Q&A

with AMY CHALMERS and TRICIA FO­LEY

Country Sampler's Upstyled Home - - FACTORY FRESH -

Mai­son Decor blog­ger Amy Chalmers has al­ways been a fan of Tr­isha Fo­ley’s de­sign. A visit to Tr­isha’s home gave them both time to chat and share their thoughts. A part of their con­ver­sa­tion fol­lows.

AMY: How would you cat­e­go­rize your per­sonal decorating style, and has it evolved over the years? TRICIA: I al­ways try for a bal­ance of items that have sim­ple de­sign and func­tion and they seem right at home here.

AMY: This out­build­ing on your prop­erty is just one of sev­eral that you have re­habbed. Did the large win­dow and barn door you found help dic­tate what its pur­pose would be­come? TRICIA: The stu­dio was dark and clut­tered in the woods, and I wanted to open it up with larger win­dows and let the light in. When I found that win­dow in an old house in Rhode Is­land wait­ing for the wreck­ing ball, I had to save it! My brother rented a truck and drove it back here on the ferry and then built a frame for it and in­stalled it, and it trans­formed this old garage! He found the barn door down the road and the farmer who had it didn’t want it and gave it to me. We gave him a case of his fa­vorite beer as a thank-you.

AMY: Are you sur­prised at the ap­peal in­dus­trial items have for use in decorating homes cur­rently? TRICIA: No, I think peo­ple are en­ter­tain­ing dif­fer­ently in a more ca­sual way these days. No longer pulling out the fancy china and crys­tal, but look­ing for easy main­te­nance pieces to use. Big glass cylin­ders, an alu­minum sorter, photo de­vel­oper trays, wire mail bas­kets look cool, pro­vide great func­tion­al­ity. I love to look around my of­fice and gar­den shed for pieces to use!

AMY: De­sign trends and fads—what is the dif­fer­ence and how do you deal with them in your own per­sonal code of decorating? TRICIA: Good de­sign is good de­sign; it has stay­ing power. I am def­i­nitely in­flu­enced by the books I am work­ing on, the sub­ject mat­ter and the pieces I find in my re­search. But, I find I still have pieces that are func­tional and well de­signed that I’ve had for over 25 years, and they al­ways sur­vive the time test!

ABOVE LEFT: Be a fan! Some things just don’t go out of style. An an­tique fan still of­fers in­stant breeze dur­ing sum­mer gath­er­ings. ABOVE RIGHT: A gar­den ta­ble and chairs cast in white can be col­lapsed to cre­ate more room for guests.

Amy

Tricia

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