In the depths of winter, nature’s palette is a simple monochrome of white and grey. Bare trees and never ending snow can be somber, leaving us aching for spring. Here, interior designer and prop stylist Kate McCann teamed up with long time creative partner photographer David Prince, to show us how to embrace the stillness. The magic of winter’s minimalism.
Kate’s interior design style is reflected in the vignettes she created using bits of nature, a quiet color scheme and layering textures. She and David envisioned our functional pieces as art objects. These still life vignettes are inspiration to create moments in your home with a few key pieces that blur the lines between utility and art.
A truly magical moment they created was this snowy tablescape. Shot nearby the DBO HOME studio in Lakeville, Connecticut, we imagine gathering around the linen covered dining table for a cozy meal, our shoulders covered with warm blankets and a fire lit nearby, of course.
We love this moment where the light is subdued and the foraged natural objects combine with our textural vases bringing the outside in. The colors of the vases and bits of nature are a warm reflection of the cold winter day.
Dana: You guys seem to have a great relationship. Tell me about how you work together and why you decided to collaborate on this project.
Kate: I was so excited and honored that you asked me to work on Tastemakers’ Table. I immediately thought of David because I thought his style and viewpoint would marry well with yours. David does “perfectly imperfect” very well. :) Years ago David gave me advice that I reflect upon often; “Don’t overthink it.” David is passionate about art and interiors and enjoys telling a visual story with his work. We have worked together for many, many years and I feel we have a mutual respect for one another. We both have a very strong work ethic and we love to come up with new ideas for our clients and give them more than what they ask. We take our work very seriously yet we still laugh and have fun when working together.
David: I have always adored and respected Kate’s sensibilities. She often sees what I don’t and vice versa. I love that about our friendship and our working relationship.
Here David combined some of his own artwork with our one of a kind pieces to bring out their painterliness. Isn’t it interesting to see a bowl meant for holding nuts or maybe keys and coins, visualized more as a piece of art?
Dana: Kate, are these vignettes expressing your interior design style? Let’s talk about that a bit.
Kate: The approach to the shoot changed and we decided to shoot outside on a cold January day as the winter light was so beautiful. Therefore, my interior design style is not fully expressed, however the thread that might be seen is that I lean toward quiet, “perfectly imperfect” interiors with a restricted color palette.
David: I created those works on paper for a project that I had done for myself a few years back. My work at its core is a reﬂection of my interests and passions. I collect art, I make art, I cook, travel, stay in amazing hotels, love interior design, antiques and fashion. I have been arranging things and collecting objects for as long as I can remember. I look at photography as a way of life and a means to record the life I live. Much of my work is about revealing where Ive been, what I’m interested in and how I see the world.
Dana: What made you decide to work with nature and minimalism? Were you inspired by your country homes? Did the ongoing pandemic influence your ideas for the shoot?
Kate: Nature is a huge influence for me. The colors, shapes and forms are just magical. Colors found in nature can inform a color palette for an interior or I literally pull objects from nature to use as decor, such as twigs, shells and bones. Even as a city girl I found inspiration in nature, but that definitely increased since sharing my time between the city and the country. I am blessed with many windows in the country and none of them have coverings…..I look out to an ever-changing work of art. In the country there is stillness that informed some design choices for my home.
David: What’s more beautiful than nature. I love the simplicity of a twisted branch or dying leaves on a vine. Your work has that same simplicity and ease and organic feel in the hand.
While Kate McCann worked in the fashion industry as a Still Life Stylist, she found herself drawn to interiors and began to help friends transform their homes. Kate was passionate about her hobby and found herself taking on larger, more demanding projects. Following her passion, Kate enrolled in Interior Design classes to enhance her on-the-job training. In 2017, Grey Dove Design was founded.
Grey Dove Design, based in the New York City tri-state area, would love to help with your design project. We offer many services including consultations, interior decorating and materials selection for renovations.
David Prince is a commercial photographer with an amazing breadth of experience. His work includes interiors and hotels to food, fashion and still lifes.