We met the lovely Patricia van Essche at SM Home last year during an evening sponsored by atHome magazine. Needless to say, we had been reading her blog, pve, and seeing her drawings everywhere – from blog headers (All The Best, Mrs. Blandings and most recently, Pretty Pink Tulips) and private commissions (people, pets, parties and places!) to whimsical designs for the store J. McLaughlin. We felt like we were meeting blogging royalty!
A Southern-born belle through and through, Patricia began her career armed with a BS in Fashion Design and her university’s coveted “Golden Brush” award. Fifteen years later, she had held positions as designer and design director at Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Liz Clairborn. Patricia, mother of three, now runs her own business out of her beautiful home in Westchester County (yes, she’s a neighbor, too!) and offers clients a broad range of designs services, including the most wonderful illustrations of homes (a great housewarming or Christmas gift!)
We were so excited earlier this summer when she came to our offices and spent the morning painting the most beautiful watercolor of one of our bouquets for a product extension launching this fall (more on that in October!) And we were even more honored when she accepted to be part of this Q & A!
1. What did you want to be when you were a child?
An artist or the flying nun.
2. What is your necessary luxury?
LIFE! Life is a luxury and telling my kids I love them each day.
3. What is your favorite decorating accessory?
“A smile” is like a bouquet of flowers!
4. Where do you window shop?
Everywhere I go. I was a fashion designer and that is what I did – shopped, traveled the globe, shopped, resourced, and shopping was the inspiration for many collections. I hope more small boutiques open as they are the creative soul. I love small shops – to know the owner. My favorite local shop is our bakery, our hardware store, our local Sunnydale for eggs, and daily needs. My best shop is in my head. I always prefer making things over shopping. Making gifts. Giving artwork.
5. What makes a house a home?
Part of what makes a house a home are the inhabitants. The markings on the wall, the scratches from the dog, the fingerprints, and the memories. There is an old Irish poem: “It takes a heap-o-livin to make a house a home.” Life, routine, the laundry, the daily meals, the celebrations, the sick days, the holidays all make a house a home.
6. What is the most enjoyable part of your day?
Oh, the wee early morning quiet and the evening hours when the house is alive… and humming.
7. What is your favorite flower?
My wedding bouquet had gardenias. It was a copy of my mom’s bouquet.
8. If you were a cocktail, what would you be?
I would be a champagne cocktail or an Old Fashioned with Kentucky bourbon.
9. If your life were made into a movie, what would be the title and who would play your part?
“Artsy” would be the title and it would be a comic love story about an artist, a love affair with art, one part historical and the other part hysterical. I guess I would want somebody unknown to play the role and this would make her famous. She would be normal, down-to-earth and likable.
10. Name one thing from your “Bucket List”.
One, jeesh… I think it would be to travel with my family for one year, to be missionaries – spreading care, kindness, teaching art – helping others.
Photos from pve