On June 14, renowned interior designers, architects, stylists, and writers will gather at the Mayflower Grace for a series of discussion panels highlighting inspiring aspects of design.
—Antonio Gaudi, Spanish architect & designer (1852-1926)
What fascinates us about interior design? For the professionals and enthusiasts alike, it is the joy in discovering the palettes, textures, art, antiques, and objects that makes our houses, homes. Many talented interior designers reside or have weekend retreats in our region’s historic towns, set in pastoral countryside or by pristine lakes. The beautiful surroundings are the perfect backdrop for our favorite design sources such as Privet House, Pergola, J. Seitz, Huntington & Hope, George Champion Modern Shop, and R.T. Facts—where rare and exquisite items attract the design cognoscenti from Boston, New York, and Europe.
On Saturday, June 14th, a select group of design professionals will take part in a Day of Design, a series of discussion panels at the Mayflower Grace. This is the first time that such an illustrious group has come together to share their inspirations, point of view, and design aesthetic. There will be a lunch provided by the new restaurant Muse by Jonathan Cartwright, as well as refreshments and a VIP Meet the Designers cocktail party.
The day is presented by John Richard, a Mississippi-based company that recently opened a showroom in the New York Design Center. Asked to describe a theme that influences their collections, Alan Galbraith, President of John Richard responded, ‘our collections are inspired by discovery, by the world around us… the richness found in exotic cities, architecture off the beaten path, bistros, or even the color of a blouse worn on a city bus.”
The first morning panel, Global Finds: Searching the World for the Unique and the Unusual. will bring together Richard Lambertson and Suzanne Cassano of Privet House with David Whitman and Peter Stiglin of Pergola to discuss shopping excursions to Morocco, France, India and Japan. The second morning talk covers Tabletop: Inspirations for Summer, a subject that melds aspects of design with the art of entertaining. The three panelists have rich backgrounds. Stacy Kunstel is a designer, stylist and a writer for national magazines. She also founded the design company Dunes and Duchess with her husband, photographer Michael Partenio. Amy Beth Cupp Dragoo of ABCD Design is an artist, designer and stylist who splits her time between New York and Litchfield County. These two ladies will be joined by interior designer Ron Norsworthy who has worked with many cultural icons and celebrities including Tyra Banks, Mariah Carey and Madonna.
After lunch, the afternoon will have a riveting agenda. First up is Art, Fine Art Photography and Wall Decoration in Interior Design. Dynamic interior designers Philip Gorrivan and Florence de Dampierre will be joined by KMR Arts gallery owner Kathryn McCarver Root. KMR Arts has become quite a cultural force in the county especially after a groundbreaking exhibition of Diane Arbus photographs just last year. Following this panel is a discussion of Architecture’s Influence on Interior Design with internationally renowned Robert Couturier who is included in Architectural Digest’s prestigious annual list of the best decorators and architects in the world. Joining him on the panel are Robert Passal, a NY and Miami based architect and designer and Brussels born architect Harold Tittmann, who has designed some exquisite residences in the county. Harold was enthusiastic when confirming his participation, “I am delighted to join other design professionals for the Day of Design at the “new” Mayflower! I very much look forward to sharing thoughts about the influence of architecture on interior design.”
The moderators for the panels are two of the most preeminent style setters and design mavens in the industry. Susanna Salk, a Litchfield County resident is a prolific author of highly regarded design books including Room for Children, Weekend Retreats, C.Z. Guest: American Style Icon, Be Your Own Decorator (all Rizzoli) and A Privileged Life: Celebrating Wasp Style (Assouline). Salk contributes to 1stdibs.com as well as producing decorating segments for NBC’s Today Show. Stacey Bewkes, founder and writer of Quintessence, has a mantra to ‘Experience, inspire, inform – it’s all about living well with style and substance.’ After 17 years as an art director in New York City, she left the corporate world for Connecticut. She adds, “It is a continuing love of design that led to the creation of this lifestyle blog, a discerning online guide to those special discoveries that make life just that much better.”
The Mayflower Grace in Washington is ideally suited for this gathering of the interior design community. When asked about the event, the first of its type in the area, general manager Ian Grant said, “We are thrilled to host a Day of Design. This will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the local design community, and all of the talent that resides in the area.”
The cost for the day is $170 which includes entry to both morning and afternoon panels, refreshments, lunch, and a VIP cocktail party. The event begins at 9:30 and ends at 6:00 pm. The morning panels are at 10 am and 11 am, followed by Lunch, and the afternoon panels at 2 and 3 pm. The VIP cocktail party is at 4:30. Reservations are required and can be booked by calling The Mayflower Grace at 860-868-9466.