The Mother of Interior Design
Today is the anniversary of the death of Candice Wheeler, who died on this day in 1923.
Candice Wheeler is often called "the mother of interior design." In addition to design, Wheeler loved gardening, and she helped create the artist community of Onteora.
Onteora was known for its unique homes and gardens. In its prime, it was a summer colony teaming with artists set in New York’s Catskill Mountains.
Wheeler’s garden was known as Wildmuir. Wildmuir had a beautiful lawn, specimen rhododendrons, laurels, and evergreen trees. In the 1920s, Wildmuir was updated by Harold Caparn, who designed the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.
Like Martha Stewart, Candice Wheeler was multitalented. Her publishing credits include a variety of books, from How to Make Rugsto Content in a Garden.
Content in a Gardenis partly an essay and partly a guide as to what can be grown in a small space. Wheeler wrote from her own experiences. In a 1923 newspaper advertisement for the book, the reviewer wrote that Candice Wheeler and her daughter, Dora Wheeler Keith,
"are thoroughly in sympathy with nature, of which the former writes as charmingly as the latter illustrates it."
And it was Candace Wheeler who said,
"One of the most perfect and unfailing joys of life is planting. It is the creative joy felt by God."