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Decorate Like a Design Boss

Mar 22, 2022

Kimberly Grigg is joined by Edith-Anne Duncan, a designer who describes her work as “sophisticated-casual” and who celebrates the dual importance of elevating the function of a room and indulging in color. Kimberly and Edith-Anne share a lot of common ground when it comes to color and pattern, and in this episode they dive into how to make these elements work together.

Edith-Anne Duncan explains how she comes from a line of family with an eye for design and though she is formally educated in it, she also sees in herself the self-taught approach and agrees with Kimberly that an eye can “be trained”. Together they explore some of Edith-Anne’s key tips for how to work color through a house, and break down how to pair texture with accents from rugs or art. Edith-Anne shares names of some of the great masters of design that inspire her.

One of the thoughtful things said by Edith-Anne and echoed by Kimberly is that living beautifully is important and vital. Edith-Anne says it informs enjoyment of every moment of living in your home. She and Kimberly describe living beautifully as a kind of self love and self care that we deserve in our lives. It is an insightful conversation full of elegant advice that is sure to inspire your own design journey.

About Edith-Anne Duncan:

Creating a sophisticated but casual approach to today’s lifestyles is the focus of Edith-Anne Duncan’s interiors and what she does best. Meticulous attention to detail is the trademark that elevates her creations to a higher level.

The expertise and talent that Edith-Anne draws upon comes from a multi-layered approach to each project. Education, experience and life have created a strong design palette and portfolio, utilizing history, travel, fashion, art, color and technology to incorporate each client’s wishes.

With clients from Maryland to Florida, Edith-Anne ensures that each project reflects the unique space needs, personality, and lifestyle of the individual client.

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You can find the show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.



Kimberly Grigg  00:00

Every now and again, you meet this person whose design aesthetic and design philosophy just rocks your world. And that's what happened during this interview with my new design friend, Edith-Anne Duncan. Welcome to Decorate Like a Design Boss, a podcast for design lovers who want to create beautiful spaces in their very own homes. My name is Kimberly Grigg, and I'm a professional interior designer who teaches design lovers like yourselves how to decorate. And when I say decorate, I mean decorate like a design boss. If you're ready to create a space that your family loves, and your neighbors can't stop raving about, well, buckle up, honey, because it's time to design. Alright. Well, hello, my new friend, Edith-Anne Duncan. Welcome.


Edith-Anne Duncan  01:00

Hi, Kimberly.


Kimberly Grigg  01:01

So I’ve got to kind of set this up, I want to tell you how I actually first discovered you and I want our listeners to hear this because it was kind of important. So when I scroll Instagram and any social media, I'm often looking for different things, I suppose. Of course I'm looking for a beautiful photo or a beautiful reel, or whatever. But when I first discovered you, you were showing something on your feed about your design studio and how you had all of your fabrics organized and I was enchanted because as a fellow designer, I know how hard it is to keep up with all those things. And you DM'd me back right away and we began kind of this little thing. And I started really noticing your work and someone, you don't know this part, but someone came to me that works for me a little bit later and said, Hey, have you Have you followed Edith-Anne Duncan on Instagram? And I said, Actually, I do recently. And they said, Well, she uses color a lot like you do. I think you would love her stuff. And I said, You're right, I do. So there began my love affair with you and your work. And I just wanted my listener to experience you and know about you. Because I really do have an admiration for what you do. And I guess I'll just pop off with the first question. And it will be something like this, Edith-Anne, like, you're a very decorated and celebrated yourself as a designer. And to me, you're known for certain things, but I really do want to hear from you. How would you describe your work?


Edith-Anne Duncan  02:55

I would say that I'm sophisticated-casual. Function, and then color. So I'm a lot about the function of the space and not just the form and aesthetics. So I go through a very in depth interview process of how the home or space is used, and the lifestyle of the client, and then really hone in on that and their lifestyle. And then I go from there. But I would say sophisticated-casual with traditional elements and lots of color.


Kimberly Grigg  03:23

Yes. And you know, something that I also notice, and just because I work in color in a very similar way, and even a similar approach for me function is everything. And I don't know that in the very beginning of my career function was important. But now it's question number one. What is this room for? How will it be used even if it's multifunctional, like how is this used? But I know where people often get in trouble and I've gotten in trouble myself, is a lot of color can sometimes end up feeling flighty and a little too whimsical and a little too colorful. So how do you keep that from happening?


Edith-Anne Duncan  04:10

So what I like to do is literally stick to only three colors. So let's say in the entry or foyer I start with blue and green and then the accent is that green. So in the next room, then I would use the accent color as the green. So what is the accent in one room then translates to primary in the next room. And then also, say if you want to stick to just blues or just greens, then I stay typically on the same paint fan deck and I'm up and down that fan deck if someone is a little too apprehensive about using more than, you know, two or three colors. So just my primary and secondary and/or accent, that's how I moved from space to space. So you're not in one room that's blue and white and the next room is pink and green and then the next one is purple and yellow, those don't flow together. So again, I like the transition from one space to the next into the next.


Kimberly Grigg  05:07

So are we twins?


Edith-Anne Duncan  05:09

I think we are, yeah. And I love your recent project, too, that you had of the his and her home office. And using a space, because that's another thing whenever I'm interviewed by clients, lots of the rooms they don't even use. So I say what do you need? What are you lacking? And it's amazing how when you dedicate those things to different rooms of the home, they use it and they enjoy it so much more than just being in the foyer and seeing a pretty room and don't even enjoy it.


Kimberly Grigg  05:36

Yes, and it lives. Like it has become my pet peeve, these unused rooms, especially the dining room, oh my god, a once a year use of a room is ridiculous. And I've even tried lately, and I I'm sure you have as well, I've tried to make the kitchen breakfast nook a little more unusable so that people will use their dining room or convert it completely and get rid of the dining room, do something else, figure out a way to approach the space, so yes, for sure. So Edith-Anne are you formally trained, self taught? Tell me a little bit about your background.


Edith-Anne Duncan  06:22

Okay, so I actually think it's a mix of both. So my grandparents, both of my grandmothers and my father both had a flair for this to begin with. I think it's something you're born with as far as aesthetics, what you grew up around, the scale of things, and then I was formally trained undergraduate at High Point University. I have actually three majors, it's business administration, interior design, and home furnishings marketing, because of course, it's the furniture capital of the world. Then from there, I received my Masters in interior design from Virginia Tech. So... but again, I think a lot of people, you don't need the education part. I used to be very, a big stickler about it, because I worked so hard at it? Now I've kind of gotten a little bit more lax on that, because I think it's, you're also born with it. That's a lot of it. So the education part just fine-tuned it even more.


Kimberly Grigg  07:14

Yeah. And I, I wonder how you feel about - someone told me when I was very young that you could train your eye. And I thought that was a very curious thing to say. And I thought at that time, I mean I was in my probably early teens, I drew floor plans as a kid like I didn't draw things, I drew floor plans.


Edith-Anne Duncan  07:37

Me too.


Kimberly Grigg  07:38

And I couldn't draw things necessarily, but I could really draw geometrics. And so I thought that maybe I wasn't creative, or I wasn't talented, or that I couldn't be an interior designer, because I couldn't draw or at that time, I think I even wanted to be a fashion designer. And as it turned out that person who said that to me, I really should give a big hug to because I did train my eye, I honed, and I try to tell people that listen to this show, and people that are trying to do their own thing, that, you know, you can develop a practice. I'm not saying that you can anoint yourself, I'm saying you have to work at it. Do you feel like, you know, you could develop an ability?


Edith-Anne Duncan  08:22

Yes, I do. I do. And it's funny, as a child I would always play with doll houses and Lincoln Logs. And that's where I got my ability to literally walk into an empty space and envision what that will look like in the end, specially because I worked with three dimensional objects to do that. And then I took drafting in high school, I adored that. My mom thought I took the class because there was gonna be a cute guy in the class and that wasn't why I was in drafting. And then I really wanted to be an architect, honestly, but my science and math was not the best. So that's when I went in the interior design realm. But again, it's something that you acquire and learn. And then the the training is just the the fine-tuning of it.


Kimberly Grigg  09:05

And you get better and better. Like, you know, when I look back at my work, gosh, 20 years ago, I'm like, sometimes I want to cringe. And at the same time, sometimes I look at work 20 years ago, and I can see the foundation, I can see how everything eventually developed and what I was drawn to and those kinds of things. I'm sure you felt the same way. So when you hire, do you hire only trained designers that work with you? Or do you train them in your way?


Edith-Anne Duncan  09:38

No. So I train them my way. And I also, I've already seen their skill set and what they're talented at to begin with. They're in the door, then I know that it's going to work out as far as that goes. But no, they do not have to have formal training in my opinion. Again, I've gotten a little bit more lax on that. And the big thing is, to me, is I've relinquish some control.


Kimberly Grigg  09:59

I'd like to know how you did that?


Edith-Anne Duncan  10:01



Kimberly Grigg  10:04

I think that that is something that every designer struggles with a bit. Like, we are control freaks, because we - and most of us are perfectionists. And most of us have that gene that we have to keep in check lest it destroys our life, it certainly doesn't destroy our work, it helps with our work in a lot of ways, but it will take your life and turn it upside down many times, and it is a hard thing to control. So what else about design, in general, do you find challenging?


Edith-Anne Duncan  10:39

I would say too, as far as working with two, you know, two parties in a household where one person wants one taste, and one wants another. Man, I always... another thing, too, is be very upfront with both people involved, you know that I'm working with them as a couple, because sometimes one of the spouses is surprised. So I'm always very, that's one thing as far as the dynamics and the approach of how we go into the project, with a couple. Otherwise, any problems? If it's not a good mix, aesthetically, then I just kind of... we part ways in the beginning, if I know it's not going to work. So again, the whole interview process, but otherwise, probably, I can't recall any.


Kimberly Grigg  11:22

So how long have you done this? Have you been doing this long, long, long? Or short short short?


Edith-Anne Duncan  11:28

25 years?


Kimberly Grigg  11:29

Okay. So again, we're kind of in similar boats. And, you know, I think that you get better about... I know I did, I got way better in the last five years, even of making sure that it was a good fit. And I don't know about you. But I say and I, you know, I say this to my listener, because if you are ever going to hire a designer, these are some ways, I feel, that you can be a good client, but you can get the most out of your designer. If you are a good fit, and if you're not, realize it from the beginning and don't be offended. And at the same time, I say to clients, look, design is a complicated process. It's just like brain surgery in a way. And, but here's the deal, something could go wrong. In fact, it probably will go wrong. So I'm telling you today, I want you to write it in your folder, that something will probably go wrong. Now, I've never met a situation in design that I couldn't fix in some way. And we're going to find the best possible solution. And we're gonna take care of you, just know that. You don't have to hit me, you don't have to yell, you don't have to scream, you don't have to, like, none of that. You just simply know that I am going to do everything within my power to put a smile on your face at the end of the day. But will every 100,000 things that go into this be 100% perfect? It won't. And I think that's, I think that's challenging. But you know, on the flip side of that, where does the joy come from for you?


Edith-Anne Duncan  13:15

I think if you trust me, and let me do my process, that's where my joy comes because I always do my best work if you just trust me, and I know that your budget and those limitations, and just trust me and let me do my work. That's, and I would say going back to your question you just had, I think that's my biggest thing. Now I know if you're going to be a good fit. And if you are, you have - just keyword - you've got to trust me. So when you are working with a designer, it has to be a good mix, and you have to trust them. Because if you don't you're going to question them. And then, you know, it's for instance, it would stifle me, and it just, if you eliminate one or two things, it's very important. You don't think it is but it is, and that leads to other elements in the room. So you have to trust your designer.


Kimberly Grigg  14:03

So true. And I have situations all the time as you do, where you constantly have to re-remind the client that you really do have this under control, and it's gonna be fine. And I think that's part of it. But at the same time, you know, a lot of my listeners are, you know, they don't necessarily want to hire a designer, they want to do this themselves. They want knowledge, they want information, they want the best possible outcome that they can produce. And I champion that because I think you can hone this craft. I think you can get a lot of what you want and need with the worldwide web that we have now. I think you have to have practice and I don't think it ever hurts to have a consult with a professional who works in this business every day. So I do also think there are things that I do in a home that someone could duplicate. Like, what kinds of tips do you give to that person who is trying to go on their own? Because I know you offer a console service that is not your full blown design package. And so what kinds of things do you offer to this gal who loves design, she's an enthusiast, she's scrolling Pinterest and Instagram all the time for what will work in her home? What are some easier things that a person like that can do and pull off that gives them some results?


Edith-Anne Duncan  15:43

I would say scale is very important when you look at those images. So always pay attention to the scale of those items, the intensity of colors, but the scale. And also pay attention to, when you look at a room, there aren't too many legs in the room, you know they're leggy table with the leggy chair. So pay attention to the contrast of what's skirted and what's leggy, contrast in the room: lighting, that's the jewelry of the room, in my opinion. So pay attention to the lighting and then the scale of the piece. But it's, again, I think that's where it's it's worth an investment to really speak to a designer, and at least hire them for a little bit of information to get you going. Because you're going to make costly mistakes if you don't really pay attention, in my opinion.


Kimberly Grigg  16:32

Sure. And I don't think it ever hurts. I know sometimes when I'm doing my own work, like things for myself, it's easy for me to get tripped up because the world is my oyster and I'm exposed every day and I can have anything I want. And it's sometimes very hard to narrow that experience.


Edith-Anne Duncan  16:51

It's very difficult.


Kimberly Grigg  16:52

And I'll say to one of the designers on my team, hey, wait, listen, can you can you help me out for a second? Because I really, like I need to bounce this off of you. I think sometimes that my listener is still a little afraid to reach out to that designer. Maybe they think it's too costly. Maybe they think they lose control? Not sure. Probably a combination, probably both from time to time. But I do think that you're right, the value of that, even as a sounding board. I mean, you wouldn't go into surgery without consulting a doctor and you know, and this is a profession. It's not just something that we do, it is a profession.


Edith-Anne Duncan  17:33

Yes. Yes, for sure.


Kimberly Grigg  17:37

All that goes into it. So I know that you're known for color, and your sophisticated color and your sophisticated palettes. Do you ever get the request to do, since all white is trending, do you get that request? And do you take it?


Edith-Anne Duncan  17:54

No, I have not. And would I take it? Probably not.


Kimberly Grigg  17:58



Edith-Anne Duncan  18:00

That's not a good fit for me. That's not a good fit. And I would not be fair to them either. No, I would say no.


Kimberly Grigg  18:07

Sure. And when you approach all of this beautiful color with a client that is maybe more of a neutral palette, and you do feel like though they sought you out because they want that color, there is bound to be some pushback, because they are not accustomed to it. So what do you, what do you say? How do you reassure them.


Edith-Anne Duncan  18:28

So again they have to trust me. For instance, I'm doing a lake project now and they're not as colorful as me, but they love the textures and the large scale of millwork, more architectural. So the way I'm approaching this, for instance, the kitchen: it's very textured, there's a limewash oak in there, but then I have a really dark forest green with it. So that green is my color. And the plumbing fixtures and lighting is the jewelry of the room. And then there's a couple pieces of artwork, so that's going to be my punch. But again, they know that I appreciate the aesthetics of it, the scale, and the form and the function, and they just trust me. So that when, that actual, that projects can be a little bit more down then my just loud color.


Kimberly Grigg  19:16

Yeah, that's cool. And I do love, and I've talked a lot to my listeners and followers, etc, a lot about this limited palette thing. And I I love that I've said up to five colors, but for me four and five is almost just a punch. It's not an accent, an accent's an accent, and a punch might be the smallest pillow or it might even be a floral, and you know it's not or it's a little something in a painting. But people I think gravitate to neutrals because they don't, they're not able...


Edith-Anne Duncan  19:56



Kimberly Grigg  19:57

They're terrified.


Edith-Anne Duncan  19:58

They're not confident. Yes.


Kimberly Grigg  19:59

Correct. And then the other part of this, for me, about your work in particular, and probably mine as well, and another area I find that people are afraid of, is pattern. Like you got it going on with your color, no doubt, but you equally have it going on with your pattern. So speak to us a little bit about how you incorporate pattern without being, it doesn't feel busy, it feels lovely.


Edith-Anne Duncan  20:31

So for instance, say in the studio that I'm in right now, I started with a large floral, and then I have an accent of green, a lampshade and a tablecloth. And then I have the contrast of a geometric linear grid pattern of triliage on my wall. So I like the contrast of a large scale, something that's linear or geometric, and then a small print and just keep to those three pieces. I also like to mix the textures of something that's very scratchy with something that's very soft and something very shiny. Because if you walk into a room and it would feel flat if everything's just all cotton, for instance. So you need a scratchy sized little rug, or scratchy piece of furniture, or maybe it's a crazy mirror that has textured shells or something. Not everything so flat.


Kimberly Grigg  21:23

I love that, what a great formula. Really and truly.


Edith-Anne Duncan  21:27

It's almost like what you wear too, if you think about that. You know, if you say this dress that I have on, it's orange and red and white floral. So the contrast with it, I have velvet slippers that are the darker maroon color and then I have a shiny glossy pearl earrings on. So think of it the way you would approach an outfit to a room, if that makes sense. And that's one thing you and I both are very confident also in what we wear. And what we feel comfortable in, because you go out there just like I do as far as prints and color. And that speaks to what we do. So when I interview a client, I say okay, I want you to show me your three favorite outfits that you just feel fantastic in. And the moment when they show me those outfits that tells me instantly what their house should be.


Kimberly Grigg  22:14

So true. So true. So observant of that, like, I think you and I also have an aesthetic of I want this house to be you. There's no there's no way that I can't impose some of my influence on you because that would just be impossible. And you did come to me, but I want this house to scream you. Chances are after, we're done, we'll be friends, but I probably won't be over at your house every day. And so I want the people that walk in your house not to say Kimberly Grigg was here and she designed it, I want people to say oh my gosh, your house is you, it screams you. And to your point, I agree. Like how you dress, what things you do select, how you really do live, not how I live, is all such the foundation, of what goes into someone's dwellings, into their own aesthetic. It's everything. I have noticed that you use a lot of Schumacher in your work, Schumacher fabrics, wallpapers, that kind of thing. Just again, not all of our listeners know what Schumacher is, but it is a brand of wallpapers and fabrics and trims and it's lovely. And so I know you use that. What other go-to items do you use in your designs?


Edith-Anne Duncan  23:42

I also love to use Brunschwig & Fils because that's colorful, and the scale of it, and the longevity, the quality of it. And then I also love statement wallpapers. A better price point for a project that we need to watch our budget a little bit would be Thibaut. They have great new, they're very forward as far as their aesthetics and their design. So I do like using them and they have a great collection of everything mixing together. So for those that like to do it themselves, Thibaut is a great resource for that because they've really put a nice collection together as far as that goes. So I like Thibaut, Schumacher, Brunschwig & Fils, and then I also like to have, the way I started room is either by rugs, artwork, or a statement fabric. So I have a jumping off point as far as that goes too.


Kimberly Grigg  24:31

Same. Same! I find even for the novice designer that is trying to go it on their own, I agree with you about Thibaut wholeheartedly and I often have to hit a price point. It's something I can rely on. Plus, it makes the day easy and still aesthetically gorgeous. I use also a lot of Schumacher, Brunschwig, I love those brands as well. But I I do find that Thibaut does a lot of making it all go together. And it's just, to your point, start with a piece of art or a piece of fabric. A print from one of those companies can be everything you need right there in that print. And you can really, I mean, you might not know what Edith-Anne and I know about the shiny, the textural, the, you know, those little things do take a lot of practice. But you can create a color palette, you can get creative feeling that you want for a space from a fabric, from a rug, from a piece of art, those kinds of things are not a joke, they are really fundamental in your, once you've established your function in your next step. So I say, and I recently said this in a video, like, I know a lot of projects, and I this is where a lot of people get really scared when they're doing their own stuff, goes through this ugly duckling phase, like this phase where you're like, even you, even confidently after 25 years, you're wondering hmm, is this...? Does it happen to you?


Edith-Anne Duncan  26:17

It does, it does. So even now, and I think the hardest, the most difficult client is yourself. You do know all the options. For instance, I'm doing my daughter's room, she's off to college. And it's in that ugly duckling stage. And I know all the options of what's out there so it's very hard for me to hone it down. So I bounced that off one of my designers here, Holly, okay, Holly, what's your opinion on this, because I've looked at it so much and I know all the options so that it makes it more difficult. So it is hard for us too. I mean, it's not easy.


Kimberly Grigg  26:49

Certainly. And I say to the listener, this is when it is a good time to get back up from a design consultation, to know that you're going in the right direction, or to have fresh eyes take a look at it. And, again, you and I are privy to being surrounded with other design professionals. And we can reach out and say, Hey, Karen, well, how do you feel about this? What do you think, like, white is not a color I do well, but Karen does white very well. And so, you know, we bounce off of each other and when I am charged with an all white setting, which I'm in Myrtle Beach, so I get challenged with this a good bit. You know, I look to Karen for the one perfect out of 155 shades of white, with confidence, because that's not my palette necessarily. So I say to the listener reach out when you get to this space, because it happens even to the professionals and it's not comfortable. It really isn't comfortable. And there are times I doubt myself and I, but that is when my best work and my best ideas come to fruition because this is when you're problem solving with the best solution in mind. Like where is this really going to end up and just like a painting it's not always where you started.


Edith-Anne Duncan  28:12

Right. Right. 


Kimberly Grigg  28:14

I believe you're an artist as well, aren't you?


Edith-Anne Duncan  28:17

Agreed. I do.


Kimberly Grigg  28:20

And you know with being an artist, I mean, I know for me being an artist is, I will often start something and can end up in the most beautiful place, but certainly not where I anticipated. But as an artist, you and I both, I think, have looked at the masters and we've studied the masters and there's so much to glean from their work even though sometimes you can look at something that a master did and you think, gosh, that's so simple. But if you think back to they didn't have the resources and materials that we had you have to put that in perspective.


Edith-Anne Duncan  29:02

Yes. Just like Billy Baldwin.


Kimberly Grigg  29:04



Edith-Anne Duncan  29:05

Dorothy Draper.


Kimberly Grigg  29:06

Yes. And that is my question. Like if we look at the masters in art, like who are the masters for you in design that you've studied, admired, mimicked, like speak to me a little bit about that.


Edith-Anne Duncan  29:20

Okay, so I love Billy Baldwin. And then I adore Mark Hampton, of course his daughter now is practicing. But I adored him, he was classic, he was not shy in color whatsoever. And then I also love Dorothy Draper. Of course, she's done for the Greenbrier. Carleton Varney now does that. So those are my go tos. And then nowadays I also admire Aerin Lauder. She's the whole lifestyle of how to approach a room. And Mark Sikes is so colorful, it's sophisticated-casual, so I adore his look. But old school I would say Billy Baldwin and Mark Hampton and Dorothy Draper.


Kimberly Grigg  29:58

So again I knew we were kindred spirits. My favorite most cherished book in my vast library of interior design books is an old Billy Baldwin. And it, you know, what a great... if I could say to anyone listening, if you really want to study someone, study Billy Baldwin, study Dorothy Draper. Like what pioneers and innovators and, of course, many of the others that you said, but those two in particular, like, have influenced, shaped, I see that it shaped your work as well. And it is just so interesting. And often in art, when I get stumped, and I do, I will turn to, I'll just like take a break and I'll pick up a Picasso book or I'll scroll Picasso paintings online, and suddenly that will spark or inspire an idea which totally changes the stumped feeling. And I can finish.


Edith-Anne Duncan  31:09

Another great reference for me too, for projects, is I often asked clients where their favorite places to vacation, you know, what was the best hotel that you just absolutely adore. And then I will take elements of what they loved about that hotel, and maybe put it into their primary bathroom.


Kimberly Grigg  31:25

Oh I love that. What a great idea.


Edith-Anne Duncan  31:27

So that's a great one too. And travel is a big influence for me as well.


Kimberly Grigg  31:30

Same, I agree. And I also say to, again, people that are trying to do this on their own, sometimes it's good to take a trip and just let things evolve, like don't go with the intention of I'm going to go look at this hotel, and then I'm going to mimic. But the thing is, let things move you, let things inspire you. Some people do it by a walk in nature. And, you know, sometimes that does get me out of my own head. But that, to me, is not nearly as inspiring as a hotel lobby.


Edith-Anne Duncan  32:05

Yes, agreed.


Kimberly Grigg  32:06

And sometimes when I travel, it drives my husband nuts but he does acquiesce, I love to just go to a city or a town or wherever we're going, and I want to visit every hotel lobby in that area. And it is super, super fun. And, like, I just like to hop in a taxi or some Uber or whatever, and just go from place to place. And I come back with like this whole refreshed inspiration in my head. And it frees me in some odd way that is very hard to articulate. But I think that's probably what travel does for you as well, it's just inspiration. It's instant inspiration. So, you know, it's not a necessity for us to live in a beautiful setting. I mean, we can survive, I suppose, without it. But I'm sure that you and I can't. So tell people why is it so important to live beautifully?


Edith-Anne Duncan  33:09

Because even if it's just a simple thing of having a linen napkin with your coffee in the morning, or if it's beautiful flatware when you have your lunch, just simple things make all the difference to me aesthetically when I enjoy every moment as I live in our home. Or when we entertain, you know, the things that you provide for them, the setting, that's just very important to me. But again, say you're fixing your cup of coffee in the morning, I like to use a nice spoon with a nice napkin and a fantastic cup. And then I change that seasonally. So everything that you touch in everyday moments should be beautiful. The containers that hold my vanity products in the bathroom, it's a sterling silver tray, and it holds all of, you know, the cotton swabs and the soap dispenser that I use - everything that you touch, literally, should be beautiful and it cannot be too fine. For instance, my husband uses a decanter and that's what I put his mouthwash in, everyday products that you touch should be beautiful. And use things that you wouldn't think to use every day, like a decanter, or a beautiful silver pitcher to put your utensils in, in the kitchen. Use beautiful items and don't just think of them as only doing one function. They can be multifunctional. Does that make sense?


Kimberly Grigg  34:28

Yes. And I think what you're saying is love yourself enough to do that. It's almost a form of self care.


Edith-Anne Duncan  34:36

It's just a different form. Yes.


Kimberly Grigg  34:39

That's beautiful, Edith-Anne, and I believe it wholeheartedly. And, you know, I preach it and, you know, I raised six kids in my house and it was chaotic, but it was important to me to live in beauty, and to teach my children to be surrounded by beauty and they never broke anything. And I have lots of things. But they seem to respect it, don't you think?


Edith-Anne Duncan  35:06

Yes. And that's the way that I was raised as well. Yes. And that's just to learn, it's just a process. Some people think you're strange when you're raising children in a house like that, but then it's okay. And they live with the beauty. And it's funny because Carleton Varney actually said this at a seminar that I went to a couple years ago at the Greenbrier, he goes, Okay, think about your childhood room. Envision that room right now. And he said, I bet right now you can tell exactly what that is and what that pattern is, and color. And that's what you feel most comfortable in. And that's how you design. You know what? He's right. I grew up in a bedroom that had trellis fabric, it was a chintz, it was white with yellow roses, and I had chinoiserie yellow furniture. And I had a rattan chair in the corner. Classic style, full of color. And you know what, that's how I live now. So what your children also grow up in, and their childhood rooms and their homes, that influences them so much more than you think. And it really hit home for me when he said that, because that's how I live now. So it's very important for them to see that you are, you know, enjoy that silver, sterling silver, or, you know, it's the whole lifestyle. It's very, very important. And it goes a lot deeper than you think.


Kimberly Grigg  36:13

Amen, that's so well put. Because I say to people who will say I want to use you, you know, when my kids are nine. Why are you teaching your children not to value beauty?


Edith-Anne Duncan  36:49

Agreed? Completely.


Kimberly Grigg  36:50

So important. And, you know, if you start them, they will learn and they're able to go to someone else's home and respect those things.


Edith-Anne Duncan  37:00



Kimberly Grigg  37:01

We are so aligned. In our approach to design, our approach to color, so many things that we have in common, I wish you lived closer. But thank goodness we have our little social network going on because you are so lovely. And we are at that point where I want to, I want to pose the question that I like to ask, and I want to do it in a way, like just like the masters that you and I so appreciate, they've left a legacy. And I feel your work is so important, Edith-Anne, and so speak to me a little bit about what your legacy will be, and maybe even go here: years and years from now, when you have that hashtag on a tombstone, what would it say?


Edith-Anne Duncan  37:55

Elegant, approachable, kind. And I also want to, let's fast forward, it's kind of the lineage of one of my very first projects that I did, the family grew up there, and now the daughter wants to use me. So it's almost the transition of from one stage to the next. So I want that legacy of also being, you know, that they admire what I've done for them as a child and now they want to use me again in their own grown up home. So I would say just kindness and classic.


Kimberly Grigg  38:31

I love it. I love it. And I sincerely feel that from you. So what a joy for you to share this and what a joy for, I've just loved experiencing you, and all the fabulous things that you're doing. I appreciate you coming on. I can't say enough great things about how masterfully you mix, and I know that that too will be such an important part of your legacy. I think there is, you know, the one word I don't think we used about your work that I think is important to say, is there is a timelessness. And yet you are very current all at the same time. Right? Right, which is why someone's daughter would use and choose you because they don't feel like the work is way back when, even though it's timeless. They feel like it is now but it has a nod to classicism and historic value. So I champion you, I champion you, my hat's off to you. I clap, clap, clap. And again, thank you for being here. And I want to let everybody know how they can find you.


Edith-Anne Duncan  39:50

So I'm on Instagram at Edith-Anne Duncan, and then on Facebook as well. And then my website is Yes, but you were very kind to have me, Kimberly, and I appreciate it greatly. Really do.


Kimberly Grigg  40:03

You are so welcome. And thank you and keep on keeping on, Edith-Anne, and I'll be following up with you.


Kimberly Grigg  40:13

Didn't you just love Edith-Anne Duncan? I think one of my favorite things that she said, was when she talked about why it's important to live beautifully. And I know that you couldn't see it, because I could see the screen and you are probably just listening. But I could see it all over her. When I said, living beautifully isn't a necessity. And you know what, she believes it is and I do as well. And when you listen back to this, I just think that the way she put why living beautifully is so important, is touching, because it really is, for her and for me, the biggest form of self love and self care. I loved it when she said even her husband's mouthwash went into a beautiful decanter. So I know you're going to want to check out Edith-Anne Duncan on all of her channels. You will admire her work as much as I do, I'm sure. So I'll see you next time. Don't forget to rate, review and subscribe. And what I have to say is don't wait. Today is a great day to decorate. Bye for now.


Kimberly Grigg  41:42

Thanks for listening to Decorate Like a Design Boss. If you want more info on how to decorate your space like a pro, visit See you next week.