About Tess & Ted
It all started in the ‘20s with a southern belle from Virginia and a boy from Manhattan.
Ted visited his sister down south one summer and met Tess, a stylish young woman who lived next door.
Tess and Ted married, and had four children, including my mother, Jean.
Though I never met my grandfather, and my grandmother died when I was very young, my mother claims that their collective sense of design -- from the clothing they wore, to the stationery on which they wrote, to the way they decorated their home -- jumped a generation and traveled straight into my blood.
I like to think so too.
I believe everybody, regardless of income, gender, or inherent sense of style, deserves a beautiful, comfortable home. This is not a privilege reserved for those who can spend hundreds of dollars on a single yard of fabric.
I believe such a home is vital to one’s mental and physical health, and my clients have proven that theory.
I believe that it’s better to have a home that accommodates your family, than a family that accommodates your home. Folks need less therapy that way.
I believe that you should always start with what you own when redesigning a space, that any room is better with flowers, and that a can of paint can change everything.
I believe in mixing styles and colors and textures in the same way that Tess’ southern femininity and Ted’s metropolitan sensibility blended to create a beautiful life.
I’ve been writing about the intersection of great design and real life at The Mudroom since 2009. A few years after starting The Mudroom, I started to pay attention to the voices of family, friends, and -- after selling a few houses really quickly thanks to successful staging -- real estate agents telling me that I should start doing “the interior design thing” for real. I started working with clients in early 2013 and knew after my first design plan review that I had found my calling.