I was so saddened to learn of renowned decorator Joe Nye’s death last month. As a designer, he had so much passion and paid incredible attention to detail. I’ve admired his work for years and know his talent and inspiration will be greatly missed.
When thinking of Joe’s work, I remembered reading a great
article in House Beautiful about a home he had designed. The architecture mixed with the Mediterranean elements was very appealing and I really admired everything about it. I thought I’d share the article here as an example of Joe’s style and skill. A Tuscan-Style Home with Rustic Touches
Interior designer Joe Nye implements cozy decorating ideas, like piles of books and brown furniture, to warm a Mediterranean-style house.
by Douglas Brenner with photos by Luca Trovato
Stenciled Beams: A chandelier and lanterns from Paul Ferrante hang from stenciled beams in the entry stairwell and hallway.
Decorating with Different Centuries: Subtly layered colors and sculptural shapes make up a Joe Nye “moment of richness” in the master-suite vestibule of a new Santa Barbara house. An 18th-century Continental Italian faux-bois cabinet is flanked by 17th-century Spanish Colonial chairs. Portuguese needlepoint carpet from John Iloulian.
An Arched Entrance: An archway frames the living room vista from the entrance hall. An 18th-century Italian table from John J. Nelson Antiques holds a pair of twin 19th-century French oil lamps, which light a sofa beyond.
Dining Table Set in Amber: A John Rosselli hurricane from Hollyhock casts an amber glow on the Formations dining table, laid with Atelier du Vieil Apt faience. “The table is new, but it has the deep, rich warmth of something that’s been around for a long time,” Nye says.
Living Room Lined with Comfort: Nye started with the Elizabeth Eakins rug in the “elegant but incredibly comfortable” living room, pulling out the colors for the upholstery and pillows. The wing chair is covered in a hand-blocked linen from Hazelton House; the Rose Tarlow Celestial sofa is covered in Morgan velvet by Michael S. Smith. Walls are ivory Venetian plaster.
A Den of Comforts: As an homage to the signature lime-washed paneling of David Adler and Frances Elkins, Nye lightened the den’s somber mahogany to this mellow café au lait. Club chairs in a Cowtan & Tout linen velvet gather around a Crate & Barrel coffee table that Nye customized with a tufted leather top. “I really am a believer in high-low,” he says, “even if the term has become a cliché.”
A Luscious Bedroom: Colefax & Fowler’s Lilacs Turquoise chintz — a longtime favorite of the owners — brightens a chair, ottoman, and shams in the master bedroom. “And the curtains are positively some of the most beautiful you’ve ever seen,” Nye says. “They’re a parachute-weight taffeta, with a luscious crunchy-soft look.” Autrichienne silk from Claremont. Blanket, Nancy Stanley Waud Fine Linens.
Bathe in Blue: The master bathroom wainscoting of Portuguese glazed tiles was installed by the former owner’s decorator. “Aren’t they gorgeous?” says Nye. He slipcovered a Pottery Barn side chair in a complementary blue-and-white linen stripe from Rogers & Goffigon.
Recline in Rustic Style: A Brown Jordan chaise stretches out near a limestone fountain. Rustic steps climb the lushly planted hillside that overlooks the Pacific.
Another example of Joe Nye’s love of all things beautiful is his book
. For inspiration on making guests feel special and creating an amazing environment for entertaining, Flair is a fantastic resource full of wonderful photos. Flair: Exquisite Invitations, Lush Flowers, and Gorgeous Table Settings
One of the happy benefits of today’s online world is that even with Joe’s passing, his work is still accessible through so many photos and articles on a variety of design websites to continue to inspire people for many years.