The town and country lifestyle is a charmed one. Just ask Paolo Moschino and Phillip Vergeylen, who not only have over 30 years of experience designing homes in both settings, but also split their personal time between the two locales. Their latest book, An Entertaining Life: Designing Town and Country, showcases this dual aesthetic from a first person point of view.
Chronicled within its pages are Moschino and Vergeylen’s clients’ urban and rural homes, from a Balinese-style compound in the Caribbean to a palatial villa in Sicily. But, this is no case in just flaunting their design prowess (though it’s obvious that they have it). Instead, it feels deeply personal. Images of their own homes in London and Sussex are also shown, and the book is arranged like a daily guide with chapters named after the days of the week.
Within each chapter are examples of what one may do at a given time, from collecting flowers in the nearby gardens or walking the grounds. There’s even a chapter called “impulse purchases” which essentially addresses the urge to collect trinkets and knick-knacks of all sorts.
“Most of our clients are close friends,” Paolo Moschino tells T&C. “We just got back from a trip with friends who have also been our clients for the past 15 years. Before that, we were with another client in the Dominican Republic. That, to me, is when a project is successful. When it turns out to also be a close and personal relationship.”
Both Moschino and Vergeylen are adamant about understanding their clients; not just what they want, but who they are. “The particular design style is not important. It’s the personality of the person,” Moschino says. “I really need to get under the skin of my client and understand their ambitions. After I figure that out, the rest is a domino effect. The time that we spend matching the curtains with cushions is one percent. The rest is psychology.”
Alongside the interiors featured are personal images of the two with friends and family who have visited them in their homes. As the title of the book suggests, they are obsessed with entertaining guests, and the spaces they’ve designed are mindful of this. “I believe in changing rooms when guests are here—cocktails in one room, a separate dining room for dinner, then another room for after. It’s not about impressing people, but having a surprise and a bit of theatrics,” Moschino says. Vergeylen points out a few specific elements of how their designs are specifically suited for hosting. “It is obviously very important that a home is comfortable for your guests. But, it’s also about designing in a way that makes your guests look beautiful. Higher light is horrible, low light from candles and table lamps is much better. Every single room in the house should be lived in. I hate when you have a dining room that you only use on Sunday. It’s a waste of space.”
Ultimately, An Entertaining Life: Designing Town and Country feels like a beautiful diary told through numerous interior design projects. Not only will readers feel inspired by Moschino and Vergeylen’s aesthetic choices, but also their commitment to filling spaces with those close to them. “We can take hours to set up a table sometimes when it’s just us two and sometimes just end up having fried eggs,” Vergeylen says. “But, it always looks like we are having caviar.”
To purchase the book, visit vendomepress.com.