The OG of Interior Design: Elsie de Wolfe, who remains an icon to this day as America’s first decorator.
Elsie de Wolfe was a New Yorker who started a career in acting but ironically gained attention for her extravagant outfits (never trust a designer who is not fashionable btw), allowing her to connect with an influential crowd.
In 1905 de Wolfe decided to become a professional decorator after decorating her first home. She would issue business cards embellished with her trademark: a wolf-with-nosegay crest.
That same year a group of powerful New York women organized the city’s first club exclusively for women, The Colony Club. Elise was commissioned to decorate.
The Colony opened in 1907 where de Wolfe introduced a casual, feminine style with an abundance of glazed chintz (hence the nickname “Chintz Lady”), tiled floors, light drapery, wicker chairs, vanity tables, and the first of her many trellised rooms. The reaction from the members established her reputation.
Today we celebrate a woman who was confident and wise enough to create a lane of her own!
A painting of the Trellis Room at The Colony Club