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A Passion for Interiors: A Private Tour Hardcover – November 9, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Style (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307719995
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307719997
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 1.2 x 12.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In her own words designer Carolyne Roehm takes you on a tour through three of her design projects: her New York apartment, her Georgian home in Connecticut and a ski lodge in Aspen. Her red bedroom in Connecticut is on the cover of this book. Roehm describes what she loves in design: "classical details...supported by decor that is livable as well as lovely--and enlivened with a dash of glamour--the result can be magical."

Classical details she loves include: columns & pillars, a mix of period style furniture, canopied and four-poster beds, chinoiserie, large mirrors, chandeliers & sconces, leopard prints, paintings & sculpture, old books, blue & white china, and vibrant jewel colors. If you love these elements, you should enjoy this book. Roehm makes the case that classic design is stylish AND modern. She quotes her art professor: "You have to understand: Picasso could draw as well as Michelangelo." The fact that classic elements have been passed down through the ages to thrive in the present day make them deeply modern. They're timeless.

So what does her combination of classic and modern look like? Her New York apartment radiates glamor. Her aim is a style that is "reassuring rather than intimidating". She wants you to be able to picture Myrna Loy, the 1930's actress, elegantly descending the staircase. However, Roehm claims, "I am as down-home a woman as you're likely to meet--I've cleaned up after more dogs I'll bet than any human being in history--but I do love glamour!" While it's hard to imagine her dogs, who clearly aren't intimidated by classicism, having the complete run of these rooms, you can see her emphasis on comfortable fabric-driven design in her pale blue bedroom and creamy, dreamy guestroom.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first part of my review is directed at Amazon. My book was packed really poorly; no shrink wrap and minimal packing. In fact, the box was the exact size of the book so one corner was dinged from shipping. With no tissue or shrink wrap, the very beautiful cover was scratched and scuffed. Really?!? This is a "coffee table book" not a paperback! Pretty disappointing, Amazon.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In my first read through of this book I was enthralled. The visual perfectionist in me gorged on the symmetry, high celings, gilt touches, blue and white porcelain, marble statues and fabulous oil paintings throughout. The fabrics are sumptuous, and the colors divine. The classic lines and decor are incomparable. But... as I paged through the book a few more times over the weeks to get my visual fix after, say, a hectic day at the office or stressful nighttime routine with my 2 small kids, I began to get kinda freaked out. The interiors are TOO perfect. They're unsettling, in fact. There are no traces of human life - no photos of people, nothing out of place, nothing left on the floor, peeking out of a corner or thrown together in a moment of inspiration. There are no photos of any closets, kitchens or bathrooms - places where people live, eat, get messy and enjoy life. Nothing odd, daring, or whimsical exists in these rooms that would give you a clue as to the person living inside the house. Even the bedrooms have been scrubbed clean of any true personality - like every other room they are excruciatingly correct and absolutely spotless... and totally freaky. Does Ms. Roehm have kids? Friends? Lovers? Hobbies? Can she cook? What does she do in her spare time besides oversee the polishing of the floors and marble figures? I know Wikipedia could answer these questions, but shouldn't pictures of one's home(s) do so as well? Oddly enough, this book ended up stacked next to a book I have on the Frick collection, and as it turns out they are perfect partners.
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