with AMY CHALMERS and TRICIA FOLEY
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.