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A Passion for Interiors: A Private Tour Hardcover – November 9, 2010
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About the Author
CAROLYNE ROEHM is one of America’s most important tastemakers. She is the author of A Passion for Blue & White, A Passion for Flowers, A Passion for Parties, At Home with Carolyne Roehm, and Presentations. After an impressive career as one of the fashion industry’s reigning designers and recognized as one of the world’s best-dressed women, Roehm turned her talents to teaching and writing about flowers, lifestyle, decorating, and entertaining. She is a columnist for Veranda and a frequent lecturer. She divides her time between her exquisite homes in Manhattan and Connecticut.
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Ms Roehm has a definite style and for lovers of classical architecture, wonderful photography and fine craftsmanship then this book will delight.
Yes many rooms have a 'creepy perfection' as one reviewer wrote. And I too found that the red wall in the bedroom shown in the cover - is faux! Maybe it wasn't Ms Roehm's doing? I stared at the fabulous double storied space at Weatherstone and genuinely fretted at how on earth anyone could walk on that tiny ledge to adjust the time on a clock that was built into the wall. There are expensive and impractical antiques and personally I think a couple of the spaces shown are screaming for a rug - and I am stumped at why there are no bedside lamps in the master bedroom in the New York Apartment. Are they too modern and boring and they were put away on the day of photography? Also I am one of those people who rotate a book just to look closer at a photo and read the titles of the books on the shelves. There were some leatherbound books by the yard, clearly for decor only, this is so annoying to me but a lot of people do this I suppose. I noticed in the Aspen house the books were real ones with their dustjackets removed and that there was that comforting mix of fine art and history as well as popular novels. But really - Who cares! These are the types of comments to expect when one does what Ms Roehm has done, given us a private tour of her private spaces. She cleaned up for us, would we have expected anything less?
The overall effect is awesome and I mean that in the true sense of the word. The attention to detail everywhere, the exactness of furniture placement, the discipline in the use of colour is a masterclass in precision.
This is a glamorous book that serves as a wonderful resource for classically inspired decorating. It is tremendous value too. There must be hundreds of photographs, all wonderful, that are alone worth the price of the book.
I - like so many - collect good books on style and the ones Carolyne Roehm produces are good value, inspirational and beautiful. I have three of her books now in my collection and will buy more. I have even bought one without looking inside because I know exactly what I am going to get, a blissful retreat into a rarified world of stylish serenity.
Well done Carolyne.
Now, to the book itself: I have tremendous respect for Ms. Roehm; such talent with an eye for the truly exquisite! However, there were a few things about this book that left me cold. Well, actually, the interiors all seem cold. Not warm or inviting or even very real. Clearly this is not how most of us or really any of us live nor strive to live but it all seems as though I'm looking at some historical museum not a home. I have thoroughly enjoyed most of her previous books and have been endlessly inspired but this particular book, no. Everything about this book screams a strange grandiose perfection. Too much perfection. Another aspect about this book that has me puzzled is the cover. The cover photo is absolutely gorgeous! All of that gleaming red, white and gold is beautifully striking. This cover photo was actually the tipping point for my purchase decision, but wait... it's not even real! Unless I have missed something, this wall is featured in the book but it is white, not red. You just have to love Photoshop.
Still, there are some positive qualities to the book. Loads of colour-rich photographs, it is possible to glean some design ideas and I love the little porcelain flowers she uses throughout her home.
All in all, a very lovely albeit stark, expensive-looking book but just not what I was hoping for.