[©AT HOME: A Style for Today with Things from the Past by Suzanne Rheinstein, Rizzoli New York, 2010. Image ©Pieter Estersohn.]
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.