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Charlotte Moss: A Flair for Living Hardcover – April 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Assouline; First Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2759402657
  • ISBN-13: 978-2759402656
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This was a great book with lots of ideas.
Colleen Helfer
If you enjoy decorating that is romantic, historical, often feminine, colorful, floral, light, inviting, you should love this book.
L. M. Keefer
This book is filled with beautiful photos of the most superbly arranged and layered rooms that Charlotte Moss has ever done.
Design Book Addict

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Decorating Diva on May 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've been a great fan of Charlotte Moss interior design (beginning with my exposure to her Lexington Avenue shop in the 1980's/1990's) and books from her very first, Passion for Detail, published in 1991. Her last, Flair for Living, is a beautiful, over-sized coffee table book with spectacular photos of rooms she designed for her newest home (New York City townhouse) and others she designed for clients.

While I recommend this book based on the gorgeous photos of absolutely stunning rooms, I am a little disappointed because I feel her style has over time become extremely grand and essentially beyond anything anyone who is not exceptionally wealthy could possibly hope to achieve. (As she, herself, states throughout this and earlier books, she is married to a very high-profile investment banker -- he is named in all of her books and, if you're curious, do a Google search!).

There is quite a lot a name-dropping in Flair for Living and more than a little ego. Unlike her earlier books (for example, Passion for Detail, Creating a Room, Winter House), Flair for Living, cannot really be seen as a "how to" book, unless one's resources are quite unlimited. The text is full of references to her purchases of fabulous furniture, one-of-a-kind collector's items, accessories and art once owned by, for example, Jackie Kennedy, Doris Duke, the Duchess of Windsor, famous decorators Nancy Lancaster, Elsie DeWolfe, Madeline Castaing -- even Marie Antoinette!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Working Writer Wonders on August 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Moss is really good at the visuals (and textures) of interiors, and she has what's clearly a reverence for the history of home and garden design. Both help create the richness of image and inspiration that are this book's primary appeal. Less attractively, she does seem out of touch, not only with ordinary folks but also with ordinary emotions. You'll get some gorgeous visuals for the steep cover price here, but be warned that there's nothing "lived in" about this "flair for living."

I don't think it is her wealth in and of itself that is the problem. Many home and garden writers (not to mention personalities in other fields) are wealthy and yet come across on the page as very emotionally present. (Plus, from the evidence within it Moss was already very well off when she created A Passion for Detail, her warmest and most generous book.) For me, the dollars and cents don't really matter.

What does matter is warmth, which this book never really offers. Moss uses the cataloging of antiques, objects, purchases, historic influences, travel, famous inspirations, etc., etc. etc. as a way to wall herself off--it's a lavish fortress of sorts, as is the home itself. It's hard to tell who or what she would be without all this. In the end, the weird part about this book is that even when I loved a particular room or grouping or object, it didn't make me aspire to the lifestyle illustrated ...the formality and elaboration and old fashioned feeling of it all weren't attractive even when the objects themselves were.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By T. Gash on May 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A Flair for Living is indeed an exquisite book! However, it lacked the magic and visceral emotions of her earlier works. This is a product of grandiose interiors, name dropping provenances of her collection and a "flair" for conspicious consumption.
I have all of her books, but none moved me like A Passion for Detail. In this book she sprinkled her decorative thoughts with memories from her Southern family, and encouraged her reader to be resourceful with collecting ideas as she with "clippings and files she kept under her bed and desk and in "leased" space in her husband's library," and to be creative and "Maybe you'll turn grandma's vase into a lamp or display your collection of clay circus animals..."
At an earlier time of her life she was a passionate, breathless, new cache in her field and empowered the reader with such passion.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Stephen C. Erskine on August 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Visually, this is a beautiful book. The photography is excellent, and it is the pictures that provide value. The narrative has less impact, as little in the way of concrete information is given. In the end, however, the various rooms, inspite of their beautiful contents, leave an impression of emptiness. One cannot imagine people actually living in these rooms, and leaving any human imprint. The rooms are perfect as in a museum, but just as in that setting, no one may sit down.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By House Doctor on June 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This lovely book has exquist photos and is well written. I also like that it does not look like all the other recent books that show the "new look" but that she has shown us rooms that are timeless and not trendy. It is easy to follow the current fashions, but much harder to creat a room or a series of rooms that indeed look fresh through generations. You only need to make a few minor changes and the room is updated while with the "new look" you will be dated in no time and have to redo everything.
I disagree with those who have express distain for her wealth.Who cares that she is rich and can afford wonderful things. The point here is to take her look and adapt it to your budget. It can be done. You just can't buy her look at Target and Pier 1. I strongly recommend this book.
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