right after college i moved to nashville where my parents were living and i started working as an assistant for a well known interior designer at the time. this was prior to me starting my retail career, however, this short lived tenure as a design assistant for an interior design firm put a taste in my mouth for what later would become a career evolution into the design community.
one of the most memorable experiences was a trip the whole office took to atlanta for a three day event at the Atlanta Design center- ADAC. showrooms, receptions and lectures made up the daily schedule. the one thing to this day that still stays in my mind was a talk given by the legendary mark hampton. to be honest at the time i didn’t know much about Mr. hampton, but what i did know after hearing him and meeting him was that i wanted to be just like him- he was so sophisticated, elegant, most important, he was so nice!
at this very point and for many other reasons i knew that interior design was a passion and something that would become an intense desire to cultivate and nurture. this event set off a deep dive into learning and studying, collecting books and magazines, immersing myself into all aspects of the design world.
so to bring it all full circle- i’m a huge fan of mark hamptons’s work! so classic, all-american, timeless and refined! more to come on this later, but since it’s sunday book club let’s talk books. one of my favorite books is by mark hampton called legendary decorators of the twentieth century– a survey and tribute to the great designers of the 20-th century including such greats as albert hadley, jean-michel frank, sister parish, david hicks and michael taylor to name a few.
the brilliance of this book is not only the behind-the-scenes look at the distinctive styles of this array of designers, as well as, a dive into their influences from the past and their influences on each other, but that the illustrations of their work is done by mr. hampton’s own exquisitely detailed watercolors- so chic, so glamorous, so stylish!
a month or so ago when i was in nyc i went to the opening night of the kips bay show house and i got to meet the great alexa hampton, mark hampton’s daughter. a very talented designer who has carried on her fathers work and his name with great style. elegant and sophisticated like her father, but what was most like her father was her warmth and kindness- so lovely!
beyond the beautiful water colors of mark hampton what i find so refreshing is how he dedicated a book to his influencers, the great designers that inspired him! the way he dives deep into their distinct styles with the greatest appreciation for their talent, their work and their mark on design today.
i guess even the greatest of designers immerse themselves, study, survey and learn from other great designers- how refreshing, how inspiring, and the watercolors in and of themselves- are so very chic! enjoy!