Michael Devine: Designer without Borders
Michael Devine is the Scarlet Pimpernel of the interior design world.
He’s here: His headquarters, if a moving target can be said to have a home base, is an enchanting little retail shop (shown here) in enchanting, little Kinderhook, NY, where he sells his own fabrics and stylish decorative accessories.
He’s there: In the past couple of months, either he or his textile designs or his magical little garden (behind the
shop—he and his partner, the interior designer Thomas Burak, live part-time over the shop) have been featured in The World of Interiors, in the premier issue of the newly re-designed Country Living, and on Rhonda Carman’s influential website out of Scotland, All The Best, on which Devine has been granted the equivalent of Hall-of-Fame status by being included on Carman’s prestigious “List.” The topper: the prominent interior designer Charlotte Moss chose one of Devine’s fabrics (150 yards of it, to be precise) to cover virtually every surface in the room she designed for the Kips Bay Decorators Showhouse, on view until May 17 in New York.
In short, that blasted Pimpernel is everywhere.
“In this day and age, you don’t need to be on Madison and 60th to have a great business,” says Devine. “The internet has played a significant role. I find it personally gratifying to be in Kinderhook, even if it’s not the most obvious place for somebody in my line of work. It reminds me of my hometown, Grand Detour, Illinois.” [Population: 742]
The road from Grand Detour to international design acclaim had its share of twists and turns. Devine started out studying fashion design, then embarked on a varied career in retail, product development, and home furnishings trade journalism, before homing in on textile design, which he studied at night at FIT. He characterizes his designs, which are printed on cotton, as, “updated traditional—historic motifs that I reinterpret so they’re more acceptable in modern interiors.”
Clearly, that choice was no shot in the dark. His fabrics have been picked up by showrooms all over the country and, indeed, the world, and he will be showing them this Spring at the Maison & Objets International Home Furnishings Show in Paris.
“I’m presently working on a book proposal on chic, sustainable gardening,” he says, “and be on the lookout for another story in Country Living in July. It’s very exciting for such a small company. We’re like the little engine that could.”
Michael Devine Home
10 Broad Street, Kinderhook; 518.758.1355