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Patricia van Essche

Q & A

Q & A with Patricia van Essche

The Lovely Patricia

The Lovely Patricia

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!

Mrs. Blandings' Header

Mrs. Blandings' Header

Pretty Pink Tulips' Header

Pretty Pink Tulips' Header

J. McLaughlin Press Kit Cover

J. McLaughlin Press Kit Cover

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!)

Decorated for the Fourth of July

Decorated for the Fourth of July

Absolutely Beautiful Things Notecards

Absolutely Beautiful Things Notecards

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.

Thank you, Patricia, for your works of art and gentle presence – we’re so fortunate to have met you!  For more information, please visit Patricia’s website and Etsy store.

Photos from pve

Personalities, The Latest Buzz

Second Lives at SM Home

Last night, we participated in the “Living Better at Home” evening in Greenwich with a trunk show at one of our favorite stores, SM Home (see our Q & A post on April 28).  Along with showcasing designs from our new Fall/Winter 2009 collection, Sandy also invited a number of wonderful artists whose works she represents.  We were thrilled to meet Patricia van Essche (we’re huge fans of her blog!), Elizabeth Belliveau and Penny Putnam, all women who like us are living their “second lives”.  While Patricia and Elizabeth left careers in fashion at Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein to persue their own creative paths, Penny retired after 20 years as a graphic designer in the city to paint her masterpieces.  We love how these women followed their passions to create beautiful works of art – the world is a much prettier place because they did!

SM Home's Window

SM Home's Window

SM Home - Downstairs Dining Room

SM Home - Downstairs Dining Room

Chinoiserie Bouquet and Penny Putnam Painting

Chinoiserie Bouquet and Penny Putnam Painting

Sandy Morgan and her daughter, Laird

Sandy Morgan and her daughter, Laird

Elizabeth Belliveau and Patricia van Essche

Elizabeth Belliveau and Patricia van Essche

SM Home - Winter Whites Bouquet in Birch Vase

SM Home - Winter Whites Bouquet in Birch Vase

SM Home - Vignette with Magnolia in Cube

SM Home - Vignette with Magnolia in Cube

SM Home - Front Room

SM Home - Front Room

Thank you, Sandy, for including us in this wonderful evening!