Charlotte Moss. Photo by Francesco Lagnese

Charlotte Moss, one of the world’s leading interior designers, is well known for her warm, comfortable, and incredibly luxurious interiors that expertly blend American, European, and Classical influences. Moss’ designs, which range from private spaces to collections of furniture, fabrics, trims, carpet, decorative accessories, and jewelry, all exude an effortless elegance that is incredibly alluring and distinctly her own.

After opening her distinguished firm in New York in 1985, Moss was quickly named a “Decorator to Watch” by House and Garden. The accolades have continued to pour in. Moss has been the recipient of The Timeless Design Award, given by the Royal Oak Foundation, Elle Décor’s Vision Award, and Traditional Home magazine’s list of the world’s top twenty interior designers. A Renaissance woman through and through, Moss is the author of nine books and contributes to House Beautiful magazine as special projects editor. A dedicated philanthropist, Moss serves on the Boards of The Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, The Bone Marrow Foundation, The Elsie de Wolfe Foundation, and the Advisory Board of The New York School of Interior Design. She is a member of the Executive Cabinet of The Leaders of Design Council, and sits on the Acquisitions Committee at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

This month marks Moss’ thirtieth year in the industry, so we caught up with the doyenne of design to discuss her inspirations, top tips for entertaining and much more.

An interior by Charlotte Moss

InCollect: Who are some of your favorite designers (past and present)?

Charlotte Moss: Renzo Mongiardino for exuberance, layering and theater. Billy Baldwin for restraint, clarity and curation. Nancy Lancaster for comfort, ease and hospitality.

InCollect: What is your favorite room to design? What about that room appeals to you?

CM: The rooms that appeal to me most are the ones that will be used every day, and rooms where the client is willing to experiment. The enthusiasm and curiosity of the client is the catalyst for creating any great room.

A bedroom by Charlotte Moss

InCollect: You are quite an authority when it comes to entertaining. What are your top tips for a successful (and stylish) gathering?

CM: Be prepared, relax, plan every detail yourself, make a toast, and have fun. There is no single formula for successful entertaining. I believe that the intangible, or in other words, the ambience, is just as important in entertaining as it is in the grand scheme of decorating or gardening.

InCollect: Are there any current trends in interior design that you’re particularly excited about?

CM: I’ve always felt the value in design is in the things that transcend, and also my role as decorator is to create value long term, but always keeping an eye peeled for something that says now that can add a jolt of excitement and energy to a room.

A dining room by Charlotte Moss

InCollect: What are the biggest challenges you face as an interior designer? What are the greatest rewards?

CM: Reading minds! I’ve gotten better over the years. On a serious note, solving problems and managing expectations are the real challenges in decorating. The rewards are a beautiful house completed (happy client of course!), the next house, or the next generation.

InCollect: This month marks your 30th year in the industry. What are the greatest lessons you have learned over the course of your career? What advice would you give to designers who are just starting out?

CM: Too numerous to list – but thank god for that. Trust your instincts, trust your eye, trust yourself. For the young designers – do your homework, get out from behind a screen, travel, read, never bluff, and be confident.

A family room by Charlotte Moss

InCollect: You’re kicking off your 30th year with new collections for Fabricut and Pickard. Can you talk a little about both of those projects?

CM: In all cases with licensing, it is about being part of a great team.  One of the great privileges in this business is having the opportunity to collaborate and express your creativity in a different way. We’ve also been fortunate to create furniture for Century and carpets for Stark carpet.

InCollect: What is something our readers might not know about you (i.e., a secret hobby, passion or interest)?

CM: I’m a serious scrapbooker, a book nerd, love being behind a camera, a passionate putterer at home, and a fierce flaneur. I love being in my kayak, on my bike, I drive a vintage car, and aspire to racing one.

Click here to view more sumptuous interiors by Charlotte Moss.