Famous for her witty and utterly fearless decorating style, Colette has worked on spaces from Moscow to Milan. Colette moved to London from Canada in 2000 after obtaining an AAS Interior Design degree from The International Academy of Design in Toronto and completed a Masters of Art Degree in Decorative Arts at London’s Wallace Collection.
In 2003 she met Nicky Haslam and the synergy was immediate. Under their joint guidance, NH Design has taken great strides into modern design, mixing the deeply serious, grand and impressive with charm and wit, reinforcing what has become known as the NH Design aesthetic.
The duo and their team have secured clients in the English countryside and London, Toronto, New York, Montreal, Morocco, New Orleans, Denmark, Curacao, Barbados, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Monaco and Moscow.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’m driven by an international viewpoint and an eclectic sensibility. As a closet historian I feel strongly that rooms, including contemporary ones, should have emotional layers. However, in the end, its about making glamorous spaces where people look beautiful and feel uplifted.
What is your most prized possession?
John Fowlers’ address book.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Feeling things very deeply…otherwise white plaster, and cashmere underwear—seriously have you tried them?
What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
Fashion is a big one including what I call ‘sense memory’ experience you get from editorials. Movies old and new. Ephemera is a favourite, finding beauty in the unexpected is very important . The V&A, Soane and Tate museums for starters…. RIBA and Vogue libraries, the Internet obviously is now an abundant source of information! And lastly…Hogarths line of beauty.
Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?
Cedric Gibbons for glamour, William Kent for scale – ideally together no?! Emilio Terry, Elsie Mendl, Velasquez, Stephan Tennant, David LaChapelle and Steven Meisel—PLEASE!
What books are currently on your bedside table?
Savage Beauty – The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
Citizen of the World – The Life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau by John English
The Book of Symbols- Reflections on Archetypal Images, Taschen
Redeeming Features – Nicky Haslam
What is your favorite luxury in life?
Wood fires and my children
Past or present who has most influenced your direction in life?
Auntie Mame, Nicky Haslam, my family, Marlo Thomas, and without a doubt my grade 10 art teacher who told me to quit.
Profile by Ronda Carman