“Nature’s quintessential color combination of blue and white never ceases to amaze me. The look of pristine snow against deep blue Aspen skies; spires of blue and white delphinium in a garden; Connecticut’s spring mornings where the apple blossoms and nodding heads of white narcissus are in contrast to soft blue skies and vibrant green grass—these and many more images found in nature have informed my work for the last thirty-five years. From fashion to interiors, and tabletop to gardens, the presence of blue and white is a constant in my past collections as well as throughout my previous eight books. It seems natural that I would eventually do a book on living and designing with this seminal color combination.” —from the Introduction
This private tour of the dazzling homes of legendary style-setter Carolyne Roehm showcases her favorite color combination in more than three hundred glorious photographs.
From the time designer Carolyne Roehm rented her first small apartment in New York in her twenties, she has loved blue and white. In that one-bedroom flat, she draped the walls, chairs, sofa, and a canopy bed in an inexpensive blue and white sheeting fabric designed by her boss, Oscar de la Renta, and began collecting blue-and-white porcelain from around the world—initially bargain reproductions and eventually museum-quality pieces—from China, Japan, Portugal, the Netherlands, and elsewhere.
Today, Carolyne Roehm presides over a magnificent duplex in Manhattan, an antique-filled stone house in Connecticut, and a chic yet rustic home in Aspen, all of which contain rooms decorated in blue and white, featuring accents from her collections of china, ceramics, glassware, linens, furniture, and decorative pieces. These rooms employ the whole spectrum of blues, from delicate sky to the deepest, boldest navy, evoking moods ranging from tranquil to vibrant.
In A Passion for Blue and White, Carolyne Roehm takes us inside her homes (including her former pied-à-terre in Paris) in never-before-seen photographs of these stunning rooms. She also reveals how she has used blue and white to magnificent effect outdoors in Connecticut around her pool and in her gardens—and even how she used the combination in designing a wedding for a friend.
She provides inspiration for tabletop design, flower arranging, and gift-wrapping, suitable for all budgets. Her ceramic, textile, and glass collections (endless sources of her creativity) can be emulated by anyone with trips to flea markets, thrift shops, and inexpensive import stores as well as antique stores and galleries.
A swatch of French fabric began Carolyne Roehm’s lifetime love affair with blue and white. In this book, she demonstrates through her own decorating and designs, how this combination works its magic on everything from upholstery and drapes to napkins and tablecloths, wrapping paper and ribbons. For anyone with a passion for blue and white, here is the ultimate style guide and Carolyne Roehm’s most gorgeous book yet.
Amazon.com Exclusive: An Interview with Carolyne Roehm
Q: Reviewers are calling your new book “gorgeous” and your “most self-expressive book”. What inspired you to write A Passion for Blue and White? CR: Blue and white has always been a big part of my world, and this passion is reflected in the books I’ve done, whether the subject matter was flowers, entertaining, or creating beautifully wrapped gifts. It seemed natural that I would eventually do a book on living and designing with this seminal color combination. Blue and White gives me a design focus – one that’s endlessly rewarding.
Q: What will the reader find in the book? CR: Blue and white has been a constant in my interior design work. The book is filled with photos of interiors and outdoor spaces enhanced by collections of ceramics, textiles, porcelain, dishes and linens. I’ve always been inspired by nature and no other combination is as omnipresent as glorious blue and white so I’ve included an endless assortment of ideas for arranging flowers, gardens and bouquets for every season. This is really a book about creating a beautiful environment with style and ease. I’ve also included wonderful ideas for wrapping paper and ribbons, napkins, drapes and linens. Of course I didn’t feel this book would be complete without including a plethora of information on the meaning and history of blue and white, and its use in all of the decorative arts.
Q: Since the holidays are upon us, do you include suggestions that may be useful for the upcoming season? CR: Yes. During the holiday season, I sometimes stray away from a red-and-green theme and use a blue and white color scheme that works surprisingly well with a green wreath or urns filled with narcissus.
At Christmas, blue and white pieces can show off the traditional deep red flowers of the season including amaryllis, berries and roses.
Q: Do you have other holiday ideas that don’t involve flowers? CR: Yes, I’ve included photos of holiday cards, invitations, gift tags, menu cards and gift wrap that is beautiful when created in a blue & white color scheme. Elegant card stock is a luxury but it’s incredibly simple and satisfying to use the computer to make invitations, menu cards or holiday gift tags. Guests feel you’ve taken the time to create something special when it’s made by hand.
Q: Any suggestions for those on a budget? CR: Absolutely. The best thing about blue & white is the ability to collect and display so inexpensively. Chinese porcelain is readily available and inexpensive fabrics can always be purchased at discount outlets. A few of my favorite table setting ideas include mixing white porcelain with a blue and white tablecloth and using white carnations in the centerpiece. It creates a dramatic table inexpensively.
The right flower arrangements can be made inexpensively any time of the year. One of my favorite combinations is mixing white cosmos from the cutting garden with frilly Queen Anne’s lace to create a fresh and simple bouquet. Simple daisies in a cobalt blue glass create a dramatic effect and nothing is more cheerful than bright yellow sunflowers in deep blue glass.
Q: Any final comments? CR: This book is my personal story of designing and living with this magical color combination. I hope in some small way it will inspire others.
A Look Inside A Passion for Blue and White (Click on Images to Enlarge)
For the Living Room
For the Bedroom
In the Garden
For the Holidays
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