Sunday, 19 April 2009

In Conversation with Michael Devine

md-photo Michael Devine


Michael Devine is a very talented textile designer from New York who specializes in hand printed fabrics. He also runs a successful textile company and an on line store called “Michael Devine Home.”

His work has been featured in a multitude of publications including British House and Garden, The World of Interiors, Domino, Traditional Home and Elle Décor, British Homes & Gardens and Quest. Michael also writes a great blog about his daily life and current projects which I really enjoy following.

To learn more about Michael and his ventures please read on…

Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?


Michael Devine - My first experience with design came at a very early age. Like many people, I had two grandmothers that were both very handy when it came to creating things like clothes and accessories for the home. I was always fascinated by the process of creation. At the young age of six or seven, my grandmother Devine gave in to my pestering and started to teach me how to sew. From there I developed other interests in painting and crafts which I always rely on in my work.


CIMG0515  Photograph courtesy of Michael Devine


Iván Meade - How would you describe your style?

Michael Devine - My style would be “Old Chateau”. This is inspired by the privileges I have had to visit, and in some cases stay in some wonderful old European family “houses” where the furniture is museum quality, but hasn't been redone for generations and has had time to mellow and develop a patina that comes with time. I try to translate that into what I design.


CIMG1050  Photograph courtesy of Michael Devine


Iván Meade – Who or what has influenced your style?

Michael Devine - My maternal grandmother influenced my style from an early age and still somewhat today. She taught me so much about how to live that the influence is indelible. More currently I am influenced by friends Charlotte Moss and Carolina Irving. They both have a glamorous edge and a sure eye, blended with their respective charm makes them irresistible.


CIMG1102Photograph courtesy of Michael Devine


Iván Meade – What inspires your textile designs?

Michael Devine - My textiles are inspired for the most part by classic motifs, fretwork, pagodas, flowers and geometrics which I translate through my sensibility and style.


CIMG0620 Photograph courtesy of Michael Devine

Iván Meade – Most of your textile designs are hand printed. What is it you love about hand printed fabrics?

Michael Devine - Hand printed textiles are really so special. The handmade process is what makes the difference, makes the fabric truly a custom product.


CIMG0512 Photograph courtesy of Michael Devine

Iván Meade – What is the most unusual request you have received from a client?

Michael Devine - There have been so many, however, one of the most flattering orders came from Aerin Lauders designer who used the fabric in Aerin's bedroom in the Hamptons. That was really thrilling..

 image  Aerin Lauders Bedroom – Hamptons


Iván Meade - What will be your next venture in design?

Michael Devine - It would be exciting to expand and design dinner dinnerware, bedding and wallpaper. I am fascinated by the different mediums and how they can be used to translate the
technique of what I do.  Aside form products, I would really like to write a chic sustainable garden and entertaining book based on my own Jardin de Cure.




  Photographs courtesy of Michael Devine


The Instant Garden

After falling in love with the formal grounds at Paris's Rodin Museum, fabric designer Michael Devine transformed a 25- by 120-foot patch of dirt into a backyard idyll — in just three months flat.



May 2007

image Michael Devine & Thomas Burak – Country Living


Iván Meade – What designers of past and present do you admire most?

Michael Devine - William Morris, not that I like what he created, but in his philosophy of craft and belief in the handmade. Dorothy Draper and Elsie de Wolfe. I have had their books for years and am always amazed at how fresh their ideas always seem, even today.

There are so many designers today that I really admire. To narrow it
down is hard, but to name just two, my partner Thomas Burak and
Charlotte Moss.


clip_image002[4]Charlotte Moss


Charlotte Moss' room at the Kips Bay Designer Show House swathed in Michael Devine's Beekman fabric.

Iván Meade – Who would you like to design something for?

Michael Devine - Michelle Obama would be my top pick of someone that I would love to design something for.


CIMG2288 Photograph courtesy of Michael Devine

Iván Meade – What project has given you the most satisfaction?

Michael Devine - Launching and growing my fabric collection has given me enormous satisfaction. The joys and challenges of running a small business have been a very rewarding experience.


CIMG1028 Photograph courtesy of Michael Devine


Iván Meade – Your blog is a great window into the everyday life of Michael Devine. What made you decide to start blogging and what has your response been like?

Michael Devine - The blog grew out of a desire to continue my magazine editorial experience. I have always felt that the role of an editor was that of a conduit between people and ideas. This spring I am developing a bi monthly profile series, Tea with.... that will explore how people came into their respective careers.

The response to the blog has been really great and I have met some
really amazing people through it like you and Ronda Carmen from All
the Best, Jennifer Dwyer from the Peak of Chic .

 CIMG4665Michael Devine Home – Front Store

Iván Meade – What books are currently on your bedside or coffee table?

Michael Devine - There are so many, I am a bit of a bibliophile. On my Night stand next to my bed I have Prousts Sodome et Gomorrhe, De Memoire de Potager by Serge Schall, Lʼart du Potager by Jerome Goutier and my train reading right now is Les Reveries du Promeneur Solitarie by Rousseau.



Iván Meade – You recently exhibited in the Maison et Objet show in Paris. Besides the tent snafu, how was your experience there? Did anything inspire you?

Michael Devine - Apart from the tent disaster, working side by side with Carolina and my partner Thomas was amazing. The combination of the three of us made for a treat instead of a treatment. Maison et Objet is really, in my opinion the most inspiring home show there is. The visitors are really the best, the products exhibited and the merchandising always makes it a transcendental design experience.


CIMG2159Carolina & Michael

Iván Meade – What are you excited about right now in the world of design?

Michael Devine - I am really excited about the growing use of prints in interiors. It seems that increasingly designers are using them and clients are growing tried of the all beige room.

 CIMG1773 Photograph courtesy of Michael Devine


Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work with many mediums and styles, what would you like your legacy to be?

Michael Devine - I would like to have a legacy that remembers me for the my beautiful textiles and the pleasure to those that have been surrounded by them.



Photograph courtesy of Michael Devine


I invite you to visit Michel Devine’s website, online store and blog to see his stunning fabric and home collection.



The Devine Life - Blog

MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011


Scot Meacham Wood said...

great interview !

Michael's textiles are so wonderful . . .

Echito said...

Beautiful work, and I like Michael's definition of his style - it fits him perfectly! Great interview :)

ALL THE BEST said...

Soooo happy to see Michael featured! Not only is he talented, but he is a super friend and person.

qerat said...

Great work
I also vidited the blog and it is wonderful.

Michelle said...

Great interview Ivan! He is an amazing designer, and I didn't know that he was a blogger too! I'm off to check it out.


Tricia - Avolli said...

Thanks for such a wonderful interview. It was interesting to hear his thoughts and insights on design.

Tricia - Avolli

Julio Muao said...

That was a terrific interview Ivan. I appreciate Michael's vision even more now that I had the opportunity to learn more about his inspiration and philosophy on design. Great job.

DesignTies said...

Thanks for introducing us to another great designer :-)

Your interviews have inspired me to contact some people I'd love to interview for our blog. So far, all the responses I've received have been positive :-)


Velvet and Linen said...

I loved this interview, Ivan.
I adored Mr. Devine's response to how he would describe his design style. "Old Chateau" is perfect!
I can't wait for his garden book. Those images are incredibly charming.
Thank you for making my day!


Maria Killam said...

I'll have to check out his blog next. And that outfit on Charlotte Moss!! Fabulous colour. I want to be a fabric/furniture designer one day *sigh*

Brillante Interiors said...

One of the reasons I am a designer is my love for textiles. I can just (If I could, time permitting)stay in a showroom for hours looking and touching faboulous silk, damask, linen. It makes me feel happy! I enjoyed the Post and Devine's site and blog.

Things That Inspire said...

Wonderful post! The Rodin Museum is one of my favorite places in Paris (I visited for the first time last year), so I was particularly interested to hear how it inspired him.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Kips Bay showhouse last weekend, on a trip to NYC, and thought that the Charlotte Moss master bedroom suite was the most beautiful space in the house - in part because of the lovely fabric. I did not realize it was Devine, although I am not surprised; it was truly stunning.