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

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  • Reply Hamptontoes August 25, 2010 at 7:39 am

    How nice to get to know Patricia better! Great interview!

  • Reply pretty pink tulips August 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Oh my, what wonderful insight into one of my favorite people and artists!! Patricia’s kindness, charm and talent have blessed me and so many others. I am so excited to see the big reveal in October for your special project together!!!

    And, I’m tickled pink to see my own PVE pretty pink header shared above.

    Thanks, Carolyn!!!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  • Reply pve August 25, 2010 at 11:28 am

    You should see my rosy cheeks- thanks for the mention dear ladies.

  • Reply Connie @ Sogni e Sorrisi August 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Great interview! Love her artwork.

  • Reply Dovecote Decor August 25, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    We’ve had a few conversations, and she is a generous commenter to us newbies out there! I didn’t know she was gifted with beauty as well as talent! We covet her water colors and are longing for them!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Kelly Dunn August 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I love to hear the little things that make beautiful minds tick 🙂 You did a lovely job of hosting insightful questions and she is most certainly talented! Thank you for bringing her a little to those who will probably never get the chance to meet her!!

  • Reply the zhush August 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I have heard Patricia referred to as the fairly blog mother….thinking that really fits the bill for this extremely talented and lovely lady! Can’t wait to see and hear more about this exciting product launch!

  • Reply hamptonhostess August 25, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    her work just makes me smile–and who wouldn’t like a girl who loves a bourbon old fashioned! so fun to learn about her and her work-great interview

  • Reply Janell Beals August 26, 2010 at 12:28 am

    I thoroughly enjoy Patricia’s blog, what a wonderful interview! Janell

  • Reply Struggler August 27, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Her art is wonderful… what a talented lady!

  • Reply quintessence August 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    She is such a talented person and lovely too – generous in spirit and with her time. Very nice interview.

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