Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes


At Home

Have you seen the trailer for Gwyneth's latest? Toward the end of the clip, Gwyneth, playing an innately talented and experienced singer, finishes a great performance and says to the newcomer, "That's how it's done sweetheart."

Whenever I study one of Suzanne Rheinstein's light-filled rooms, a similar thought crosses my mind.  If I'm second-guessing myself about the timelessness of a chair, or feel hesitant about how to upholster a bench, I often refer to my "Suzanne" tearsheets. Now, though, there is a gorgeous book -- written in the designer's own voice -- to consult.

  [Suzanne Rheinstein's take on a young girl's room. A project for a client. Click to enlarge and zoom in. Details matter here!] 

Not too long ago, Janet Blyberg invited me to contribute to Book Week 2010. Flattered but a little overwhelmed, and knowing I'd likely be in the company of voracious readers Downeast Dilettante (owner of some 2,500 design and architecture books) and curator KDM, I turned again to the familiarity of Suzanne Rheinstein's own Georgian Revival house and her new book.

Like so many of Janet's readers, Suzanne is curious, passionate about decorative arts, and committed to the cultural life of her city. She's also a serious collector and describes her interiors as "object driven" (my new favorite expression). Apart from its beauty, one of the most marked characteristics of her home is said to be its welcoming nature. I've had the pleasure of listening to Margaret Russell talk about this graciousness, and I know Karen Carroll experienced the same thing when hosted by the Rheinsteins too. Maybe this little peek inside will let you be a vicarious guest.

Pictured at top is the Rheinstein family home in L.A.


Karena said...

What a great to take a peek.

I must find a better way to organize my tear sheets and internet images, inspiration abound!

Art by Karena


Rheinstein's style is not mine, but it is so comforting, lush and centered on beautiful objects that I am always seduced. I, too, have lots of tear sheets and had to buy the book. (And compare some rooms to the very different color schemes they sported in "House Beautiful Christmas," pub. in 1994). Over the weekend I found a stunning framed textile like the ones in Suzanne's book. Called a "dressed picture," it is embroidery coupled with painted details for the person's face and arms. It gave me a real appreciation for these treasures. And a sense of what they cost!

Style Court said...


As always you captured this so eloquently. I think many people draw upon varied aspects of her style -- take away different lessons. And it's such a rarity for a designer to hang on to one house for decades, so observing the evolution is great fun. Personally I'm seduced by the blue-greens in the L.A. living room, her fabrics, and that red upholstered door.

That textile you found must be something!

Style Court said...

Karena --

Hope you enjoy the sample images.

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Her girls room is beautiful. I love the mix of pinks, whites, pattern and hints of red. Did you see GP perform last night? Can't wait to see the movie!

Style Court said...

Laura -- Yes and Yes!

The colors are like a symphony and the large scale print -- just love it.

And I sure did watch last night. So excited about the movie too!

quintessence said...

I adore this girl's bedroom and would have loved to emulate it for one of mine but they are tween and teen and don't yet appreciate the sophistication of this level of design - Pottery Barn peace sign laden sheets have won over. And your review on Janet's site was lovely. Lastly, I thought GP did admirably - looking forward to the movie as well.

Style Court said...

Quintessence --

Ah, the age-old design dilemma: tween/teen freedom vs. mom's taste. Whenever this comes up, I think about Alexa Hampton and other designers who as teens were allowed to decorate their rooms as they pleased. I think Alexa was able to paint hers black, but I may have the story confused.

I enjoyed GP's performance with Vince. Pretty tough situation to be in following the show-stopper with Sheryl Crow, Loretta Lynn and Miranda Lambert! I have the Country Strong soundtrack and I think GP really shines. The range comes through there.

Thanks so much for reading my review over at JCB :)

Janet said...

That girl's room is the stuff of dreams. I can just imagine curling up there with a good book...

Thank you again for such a gracious contribution to book week.


"Found" was probably the wrong word to use about the textile. "Saw, drooled and dreamed" is more correct. Went home and looked at the book again and imagined what it must be like to live with such a collection. And yes, I love those blue-green walls.