In today’s speak, you might call Athena, the Grecian deity, a power player. Goddess of war, wisdom, courage, mathematics and law, not to mention inspiration and the arts, she is one well-rounded woman. Athena Calderone, the mind behind the blog Eye Swoon, takes a page from the playbook of her namesake, showing prowess as a talented interior designer, ambitious chef, fashion muse, wife, mom and as of late, surfer.
We caught up with Ms. Calderone and quizzed her on all of the above. Needless to say, she passed with flying colors.
What inspired you to start the blog?
A year and a half ago, after a summer at the beach, I found myself between design projects. I felt a lull in creativity and I started Eye Swoon to fill the lull. I love making things beautiful, whether it’s my immediate physical environment or the food that I create. I wanted to share those little sparks of inspiration and see what journeys they would inspire for others.
Eye Swoon became a way for me to group all those fragmented moments and give them one voice that speaks to all the sides of me—the design addict, the fashion and food lover, the mom, the wife—and hopefully, it can do the same for people who share those interests and seek out inspiration.
How would you describe your style when it comes to decorating?
I think a room should never strike just one note. I love combining elements that seem like they shouldn’t work together but in fact, do. I think it creates a tension that brings intrigue and curiosity to a space. So a clean environment with eclectic oddities, luxurious textures next to raw ones, old pieces with new ones, that’s what gives a room character and depth. There are certain palettes I love—moody ones inspired by the sea or the skyline at dusk—or contrasting ones that combine natural hues with bright pops of color.
Who are your style icons?
I’d love to combine Audrey Hepburn and Jane Birkin into one elegant, graceful sex kitten.
What’s your most unexpected source of inspiration?
Nature. The colors in the horizon during sunset in Montauk are continually reflected in the interiors I create. The blue and whites of the Greek islands, mixed with rough stone, find their way into my homes. The amazing imagery in cookbooks inspires me to create in the kitchen, and the foods I experience as I travel inspire me to bring new flavors into my cooking.
Where will you be spending the summer?
In July I will live at my beach home in Amagansett, surfing as much as I can as it’s my new hobby! We will also a few weeks in Europe in August—mostly in Ibiza but I hope to also take a trip to the Greek islands!
Can you share a recipe for the perfect summer cocktail, sweet treat and savory beach snack?
A Prosecco and Aperol spritz with a twist of orange is hands down my favorite summer drink! Anything with lemon and berries is my go-to summer dessert. I make a super yummy lemon pudding cake with fresh blueberries. I love to make the most incredible and refreshing peach, baby tomato, red onion and basil salad for days spent at the beach. I’m also obsessed with the white fish dip with jalapeño and rice craters from St. Peter’s Catch in Montauk.
What are your must-have chic home items?
A luxurious yet rustic linen or knit throw. I also covet wooden cutting boards and bowls for the kitchen.
What is your perfect hostess gift?
A bottle of Prosecco, or if you really want to make me swoon, an iPod filled with playlists and music!
If you were accidentally locked in Barneys overnight, what would we find you wearing in the morning?
Thakoon Addition Intarsia Sleeveless Dress
Derek Lam Geometric Lace Pleated Hem Tunic Dress
Dolce & Gabbana Floral Print Babydoll Dress
Balenciaga Tulip Dress
Proenza Schouler Ombre Intarsia Knit Sweater
Acne Studio Leather Legging
Saint Laurent Belted Gown
Dezso by Sara Beltran Garnet & Emerald Shark Fin Cuff
Repossi Black Gold & Black Diamond Seven-Row Berbere Ring
Jennifer Fisher Brass Large Scorpion Pendant Necklace
Saint Laurent Cap Toe Janis
Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Clutch