Sparks - the Blog of Interior Designer Schuyler Samperton

Inspired By Mom

I give full credit to my mother Nonie (above) for any sense of taste I may have.

When I was moving my parents into a new place a few months ago, I found this amazing photograph of her taken in the backyard of the house I grew up in.  That awesome hat was by acclaimed designer Mr. John, whose avant garde creations informed much more than her sartorial style.

Mom/Momma (said in southern accent)/Mama (said in French accent)/Mothra (just weird nickname for no reason) has taught me some invaluable style-related lessons, and here are a few of her favorite things…

- Black and white stripes for anything from lampshades to rugs

- Purple anemones for a splash of color

- Palladian windows for their gorgeous lines, and abundance of light

- Menswear fabrics for upholstery

- And of course, always wear a hat.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!

{Images: Marianne Faithfull via The Vogue Vibes; Palladian windows via Giovanni Giaconi Illustrator; black & white stripes via the quilt bug; Eames chair upholstered with menswear fabric via Small But Mighty.}


  • May 10, 2012 - 5:13 am | Permalink

    Hi there!

    You don’t know me…..or probably even OF me….but I know of you!

    Last year I went to my close friend’s daughter’s wedding in Washington D.C.; ( and was so lucky to have lunch with your brother! And his darling wife! (as I remember there are a lot of you siblings) Of course, I forget his name….but he talked about you the way you would hire people to be your PR agents!!!
    I hope my brother does the same for me! He lives in Greenwich, Conn.

    (We were there for Mimi and Chris Dorment’s daughter’s wedding; and we were staying with Britty Bardes and Johnny Damgard who are friends of your brother and sister in law!!!)

    In any case; this adorable brother and his wife told me all about you….and that you were a decorator (I call myself one…) in Los Angeles!

    Yikes! I started my decorating business (which really wasn’t a business in the early days) 42 years ago…….(promise) in Pasadena!

    My husband and I moved up to Montecito…..(north…I don;t mean “UP” as “million dollar decorators” use the term. I saw one episode.)

    So I have been aware of you ever since….and I admire your taste and talent. And today’s post (I am not sure I even know from whence it came) about you giving your mother credit for your “taste”

    There is nothing that I do in decorating….that I did not learn from my mother! I loved your post. I lost my mother when I was 33; however, I can honestly say…..all the basics……all the everything I learned from her. She was 40 when I was born! (scandal in the neighborhood)!

    She taught me everything!

    I adore your mother’s hat…and her style is evident in that picture! Lucky you! You still have her! And she still has you!
    I loved this little post…..and it truly struck my heart!

    Penelope Bianchi (If you want to see)

    Your post brought back so many memories of how much my mother influenced my life and my taste!

    Thank you!!


  • Nicole b.
    May 10, 2012 - 7:27 am | Permalink

    Your mother sounds super stylish. I love the photo of her and I adore her advice! “Always wear a hat” – Brilliant :)

  • Cricket
    May 10, 2012 - 11:08 am | Permalink

    Wow. Amazing picture of an amazing lady. Cheers to nonie!

  • May 10, 2012 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    Wonderful words of wisdom from your amazing mother! It is quite evident where you get your style from! Keep up the beautiful posts, always looking foward to what you have to say!

    Karolyn-The Relished Roost

  • May 10, 2012 - 11:49 am | Permalink

    Amazing pic of your mom, Schuyler. So straight out of Vogue.

  • May 10, 2012 - 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic post S.!
    Adore the photo of “Mothra” and I concur with every one of her adages!


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