What I love most is how real she is! Not only is she stylish but also down to earth. So I had to have her back for more Q & A:
You've traveled and had an extremely interesting life. Now that you are a mother, what would you want your children to repeat?
"Thanks to my grandparents I have been able to travel much of Europe. I summered in Cannes yearly (after I attended camp in the Adirondack Mountains) until I was 12 when my grandparents moved to Oxfordshire in the UK. My summers in France are still so colorful and vivid. I am truly privileged. When I was older I had the opportunity to study over there as well. I nearly went to Miss Porter’s School but chose instead to study in Oxford to be near my grandparents. Those were some very tough years. I attended a highly sought after boarding school where members of the royal family were educated as well as some from the Guinness family. But truth be told, I was miserable. I was sad and homesick and too young (mentally) to be so far from my friends and family. I really call those my sad years. I would have done those very differently. But I still was opportune enough to travel and spent many wonderful, cherished moments with my grandparents. And, how many Americans (British even) can say they have used the Queen’s Loo? Yes, you read that right! My grandparents were members of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club (Wimbledon) and we would often go for lunch on the weekends. Due to my grandmother’s wheelchair, she was privy to the Queen’s Loo. And I was too!
My children lead very, very different lives. I was an only child to two very successful parents in Manhattan. I had Nannies from France. By contrast, I live in the burbs with three kids and have no nanny. I do it all myself. I wouldn’t change a thing. While I saw much of Europe I have seen very little of my own country. (I hadn’t been to Disney until I was 40!) My children will absolutely go to Europe, but in due time. There are three and the cost of travel (to Europe) for a large family is quite prohibitive. Our youngest is just 4, and much to young to travel abroad expensively without relatives there to host us. We’ll explore our country while they are young and let them see the world when they get a bit older. I’m not giving them the same experiences, just providing different and yet experiences that are equally as meaningful."
When you are decorating your home...what are you going for?
"Ugh… We have been in our new home for a year. It is a very slow going process for us… My home is (will be when completed!) a reflection of me. I want a home that is both elegant and casual, formal and comfortable.
We moved into a large house (I would have chosen something a little smaller in retrospect!) about a year ago. The first thing we did was to completely overhaul the living room and dining room. They were terrible… hideous!!! We had red and green plaid walls (with bunting) all over our dining room. Now, I do love a nice plaid, but this was just wrong, wrong, wrong! The living room had terrible faux paint wallpaper and they ruined a lovely fireplace by painting faux marble over real marble!!! The rooms are formal and European in feel. They are still unfinished in terms of décor and furniture. We are in the process of repainting our kitchen, family room and one of the downstairs bathrooms.
The downstairs bathroom will be painted Kittery (as in Maine) Green. It’s a Benjamin Moore. It will reflect our summers in Newport and Maine.
I want my kitchen to be a warm, comfortable place also with a European flair. I have some yellow Benjamin Moore paint swatches taped all over the walls! Our cabinets are oak (not my choice but they are high quality and we aren’t taking them down!) and the drapes and cushions are black and white ticking. Hopefully next year we will be able to replace the floor (to dark, wide plank hardwood – from ugly nasty dirty looking tile!) and counters (granite) and stove, a Jenn-Air which in its day (20 years ago) was the epitome of style and cuisine but now the burners are old, warped and chipped…
The family room has a very rustic feel. One wall is all stone with a massive fireplace built into it. The back of the house faces the woods and so it feels as though we are in Maine when we sit in this room. We have oversized, dark leather furniture in there and two dark, cherry wood armoires. I’m thinking Wedgewood by Benjamin Moore on the walls. I change my mind hourly. But I had better decide before the painter comes!
In terms of style and décor my two favorite rooms are the formal rooms, but the family room is a favorite because it is so comfortable and inviting…"
When you think of Preppy and the preppy blog world...what is your first memory or favorite/cherished item that will always be a part of that?
"When I think Preppy, of course I think Preppy Handbook. The one my parents tossed when they packed up the New York apartment while I was in college… the book they tossed without telling me while I was in college… Bitter? Me??? Y"
Look how cute she is with her Father in this picture!