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The Private House

by habituallychic

05 . 07 . 08

“There are those who spend lifetimes in houses that have nothing to do with who they really are. They may be perfectly designed, yet if they fail to reflect the personalities of the people who live in them, the very essence of intimacy is missing and this absence is disturbingly visible.” -Rose Tarlow

My friend Charlotte has this interesting little book sitting on her coffee table one day and once I opened it up, I found it completely intriguing. She told me that she had to read The Private House in design school so I figured that maybe it was worth buying for myself. The book published in 2001 is a summary of what Rose Tarlow taught at the UCLA School of Interior Design. I’m not sure if she still teaches or not.

I didn’t really know much about Rose Tarlow before I bought the book. According to her bio, “Tarlow’s design career started small, with the opening of her shop, Rose Tarlow Antiques, in 1975. Today her Los Angeles—based company, Rose Tarlow—Melrose House, is renowned for its reproduction—or, in many cases, adaptation—of antiques, as well as its more modern designs.”

She describes her style as “fresh, clean, contemporary furniture and art mixed with wonderful old pieces—and a very definite edge of eccentricity.” That’s something I can definitely relate to.

Her book is filled with beautiful images and I’m looking forward to sitting down to read it thoroughly when I have the time. It sounds like she has great advice for the amateur and professional designer alike.

I can already tell that the chapter entitled “Confessions of a Shopkeeper” is going to be my favorite. It starts with her saying, “One of my great challenges in life is controlling the temptation to purchase everything I fall in love with. Once I discover a treasure, I am compelled to find it a home.” A woman after my own heart!

She recently sold her company, Rose Tarlow – Melrose House, that produces furniture and textiles but I can’t imagine her sitting around counting her money. I’m sure she’s out shopping somewhere and giving her amazing finds a very happy home!

Comments Closed

  1. karina May 7, 2008 | 12:31 pm

    I agree i I think that the house needs to reflect who lives there, and sometimes it makes it uneasy to work with a designer who do not listen!

  2. karina May 7, 2008 | 12:31 pm

    I agree i I think that the house needs to reflect who lives there, and sometimes it makes it uneasy to work with a designer who do not listen!

  3. Marie Louise May 7, 2008 | 1:39 pm

    Love these images. Will have to check out this book myself. What a gorgeous day here in CT. Bet it’s beautiful in the city today – might head down this weekend for a hit of the big apple on Mother’s Day!

  4. Alice Olive May 7, 2008 | 2:37 pm

    I love the quote. I hope my home reflects a bit of me as well as being a nice space to be in.

    These images are beautiful. Thanks for the links too!

  5. Mrs. Blandings May 7, 2008 | 3:21 pm

    Oh, Chic, this is a good one – you will love it.

  6. Style Court May 7, 2008 | 5:37 pm

    It’s definitely a must for every design library!

  7. stacy May 7, 2008 | 7:41 pm

    The book looks incredible. The photos and the furniture are amazing. I think I am going to have to go get myself a new book.

  8. the House of Beauty and Culture May 7, 2008 | 9:38 pm

    One of my all time favourites. Ms Tarlow is one of the few decorators I would consider having in to do our house. The lady has real flair.

  9. Anonymous May 7, 2008 | 11:52 pm

    Who was the photographer?

  10. Hill Country House Girl May 8, 2008 | 3:48 am

    Love that book! It is one of my favorites that I go back to often. I referenced you in my post today – the thoughts of Rose Tarlow just fit so perfectly with the sentiments I wanted to express.She is so much more eloquent than I! Thanks for a great reminder of what good design is.

  11. Claudia May 11, 2008 | 12:18 pm

    What a fabulous book!!!!

  12. maven May 14, 2008 | 2:12 pm

    I read that book a couple of months ago and was very smitten with it also. I still want to know how Rose grew the vines *into* her room, (two pictures up from the end of the blog) that was the best part to me. How enchanting!