Thursday, May 27, 2010


I just read such a humble, honest and personal bio from designer, Ruthie Chapman Sommers. I have seen her portfolio before, but what has crowned her as one of my favorite designers to emulate is her attitude.

"Decorating really is my first love. I've been pushing furniture since Curious George. When I was reworking my website I laughed out loud reading how wonderfully chic my biography sounds. Studying art and antiques in Paris is true. But what is not mentioned is that I was there searching for a Jean Pierre and dreamt of painting everyday on the Seine. Instead the only thing I came home with was a few extra pounds and canvases of fire hydrants and hairy women.
So you may understand my need to clarify.
I have been decorating for almost eighteen years. So it is very easy to write a bio on me or any decorator for that matter. But what does “mixing eras boldly really mean”? Listing all my press, advertising how magazines I have been in makes look and sound impossibly important. I guess that is the goal in any profession. Recognition is what we all crave. I do on a daily basis.
But what makes designers different? Every bio sounds the same to me. Including mine.
So here is my deal.
My car is filled with fabric samples, old coffee cups and crumbled up paint chips. My office is not the beautiful neat organized office you may see on the pages of a magazine. The glossy white walls and perfectly p-touched folders are an illusion. I am proud of the homes I have decorated. I think they look wonderful on my website. But people live in them and there are stains on the ottoman and the peonies only make it to the mantel for the photo shoots and parties. I feel my success comes from something one can not photograph. The most fun I have aside designing sassy bars and cute powder rooms, is creating livable rooms and becoming part of someone’s family. I watch their purse carefully and in return I gain trust. And a great house is the outcome.
So . . . I am just a decorator. Big staff, great store or small garage office. I have not changed. I have realized that my goal is not do so many things in this industry that I forget to decorate. I still schlep lampshades in my car and the highlight of my day is going downtown to check on carpentry in a old warehouse. Glamorous this job is not. However, I live and breathe to have a relationship with a home and the people that live in it. My goal is not have people remark at parties that Ruthie designed the most amazing aubergine lacquered room. But it is to hear that they were treated carefully, honestly and creatively. And that . . . is all I need."

Thanks for a refreshing read Ms. Ruthie Chapman Sommers. I am sure your clients adore you.


SogniSorrisi said...

Love her work! She creates such gorgeous, vibrant spaces.

Rachel said...

I love her description of her job! How wonderful. She is really talented, and now I love her more.

Dina said...

Amazing bio! Something like that is so much better than your "typical" bio and so much more personal.