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  • Judy Bistany

Eclectic Design or Just Another Word for Personal?

Updated: Jun 25, 2019


I have a favorite client right across the Snell Isle bridge towards Venetian Isles.  She is delightful - interesting and creative.  As you might guess, so is her home.  When we first began to work together, she was surprised to learn on my initial visit to her home that her husband's large model airplanes that hung from the high family room ceiling would be a welcome addition to my vision for her soon to be updated space.  Airplanes on the ceiling (the 4' kind) as a part of the design?  Well, yes, of course.........all a part of what most call eclectic design and what I call personal design.


The most celebrated decorator (yes, decorator) of the 20th Century was a man named Billy Baldwin.

(He died in 1972.  He is NOT Alec Baldwin's brother).


His clients included Jackie Onassis, Brooke Astor and Greta Garbo (whose check he would not cash just so he could have her signature) to name a few.  When asked what was most important in a decorating scheme he replied.........(sic) ......" above all else, it must be personal"


My sentiments exactly.  How easy it is to create cookie cutter designs - how exciting it is to have an unexpected mix of things one loves - all working together to make it a beautiful backdrop for living.  Ruby Ross Wood, the famed Billy Baldwin's mentor, said decorating (they did not call it design back then) was all about arranging beautiful things comfortably.  To borrow a phrase from the Barefood Contessa ...." How simple is that?"


Design and decoration is both complex and simple at the same time.  What is takes mostly is courage, a keen eye (or the keen eye of someone you trust) and the joy of creation to make a space your own.


#interiordesign #charleston #stpetersburg #fortlauderdale #decoration


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