In our series “My Mix,” we explore how our favorite designers and trendsetters embrace personal style not just at home but in every facet of their lives, asking them (among other things) to share the one moment that has come to encapsulate their unique aesthetic. This week we sat down with Kentucky-based landscape designer Jon Carloftis. Read what he has to say below, then see how he throws a party.
I grew up in the wild, in the Daniel Boone National Forest with mossy rocks, damp and green, and a flowing river surrounded by leafy giants. It’s where we played, and I studied it all—little areas under control, others not so much. I change when I’m outside. It’s where I’m in love with the present and the past. It’s where I realize that, when it all comes down to it, all that crazy stuff doesn’t really matter. It is what’s real, and all that other stuff can wait till tomorrow.
My Mix Is…
Mickey + Minnie
Southern + Beautiful
Dogs + Home
Aretha + Al
My aesthetic, if you want to call it that, is funky. Everything becomes clear during drives through the country with Gertrude and Lily by my side, my full-figured gals.
A dog is one thing every home should have. And beauty? Beauty comes from within, without a doubt.
To me, Kentucky means good people and fine hospitality. If I had to write a book about it, it’d be for kids, and I’d write about my adventures in the state from which I’m from.
Right now I’m reading The Botany of Desire. It is divine.
I love people, and that’s a good place to start because nothing is better than people from all walks of life, together.
On any given day I’m listening to Aretha, or Jamiroquai, or anything by Al Green–the Reverend Al Green. If there’s good music and good people, it’s a party.
Blue and green are my favorite colors, but my favorite flower? Peonies.
My first big splurge was a Calvin Klein bomber jacket, in high school. I still have it somewhere. And then, years later, there was the sideboard for the dining room. They bring me joy, and they were worth it.
The real treasure? Well, nothing compares to that painting of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, from the ‘30s and worth about 20 cents. I love the way they look at each other.
Give me something by Baz Luhrmann any day. The Great Gatsby, Romeo + Juliet, all that. I feel his films beautiful and surreal, and then, all of a sudden, I’m upside down.