I first read about the NYC-based dynamic southern design duo Nicki Clendening and Callie Jenschke of Scout Designs on Daily Candy. Southernist digs a little deeper with our 2 part Q&A with the women. First up, Nicki Clendening :
Q: How long have you both been here?
A: Almost 10 years! I thought I’d be here 2….no plans to leave but I get back to Charleston and New Orleans several times a year thankfully!
Q: How has being from the south influenced your design aesthetic (assuming it has).
A: It definitely has for me. For me, the South has a ‘patina’ to it that I grew up with and gravitate towards in design, in particular in New Orleans and Charleston where I lived and worked before moving to NYC. Because both places were/are important port cities, you have so many wonderful homes (and stores) filled with pieces from around the globe that help create the exotic mix of furnishings I love (antiques from Europe, furniture from Asia, African artifacts, textiles from India….) and it’s the way the interiors we design our interiors. Always a mix.
A: Do you have any fave southern (owned, themed, based) shops/restaurants here in NYC?
A: Hill Country BBQ! We eat there almost every Saturday after our flea visit. I love the pulled pork BBQ of S.C. but have become a devoted Texas BBQ fan now too!
Q: What’s one cool place from back home that you miss (place, thing, experience)?
A: There are a lot of things, of course, that I do miss but two things probably most: being able to be outdoors for the vast majority of the year, and the people and ease of life. People in the South are just more ‘open’ than people in the North. It’s a “the more the merrier mentality”, come sit on the porch and have a cocktail, the door is always open, come over for Sunday supper…it’s just easy and welcoming. If you asked any of my Northern friends this is what they’d say I struggle with here, still, the most. I have enough glasses in my tiny NYC kitchen to host a group of 30 for cocktails! I always want people to just drop by and sit and have a cocktail and catch up, but suffice to say that’s not really a NYC way of life. We laugh, but sometimes it takes a month to get a date that works for everyone to get together for dinner.
Q: Is there anything else about being “southern in the city” that you’d like to comment on?
A: When I first moved here I was a bit self-conscious about my Southern accent…which isn’t that strong but got a lot of comments like “where are you from little darlin’…”! I railed against that for a while, but I let it go shortly after having someone from Long Island who had a very strong accent pick on me for my slight Southern one.
And, most importantly, good manners, or lack thereof. Sorry NYC, but it’s something men AND women need to work on. I know it’s every man/woman for themselves in NYC but, really, would it kill you to hold the door, or not elbow your way into the train past others, is it really that important that you get somewhere 10 seconds faster? Now, that’s a very Southern thing of me to say. ha!
Be on the lookout for part 2 with Callie Jenschke next week!