Well-Appointed Rooms

When selecting a needlepoint project, we often have visions of where we’ll place our finished handiwork before we’ve even picked out the fibers. Will it become a pillow and grace the living room sofa or find its way into our best friend’s kitchen in the form of a doorstop?

Luckily for us, inspiration abounds in the world of interiors where needlepoint has held a coveted space in some of the most revered rooms. Great stitchers before us including Mario Buatta incorporated charming canvases into their spaces while modern mavens such as interior designer Mallory Mathison continue to carve out a niche for beloved needlework pieces. Lending an inviting and collected sensibility, these conversation starters can be spotted in many a sophisticated setting.

Elsie de Wolfe’s private sitting room at Villa Trianon. Image via 1st Dibs.

Back in the early 1900s, needlepoint held court in none other than France’s famed Versailles courtesy of decorator Elsie de Wolfe. Guests of the grande dame of interiors were treated to tented dance floors, flowing champagne, and Villa Trianon’s rooms peppered with personality. De Wolfe’s private sitting room was bedecked with pillows emblazoned with her favorite sayings—”I believe in optimism and plenty of white paint!” and “Never explain, never complain.” 

This canvas was reproduced by the Windsor Conservation and covers the original one from 1928. When touring Castle Hill, one can see it in person. Image by David Kasabian via Architectural Digest.

Across the pond, needlepoint was also making a personalized statement at the grandest of homes in America. At Castle Hill, the Massachusetts estate of Chicago business magnate Mr. Richard T. Crane and his wife Florence, no detail was spared in creating a sumptuous manor tailored to the couple. A stitched vanity stool featuring Florence’s monogram and distinguished crane silhouettes (an ode to Mrs. Crane’s last name, of course!) sits pretty in her bathroom.

Bunny Mellon’s Oak Spring Farm Estate. Can you spy the “bunny” pillow? Image via Sotheby’s.
Here’s a close up!

Celebrated philanthropist, art patron, and gardener Bunny Mellon also had homes brimming with needlepoint. Stitched keepsakes, all created by the renaissance woman herself, lived harmoniously with her collection of modern art and antique heirlooms. As seen in Mellon’s Upperville, Virginia living room, a “You’re Nobunny Till Somebunny Loves You” pillow was a standout at the highly anticipated 2014 Sotheby’s auction of her estate.

C.Z. Guest’s cheeky needlepoint fits right in at House of Bedlam, the home of John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon of Madcap Cottage.

It’s often in times of regret over not nabbing a have-to-have auction lot that we wonder who the lucky bidder was that took home the prize. In the case of socialite C.Z. Guest’s needlepoint collection, we can quit guessing and delight in the well-appointed approach the gents of Madcap Cottage have taken in displaying her pillows. “Living well is the best revenge” reads one—and that sentiment is especially true if acquiring a charming needlepoint jackpot is involved! 

Tory Burch’s desk looks out onto needlepoint pillows at the offices of her eponymous brand. Photo by William Waldron via 1st Dibs.

In the case of Tory Burch, her stitched collection enjoys prominent placement in her office designed by Daniel Romualdez. A richly lacquered wall and elaborately trimmed sofa make the perfect backdrop for a mix of eclectic canvases to pop. Perhaps, in true Tory Burch fashion (cue the sizable double “T” toting lady army!), her interiors will inspire a legion to take needle to canvas too.

Mallory Mathison’s Showhouse space featuring Lycette Designs works. Image via Traditional Home.

Most recently, Mallory Mathison’s ladies’ drawing room from the 2018 Southern Style Now Showhouse in Charleston took a dazzling turn as cover girl for the latest issue of Traditional Home. Lycette Designs was oh-so-thrilled to have created a “Chardonnay & Shih Tzus” design featured as a pillow in this spectacular space along with the ever-popular “I would prefer not to” mantra. Cheerful hues and an assemblage of time-honored decorating details are the perfect setting for needlepoint treasures! 

Hopefully, these lovely and considered spaces have provided plenty of inspiration for how you’ll showcase your finished projects. As always, we adore seeing how you’re living with your Lycette so please do tag us on Instagram—can’t wait to take a peek!

First image: A Mario Buatta Kips Bay Showhouse space featuring a needlepoint pillow. Image via The Glam Pad.

Thank You.

I haven’t touched this blog in literal months. Not because I didn’t want to, but because running a store is WAY more exhausting and time consuming than I thought. I also didn’t know what to write, or how to properly express myself.

The past few months have been some of the happiest, saddest, and most chaotic of my life. I launched Lycette’s first brick and mortar store in October of 2018 with high hopes and low expectations. I poured myself into Lycette retail with the outlook of “if it works it works, if it doesn’t I move on.” In the eyes of some I set myself up for failure- a large space with high rent, no public relations, no advertising, and a summer of trunk shows and expensive travel behind me. I launched Lycette with my own money, no loans and no investors. It was a definite risk but I was 28 and single with no family whom my decision would affect. If there was any time to try, it was now.

What doubters didn’t factor in was all of you. I am constantly amazed by your loyalty and passion for Lycette. I receive the nicest notes from y’all, spend hours with y’all on the phone, and have the best visits getting to know you. I may have had the idea for Lycette, but your support has gotten it to where it is.

Your support also allowed me to take a MUCH needed break this summer. Although the fall and winter of 2018 were filled with excitement and exponential growth, this past spring was filled with heartbreak. A man that I cared about deeply and had been seeing on and off passed away suddenly. At 28 I had never experienced the loss of someone I loved outside of family and a friend and it hurt. I felt depleted and shaken. However, it was the height of season, business was booming and I felt like I couldn’t take time off.

Three weeks after my friend’s passing, a sibling had health problems and spent close to a week in ICU. I didn’t even process the fright of this until later. I also didn’t process my mothers house being condemned due to a sink hole that swallowed her backyard, her jewelry being stolen or my move that was shoved in between all of this. I was on autopilot. Press was coming in and so were orders. Lycette was growing.

I didn’t want to lose out on Lycette’s unique opportunity for monetary “success” so I kept pushing. I tried to pretend like nothing was wrong, but in the end, like it always does, my feelings and exhaustion caught up to me. I started to make mistakes and fell behind on communication.

I am not sharing these experiences because I want sympathy or am throwing a pity party. I am sharing these experiences because they are a part of me and thus they are a part of Lycette. Since I launched Lycette close to three years ago (crazy!) I have learned that vulnerability and sharing our stories are the most authentic and courageous way to connect. I share my experiences from this past spring because I know it will help someone in the future or it will help someone now. The best way to process things is to talk and share. I am finally ready to do that.

I cannot thank y’all enough for respecting appointment only July. It was time I desperately needed to ground myself, to get in a routine, and re-establish my love for Lycette and for needlepoint. I know it was frustrating to constantly receive the answering machine or no response on email, but I truly truly cannot express how much that time meant to me. During my tenure at The Point of It All another employee once told me “Give from your excess, not your essence.” I am finally doing that.

I also am thankful for y’alls patience and understanding as I work out the “growing pains” of owning my own store.  Every day Lycette provides moments for growth and every day I try to fail better than the day before. I know what comes naturally and I know what I need to work on, but in the meantime I am proud of how far I have come. Not only do I own 100% of my store, but I am also the youngest shop owner in the country. I built my store from the ground up and did not purchase it from another owner. It is mine and I am proud.

I do not know what else to write except thank you. Thank you for your patience and your kindness. Thank you for your orders and support. Thank you for making Lycette your first stop in Palm Beach and sneaking in another stop on your way out of town. Thank you for sending me flowers when I have a bad day and for bringing scones to the shop just because. Y’all have not only made my company a success, you have changed my life. Your friendship and support mean more than you know and have impacted me in ways I never imagined. Thank you.