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The Finest Rooms in America Hardcover – November 9, 2010
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—The Wall Street Journal
Thomas Jayne, the New York decorator, has always brought both a scholarly
knowledge of design history and a quirky sense of the modern to his work, creating rooms that bridge the old and the new. And even though there is none of Jayne’s
own work in his new book, The Finest Rooms in America (The Monacelli Press),
his sensibility is evident in his choice of what the book’s subtitle calls “fifty influential interiors from the 18th century to the present.”
“..from Thomas Jefferson’s tearoom to Albert Hadley’s sitting room, 50 of
America’s most inspiring spaces.”
“A fascinating tour of the country’s most influential extant spaces, by
an always engaging, sharp-eyed guide.”
“Titling a book The Finest Rooms in America is an ambitious proclamation, but Thomas Jayne delivers a thorough and satisfying portrait of some of the most striking American interiors in this new book.”
“Two hundred years of fine American interior design are
packed into this elegant new book.”
—Art of the Times (Florida)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The reader will become involved with this book firstly curious to see which rooms are chosen then wondering how and why they were chosen and ultimately understanding what makes a room fine, wonderful, etc. Do we agree with the author or disagree with his choices? 50 is just a number. The real take away will be your own enriched ideas for quality, proportions, style, design, livability. The book is the author's invitation to go on this intellectual journey. His creative process is contagious. Of course, it can be easier to look back historically and all agree on what has staying power and remains pleasing to most but, challenging to assign that same title to rooms made in our lifetime. The 50 rooms reveal the author's bold goal realized and invite us to ponder number 51, 52, etc, as well as our own rooms. "The Finest..." provides beautiful food for thought.
Mindy Papp Durham
Opening with the totally fetching tea room at Monticello, which looks as stylish and inviting today as when Thomas Jefferson sipped tea there, this book helps you realize Jefferson was America's first interior decorator. What great company for designers to keep! Jefferson sets a standard for other decorators to follow. The book walks us through America's decorative history through the next 49 rooms of diverse styles and regions including Mark Twain's library and ends appropriately in Albert Hadley's sitting room. Author Jayne says if one element characterizes American interior decoration, it's comfort. And Hadley, like the other designers in the book, understands comfort. It's fun to just study the rooms, get ideas for your home, and think about which ones you'd most want to move into. I'm still making up my mind.
"Each room absolutely expresses the decade in which it was created," says Jayne. What is interesting, however, is the rooms don't look dated, but have a timeless quality. Most of them could appear in a shelter magazine today. You'll enjoy the sheer versatility and overall attractiveness of these rooms. Accompanying the pictures of the rooms is Jayne's entertaining and educational text. We hope that Jayne succumbs to curating some of the rooms which didn't make it into this first volume for a second volume of America's next most 50 influential rooms. In the meantime, we've got this delicious book to study. It would make a fabulous gift for yourself or anyone who loves interior design.
Pilar Viladas of the New York Times gave a good summary:
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As I saw the cover of this book I thought it must be wonderful hence I'll never buy again a book when I cannot see before inside. Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by chris
Wonderful book filled with excellent photographs and very good text. The book shows houses of all sorts, each with their own particular aesthetic merits!Published on August 28, 2011 by C. Lyman Mccallum, Jr.
Lavishly illustrated and beautifully written, this is for the home conoisseur who either has the spend to have a home like this, or is looking at top of the range to improve what... Read morePublished on June 5, 2011 by Charlene Smith