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"Charlotte Moss Decorates" is elegance at its best


In yet another example of “I’d rather be lucky than good any day”, I had the incredible good fortune to score a last minute invite to Calico Home in Strafford last Wednesday for Charlotte Moss’s Presentation: “Rooms I Love and the People Who Made Them,” as well as the book signing for her new book “Charlotte Moss Decorates.” I arrived to find the elegant designer fabric store turned into a fabulous bistro for the evening, complete with wine, appetizers, and a room filled with gorgeous Main Line homemakers, press, businesswomen and decorators all dressed in a sea of beautiful black cocktail dresses.  I immediately lamented my choice of navy blue. Good God, what was I thinking?Charlotte Moss photo: sohautestyle

My questionable wardrobe choice notwithstanding, I had a fabulous time. The best part: a solid reaffirmation that incorporating beauty, elegance and lovely touches in your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune!   

As Charlotte shared her fantastic presentation – a fabulous montage of beautiful homes and their famous owners – I was struck time and again by how the unique touches (a lovely candelabra, beautiful bookshelves, a gorgeous ottoman) could indeed cost a fortune if you have the means and chose to go that way, but could also easily be acquired by careful shopping and a touch of your own creativity.  How many of us have shopped at a fabulous consignment store and come across a lovely, upscale piece, immediately fell in love with it, but thought “Oh, no – it wouldn’t fit with the other pieces in the room,” or “I couldn’t possibly recover it myself to match the rest of the furniture?”
Nonsense - Be fearless, be daring!  If it’s within your budget, bring it home.  If it requires some work, show it who’s boss!  Home improvement tip and shameless plug: if you’re looking for some seriously drool-worthy fabrics for your room redo, hit your local Calico Home and let the staff there help you out with fabric choices.  Warning: if you’re anything like me, budgeting 20 minutes for a quick stop into this store will prove laughably inadequate – one look at the fabrics, accessories, tassels, etc. had my idea for a simple set of curtain panels quickly morph into a fabric fantasy involving floor-to-ceiling drapes, layered valances, lavish swags and just a touch of gold embellishment on a tastefully-monogrammed cornice.  My husband should be so afraid right about now.

If you too find yourself longing to update and redecorate a room in your house, but you’re not sure where to begin, start with a solid budget of what you can afford, then tailor your décor to match it.   Use the pricier fabrics for trims, edging, pillows, etc, and steer towards the less expensive fabrics for the bulk of your decorating, like the curtains and bedspreads.  The best part is the highly-brag worthy rights to shout from the highest rooftops that you created it all!  FYI, when attempting projects like this at home on your own sewing machine, straight stitches are optional – and in my opinion – highly overrated.   A less-than-perfect stitch is impossible to notice from the front. That being said, anyone turning over a curtain of mine to study the seam will immediately wonder if I grew up on Passyunk Avenue, but I digress.  Bottom line, I’ve sewn a dozen bedcovers, forty curtains and a zillion pillow covers over the years, had a great time doing it, and haven’t managed a straight stitch on one of them yet.  If I can do it, so can you!

“Charlotte Moss Decorates” is Charlotte’s seventh book, and is a fantastic read.  Filled with gorgeous pictures, beautiful designs, her impeccable taste shines through on every page.  This book – and her six previous creations – can be found online at her website: www.CharlotteMoss.com.

Kristen Hagopian is a Motivational Speaker, Columnist & Author of Brilliant Frugal Living. Catch more money-saving tips via radio (or livestream!) when she hosts “The Brilliant Frugal Living Show” every Tuesday at 11A on Philadelphia’s WFYL 1180am (www.1180wfyl.com)!  Her book is available at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

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