Some people geek out when they see movie stars or musicians. We tend to become complete fan girls/boys when coming face-to-face with our favorite designers and lifestyle experts. So to say that we giggled like naughty school children upon meeting author Anne Sage would be an understatement. She was gracious enough to sit down with us to talk about her new book, her design philosophy and the secrets she has picked up along the way from her years of design writing.
Congratulations on the book, Sage Living: Decorate for the Life You Want! Did writing the book force you to face some of your own design phobias or problem areas in your own home?
Thank you so much for the kind congratulations! Sage Living explores the relationship between our interiors and our inner selves, and I definitely came face-to-face with the realization that I’d been neglecting my home in the same way that I’d long prioritized the needs of others ahead of my own! At the time I submitted my manuscript, I’d been blogging for over six years and in that period had never completed and documented the design of my space for publication—I’d been so preoccupied getting everyone else’s homes up to snuff. I’ve since become much more intentional about my home’s design so that it isn’t a case of the proverbial cobbler’s children. I think of it as decor self-care!
You have had a long career as a design and lifestyle writer from stints at Rue Magazine to your own blog, so are there any tips or through lines you have noticed from people whose work you have written and profiled?
The one lesson I’ve learned again and again is that time and patience are a designer’s most effective tool! From creating a layered, lived-in home to finding just the right piece to complete a scene, great design can’t be rushed. And even when a space does come together in short order, it continues to evolve and take on a life of its own beyond the initial vision!
How would you define your personal style for your home?
Serene, considered, and inviting. Color takes a backseat to layered textures, mixed surface treatments, and lots of natural materials. When it comes to accent pieces, my styling tends towards uncluttered surfaces with just a few personal mementos for personality. I like my home to feel like a deep, cleansing breath!
You recently created this beautiful dinner party for your blog. Where did the inspiration for the overall tabletop design come from?
The real stars of this entertaining spread are the bountiful floral arrangements and the fresh, seasonal menu items, so I kept the tabletop design relatively simple. I started with Pottery Barn’s classic white linens, stoneware plates, and streamlined flatware, then added one-of-kind pieces from Peter Sheldon Ceramics and from my own personal collection. The result was a quietly eclectic mix that laid an elegant foundation on which the food and flowers could shine!
How do you like to entertain normally? What is your perfect evening?
Truth be told, my perfect evening is me on the couch watching Ken Burns documentaries—which means my favorite way to entertain is with a weekend brunch! I love the laid-back energy of a casual morning drop-in with a grab-and-go selection of homemade pastries, frittata, and of course mimosas. There’s something to be said for starting the day with a house full of food, friends, and laughter. Plus wrapping a party by noon means you’re less likely to go to bed with a sink full of dirty dishes!
Images: Carley Rudd Photography.
Floral Installation and Food: Wylie West Creative.
Styling Assistance: Stephanie Baker.