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The Finest Rooms in America Hardcover – November 9, 2010
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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“A definitive compendium of decorating that's begging to live on your bookshelf. Mr. Jayne, mega decorator himself and disciple of interiors legend Albert Hadley, has a refreshingly democratic eye (for a decorator) presenting an array of finery from the tippy top of society’s homes—tastefully jammed with important European furniture or, conversely, lean and tailored with collectible modern. It is a treat to have all of this catalogued in one swell tome.”
—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
Thomas Jayne was trained as a graduate fellow in the prestigious Winterthur program, as well as other leading museums. He studied architecture and art history at the University of Oregon and apprenticed with the august New York design firms of Parish-Hadley and Kevin McNamara. He has an international clientele that ranges from important collectors to young families, who live in a variety of settings, both historic and contemporary. Critics have noted that he writes with a “unique and quirky voice steeped in the history of decorative objects but cognizant of modern mores.” A principal at his firm Thomas Jayne Studio, he defines his decoration as embracing both ancient and modern.
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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
Pilar Viladas of the New York Times gave a good summary: