Manhattan-born and-raised Mieke ten Have is a renowned interiors stylist, design writer, and creative consultant. She works internationally with interior designers, architects, and home brands, providing creative direction and producing photo shoots, advertising campaigns as well as written assets.
A former longtime editor, including as Home Editor of Vogue Magazine and Design Editor at Large of Elle Décor, Mieke is a top industry go-to expert for designers and publications alike. You’ve likely seen her superb styling work in the many publications she contributes to, including but not limited to Architectural Digest, House & Garden (UK), Cultured, and WSJ. Her extensive body of creative work has earned her the reputation of being amongst the design industry’s best and brightest.
We are thrilled to have Mieke share her perspective on incorporating classic Indian design into our homes for our latest Style Guide. “Aesthetic dialogue between cultures and time periods always yields unique and compelling spaces”, says Mieke. Her singular decorating and editorial point of view made for an exciting collaboration for us at Marigold Living! In this guide you will see how she ingenuously mixes the disparate textile styles of classic Indian block printed bedsheets with Western and global pieces to create chic, one-of-a-kind looks in her home.
An Eclectic Background
“I was lucky to have the Metropolitan Museum in my backyard…and I can’t underestimate the effect travel has had”.
Q: We are big fans of your work and all of your varied creative endeavors. Can you tell us about your background and what has influenced your distinctive style?
A: Thank you so much. It’s always a culmination of things, isn’t it? I was raised in Manhattan and was lucky to have the Metropolitan Museum in my backyard; I went nearly every weekend growing up. My mother and grandmother had a love for the decorative arts, so that was a big part of my education as well. Having spent most of my career as a shelter magazine editor, I have been able to fine tune my eye and instinct, and I can’t underestimate the effect travel has had.
Advice on Interesting and Beautiful Decorating
“I think the success of a room is really predicated on being able to mix styles, colors, patterns”.
Q: We’re drawn to your elevated yet livable approach, and even design our collections with the idea that pieces can be dressed up or down. Do you have advice as to how one can achieve that mix?
A: I think the success of a room is really predicated on being able to mix styles, colors, patterns. It is an inherent element of interesting and beautiful decorating (in my humble opinion!). My advice is to not be precious about anything you do, whether it’s setting a table or coming up with an upholstery scheme.
Creating Compelling Spaces
“I like to have tension between textiles– even if something clashes a bit, I think it adds interest”.
Q: We adore how you layered the checkered navy blanket with our classic Persian “Nargis” design and our European “Anna” pattern. How do you approach mixing different aesthetics to create personal spaces?
A: Aesthetic dialogue between cultures and time periods always yields unique and compelling spaces. I like to have tension between textiles– even if something clashes a bit, I think it adds interest.
Textiles are an “essential” home décor element
“Textiles are the sensual part of the home, what we touch and feel every day”.
Q: How important are textiles in home decor? How can one build a collection intuitively and affordably?
A: Essential! Textiles are the sensual part of the home, what we touch and feel every day. Always buy what appeals to you, and don’t be afraid to clash. Some of my favorite textiles have been flea market finds.
How to incorporate classic Indian design into your home
“Classic Indian motifs and textiles are so versatile that I think they have a universal appeal”
Q: We see you have seamlessly paired our blue and orange pieces with a red patterned bedspread. Do you have any tips as to how people can incorporate classic Indian design into their homes?
A: Classic Indian motifs and textiles are so versatile that I think they have a universal appeal, whether it be in a modern home or a traditional one. Think about the color schemes that would work well in your own space, and don’t be afraid to mix patterns.
Where to find unusual things for the home
“…whatever resonates with you personally should be in your home”
Q: What are your favorite places to look for unusual textiles and other things for the home?
A: I am always on the hunt– I go to auctions, antique stores, flea markets. I like the thrill of the find!
Q: Besides textiles, what are some must haves in a space for it to look lived-in, but still elegant?
A: There is no hard and fast list– but whatever resonates with you personally should be in your home. You can’t fake authenticity.