Coterie Crush: Tori Mellott of New York

Jun 30 2015

by Cheri Leavy

coteriecrush  tori mellott

Tori Mellott is legendary in the design world for her pitch perfect taste. The Senior Design & Market Editor at Traditional Home got her start in shelter magazines at now-defunct HomeStyle magazine and worked as an assistant to renowned designer Elizabeth Mayhew. But she really made a name for herself as Decoration Editor at Domino, where images of her own apartments zoomed virally through the blogosphere long before the days of Pinterest.   She is a frequent host of Editor at Large.

We have a Coterie Crush on this design darling after enjoying her company at The Southern C Summit this past spring.  Here Tori shares a few of her favorite things …


I am crazy about fabric, so answering this question this is like asking me to pick a favorite child – IMPOSSIBLE!  But if I absolutely had to pick, I have always loved Lee Jofa for floral chintz, Brunschwig & Fils for animal prints, and Pierre Frey for fabric with a touch of whimsy.

 1 Lee Jofa’s Hollyhock

2Brunschwig & Fils (designer Michael S. Smith)

3Pierre Frey



I love to mix and match china. In fact, I don’t think I ever used a “suite” or set of dishes all at one time. The more the merrier is my motto. Layering different colors and patterns creates a visually interesting story – add in flowers, accents, pressed table linens and violia! Right now, I’m loving anything that’s marbleized; John Derian makes the most colorful marbleized plates in collaboration with Astier de Villatte. I’m also digging the collection Michael Devine designed with French ceramicist Marie Daage. It’s a hand-painted faux bois pattern available in the most glorious pastel colors. And finally, I think antique/vintage/used china on any table is a must; it takes a table from looking like a catalog and elevates it. My favorite shop for antique china is Bardith in NYC. If you haven’t been, I recommend popping by but be prepared to empty out your savings account – it’s the finest of the fine!

4John Derian

5Michael Devine Ltd.

6Antique China from Bardith



My favorite paint color is Dix Blue by Farrow & Ball. It’s a little bit blue and a little bit green. It reminds me of the work of my favorite architect, 18th century Neoclassical architect John Adam. He and his brothers made rooms look like wedding cakes and they typically used employed shades of blue and greens which are similar to Dix Blue.




I have tried and true favorites that I rarely stray from.



Try as I might to pretend this isn’t the absolute, hands-down, best candle ever made – it’s impossible. I know it’s so expected, but Diptyque candles, in any scent, truly are the best-smelling candles. They transform my battered Brooklyn apartment into the chicest smelling apartment in all of the land!




I love fancy antique shops like


Florian Papp


but the problem is there is absolutely nothing affordable, attainable, or, for that matter, practical.  That’s why I LOVE antique malls.   There’s one in every major city and secondary city (and sometimes in tiny, itty-bitty cities). They all sort of look the same and curiously all sort of have the same junk, but every once in a blue moon you can really hit the jackpot and score something major. But “scoring” takes loads of dedication – sifting through all of the dismembered dolls parts, ugly sets of china, and red hobnail glass…



I’ve been playing this game with myself since I started as an editorial assistant at House Beautiful almost 15 years ago “If I had all the money in the world, who would I want to decorate my house?” That list has changed over the years but some of the top contenders have been

Miles Redd

Alberto Pinto

Daniel Romualdez

Mario Buatta

Ruthie Sommers

Nicky Haslam

but right now I’m on a big Frederic Mechiche kick!




Ah! Again, so hard to choose! I can give you my top four – does that work? Always Egon Schiele, Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko, and Elizabeth Peyton.




Charm. It’s my favorite Southern essential. My best friend is from Baton Rogue, LA and even if she sneezes it’s somehow “charming”. Whether she’s entertaining, writing a thank you note, giving advice or graciously offering her opinion, she does everything in the most charming way!




My style is girly, preppy, tailored, colorful, and quirky!



Senior Design and Market Editor, Traditional Home

timeless design for modern living


Links to spotlights on other interior designers and tastemakers –






Cheri Leavy View More Blog Posts from this Author

Cheri Leavy is a connector, cheerleader and marketing consultant for fellow entrepreneurs.
Building rapport and strengthening a sense of community:
• A community of female entrepreneurs through the The Southern Coterie and The Southern C Summit
• The faces and places of Athens that make our city so vibrant through guide2athens
• A community of devoted football fans through Bulldawg Illustrated
- Contributing editor to Coastal Illustrated, Executive Board Member of the UGA Alumni Association

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