mind and just know how the spaces should flow, how the elements connect and overlap and support the design as a whole, and finally, what will enhance the ‘story’ of the house and make it more compelling”
This book will be a must have for every design library! Click here to purchase.
Mark your calendar for the most highly anticipated design event this spring….La Cienega Design Quarter’s LEGENDS, a 3-day extravaganza of keynote speakers, cocktail parties, open houses, exhibitions and networking with the top design editors, writers and bloggers from throughout the country. After experiencing LEGENDS for the first time last spring, I knew I had to make it an annual creative pilgrimage! I am thrilled to an ambassador for this year’s event and look forward to sharing coverage of all of the events in just a few short weeks.
Now in its seventh consecutive year, the event has attracted over 60,000 guests and all funds raised go towards Habitat for Humanity and the La Cienega Design Quarter Beautification Fund. The LCDQ was established in 2008 to promote the flourishing antiques and design community in one of Los Angeles’ oldest thoroughfares. Since the 1950s, it has been a shopping hot spot for designers such as William Haines, Else de Wolfe, Tony Duquette and Frances Elkins.
Don’t miss the video below which captures the essence of LEGENDS in sunny Los Angeles…
Sixty-seven talented designers from around the country will transform the windows of the LCDQ member shops, showrooms and galleries on the theme of Where Muses Dwell. The designers have been asked to present to the design aficionados who throng the LCDQ during LEGENDS where their muse dwells. The designers have been asked to bring their muses to life and show guests WHO, WHAT, WHEN or WHERE inspires them most.
1) A spirit or source that inspires an artist
2) Greek Mythology. any of the Muses
a) the spirit that is thought to inspire a poet or other artist; source of genius or inspiration
b) Now Rare, a poet
I asked some of my favorite design muses what made the LEGENDS event so special….enjoy!
“LCDQ is a unique event that unifies the design community. It seems all facets of our industry participate, from shop owners, to decorators,magazine editors and bloggers. It makes it all the more fun!”
“I love LCDQ because it’s an event that it brings together the design community like no other. There is a sense of inclusiveness unique to LCDQ. Interior designers, showroom owners, magazine editors and design enthusiasts mingle, learn and share in the joy of design. To quote Patrick Dragonette, it’s like spring break for the design community! It’s positive,fun with a “design for all” ethos.”
“I am always excited for this time of year, spring and the LCDQ Legends event! The opportunity to meet so many talented people associated with the design industry. Our lives are so busy day to day, it is a delight to share ideas, see old friends, and make new ones. I am looking forward to another year of incredible windows, great talks, and happy gatherings!”
“LCDQ is engaging, experientail,intimate and exceptional. We love to meet and greet with new friends and old, hear terrific speakers, and persue la Cinega’s wonderful design outposts. All of this in LA’s heavenly weather.”
“Legends of La Cienega has become one of the premier design events in the country. As a designer, it is absolutely THE place to be! Los Angeles has become a major destination for designers. Its vibrant culture and growing design community makes it an amazing place to draw inspiration from. Legends of La Cienega gives designers the opportunity to interact with one another and to realize how different, yet similar, the design industry is across the US. I am so looking forward to the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, meet new friends, and see what’s fresh and exciting in the design world!
Alexandra Loew – Jamal’s
Amanda Richards – JD Staron – Edith Piaf
Amy Meier – Marc Phillips – My Mother’s Workroom
Annette English – Downtown – A Guiding Genius
Barondes Morris – Egg & Dart – Gustav Eiffel
Betsy Burnham – Mecox – Wild Animals
Cami Wright – Sherle Wagner – The South/ Texas
Christina Rottman – Mansour
Christopher Kennedy – Marc Phillips
Cliff Fong – Dragonette
Commune Design – Remains – Viennese Secession
Curated – Downtown
Elizabeth Dinkel – Nicky Rising – Julia Morgan
Gary Gibson – Lee Stanton –Sculptor Martin Puryear
Geoffrey de Sousa – Tufenkian
Hallworth Design – Lee Stanton – Mother Nature
Hammer & Spear – Woven Accents
Jason Oliver Nixon/Madcap Cottage – Baker
Jeff Andrews – Fuller & Roberts – Movement
Jeneration Interiors (Jennifer Dyer) – Ralph’s Antiques
John Wooden – Mansour
Julia Buckingham – The Rug Company – Slim Aarons
Kate Lester Interiors – Hollywood Sierra Kitchens – Father Time
Katie & Jason Maine – Jean de Merry
Ken Fulk – Therien – The Movie Inside My Mind
Kendall Wilkinson – George Smith – Blondie
Kerry Joyce – McKinnon & Harris
KM Nelson – Egg & Dart – Pauline de Rothschild
Konstantin Kakanias – Jasper
Kylee Shintaffer – Hollyhock
Larry Rizkowsky – The Rug Affair – Bank Vault
Laura Kirar – Baker
L’Esperance Design – Dragonette – The World of Cartier
Mark Sikes – Hollywood at Home
Matt O’Dorisio – Cote Jardin – Yves Saint Laurent
Maxime Jacquet – George Smith – Andy Warhol
Maya Williams – Marc Phillips – Women of Rock
Michelle Workman – Mehraban – Starlettes & Set Decorators of the 1940’s
Natasha Baradaran – Claremont – La Dolce Vita
Nathan Turner – Serena & Lily
Patrick Ediger – Gina Berschneider – Marie Antoinette & Thalia
Philip Gorrivan – Harbinger
Platner & Company – Stark – Rose Cumming
Ryan Saghian – Janet Yonaty – Iran
Sam Allen – Hollyhock
Scot Meacham Wood – Mehraban
Scott Mitchell – Jonas
Stephen Shutts Design – Sherle Wagner – Eden
Studio Tim Campbell – Elizabeth Eakins
Susan Cohen – JD Staron – Coco Chanel
Tag Front – Renaissance – Maria Felix
Thomas Allardyce – Janet Yonaty – Euterpe (Greek Goddess of Music)
Tim Barber – Waterworks
Timothy Corrigan – Compas – Jean Charles Moreux
Todd Nickey & Amy Kehoe – Hollywood at Home – Wes Anderson
Vance Burke – Reborn Antiques – Albert Hadley
Windsor Smith – Arteriors – Renee Perle
Young Huh – Harbinger
For coverage of last year’s LCDQ LEGENDS event, click here.
|Table Setting by Set, Sip, Serve|
There is nothing better than reconnecting with old friends and picking up right where you left off. Thirty years ago (yikes…am I really that old?), I met the delightful Benton Jordan at summer camp. Benton always made everyone feel a little less homesick with her graciousness and hospitality. It is absolutely no surprise that she has channeled this charm into a fabulous new entertaining resource called Set, Sip Serve.
Set Sip Serve is a“go-to” at home entertaining site that showcases home entertainers, chefs,
|Table setting by Sip, Set, Serve|
|Annie Belanger Wehrle and Benton Jordan Weinstock|
|Table setting by Sugar Paper|
|Table setting by Danielle Rollins|
|Table Setting by Ruthie Sommers|