I think it’s exciting to hear from inspiring designers and stylists and I love doing interviews with them when I get the chance. There’s no better time than the holiday season to hear from one of my favorites, Matthew Mead. Matthew is a stylist, writer, author, and photographer who’s been in the magazine and publishing industry for years and someone I had the pleasure to work with earlier this year.
Matthew is the former style editor of Country Home magazine, and last year launched his own magazine, Holiday with Matthew Mead. Currently, Matthew is the official food photographer for the Associated Press and a regular style contributor to HGTV.com and Better Homes & Gardens publications. I asked Matthew to answer some questions for me and he graciously agreed.
CG: Tell us how you got started in the business of designing, styling, and eventually authoring your own publications?
MM: I wrote a letter to Mary Emmerling, Queen of Country Style back in the late eighties and was lucky enough to meet her at her South Hampton Long Island cottage compound overlooking the Atlantic. She offered me work on her new magazine MARY EMMERLING’S COUNTRY and that was the start of my career back in 1992. I’ve worked in the industry steadily ever since… that led to books, magazines, the creation of my own brand of publications and products.
CG: Where do you look for inspiration for all of your projects or magazine shoots?
MM: I am very drawn to vintage items, antiques, collectibles, colors… you know that about me… when we met at your home the first thing we did was go out antiquing. Its in my blood, its my soul… I feel so intimately connected to the past, the flea market, the much loved and used items.
CG: The holidays are upon is and as the song goes it’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? People often feel the stress of the season and can forget it’s more about the celebrations. What are some tips you can share for effortless entertaining?
MM: Keep it simple… have several small parties over the month with a few couples instead of one big party. Serve foods that you love, keep it comfortable and casual. Consider just desserts and specialty coffees, or appetizers and drinks. I like to pile colorful fruits on a platter and add greens for a simple centerpiece. Embellish napkin rings and create lots of votive candles by adding spices, cranberries or succulents.