29 August 2012

devoted to Rose: a new book from Jeffrey Simpson


One of the most anticipated-and I can add-beautiful books is on its way. I've waited at least 25 years to steep myself in Miss Rose's world. I chased down every shred of Rose over those years. Her rooms spoke to me as a young designer-and they still do. In fact, there will likely be a surge of all things Rose with the publication of Jeffrey Simpson's book Rose Cumming Design Inspiration. There's every reason to see and be inspired by Rose through her eccentrically glorious rose colored glasses.
She is still a Star.

photograph of Rose Cumming's bedroom, Courtesy of Sarah Cumming Cecil.
(used with permission from Rizzoli)

A veritable feast for the eyes-the book's narrative moves along quickly-entertainingly. I think Rose's life along with her sister's, would adapt easily into A BBC 12 episode series. Sisters from Australia move to New York and "make good." Who could possibly be more colorful than the lavender-blue mopped Rose-her exotic frocks-and the audacious display of her decollete?

Full out glamor-that was Rose.
Introducing emeralds, purples and lavenders into rooms of the era got Rose the attention she craved and deserved. She held court at her shop amidst the finest and the occasional empty candy box or bottle, but it was always full of her unwavering Eye-and everyone wanted to see what Rose saw.
It was a vision.

 As Gloria Vanderbilt, said   Decorating is autobiography-
that certainly holds with Rose Cumming.

 a French chair in my Living Room covered in an 18th century French Lampas, a la Rose

from Edward Wormley's 1968 obituary about Rose....The walls were covered with silver leaf, glazed in brilliant blues, grape purples, with Directoire furniture covered in gold leaf and emerald satin. It was rich beyond belief. An ordinary woman would have disappeared in such a room-but not she.
(quote from Rose Cumming Design Inspirations by Jeffrey Simpson)

Some of Rose's Scheming
The book has many of this sort of photograph with Rose Cumming's color and fabric schemes paper clipped together on a client file folder- against a backdrop of Dessin Fournir's extensive collection of Rose Cumming archives.

Photographs by Jayson K.T. Schwaller, Dessin Fournir Collections.
(used with permission from Rizzoli)

I'm happy to admit my love for prints-Chintz-and silver tea papers. Blame it on the era-the Mario Buatta reign-but using them full out-or just a soup├žon- they can light up a room. Study his rooms-along with Rose's and the recently featured rooms of Julia Reed's New Orleans home in the WSJ magazine and you will see what I mean.There is no doubt Rose's prints are her signature-they are readily available today thanks to Dessin Fournir-and I can spot them anywhere. Ask any designer worth his or her salt-and they can too. Rose's "Delphiniums" polished cotton print-is still my favorite print of All Time.

and Rose's Silver?
She used IT with abandon-and this too-I love. Her rooms shimmer.
Alive and well today, Shimmer.

A true Rose Cumming  L O V E  room-by Benjamin Dhong in the current House Beautiful.

(see all the rooms by Dhong in the current House Beautiful  here)

and there is this Kitchen by Jean-Louis Deniot, his own, done up in all SILVER. Rose no doubt would RAVE.

(see all the Denoit rooms in the current Elle Decor here)

'nuff said-Rose is alive and well- and shining.
The Simpson book is a must have- really.
If you  L O V E what I do here-You will adore this book-
and under wraps- the cherry on top- IT shimmers.

my copy-in the Living Room on a 19th century French chair covered in Rose Cumming Damask in mauve, the book is a shimmering matte silver Rose would have adored.

Little Shrines to ROSE at Home

in the Bedroom

& in the Office

xo, & L O V E to Rose,
& thank you-Jeffrey Simpson.

Photographs noted are copyright of Rizzoli, 2012.
the book at Rizzoli here.
and see this terrific post at John Tackett's elegant blog The Devoted Classicist with something of Rose's here
my ROSE posts here.



  1. simply cannot WAIT to get my hands on this book.

  2. I really look forward to finally seeing the long-awaited book. Few are familiar with Rose Cumming's interior design projects for clients, so those archival photos and clippings of fabric schemes will be so appreciated. Although she was before my time, I know many who knew her personally and were so fond of her.

    And many thanks for the mention of my blog and the Rose Cumming pieces that now belong to Toby Worthington.

    1. you are so welcome-a pleasure! don't you agree-her life would make a great bbc series?

  3. Love the prints and love-love-love the silver room idea!
    Thanks for sharing! I'll put this book on my reading list.

    1. do it is a visual treasure as well as a great look at Rose-

  4. Well! Again a "Star turn!!" You see the "beauty and quality"!

    You are the best "eye"! Do you have any idea how much "dross" is out there?

    It is like "mining" to find quality!

    You are such a young person.....it makes me have "hope"!

    And Steven Stolman is the president of Scalamandre! Which almost disappeared! That almost happened!

    "Our" business is on life support right now!

    Let's come up with "Joie de vivre" and happy , whimsical, and colorful interiors that make people happy!

    The comments about my (extremely colorful kitchen) were off the charts!!! I was delighted! (I think Vignette Design had me on her "Facebook Page" and she has a "huge following"!(I am one!) She catapulted me into another stratosphere! She has "hopeful and fun; and colorful joyous decorating!)

    (I think her own house? I hope she decorates others!!


    ps the s
    "silver room is Chinese silver "tea paper"! It comes in squares........I had I client who spent an enormous amount of money making her dining room" silver";

    It was "siver leaf" very expensive......not a good outcome.....

    Stick with "Chinese tea paper squares...."silver" with patina.

    Also.....never think you can do these things without an experienced "decorator"!

    Just don't!


    ps I am not looking for work. I am just warning you!

    Thte "expensive botches " I see! Astonishing! And avoidable!

    Hire a professional! Don't think you can do it yourself!

    We are all worried.......about the future.....Let's all get behind the "fun factor"!

    Do you agree??

    People need joy! "Joie de Vivre" Butterflies; birds, whimsy! Am I wrong? My clients (especially with children)

    1. AGREE! indeed I do-not so very young you know. I have been playing at this since I was a toddler! Your kitchen is full of joy. I've used the silver tea papers several times-never disappointed in the effect-I would love to do it to my own-along with a silver paper on the walls. I find most of my clients are full of wonderful ideas-I am charged to channel them, narrow them-and then look at the many pieces in whole. pgt

  5. This book is already on my Amazon wishlist. Come on, Christmas!!!

    1. Diane, I do the same-I find holiday book Lists are a must. pgt

  6. She was not afraid to be crazy--I need some of that! Thanks, Mary

  7. Thanks Little Augury - I used to sell Rose Cummings fabrics in the 1990's and Jean-Louis Deniot is a new favorite designer as well. You've got a great eye and sense for design history.

  8. Hi there You genius you!

    I am so completely swamped with our daughter's first house (you will , I hope , enjoy the blogs I will do on it!

    this book came.......(I ordered two......I am sure there was a reason!)

    I have had two peeks; my assistant two "peeks" (honestly 15 seconds.0 this is a book for the ages........."Purple hair"!

    I had no idea she wore "festivity crowns"!

    a total "kindred spirit" as are you!


    When does yours arrive?

  9. Oh I do have to respond to MJH! Not afraid to be crazy? You HAVE to have that!! Don't you??

    Even the CEO of Clarence House (please correct me if I am wrong about who!)

    He said; "stop criticizing decorators! Don't you understand they have this weird "gift" that they can go into a room and visualize it completely furnished and in color! I can't do that! You can't do that! Only decorators can do that! And they employ all the artists in the country!!!"

    Oh, shucks......I can do that! Funny thing! and it is "weird." And it is real. And it is a gift. No one can teach it. Born with it!

    It is true! And we do make our contributions! And we do hire all those artists!

    Oh YAY!! for "decorators"!!






Related Posts with Thumbnails