I live in upstate New York, close enough to NYC to be near everything I love about the city, but far away enough to escape all the things I hate. My house feels as if it will never be finished – it’s constantly under renovation/decoration, but it’s pet- and family-friendly, as we entertain a lot.
I try to make the most of the beautiful countryside that surrounds me by bringing it inside, design-wise. I have big picture windows. But it’s a challenge when you have kids and dogs tramping in snow in the winter and mud in the summer.
The first thing clients say to me is, “I don’t want Soho House.” They like that feeling, that attention to detail, that warmth – but they want it in a different aesthetic. Which is great.
Words aren’t always useful when it comes to describing a visual world. People will say they don’t like “traditional” when what they actually mean is that they don’t want anything floral. It’s about how you communicate. It comes down to listening and trust, whether it’s the Beckhams or anyone else. I like to think the homes we design are there to be lived in and that they get better and better with age. Each one is unique. The biggest compliment is when a client says the design is a reflection of who they really are.
My personal hit list for art and furniture is constantly evolving. Luckily I’m always shopping for clients, so I have plenty of opportunities for wonderful finds. Parma Antique Fair in Italy is a must for me – it helps that the food at the end of a fun day is so good. And I’ve worked with Pintura Studio in New York for many years, as it has beautiful textile patterns. I love Antoinette Poisson in Paris and Watts of Westminster in London, too.
I’m constantly buying stuff – vintage wallpapers, textiles, ceramics. I have an old car and I just stash it all in the back. You never know when you’re going to get inspired by something. My wall space is taken up by the bits and bobs I find at fairs, and by my family photos.
I love vintage interiors books and old copies of The World of Interiors – I’d browse these rather than scroll through Instagram any day. But if I could save only one object from a fire, it would be the olive tree in my bedroom!
Pictures from top: Designer Vicky Charles; an airy Charles & Co interior in Barcelona; a Charles & Co-designed kitchen gets canine approval; Watts of Westminster’s Ussé Chinoiserie Fleur wallpaper; a study designed by Charles & Co for a client in East Hampton