SUZANNE RHEINSTEIN

i’m so excited to present today the first interview in a designer series i’m calling “MDS interviews”. What a joy and honor for me to get the opportunity to ask some of my favorite designers, artists and taste-makers what inspires them, influences them, and find out what they think is chic, stylish and glamorous!

I’m thrilled that the first interview is with Suzanne Rheinstein- let me tell you why! first, in the midst of an ever changing and trendy LA design community, suzanne stands out with her refined, discerning and elegant taste. i’m in awe of her knowledge of art and travel, antiques and gardening- her design work is impeccable, a lesson in pretty- details, details, divine details!

her store hollyhock is an absolute favorite, my go to for many reasons, but mostly for beautiful inspiration and lovely things- special for la! i especially admire her tireless commitment to supporting , showcasing and featuring other talented designers and artists- her book signing parties at hollyhock are absolute musts!

beyond all the obvious reasons, i’m most excited to have suzanne be my first interview because she was one of the first in la to follow, recognize, support and appreciate my blog! she has been so kind, a constant resource, a teacher, a mentor, most importantly, a friend!

one of my favorite things to do in la is have lunch with suzanne- there is always a great travel story, an entertaining tip, an idea for a glorious meal or a new book, a description of one of her favorite gardens, the history of a rare piece of art, insight into a lecture i must attend and there is always great conversation on everything chic, glamorous and stylish!

i can’t think of a better way to help celebrate the blogs first anniversary than with a designer series and i can’t think of a better way to start it than with my dear friend suzanne! “MDS Interviews” Suzanne rheinstein- enjoy!

at home: a style for today with things from the past. more to enjoy- one of my favorite books!

 

MDS- How would you define your style?

SR: MY DECORATING IS OBJECT DRIVEN, AND OFTEN THOSE OBJECTS ARE ANTIQUE OR ONE-OF-A-KIND…IN MY FIRST YEARS OF DECORATING FOR MYSELF THOSE OBJECTS WERE OLD AMERICAN WICKER AND HANDMADE WOODEN BOWLS…I STILL HAVE A BELOVED AMERICN QUILT, ALL IN SHADES OF BROWNS AND REDS, THAT I BOUGHT FROM MARSTON LUCE IN WASHINGTON IN HIS FIRST SHOP…THAT SHOP HAS CHANGED ADDRESSES AND HIS STYLE HAS MOVED ALONG BUT THE THINGS HE SELLS STILL HAVE A CERTAIN INTEGRITY AND CHARM…

THOSE ARE QUALITIES I LOOK FOR IN FURNITURE AND OBJECTS FOR MY INTERIORS…I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN COLOR AND USED IT AT FIRST TO FILL THE SPACES, MUCH AS YOU SEE THE BRIGHT STRONG COLORS IN A LOT OF CURRENT YOUNG DECORATING…I STILL LOVE COLOR BUT NOW I AM MORE INTERESTED IN NUANCED SHADES WITH DIFFERENT PIGMENTS THAT CHANGE WITH THE LIGHT…I WILL ASK A COLORIST SUCH AS SCOTT FLAX IN LOS ANGELES, TO MIX CUSTOM PAINTS FOR CERTAIN PROJECTS SUCH AS THOSE WITH ART COLLECTIONS TO DISPLAY…

I LOVE HISTORY AND THE HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE AND THIS INFORMS MY WORK….AND COMFORT…I BELIEVE IN MIXING BEAUTIFUL OR INTERESTING OR QUIRKY THINGS WITH DEEPLY COMFORTABLE FURNITURE AND THEN CHAIRS OR STOOLS THAT CAN MOVE AROUND AND ACCOMMODATE DIFFERENT GROUPS…THIS IS POSSIBLY BECAUSE I GREW UP IN A FAMILY THAT HAD FRIENDS OVER OFTEN AND MY HUSBAND AND I LIVE THAT WAY…LOTS OF FEEDING FRIENDS!

The Hollyhock Store on La Cienega in West Hollywood

 

MDS- Where did you grow up and how do you think that influences your work?

SR- I GREW UP IN NEW ORLEANS AND WAS A QUIET AND OBSERVANT CHILD. I NOTICED EVERYTHING: FLOWERS AND GARDENS AND THEIR SCENTS AND THE WONDERFUL ARCHITECTURE OF NEW ORLEANS, FROM THE CLASSIC CABILDO AND PRESBYTERE TO THE SHOTGUN HOUSES ALL OVER THE CITY AND THE DELICIOUS FOOD- OF COURSE THAT INFLUENCES WHO I AM TODAY!

Jackson Square- New Orleans

Shotgun Houses- New Orleans

MDS-  If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

SR- GARDENING AND READING AND FEEDING FRIENDS!

Suzanne’s garden in the winter- Veltheimia bulbs, flowering quince, and early roses on the roof.

Fifi and Beatriz- Visitors in Suzanne’s kitchen.

 

MDS- Who or what is inspiring you right now?

SR- AFTER A DECADE AND MORE OF EXPLORING THE EAST, I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF MY OLD FRIENDS FRANCE AND ITALY.

The scene at Suzanne’s Lunch at Café Marly by the Louvre 2 weeks ago.

 

MDS- What is the favorite room in your home?

SR- I DECORATED THEM ALL AND I LOVE THEM ALL.

Suzanne’s Hancock Park home entry

the Hancock Park living room

the dining room

Last Dhalias of the Season in Suzanne’s Hancock Park dining room

Suzanne’s NYC  Pied-à-terre living room

another elegant and refined room of the pied-à-terre

the bedroom

 

MDS- Is there anything you obsessively collect?

SR- NOT REALLY! A COLLECTOR MUST HAVE THE ONE THING MISSING FROM A COLLECTION. THERE ARE THINGS I LIKE AND BUY, ESPECIALLY FOR THE TABLE: OLD BLUE AND WHITE CREAMWARE, CHINESE 18th CENTURY PLATES, OLD FRENCH AND BELGIAN LINEN– BUT I DON’T COLLECT IN A SYSTEMATIC WAY.

Creamware breakfast table in Florida

 

MDS- Fill in the blank: “I could never own too many ____!”

SR- Books

Suzanne’s top selling book- At home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past.

 

MDS-  What do you want to be known for?

SR- TIMELESS ROOMS, WELCOMING ROOMS, PERSONAL ROOMS, COMFORT, CHARM, SERENITY.

A table in Suzanne’s NYC apartment- 18th Century plates, sheffield silver, and modern italian glasses

 

MDS- What do you think is chic, stylish and glamorous?

SR- HAVING DINNER OVERLOOKING THE LIGHTS OF LOS ANGELES AT SUNSET TOWER BAR, AND MY FRIEND, MILES REDD!

Sunset Tower Bar- Suzanne’s and my Favorite place for lunch!

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  1. Oh how I adore suzanne!

    years and years ago….our mutual friend visited from the east…Britty Bardes (godmother of my daughter) and we met for dinner with my divine husband at the ivy!

    I was showing britty and suzanne the things in the store….and i opened the door….and it opened!

    in we went! we were having a whee of a time….i was trying on the most beautiful hats! when in the back door came the police…with guns drawn!

    (that was the first for suzanne, britty and me!!)

    since i opened the door…..(they were scared to death….for good reason) I said….”i turned the door-knob….and the door opened! I started trying on hats! my friends started looking at all the wonderful things here! don’t shoot!!”

    that is the truth!

    The manager (poor girl) was right behind the police….(she had forgotten to lock the front door). (I was probably the only person who would have tried the front door!!!) Oh well…my favorite part is that i found a hat…..and i asked the manager…..”since I am here….may I buy this hat? and i did! it turned out that hat was made by lynne von kersting’s mother…..who made hats for her store.

    these treasures are rarely found….snatch them!

    A story I will treasure forever!!

    Penelope

  2. I will never forget the first time I saw Suzanne’s hancock park house in house beautiful years and years ago – the dining room wall with all its bird prints in those frames with old glass, the summer striped slipcovers – and i’ve loved following everything since. the living room in her new york apt. is a tour de force! looking forward to more of this new series.

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