I couldn't help but stumble across a negative review by Raewyn for Passion For Interiors. She ends her review saying she borrowed the book from the library and she will be leaving it at the library, as the interiors appeared too perfect, and unrealistic for the average Joe.
Her review actually may encourage you to buy the book! If you are a lover of neo-classical interiors, Raewyn states the whole book is based around one particular style; Neo-classical style.
While some enjoy an eclectic range of styles, others like myself, prefer a designer who sticks to one style, and masters the colors, the furniture, and the overall vision of particular region in history.
"This is a designer's preference for classicism taken to extreme levels."Whilst the images are visually sumptuous, and the rooms depicted (mostly living,hall and bedroom spaces) have the initial wow factor, there is something missing. It took me about half an hour of flicking through this book, to realise that all the rooms depicted, had a museum like quality to them, reminiscent of the grand country houses of the UK."
"Carolyn's designs seem to have the sole purpose of impressing the rabble with an opulent display of wealth, power and an overly defined sense of a particular style. This was particularly evident in her predilection for the double height, double cubedsalon or living space. I have no doubt that Carolyn Roehm has a good eye for antiques (or her antiques dealer has) and these rooms had examples of the best of everything, Hepplewaite, Sheraton, Ming porcelains, Chinnoiserie lacquered pieces, French baroque furniture etc. Unfortunately, there was a sterility inherent in the way the rooms were put together. They appeared as dioramas, undoubtedly interesting for what they contain, but they lack any sense that people could actually live in them. There was no feeling of a real person-inhabiting these spaces, no photos, no real books,(although plenty of examples of probably unread leather bound volumes bought by the metre for their tooled spines, no doubt) no quirky or unorthodox collections, no intimate amateur paintings, drawings, or sculpture of sentimental value interspersed with all the grand works of art. Despite the author's protestations that she doesn't like rooms to be museums, that is ironically, exactly what she has created, in both her New York apartment and her country house "Weatherstone". The most famous British stately homes are noted for the grand classical and baroque styles of their state rooms. In the instances where the families still live in these grand edifices, I'll bet their private apartments are somewhat more comfy and understated, in the cosy but elegantly tasteful English style that many of us appreciate. With, occasional skew whiff lampshades, dog chewed baskets and rugs and family momentos lying about the grander pieces. The Aspen House, Carolyn designed for her friend, was the only home depicted, that came close to resembling a home with some personal touches in it. Undoubtedly, because her friend wishes to live in a home and not a strictly stylised magazine piece. I borrowed this item from my public library, (I'm a try before you buy, kindagirl). However, no disrespect to Ms Roehm, this is not one that I will be adding as a keeper, to my personal design library"
One of the reasons why Carolyne Roehm's books stand out for me is because they feature the very best antiques, architecture and color schemes with some of the most prestigious period styles in history.
Many designers create a following for themselves by designing around THIER loves, and not around what the design world dictates, or what current trends tell them to do, but rather by their gut instinct and a good eye that has been trained by years of practice and research, and I believe that is what Carolyne Roehm does.
Read a personal interview of Roehm by The New York Social Diary.
Even though many of the antiques featured in these homes may be out of reach for the common person with a limited budget, a person could take the ideas that inspire them and incorporate them into their home with their own tastes in mind.
A person doesn't need to copy Roehm's looks, but rather borrow what they love, and add in some of their own ideas by working with their existing furniture and home decor that has been collected over the years.
I think the majority of readers would agree that if we wanted to look at homes that were ordinary, we could walk into any of the homes across the US that are undecorated, and feature less then exciting furniture to gaze upon.
There is something captivating about looking at interiors that display tremendous wealth and being able to borrow the same ideas that all the money in the world can buy and execute them for ourselves with less money.
The french chairs with the striped fabrics above has given me new ideas for my own french chairs. I have painted many of my french chairs a Swedish gray, but after seeing the painted green frames that coordinate with the white based fabrics, I might look at my chairs a little different.
French chairs can really be customized for the interior that they are being placed in. As you can see, the chairs above are painted to coordinate with the green color in the striped fabric. Instead of the details being painted in gold, white is chosen given a lighter appearance often seen in Rococo furniture.
Other furniture With Similar Style
-In this interior designed by Suzanne Rheinstein, a console table is painted blue and highlighted in white. The overall effect using white is very appealing, and a little less formal than using gold.
-This directoire full size bed is upholstered in a pink neo-classical striped fabric that is customized with a white paint finish on the frame. As you can see the details are painted in pink to bring out the colors in the fabric.
-This vintage settee has a teal blue floral print on a white based fabric. The frame of the settee is painted white, and accented in teal to bring out the wonderful detail of color in the upholstery.
Neo-classical chairs which have been painted in white have a fresh appearance, and can be even more special when their frames are outlined in gold. Doesn't the detail in gold above draw your attention to the exquisite frame ?
-Look at these wonderful Niermann Weeks Painted Klismos Chairs which are outlined in gold. Such beautiful craftsmanship should be highlighted.
You don't need to buy a costly antiques to get this look. You can dress up your existing console tables or chairs with ormolu purchased separately to make them appear more valuable. Highlighting a furniture's carved details will give your furniture that art quality appearance which might otherwise go unnoticed.
In the above picture I was drawn to the french ottoman which is upholstered in rich green velvet. Look how the painted frame is customized to accentuate the green velvet nicely. The carved details of the frame are painted in gold, which is the right combination for such a dark color. White detailing around the carved details on this piece simply wouldn't look right. Black and gray would blend in with the dark green paint color, so gold is the ideal choice.
This room is based around green, and I really appreciate that the overall fabric choices are limited to three basic designs. The rich velvet, the striped fabric and the white floral / leaf pattern.
Working with a floral pattern, consider pairing your fabrics with wither a solid velvet or a striped pattern. Both patterns art as neutrals and work nicely with all other patterns.
Here are 40 Great Decorating Fabric Patterns to Consider When Decorating With Green.
Green Based Fabrics
-54'' Wide Suburban Home Lotus Blossom Spring Green Fabric By The Yard $20.98
-Green Floral Brocade Fabric with Golden Thread Weave by Hand - Pure Silk (Sold by the yard) $85
-Pillow Decor - Rustic Floral Green 20x20 Throw Pillow $49
-Sandi Isle 5474312 Gorgeous Tapestry Upholstery Fabric $38.90
-58''Wide European Linen Fabric Elephant By The Yard $14.58
-58'' Wide European Linen Fabric Fig By The Yard $14.58
-45'' Wide Woven 1/4 Gingham Blue Fabric By The Yard $3.98
-54'' Wide Thomas Paul Aviary Moss Fabric By The Yard $31.98
-54''Wide Dupioni Silk Fabric Iridescent Teal Blue By The Yard $16.98
-54'' Wide Covington Musee Toile Blue Fabric By The Yard $14.98
-54'' Wide Duralee Rowena Aqua Fabric By The Yard $18.98
-60'' Wide Dior Flocked Damask Pashion Gold/Blue Fabric By The Yard $13.98
-Dena Designs Leanika DAMASK Blue DF50 Fabric Free Spirit By the Yard $8.49
-60'' Wide Sweetheart Satin Baby Blue Fabric By The Yard $5.48
-60'' Wide Minky Cuddle Dimple Dot Electric Blue Fabric By The Yard $12.98
-54'' Wide Swavelle/Mill Creek Hockley Nile Fabric By The Yard $8.98
-54'' Wide Swavelle/Mill Creek Oskar Sea Fabric By The Yard $8.98
-54'' Wide Swavelle/Mill Creek Faylinn Teal Fabric By The Yard $8.98
-54'' Wide Swavelle/Mill Creek Sakari Porcelain Blue Fabric By The Yard $17.98
-54'' Wide Swavelle/Mill Creek Giorgio Fresco Green Fabric By The Yard $17.98
-54'' Wide Suburban Embroidered Jungle Green Fabric By The Yard $20.98
-54'' Wide Swavelle/Mill Creek Baxley Oceana Blue Fabric By The Yard $17.98
-54'' Wide Swavelle Sakari Fresco Green Fabric By The Yard $17.98
-54'' Wide Duralee Dalesford Green Fabric By The Yard $20.98
-54'' Wide Duralee Dalesford Clay Fabric By The Yard $20.98
- Medallion Tile Mint 20934 405 by Duralee Fabrics $43.98
-Damask Sea 20925 381 by Duralee Fabrics $43.98
-Plaid Check Basil 31876 354 by Duralee Fabrics $36.98
-Plaid Check Blue Green 31798 72 by Duralee Fabrics $36.98
-Solid Mint Leaf 31904 253 by Duralee Fabrics $33.98
-Leaf Foliage Vi Kiwi 20860 554 by Duralee Fabrics $43.98
-Stripe Glacier 32002 172 by Duralee Fabrics $36.98
-Botanical Seaglass 20785 619 by Duralee Fabrics $46.98
-Plaid Check Kiwi Pink 31979 682 by Duralee Fabrics $35.98
-Orinda Faux Stripe Taffeta Silk Curtains & Drapes $79
-54'' Wide Swavelle Breton Stripe Fresco Green Fabric By The Yard $14.98
-54'' Wide Carver Sheeting Chloe Coral/Cream Fabric By The Yard $4.89
-Floral Medium Azalea 72004 648 by Duralee Fabrics $38.98
-54'' Wide Duralee Rowena Gold Fabric By The Yard $18.98
-Fabric Ikat Blue 54" By The Yard $24.
-54'' Wide Swavelle/Mill Creek Fantini Candy Fabric By The Yard $17.98
-Fabric Ikat Green & Red 54- By The Yard
-Blue Suzani Decorative Designer Print Fabric by the Yard for Upholstery, Curtains, Drapes, Pillows $28
-Country Life Toile Wedgewood Fabric By The Yard $19
-Crewel Fabric Lotus White on Mayo Blue Cotton Velvet $123
-Crewel Fabric Melons and Grapes Blues on Sweetpine Cotton $141
-Flutter Pillow, Comes in Brown, Green and Violet $19
-Off-White and Dark Pink Cherry Blossom Square Throw Pillow $47
-Peacock Throw Pillow - Silt Green & Iron $70
--Pillow Decor - Rustic Floral Orange 20x20 Throw Pillow $49
-Floral - Small Champagne 31751 88 by Duralee Fabrics $42.98