I’ve always thought that gardens are about memories,” says Suzanne Rheinstein. The houses she decorates are most certainly memorable, too. She fills them with exquisite fabrics, interesting objects, and one-of-a-kind furnishings that wear a refined patina that almost always comes with age or provenance. They beckon all who enter to sink into a sofa and curl up with a good novel or cup of tea to linger awhile. And at their essence, her rooms speak of a deep and abiding appreciation for beauty, but with an utter lack of pretense, which happens to mirror this New Orleans–born designer’s own sense of style and hospitality. For Rheinstein, comfort and luxury are inextricably intertwined.
Although Rheinstein has decorated more than enough houses to grace the pages of two books she has written, it’s not surprising that she’s just as likely to be found in a garden. Whether tending to the old-fashioned roses climbing the brick walls of her Georgian Revival home in Los Angeles or traveling to historic gardens around the world, Rheinstein continually seeks inspiration outdoors. “There are so many parallels between the way I think about houses and gardens,” she says. “With both, getting the bones right and creating a plan that suits the lifestyle of its owners are the most important things. Then, it doesn’t matter if someone leaves a stack of books or makes the desk a bit messy, or that the tallest perennials fop over in the front of a flower bed. Everything looks lived in, and it feels good.”
Rheinstein’s Designs & Inspirations
By Karen Carroll
Rooms for Living by Suzanne Rheinstein (Rizzoli New York, 2015)