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Mentor: Tom Scheerer

March 25, 2011 by admin

This is the first, of what I think will become a regular thread on michaelpenneystyle.com. I know what I know in this crazy world of design and decoration, in large part because of mentors. Some mentors I have known, but many more I’ve known from a distance. Since I was a kid, I’ve pored over the work of many designers and decorators, getting to know their names, their styles, and the hallmarks of their work. Today, my own creations are infused with the influence, the character and the style of my many mentors and I think it’s worth paying homage to them here. Plus it’s grrrrreat eye candy! Hey maybe you’ll learn a thing or two and my mentors will become your mentors…

First up, the great American Designer – Tom Scheerer.


He’s especially on my mind because of the drop-dead-gorgeous house he designed in Maine (featured now in the pages of House Beautiful). I’m not going to spoil that story here, but will give you just this one little teaser.

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Francesco Lagnese; House Beautiful April 2011

Tom Scheerer began his career as an architect and designer in 1985 and founded his New York firm with Jeffrey Bilhuber (another American Design great). Striking out on his own in 1995, Scheerer has became one of the most popular and well-published designers in the U.S. He’s known for his ‘relaxed modern’ style in which he combines modern pieces with vintage, natural elements with fresh colours and patterns and always an easy, elegant flair.

tomscheerer.com

Here’s the man himself, looking very relaxed! Some of my favourite Scheerer signature motifs include: Saarinen tulip tables, bentwood Thonet chairs, circular art and sculptures, block-print and paisley fabrics, Hinson splatter-print wallpaper, bottle-glass lamps, and collections of bird prints on the wall.

Here’s a selection of Tom Scheerer’s work. You’ll see what I mean and why I consider him a mentor…

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Eric Bowman

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Eric Bowman

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Eric Bowman

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by William Waldron

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by William Waldron

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by William Waldron

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Simon Upton

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Francesco Lagnese

Design by Tom Scheerer; Photography by Matthew Hranek


17 Comments »

  1. Laura says:

    When I have a space to decorate, you’ll be my mentor.
    Excited to see you soon!

  2. Mary says:

    I’ve never heard of him but his pictures are amazing. Thanks for making me more aware.

    • Wow! I’m glad I could help then! He’s super talented, but of course I’m totally into that style. House Beautiful and Elle Decor really love him though, so I can’t be too wrong! You know it’s funny, I introduced him to quite a few people at House & Home too (which was shocking to me!) but now they all love his style too. Maybe he should give me a cut…

      Michael

  3. Sandy Salm says:

    I added the wonderful purple and green covered patio to my inspiration file last year; so happy to know more about its creator. Sheerer is pure gold! Thanks for the boost to my education, Michael.

    • It’s funny isn’t it, when you’ve seen someone’s work around and you’re drawn to it, but you’re not sure who it’s by…But I’m glad to have filled you in.

      Thanks Sandy!

      Michael

  4. Lisa says:

    What a great idea for a series Michael, I love it. I feel both inspired and educated! Sheerer has officially been added to my list of mentors. :)

    • I’m glad you like the idea Lisa! I always feel so lucky for all of the things I’ve learned through the people on TV and in books and magazines and I’d love to pass those lessons along. So much of what you see out there is just ‘noise’ without substance and I wonder how anyone learns how to actually pull a room together these days! So maybe, in some small way this blog can help decode the lessons and empower people to do and learn more.

      Michael

  5. Kerry says:

    Great idea for a series… looking forward to learning more about great designers! Some of these rooms I have seen before, some are new. I’m particularly in love with the kitchen that has the glass shutters. What a fabulous detail!

  6. Love this series…what a fab mentor

  7. Mary says:

    I love his work, and yours too Michael! In fact, the blue and white wallpaper in your ‘old’ kitchen reminds me a little of the motif on those amazing backsplash tiles he used in three different kitchens. Do you know anything about them?

    • I know those tiles are amazing. Comparing my wallpaper to Tom Scheerer – what a compliment! Actually at the time I picked and hung that paper, I saw Tommy and Sarah Richardson use the same paper on one of her shows so I was totally impressed with myself. Haha!

      Tom’s tiles – I really have no idea where he got them, but the few houses where he’s used them are in the Bahama’s – so maybe they’re local? They’re like Mexican tiles, but the colours are fresh and the patterns are simplified, so maybe they’re fancy, exclusive ones. I really don’t know, but I’d love to find out…

      Michael

  8. I love his work too and have saved some photos to my files over the years. I just linked to this post as I think my readers would love his work too (saves me writing a post and looking like a copycat!) (He’s in the April House Beautiful – unless he does another Maine house in the May issue – haven’t received mine yet.)

  9. Thanks Vanessa – you’re totally right – it was the April issue! I’ve changed it now – sorry for the confusion everyone. I’m so used to thinking ahead because of my job in the magazine industry. Right now I’m working on August/September!!

    Michael

  10. You’re welcome! Hope it’s OK that I linked. And so great to see that you are on Twitter.

  11. […] Michael posted about him recently, I thought a link to his post would suffice.  If you haven’t checked out Michael’s blog yet, you are in for a […]

  12. […] Michael posted about him recently, I thought a link to his post would suffice.  If you haven’t checked out Michael’s blog yet, you are in for a […]

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