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An Event to Remember

Decorator Mary Finch and her husband Ed hosted esteemed architect and designer David Easton in a garden party to celebrate the debut of his book, "Timeless Elegance."

Mary’s friend and guest of honor, David Easton.

Mary’s friend and guest of honor, David Easton.

photography by Jean Allsopp and Major Adam Colbert

When Mary and Ed Finch throw a Party, Birmingham shows up. Especially when the party is in honor of one of her best friends and nationally-admired architect, designer, and now author, David Easton. The New York-based talent signed copies of his newly penned book Timeless Elegance, The Houses of David Easton to the clinking of champagne glasses and to an equally bubbly group of old and new friends.

The event was held in the Norman Johnson-designed garden at the Finch’s home on a late afternoon in October. With hours to go before the signing, signs of thunderstorm threatened to chase guests away. “By the time the event started, the skies were clear and the garden glistened,” recounts Mary. 

The signing set a record with more than 140 books sold (and more than 120 friends stopping by). “This is more than any other stop on our U.S. tour,” says David.

A unusual 1920’s copper fountain, a personal favorite garden ornament of Mary’s, has followed her from home to home.

Shop owners, architects, and designers from Birmingham and surrounding areas casually chatted with Easton, a friend of Mary’s for more than twenty years. “When you come out with a book, and you have almost 30 stops on your book tour, you are happy when one of those happens to be at a friend’s home. I could not have asked for more perfect setting,” David says. Guests munched on crab cakes and other delectables from Culinard Café as dapper waiters with silver trays meandered through the garden pouring Veuve du Vernay rosé in crystal champagne flutes.

As the evening ended and guests reluctantly departed with their signed treasures, Mary recounted her long and enduring friendship with David, “I made a phone call to him introducing myself before I left for a summer design program at NYU. He kindly invited me to lunch at his lovely country house. Now, here we are, years later.” The gracious hospitality of a true Southern lady and the anticipated meeting of a design legend made this evening a night to remember.


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