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C At Home

Calming Influence

Paying homage to the subdued glamour of the ’20s, Suzanne Rheinstein delivers a serene and sophisticated interior with surprise touches.

With the explosion of self-publishing, the proliferation of D.I.Y. design and cable television home-remodeling shows, it is exceedingly refreshing to review the work of true interior design professionals. Suzanne Rheinstein is more than deserving of that designation. Schooled in the classics, Rheinstein also brings a modern sensibility and element of comfort to each of her projects, as evidenced in a classic Monterey Colonial in L.A.’s Westwood neighborhood featured in the following pages and excerpted from her highly anticipated second monograph. Due to be released in October, Rooms for Living: A Style for Today with Things from the Past  (Rizzoli, $65) highlights the design of welcoming, serene settings from some of her favorite residential projects.

C caught up with the acclaimed West Hollywood-based designer to delve into her incomparable vernacular:

There is much talk about what it means to create modern interiors today. What does that mean to you?

Suzanne Rheinstein: Modern is not a single object. To me, modern is your attitude and how you place everything. And it means not always taking things so seriously; I keep my sense of humor when decorating.

For this home, what is a distinctive touch one might miss if not pointed out?

I warmed up a bathroom in my New York apartment by stenciling button tufting on the wall and duplicated it here on a vintage French bench in the dining room. I took the wool satin weave fabric and sent it to an artist to finish it. It adds a touch of whimsy to the setting.

What was one of your favorite collaborations on this project?

I always love working with Bob Christian who we commissioned to do the beautiful trompe-l’oeil drapery on the walls of the dining room. He also created ethereal murals for the master bedroom. We share such a connection; we essentially talk in shortcuts when we are together!

Who has, and still does today, inspire you and your work?

British designer Nancy Lancaster, because she grounded everything she did in comfort. And I love the timeless chicness of Pauline de Rothschild. I’ve always admired the work of Stephen Sills and I’m drawn to the beauty and comfort that both Bunny Williams and Peter Dunham instill in their interiors.

The book that every design library should contain is…

One Man’s Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.

Every house should have…

The personality of its owners. 

Photography by
  Pieter Estersohn.

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