By Emily J. Weitz
Charlotte Moss, author of eight books and regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, is a master of drawing inspiration from nature in both her interior and exterior designs. That’s why the Madoo Conservancy wanted to have her as the featured speaker to kick off their series of talks, Winter’s Tales at Madoo.
“We’re delighted to have Charlotte speak to our audience this Sunday,” says Alejandro Saralegui, who is the director at Madoo. “Just when we’re craving a bit more than a snowdrop, Charlotte will be speaking about beautiful gardens she has visited and photographed in all their glory over the past few years.”
This series is a chance for the community to gather in Robert Dash’s winter house painting studio, and to enjoy a reception in the living quarters. The grounds will also be open for visitors to take a stroll and take in the earliest signs of springtime. The three-lecture series will take place on consecutive Sundays, beginning with Ms. Moss’s conversation on March 10. The cost is $75 for all three lectures.
“I hope that each of our lecturers will offer inspiration of a different sort,” says Saralegui. “Charlotte has a passion for design, both in her interiors work and her gardening. Over the years she has accumulated a vast store of images, which she uses to inspire and teach people about how interiors and gardens can be uplifting and can create a sense of balance that is so crucial in our go-go world.”
Moss believes that nature is an essential source of inspiration in her designs as well as in her life.
“I believe you cannot have a complete life, a fulfilled life, without bringing nature into your life in some way,” Moss says. “Whether it is a favorite houseplant or a garden.”
While a houseplant thoughtfully placed can evoke a sense of the calm that nature brings, Moss would prefer to start from the very bones of the house.
“The most important way to bring a sense of the outside to an interior space is through thoughtful architecture,” she says. “I want light, number one, and after that, as much of the landscape as I can see from my windows.”
When Moss is working with outdoor spaces, she keeps the idea of balance a priority. So while inside she is bringing a sense of the outdoors in, outside she is retaining certain aspects of the indoors.
“I like to keep a sense of movement and discovery,” she says, “as in moving from one room to another. The same goes with creating spaces in the garden. A sense of hospitality and providing spaces to sit and relax.”
Colors are another element of design that she harnesses both inside and out.
“While nature provides the key palette element of green,” she says, “one can build around that based on personal preferences, just like decorating a room.”
After Moss probes into the elements of indoor/outdoor design, she will do a book signing of her most recent title, A Visual Life: Scrapbooks, Collages, and Inspirations, which was released by Rizzoli in 2012.
“A Visual Life was the result of a very organic process,” says Moss. “The material that I have created and collected over time just presented itself in a certain way. The process unfolded and the timing was right for this type of book, as the interest in Pinterest and Instagram and on-line methods have become increasingly popular.”
A Visual Life explores design through what Moss calls the “scissors and glue stick” method, but since all of her photos are digital, she has created digital scrapbooks that come together in the book.
Moss has a home in East Hampton, where her gardens are at the center of her world.
“When I arrive in East Hampton,” she says, “[my garden] is the first place I go after dropping my bags in the front hall. Calm, peace, and gratitude would be some of my immediate reactions. I need to be in it, have a good walk around, communicate with it. Any gardener knows that feeling.”
Moss’s philosophy gels with that of the Madoo Conservancy, which is why she was sought after as a speaker.
“Not surprisingly,” says Saralegui, “Charlotte has been a big champion of Madoo where the interiors and gardens are all part of a living environment that is meant to be both uplifting and thought-provoking.”