Designing for the Stars: Happy Birthday, LEO!

Even if you are not a believer, it’s always fun to check and see what the stars are SUPPOSED to hold for you.  Each month we take a fun look at what makes each of our boats float, home decor-wise. This month, we wish a Happy Birthday to LEO!

Ahhh…Leo the Lion…born between July 21 and August 20…one of the easiest signs to spot, I think. A strong sign, a real alpha…but not usually harsh, or mean-spirited. They are just confident…very, very confident.

Leos typically have a natural ability to speak well, and lead. It’s a fair statement that Leos are typically found at the top of whatever circles they are drawn to.

You’ll find many in law (current Supreme Court Justices Kennedy and Breyer) and in politics (4 US Presidents). They are pioneers (Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, Bella Abzug) and charmers (Tony Bennett and George Hamilton). Successful and generous (Melissa Gates, Malcolm Forbes, Roberto Clemente), at the top performers with staying power (Madonna, Mick Jagger).

They are larger-than-life sports stars  (Tom Brady, Walter Payton,  NY Knicks Patrick Ewing, Bill Bradley and Wilt Chamberlain)-one reason the future looks bright for current Olympians LoLo Jones and Ryan Lochte. They also don’t do anything on a small scale-film producers/directors Ken Burns,  Alfred Hitchcock, Cecile B. DeMille, James Cameron, Dino DiLaurentis.

Intrigue seems to find them-Watergate’s ‘Deep Throat’ William Felt and Mata Hari were both Leos.  Sometimes their confidence can turn the corner into arrogance-Napoleon, and accused steroid users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemmens. And yes, art can imitate life, two of Batman’s most notable Catwomen were Leos-Julie Newmar and Halle Berry.

Last-Schwartzkopf and Schwartzenaegger-both Leos…are you starting to get the picture?

Have listed more famous folks here than usual because this is the best illustration of a Leo: they are used to being seen, to being at the top, and their space needs to reflect that.

Many Leos are drawn to impressive, and expansive spaces-sometimes physically elevated ones (Leo the Lion, on his throne!). Farly adapters for the most part, but they wold not sniff disdainfully at say a set of mid 1800’s original Chippendale dining chairs…as long as they were in mint condition, that is!   Pedigree is important, for both quality and status.

So is luxury. Re-purposed, funky, eclectic or retro has little place in the life of a Leo, as does most anything ethereal or soft and fuzzy. Like their personality, there is little ambiguity or frothiness. Best colors are clear, deep and strong, au currant, but not garish.

Leos love to entertain, and their homes typically showcase the finest in design and materials. Silk drapes? that came from free-range butterfly farms, where classical music was played for the cocoons as the silk was being spun? Now you’re talking! The music was live??  EVEN BETTER!!

OK< maybe I exaggerate..a little. But budget is a hard topic to discuss with a Leo-they can be extravagant, and who are you-a mere mortal-to offer counsel to Mr./Ms. Leo? Happily, funds are drawn to them almost as much as other people are.

Probably 90% of Leos are meticulously neat and organized, the other 10% not so much-but for both cases, storage and organizational systems will be an integral part of their home.

Years ago , I toured a big Southern plantation house on vacation.  The long drive that led up to the house had a line of massive trees-sycamores, I think-on each side. Tall and majestic, their branches touched and intertwined creating a lovely sun-dappled passage, both striking and grand.

Local history says that when the original plantation owner’s daughter got married, he imported many many spiders-from whenever you imported spiders in those days- and set them loose in these trees about a week before the wedding. On the morning of, he had gold dust sprinkled in the trees.

When guest arrived, they saw something quite unlike anything they had ever seen before…the gold dust was suspended in the webs, creating this shimmering canopy, welcoming them to his daughter’s wedding. Safe to say he was a Leo-yes?