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Volume 6, Issue 76  | September 21, 2021


Decorative Arts Society announces speaker series of renowned interior designers

Decorative Arts Society (DARTS), a Newport Beach-based philanthropic organization dedicated to arts appreciation and supporting local nonprofits that primarily benefit women, families and children in need, has announced its 2021-22 Speaker Series. 

Featuring a lineup of renowned interior designers, authors and photojournalists, the annual speaker series returns after a pause due to the pandemic. The series kicks off October 12 at Regal Edwards Big Newport. Attendance is free for DARTS members and $75 for non-members.

“We’re excited for our speaker series to return, and to present a respected array of experts in art and interior design,” said DARTS president Laraine Eggleston. “These inspiring speakers are nationally and even internationally known for their style and design, and we look forward to hearing their stories and insights.”

Membership fees for DARTS helps fund their grants program, which has provided more than $3 million to women’s, families’ and children’s charities in Orange County since its inception more than 25 years ago. During the pandemic, DARTS gave $325,000 in grants to Orange County non-profits.

DARTS 2021-22 Speaker Series:

Tuesday, Oct. 12: Renowned New York City decorator Ashley Whittaker, author of The Well-Loved House, is described as the neo-traditionalist. She reveals her fresh and modern perspective on traditional design and architecture in all her work, offering distinctly classic taste and chic sophistication to residential decoration and interior design. Characterized by tailored rooms that incorporate charming detail and engaging play on color and pattern, Whittaker’s signature style is immediately evident. Whittaker has also worked as a special events director at Ralph Lauren in New York and credits her training to legendary decorator Markham Roberts where she worked before starting out on her own. 

Decorative Arts Whittaker

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of DARTS 

Renowned New York City decorator Ashley Whittaker, author of “The Well-Loved House,” kicks off the Decorative Arts Society speaker series in October

Tuesday, November 9: Amy Meier, an interior designer and retailer with an eponymous shop in Rancho Santa Fe, specializes in custom home and estate projects, from concept through completion. Meier prides herself on unequaled service and attention to detail, combining a deep passion for classic design and an insatiable craving for the new to create beautiful, unique spaces that seamlessly blend tradition and innovation. Amy Meier Design’s retail shop is the physical manifestation of the firm’s design ethos, not only serving as a retail boutique, but also as an active gallery and design library, featuring meticulously selected, exclusive and ever-changing collections of art, antiques, accessories, books and more. 

 –Tuesday, February 8, 2022: James Farmer is a professional garden, floral and interior designer as well as the author of four best-selling books. His most recent publication, Arriving Home, features design projects from the farmlands of Georgia to the rolling countryside of Connecticut. Farmer’s work, described as classic with a twist, has been published in various magazines including Southern Living, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Southern Home, FLOWER and more. His design interiors combine the rich traditions of the past with the sensibilities of contemporary life, for a welcome balance of comfort and effortless elegance.

Decorative Arts Farmer

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James Farmer, a professional garden, floral and interior designer, combines the rich traditions of the past with the sensibilities of contemporary life in his projects

Tuesday, March 8, 2022: Margot Shaw, the founder/editor-in-chief of FLOWER magazine and author of the book Living Floral, studied both art history and interior design. Shaw reached a watershed moment when planning her daughter’s home wedding. Working alongside the floral and event designer, she recognized the artistry and inspiration involved in “flowering” and soon began apprenticing with the same designer. Shaw later created FLOWER magazine, a floral lifestyle magazine that inspires, entertains and educates readers. From private and historic houses and gardens to stylish parties to tastemakers in the floral, event and interiors world, FLOWER brims with people, places and things that enrich us all.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022: Miguel Flores-Vianna is an international photographer, writer and producer whose work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Cabana, and other top interior design and architectural magazines. Flores-Vianna has also authored and photographed two books, A Wandering Eye: Travels with My Phone, which features beautiful architecture and design images shot entirely on his phone during his travels and Haute Bohemians, named the Design Book of the Year in 2017.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022: Internationally renowned interior designer Michelle Nussbaumer has an interior design firm; dinnerware, textile and furniture lines; a beautiful retail shop in Dallas – Ceylon et Cie; and authored Wanderlust: Interiors That Bring the World Home. Her rooms are said to be like pieces of art, with a signature style that combines a fearless use of color while reflecting an eclectic yet timeless mix of bold patterns and influences from around the world. Nussbaumer’s work has been featured in the pages of leading national and international publications, including ELLE Decor, Architectural Digest, Veranda, House Beautiful and Marie Claire. In 2009, she was named one of ELLE Décor’s “Five Leading Women in Design.”

For more information on the Decorative Arts Society and membership opportunities, visit www.decorativeartssociety.net and follow the organization on Instagram or Facebook at @decorativeartssociety.

The Decorative Arts Society (DARTS), established in 1995, is a membership organization that offers an annual lecture series by nationally and internationally renowned experts in the decorative arts, including interior design, architecture, landscape, fashion and other aspects of the arts. Through subscriptions, donations and other fundraising, the Decorative Arts Society provides grants to Orange County charities serving women, children and families.

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