Friday, June 18

Profile: Matthew White


Having known Matthew White for a few years, and after reading the introduction to Italy of My Dreams, I wanted to find just the right words to describe the breadth of his character. Without a doubt, he is one the most charming, humble and talented people I have come across in recent years. So, when words failed me, I went back to a story that Matthew originally wrote for the September-October 2007 issue of Southern Accents.

I have linked to the article for you to read. Every time that I read his words I choke back tears. It is a wonderful reminder that the richness of our existence comes from finding and appreciating beauty in our everyday life.

How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is steeped in history and clearly influenced by Italy, but always has elements of wit. I’m not a fan of design that takes itself to seriously.

What is your most prized possession?
I’d say my sanity, but that would be a stretch! The carved wood Monkey once owned by Billy Baldwin has a deep, personal meaning for me on many levels. I first saw it it his book, Billy Baldwin Decorates. That book changed my life.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
A day without email, at home with my dog in my lap

What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
Great food. And chocolate, but that’s redundant.

What inspires your creativity and designs
?
Great architecture is a huge inspiration, also travel, gardens and art.

Who are your style icons?
Billy Baldwin, Rudolph Nureyev, Palladio, George Balanchine

Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project
?
Anyone with a palazzo in Venice (as long as they are nice).

What books are currently on your bedside table?
The Edith Wharton biography
Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice

What is your favorite luxury in life?
A Bellini at the Cipriani in Venice on a perfect summer day.

Past or present who has most influenced your direction in life
?
As a child—my parents, and my piano and ballet teachers.
As an adult—an army of dear souls who have mentored and encouraged me.

Profile by Ronda Carman

Photos From Italy of my Dreams
Photographs by Art Grey
Copyright © 2010 Pointed Leaf Press, LLC

17 comments:

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

Matthew seems to me to be an old soul who clearly knows and understands himself. No wonder you like him! He seems so genuine and real. Top it off that he's a great designer too! I loved meeting him through you.

Anonymous said...

He is amazing designer and absolutely gorgeous too!

Houses Gardens People said...

Well, I read that essay and can't stop weeping. It's so beautifully written and magical. And what an inspiration -- he wrote about a trailer park with as much elegance as I imagine he has written about Italy in his new book. I can't wait to read the book (I also loved his answers to your questions on the blog)!

mary said...

This is someone that I would truly like to meet... and get to know. Thanks for introducing him.

Susan Adler Sobol said...

Ronda, Once again your blog post conjures up an article that I recall reading when it was originally published. The image of Matthew the child being inspired by his mother's quest for beauty has stayed with me since I first read his essay. There is something in his words that resonates with any of us who have a passion for design and images of beauty. Thank you!

Redecorate said...

What a wonderful designer and human being. It's wonderful to read about how his music and dance teachers have really inspired him. The arts are so important and your blog helps to perpetuate that. Thank you!

Sharon @ Real Estate Resuscitation said...

Thank you for sharing the link to that article. My husband and I lived in Amarillo for 5 years before moving to Indianapolis 1 year ago. My daughter was born there so to me it is always a happy place in my mind. I knew all the locations Matthew mentions in his article. Thanks again - Sharon

vicki archer said...

I have just read Matthew's essay and thought it completely touching and heartfelt. What a very lovely profile Ronda...thank you, xv.

Anonymous said...

I POSTED BEFORE I READ HIS STORY!!!!

I TOO, HAVE LEAD THE LIFE IN A TRAILER PARK, AND THEN ONTO A VERY WEALTHY LIFE AS AND ADULT...

THE LIFE OF LUXURY WAS MY WAY OF ESCAPING THE TRAILER LIFE AND WHAT I FOUND WAS THAT NO MATTER HOW MUCH I HAD IN MATERIAL ITEMS AND MY OWN BEAUTY, I WAS NEVER REALLY FULFILLED, SO CHEERS TO MATTHEW AS, HE STILL RETAINS THAT MEMORY OF SIMPLICITY AND LOVE, FROM HIS EARLY YEARS...

CHEERS TO RHONDA FOR DELVING INTO THE DEEPER LAYERS OF LIFE..

XXOO
MELISSA

*b* said...

This was fascinating and very insightful.

Matthew White said...

Wow, what wonderful comments! Thank you Ronda for creating a forum for people who love admiring and creating beauty. And thanks to your lovely readers for their kind words.
ALL THE BEST!
Matthew White

By Design Interiors, Inc. said...

I was a little late in reading this, but you did a fantastic job of introducing him! I think that his philosophy of life and design is refreshing in an industry where time can seem like money. Thank you for reminding us that we need to stop and enjoy the moments and an occassional luxury - like chocolate or a bellini!

Wonderful outlook! Thanks.

shiree segerstrom said...

Thank you Matthew and Ronda. What a lovely interview and beautiful interiors. You have a fine talent sir. Shiree'

Meander said...

Oh I would just love a Bellini right now - I adore the way he paints a perfect life by his answers to these questions, its all about the little things isn't it!

Claudia@adeenidesigngroup.com said...

Thank you Ronda for introducing me to such a genuine and talented designer! His essay in Southern Accents was quite inspiring, and so were his answers to your questions.

Cheers,

Claudia

Modern home designs said...

He sounds like a great person. I can see him as an inspiration to others. Thank you for this wonderful post.

House land packages said...

I absolutely agree that "the richness of our existence comes from finding and appreciating beauty in our everyday life". Very inspiring most specially to all talents. Keep going and keep on inspiring other people.