Enduring Style – Suzanne Rheinstein

I checked in with Suzanne Rheinstein after Courtney’s selection of her living room as a space with enduring style.  I wondered what she thought made the room a classic.  She graciously replied as follows:

“The combination of furniture from different eras: Louis XVI, Regency and Italian Directoire is arranged in a somewhat 18th century manner.  Yet, it is not too precious and there is not too much furniture in the room.

The colors are soft, in the café au lait family and different blues.  In the summer, most of the furniture wears blue and cream striped slipcovers.  As you examine the room, you’ll see a lot of details and layers, yet it is not fussy in any way.

The overall feeling is one of serenity.  You can be in the room any number of times and you will notice something surprising about it every time.  Yet, it doesn’t scream “decorated” at you!
What really helps make this room classic is that it is used.  We use it all of the time for aperitifs with a few friends or as a place to eat for big buffets.  The furniture adapts itself to the occasion; no one is afraid to move a chair to a more comfortable spot for conversation.” 
And what were Rheinstein’s picks for classic, enduring style? 
Bunny Williams’ Living Room in Punta Cana

John Saladino’s Villa in Montecito

Roger Lussier in Boston

And just in case you thought I would make it through this whole series with no hometown mention?  John Saladino is from Kansas City.
Thanks to all the bloggers, readers, commenters and designers who weighed in and helped me out.
Images 1, 3 and 5 from Inspired Styles, 2 and 4 via Style Court; both images of William’s home from her book, Point of View; images of Saladino from Velvet & Linen here, and Lussier’s home from House & Garden, December of 1989, photos by Oberto Gili (this may not be the “version” Rheinstein intended.)
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15 thoughts on “Enduring Style – Suzanne Rheinstein

  1. Beautiful, timeless style. I am shying away more & more from the over decorated, trendy styles that many of us fall victim to. Rooms such as those do not fall prey to trends.
    Simply lovey Mrs. Blandings!

  2. Now if only the board at HGTV could understand this. I hate when the rooms look so decorated & everything is shiny new, like a Pottery Barn catalog page.
    Give me the "years of searching its all a journey not a destination" look anyday

  3. Suzanne Rheinstein is a terrific decorator. And her choice of the Lussier room is a pleasant surprise—his sofa is pretty swell.

  4. Mrs. B does it again. Ditto to my comment from yesterday's post.
    These are posts for my favorites files… thanks again. Almost feel guilty that blog reading is free!

  5. So many designers and editors ranging from Karen Carroll to Margaret Russell to Grant Gibson, who have had the pleasure of being in Mrs. Rheinstein's living room, say that it is luminous and just wonderful.

    Personally, I'm inspired by its longevity. It has evolved but not changed radically every three months! It's a bit rare to see a decorator stay in the same house and not move constantly or sell off all of her things.

  6. I also love how Mrs. Rheinstein changes her candles with the seasons — black to ivory. Black in silver candlesticks is so chic!

  7. Oh, be still my heart! I absolutely adore John Saladino's Villa. There's nothing like the old world charm. All the textures and warm color palettes are so interesting. The rooms speak to me, "just come in and relax". Thank you for sharing all of these fabulous designer's rooms. Luanne

  8. I note the painted ceilings in Rheinstein's rooms. Lovely. And while her rooms are pretty, I prefer the handsome work of Saladino. It says permanence in an impermanent world. It simply could be I am addicted to stone. His Kansas City roots often get overlooked in his bi-coastal workf. Nice reminder.

  9. I love all of these designers and their own homes, what strikes me the most is the feeling of intimacy and livability of these rooms. Thanks for putting them all together in one post. I have loved Saladino for ever–especially his sofas. Thanks for a wonderful post.

  10. All of this enduring style, room after room, home after home, designer after designer, sure is cheaper than therapy or cigarettes. My daughter said, "If something is so bad for you and can kill you, they why do people smoke?" Not that I smoke, but those rooms look like rooms that people would go for a good smoke.

  11. I love seeing designers' own homes. Their homes are a glimpse into what inspires their designs.
    Suzanne Rheinstein has such a great eye. I always enjoy visiting Hollyhock and seeing what she is up to now.
    Bunny Williams' first book changed the way I look at design. I could read it over and over again. Every room in her home feels warm and inviting.
    John Saladino's home is beyond compare. His new book sits on my desk so that I can enjoy it during the day when ever I have a free moment.


  12. These are all stunning!I especially loved Roger Lussier in Boston, which I had never seen before this post. Thanks for sharing!

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