Women in Architecture and Design

women in architecture and design

"I'm going to make everything around me beautiful – that will be my life." ~ Elsie de Wolfe


In celebration of 'National Women's History Month' we're highlighting inspirational women who have made great strides and contributions in the field of Architecture and Interior Design.  Their captivating stories show how they've dared to push limits and prove the nature of their creativity.  These women have championed careers which you will see continue to influence the landscape of design today. 

Photographed by Cecil Beaton

Photographed by Cecil Beaton



A historical design icon born in 1859 Elsie de Wolfe was an Actress, Interior Decorator and Author, a pioneer of her time.  She made her mark transforming wealthy homes from dark Victorian interiors into light and airy spaces with an emphasis in 18th-century French furniture and accessories.  A celebrity in social circles Elsie took New York City, Los Angeles and Paris by storm.  Her style influence included chinoiserie, lattice, muraled wallpaper and leopard fabrics.  Many of her distinguished clients included Condé Nast, Paul-Louis Weiller, Cole Porter, Amy Vanderbilt, Anne Morgan, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Henry Clay,  Adelaide Frick and other tinsletown stars.  She authored several books including "The House in Good Taste" and is revered as one of the most famous decorators in the world.



Part of a dynamic duo, Ray Eames born in 1912 was an American artist, designer and film maker. Along with her husband Charles Eames the couple made significant impact in modern architecture and furniture design. You will notice how the furniture of today is greatly influenced by the Eames mid century modern designs. We used a version of the Eames Molded Plastic Armchair in the 2016 Designer House. 

Eames Lounge Chair & Ottoman   |   Eames Molded Plastic Armchair Dowel Base

Barbara Barry, Inc.

Barbara Barry, Inc.



An award winning Los Angeles based Interior Designer, Barbara Barry founded her internationally renown design firm in 1985.  Her style influence in both the residential and commercial-hospitality interiors is widely known for being elegant, sophisticated and serene.  She has broadened her offerings into the realms of product design including fabrics, furniture, carpet, lighting and much more.



A true American traditional Interior Designer, Patricia started Patricia McLean Interiors in 1985 located in the Atlanta, Georgia area.  Having been featured in several interior decor books and magazines as an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Designers.  Bringing a refined and fresh approach specializing in customizing paint colors, fabric, finishes and the addition of antiques and accessories to complete her lasting style influence.  As an understudy of Patricia's early on in my career, I am truly grateful and appreciate the experience of learning from such an accomplished Interior Designer.

We hope in sharing these brilliant women in architecture and design you have discovered new stories to be inspired by, design styles to seek out and women to celebrate this month in our field.


Melissa Mathe

*For all your Interior Design needs contact mathedesign.com

3 Looks To Dress Up Your Thanksgiving Table

3 looks to dress up your thanksgiving table

"I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage." ~ Erma Bombeck

As the leaves have changed and the air becomes crisp it's clear that Thanksgiving is upon us. In planning for the holiday one can be mindful of a well dressed table to make surroundings warm and inviting. Whether you are having friends over for a casual "Friendsgiving" or you look to impress your guests for a large feast. We've come up with three different looks to help you complete your tablescape. So step away from the burlap and fake leaf garland...we're going shiny and fresh this season.

Our first look is "Elegant" and it includes all the bells and whistles you can think of for setting a table. Including things like a beautiful fresh floral centerpiece, colored mercury glass pumpkins and candles...lots of candles. Using a variety of seasonal flowers to arrange such as mums, sunflowers, and eucalyptus adds a rich and vibrant element of bounty to the table. Golden chargers create an jewel effect to add a shiny pop...and don't be afraid to mix metals with your table decor too.

Candle sticks and lanterns are a great way to do this and using varying heights of candles creates added ambiance. Make unique hand-made napkin rings with fresh rosemary and copper wire for an added natural element.

The second look is a more "Casual" inspired table setting using decor items you may already have around your home like a throw blanket and real mini pumpkins. Using low candle lighting with simple hurricanes lined up gives a clean and modern table center where conversation can easily flow. This look is great for having friends over or for that last minute soiree.

Natural paper tags are a simple way to combine a napkin ring and place card element for guest seating with this look.

Let's include the little gobblers in the table looks with a "Kids" tablescape that's fun for everyone. Line the table with inexpensive craft paper as a runner or tablecloth to keep the youngsters occupied while pulling together the final dishes to serve. The kids can draw their own version of a turkey or play games like tick-tac-toe with their neighbor. We've carved out a mini pumpkin to add a pop of color and usefulness for storing crayons on the table.

Cute thanksgiving day inspired paper napkins, plastic forks and paper tag napkin rings complete this easy-does-it look.

We hope you have a wonderful time sharing great food and warm conversation around your table with family and friends this Thanksgiving! We're incredibly grateful to each and every one of you for being a part of our design inspired world.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Melissa Mathe

Contact us for all your Interior Design and Decorating needs @mathedesign.com

Fringe Benefits: All The Pom Poms And Tassels

fringe benefits: all the pom poms and tassels

"Life should be chic, glamorous and colorful—and so should your home." ~ Jonathan Adler


Some of our favorite "fringe-pom-tassel" ready-made home decor

Happy Decorating,

Melissa Mathe

Contact us for all your Interior Design and Decorating needs @mathedesign.com

Interiors And Travel Highlights From The South's Holy City ~ Charleston

interiors and travel highlights from the south's holy city

"The South: Where love, family and tradition are the sugar in our tea"


Recently, our very own design assistant ventured south for a summer family retreat. Amidst all that Charleston offers, she discovered some delightful interior gems. Charleston is well known for it's history and architecture. Staying in the Historic District has it's obvious appeal, along with the laid back locale of it's vast beaches. However, The Beach Club Charleston on the marina, is a luxurious and stylish alternative. A perfect location between excursions, having dramatic marina sunset views that draw you in and make you feel relaxed and pampered.

Here are some highlights from this "Southern Charmer". Walking into the grand entrance, is like walking into an immaculate showroom, that looks out over a beautiful pool covered in palms. From the light fixtures, to the trimmings these interiors exude a delightful "Custom and Coastal" decor.  The definition of southern hospitality, including the cheerful doorman... I mean, who wouldn't want the door opened for them with a warm welcome upon arrival everyday.

This upscale decor flows into the lobby guest bathrooms, showcasing a clean coastal palette. With mosaic inlaid marble floors, glowing jewel-like blue sconces and enchanting blue stone vanity counters. Giving you the feeling of a palacial retreat, when entering the powder room.

The nautical inspired theme, custom covered pillows and furniture show great attention to detail. Large bedroom suites painted with colorful pastels in soft turquoise and blues welcome you to "stay a while". The individual butler doorbells to every room are quite a thrill too. If you have the opportunity to visit the south, you will be well taken care of while staying at The Beach Club.

Additionally worthy excursions in and around Charleston include a tour of the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier, or short drive to one of the local beaches in Isles of Palms and Folly Beach. Taking a water taxi over to the mesmerizing South Carolina Aquarium that has an incredible gift shop - filled with nautical home decor, kitchen accents, jewelry and toys for the little sea creatures. A definite must is a carriage ride down through the Charleston Peninsula. Learning about the history, traveling through the market and historic district to see colorful architecture, numerable churches, stucco facades and stone walkways around every corner. Visiting the well known Pinneapple Fountain on a stroll down Queen Street to have dinner at Poogan's Porch or Husk and getting coffee at Carmella's Dessert Bar. The perfect ending to visiting this special lowcountry city, filled with eye catching splendor.

Cheers to happy summer travels, in beautiful places!

Melissa Mathe

Contact us for all your Interior Design and Decorating needs @mathedesign.com