Enduring Style – Style Court

Ladies first.  Courtney Barnes writes the acclaimed and admired blog, Style Court.  Courtney has a B.A. in art history and a masters in education; this back ground and a passion for design provide an interesting perspective for her informative posts.  Her picks for lasting design are Michael Smith, Suzanne Rheinstein, Miles Redd and Ruthie Sommers.

Courtney was recently struck by the art picks that Smith was a part of for the private quarters of the White House.  She explains, “Well, of course I haven’t yet seen what Michael Smith is doing with the White House – we may look back and say this was one of the great projects of the new century. I think a lot of people associate him simply with extremely tastefully done, sort of stealth-wealth interiors, but, to me, he’s really skilled at telling a multi-cultural story.

In a subtle way, he weaves a lot of disparate elements together. 19th century English rooms were all about eclecticism – that’s nothing new – however Michael is doing it in a very sophisticated way.

To be fair, this isn’t the first administration or designer to work with modern art, but it appears that Smith will be pushing the boundaries of what we are used to seeing in the White House. He may be the first to create a major bridge between the past and present.”

Courtney says her “Money Room” would be Suzanne Rheinstein’s living room, which evolves both with the seasons and over the years, but remains timeless.

“Not too many designers could create such a symphony of color,” says Courtney.

“I love that her framed wallpaper fragments are heirlooms, something she had up years before the current mania. “

She is able to cover every stick of furniture with those aqua striped slipcovers and nothing feels contrived.”

“I also think Miles Redd is quite innovative. Maybe more complex then people realize. He’s so known for glam and for his hot pink living room, but there is something interesting going on in his interiors!”

And then, she couldn’t resist just one more.  Ruthie’s bedroom.  “It is my personal equivalent to the Rothschild bedroom.”

Stop in later today for Jennifer Boles’s selections.
Image, top, Red Azaleas Singing and Dancing Rock and Roll Music by artist Alma Thomas via Style Court.  A different work of Thomas’s was recently selected for the White House on loan from the Smithsonian.  Following two images, Mossimo Giannulli and Lori Laughlin’s home by Smith from Elle Decor, June/July 2000, photography by Henry Boirne.  Next image, Smith’s Elements of Style.  Top two images of Rheinstein’s home, HG, August, 1989,  final two domino, photography Tim Street-Porter.  Ruthie Sommers’s bedroom from In Style, Spring 2007, photography by Ngoc Minh Ngo. 
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12 thoughts on “Enduring Style – Style Court

  1. It’s a treat to see my favorite rooms over here! I love this series and can’t wait to see what Jennifer and everyone else has to say. Flattered to be included.

  2. I also love Courtney’s blog. It is so well written and full of information. I’ve learned a lot from Style Court and Mrs. Blandings! 🙂

  3. * Terriffic read, pics n’ info! The pic w/ the two framed wallpaper fragments caught my attention immediately, MOSTLY because of the BASE of the round TABLE~ that is stunning, IMHO!

    Linda in AZ *

  4. Great choices, I framed some of these gorgeous antique hand painted Chinese wallpapers. They were found in the back of a customer’s grandmothers hall closet!

  5. I am intrigued that you included Ruthie Sommers in your list. I know Ruthie (just slightly and in a client relationship)…her rooms are so fresh and timely and elegant, as she is in person: Down to earth and to the point and committed to her clients.
    Have a great week.

  6. No surprise, Courtney has great choices! I’ve been fortunate to see Suzanne Rheinstein’s house in person, and it truly is one of the loveliest houses I’ve ever been in. It’s warm and gracious, just as she is. Love this idea, Patricia.

  7. It makes me feel good that these images are in my black book, pasted down by hand, carefully preserved,
    “interiors of the heart”
    You’d love it…my tastes have evolved and are also more minimal – more casual, yet I still love that formality of those rooms.
    Oh, and that Courtney, is unbelievable…as I shake my head, in awe of her knowledge, and passion.

  8. Mrs Blandings- You have your readers captivated. This is what I looked forward to in the blog world today. I loves these picks. Miles Redd of them all has the ORIGINAL factor topped-which many times- has the longevity of say- designer Rose Cumming. I do disagree with the idea that Ruthie Somers bedroom is the seminal Pauline de Rothschild bedroom of today- Of course-no designer She, and that is why today’s rooms will ever hold a candle to hers.

  9. Hi Little Augury — I should probably add that I wasn’t necessarily thinking the Sommers bedroom is a replacement for the iconic Rothschild bedroom. It is just, for me personally, a very fun contemporary interpretation of a classic bedroom, and a lot of people seem rather obsessed with it 🙂

    Perhaps in 15 years we will still reference it as representing this decade. Thanks for your input by the way, always great to hear.

  10. I love Courtney’s picks, and it looks like we are of the same mind regarding a few of these designers!

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