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Charlotte Moss: A Flair for Living Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
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.
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.
not compare to her previous book, Winter House. The title suggests that
the reader will get an idea of the author's lifestyle but instead is given
samples of her interior design both for herself and her clients. Pictures
are confusing as you aren't always certain whether you are viewing pictures of her own home or those of a client unless you follow the text.
In comparison, Winter House showed the reader intimate details of her impeccable Colorado home and how she entertains and uses that home. Given
the title of her newest book, the reader expects the same intimate details and will be disappointed to find they don't exist. Had the book
been titled differently I don't think I would have been so disappointed.
It is still a delightful book and worth including in your own personal
library of interior design books as Ms. Moss is a very talented interior
designer with fabulous taste who caters to the rich and famous!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mrs Moss is amazing at the style and flair of living well. She truly is the queen of the social interior.
Beautiful book from a beautiful lady
Charlotte Moss creates the prettiest rooms. Not tritely pretty. But deeply pretty. Deliciously pretty. Read morePublished on February 8, 2014 by L. M. Keefer
If you're a fan of great style, this book is a must for you! The photographs tell the story perfectly!Published on March 13, 2013 by Princess J
This is a beautiful book just full of inspiration! The author has given so much good advice from her years of experience, and the pictures remind the reader to decorate with flair,... Read morePublished on January 25, 2011 by K. Jennings
I have enjoyed reading about this designer and her exceptional taste and how she has an eye for detail. Read morePublished on May 11, 2009 by YoungL
I recently purchased this book and have not had time to read it, just browse the pictures, this is also why I rated it four instead of five stars. I found Mrs. Read morePublished on April 10, 2009 by JenGee