COTE DE TEXAS: The Skirted Roundtable Visits With Carolyne Roehm

The Skirted Roundtable Visits With Carolyne Roehm

 

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The beautiful Ms. Carolyne Roehm drops by The Skirted Roundtable.

Roehm, a celebrated fashion and interior designer, gardener, author, and photographer is the latest to visit The Skirted Roundtable.  Roehm was very engaging and completely open and honest with us, talking about her life as a fashion designer, the collapse of her fashion line, her high profile divorce, and rebranding herself for today as a much read author.   Smart, witty and warm, Roehm held nothing back as she recalled her rise and fall and rise in the public eye.  She wasn’t anything like I thought she would be.  At all!  She was so friendly and energetic and nothing was “off the record.”

Do you know how to pronounce her name?

Years ago, I used to think it was Carolyn Reem.  Then Carolyn Rome.

Actually it is “Caroline” Rome.  I never knew that!!

 

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Roehm was here to talk about her latest book – Flowers – that, like all of her other books, is full of gorgeous photographs and handy information to learn from.   The book concentrates on just her favorite flowers:  daffodil, tulip, lilac, lily of the valley, peony, iris, rose, clematis, and dahlia – with a chapter for each.  Not sure which flowers are left?  Orchids I guess!!!  Roehm took many of the photographs in her new book herself – and they are typically luscious. 

 

 

 

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The flowers are photographed in situ and in arrangements around her several houses, like this picture above. 

 

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I love this photograph – the flowers mixed with the antique books and gold vases.

 

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Weatherstone, her property in Connecticut.  The house caught fire several years ago and destroyed everything except the thick stone walls.  Roehm talks to us about the devastating fire.

 

imageWhite on white.    Those tureens!!!  The view from the veranda at Weatherstone.

 

 

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Roehm loves blue and white and even wrote a book about the two colors.

 

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And here, mixed with a collection of majolica.  I need to take a lesson from this book.  I usually just use crystal vases – I need to really break that habit!!!

 

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This photograph is especially gorgeous with the blue and gilt mirror reflecting a tuliper.  From the second floor gallery at Weatherstone.

 

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These tulips were placed in Roehm’s dining room which is used like a sitting room. 

 

 

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The garden with irises. 

 

 

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Tulips in the parterre garden.   Notice the property towards the back – how pretty the acreage is.

 

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So beautiful!  I would love to visit her garden in the spring.

 

 

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Blue and white fabric on a chair and barely pink roses.  Divine!

 

 

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And roses for the console in shades of pink and red.

 

 

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Gorgeous roses and peonies along the veranda in Connecticut. 

 

After the interview, I pulled out some of her other books and just fell in love all over again.  I’m crazy for her houses – she has two – A NYC duplex and Weatherstone, plus her partner has a beautiful house in Aspen that she decorated and helped build.  And recently she bought a house in Charleston that she is renovating.  I’m sure it will be stunning, as well.

 

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One favorite book of Carolyne’s is “A Passion for Interiors” which shows only three houses – Roehm’s NYC apartment, her Connecticut estate and the one in Aspen.

 

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And this one – A Passion for Blue and White – about Carolyne’s love of the porcelain.

 

To further enhance the interview experience, here’s a look at her two houses: 

Enjoy!!!

 

New York City

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Roehm lives in a duplex in this apartment building. 

 

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The NYC apartment’s foyer.    The railing is so simple and pretty. 

 

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The main room in the duplex is this two story living area.  When she saw this space, it reminded her of the two story living room in her country house in Connecticut, which was a big selling point.  The walls are brown velveteen.   Behind the sofa on the right is a full length mirror that reflects the fireplace. 

 

 

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A view of the fireplace and the two sofas that flank it.   The obelisks are antique – souvenirs from someone’s Grand Tour.   Roehm states that her aesthetic centers around symmetry, columns, pilasters, and classic design. 

 

 

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The view looking towards the entry with the balcony over it.   Notice the coffered ceiling and the pilasters, along with the stone relief over the mirrored section.

 

 

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      Looking towards the front windows and fireplace.

 

                          

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The carpet is a casual Starke sisal pattern textured rug. 

 

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And, looking the other direction.  You can see the balcony at the right.    Roehm has owned the two large portraits for a long time, but has never been able to hang them before because her ceilings were never high enough.   The center section is a mirror with a smaller, oval portrait hanging from it.  

 

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In front of the windows is this 19th century Erard piano.   Here you can plainly see the mirrored section with the oval portrait over it.

 

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And looking down at this section.

 

 

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Looking from the carved, gilt center table to the front windows.  That table is incredible!

 

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Closeup of the piano and portrait.

 

 

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The view toward the entry hall with the two balconies – just gorgeous!

 

In his book, The Finest Rooms in America, Thomas Jayne shows Roehm’s NYC duplex, as one of the finest rooms. 

 

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The round dining room – notice the gorgeous door and hardware!

 

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And looking the other direction.  You can see the stair hall through the doorway.  

 

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Upstairs, there is a paneled library.

 

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Closeup of the entrance to the library – showing the stone floor and iron railings.  The Biedermeier piece is a sewing table.

 

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In the master bedroom,  Roehm decorated it mostly using one fabric from Cowtan and Tout.  Lovely.  I especially love the green velvet mixed with the blue.  Beautiful night tables and mirrors.

 

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Above the bed is Roehm’s collection of porcelain flowers – more about these below.

 

 

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Across from the bed is this beautiful mantel, flanked by matching cabinets.  Again, the furniture is to die for!!

 

 

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On a side wall is a surprise of a painted chest – with a dog portrait.

 

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The vanity in front of the window is in a different fabric than the rest of the bedroom.  So feminine.

 

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Here’s a glimpse of the guest room – done is pale yellows and creams.

 

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The guest room – notice the box!  That mirror!

 

 

Weatherstone, Sharon, Connecticut

 

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Carolyne Roehm’s house in Sharon, Connecticut was built in 1765.   In 1999 – due to faulty wiring - the main part of the house burned down completely – leaving only the stone walls.  The fire devastated Roehm, but eventually, it became a great adventure – to rebuild the house exactly how she wanted it.

 

 

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At the front part of the house where there were a number of smaller rooms and bedrooms above, Roehm created a large, two story space, with balconies and bookshelves overlooking the room.   There are doors on both sides, along with alcoves with fireplaces – for a total of 3 fireplaces in the living room. 

 

 

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The stair hall.   I love fireplace here!

 

 

 

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On the third floor, looking down. 

 

 

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And looking up.

 

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Set up with blue and white in the stair hall.

 

 

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The back vestibule, or entry hall, leading into the grand two story living room.  You can see through the room onto the second vestibule with the open door.

 

 

 

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The newly built double height living room.  The bedrooms that were above this space before the fire were not rebuilt in order to have this two story room.   To the left you can see one of the two alcoves with one of the three fireplaces in this room.  In the summer, Roehm removes the rugs in this room.   Interior designer and blogger Grant Gibson visited Weatherstone and took this photograph and many others of the estate.  To read his story and see all his photographs, go HERE.

 

 

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Two green velvet sofas face each other with a collection of French chairs and consoles around the area.  Roehm wrote that she herself painted the wood chandeliers white after going to Home Depot for the paint.

 

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In keeping with the room’s height, fireplace mantel is very tall.  Notice the large blue and white jars that flank it.  Here you can see the bookshelves that are on the second floor gallery of the living room.

 

 

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And looking the other direction towards the alcove.   The bases on the jars are incredible. 

 

 

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Here is the first alcove, decorated for Christmas.

 

 

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Closeup of the carved wood piece over the mantel that again Roehm herself painted white.

 

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And here is the second alcove – with a beautiful black lacquered desk – signed - from 1780.  Above it, in the gallery, is a set of Swedish antique furniture.

 

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This table setting, set up in the vestibule, showcases the incredible porcelain flowers of Vladimir Kavenesky HERE.   Roehm collects his flowers – they look so real.  These are the flowers that are above her bed in the NYC apartment.

 

 

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This picture shows the room with the rug on the floor.  Here you can see the original front door. 

 

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The upper gallery above the front of the house.  All three types of columns are used in this room.   Be sure to notice the built in clock.    Before the fire, there were guest rooms that were located on the second floor above this portion of the living room, which was also once a warren of smaller, one story rooms.

 

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This Swedish mirror stands in the upper gallery overlooking the living room.   Roehm placed this exquisite mirror here to highlight the entrance into her master bedroom.

 

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If you look at the floor plan, you will see that next to the living room is the paneled room, which is the library.  Another large fireplace with a wood mantel is located in this room.  A casual Stark diamond pattern sisal rug anchors two back to back green velvet sofas.  This is the room when  Roehm spends time at night.

 

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A closeup of the paneling.

 

 

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From 1st Dibs, this picture is dark, but you can see the glass fronted bookcases of the library at the side of the two back to back sofas. 

 

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The third new room at Weatherstone is the dining room, although it isn’t set up that way.  Instead the furniture is moved around if there is a big party so a table can be brought in.  Here, the floor is painted.

 

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And looking the other direction – there is a large painting between two bookshelves.    The floor was painted to mimic the house where the painting original hung.   I’m surprised she organizes her books by color.  It’s so much easier to find books that are alphabetized.  That’s something I am loving about my new library. 

 

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Thanksgiving set up in the dining room.  Beautiful.

 

 

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And, set up for another party – the room is emptied.

 

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Vignette in the dining room.

 

 

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Roehm has lived at Weatherstone for almost 30 years – having bought it right before she married.    A short time before the fire, she had totally renovated the back of the house, creating a new kitchen and breakfast room – this new part of the house survived.   Here is her spacious breakfast room.    It is very wide and has windows on one end that overlooks the gardens. 

 

 

 

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There are now four bedrooms, including the master.   Three other guest rooms were sacrificed to make room for the two story living room.  Recently, Roehm redecorated her bedroom in red – a color she doesn’t use much.  But, it does look spectacular!  A gallery wall mixed with blue and white porcelains.

 

 

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The bed is an exact copy of an antique.   A pair of mirrors flank the bed. 

 

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Across from the bed is a fireplace with gilt chairs in more red fabric.

 

 

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Before she redecorated, her bedroom was blue and white.  Quite a difference – but really only the fabrics and textured rug changed.

 

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Blue vanity table – located in the master bathroom -  with columns, just like those found in other parts of the house. 

 

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The master bath – with its fireplace and columns - is meant to be a beautiful room – not just a bathroom.

 

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Across from the bathtub is the fireplace and this antique bench, covered in the same fabric from the bedroom.  What a luxury!!

 

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The three guest rooms are located on the third floor, with its dormer windows and hip roof.   Each room is prettier than the next.  Seriously.  They are like master bedroom suites.  In her blog (which you should be reading!!)  read this story about how she entertains and pampers her house guests.  OMG!!!!  Unreal luxury!!!!  HERE.  This guest room in blue and white is probably my favorite.  It’s got a French canopy bed and painted furniture.

 

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Across from the bed is this settee in ticking, with painted furniture.  Beautiful barometer.

 

 

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Bad scan.  This green and white striped bedroom has fabric that used to be curtains a la Scarlet O’Hara!   Just off to the right is a cream colored Mora clock.

 

 

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And the third.  To read all about these rooms in great detail – be sure to order her book:  A Passion for Interiors.  This is the chinoiserie bedroom.  The canopy bed is the only piece of furniture that somehow survived the fire.

 

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Before the fire:  the bed was dressed in blue and white.

 

 

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The veranda is used as another room  - especially during parties and for outdoor dining.  After the fire, this porch was added – against the wishes of the Historical Preservation Society.   Roehm had to prove that a line of stone uncovered during the fire proved that, at one time,  there was once a porch at the same place.

 

 

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Here a casual lunch table – set with blue and white toile.

 

 

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Here a fancier lunch – set with hydrangeas and blue and white porcelains and stripes.

 

 

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A little different set up with pink and and white peonies – gorgeous!!!  I think this is my favorite of all her numerous table settings.

 

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The veranda set during spring with pink tulips.

 

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The estate is quite large with gardens and greenhouses and horse trails and ponds and and streams and tennis courts.  Here is the swimming pool, hidden away.

 

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Away from the house is what Roehm calls The Village of Weatherstone – where the old barnyard, her studio and the apartments are located on the property.  A few  years ago she had a fancy tag sale there, where buyers were even given shopping bags to take home their purchases in!

 

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The studio.

 

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The barnyard behind the studio – set up for the tag sale!  Only Carolyne could make a yard sale beautiful.

 

 

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A few years ago, Roehm moved all her garden and design books out to the studio.  On her blog she showed pictures of the studio and how she transforms it for summer to winter.  Quadrille fabrics and a blue and white rug give the studio its summer look.

 

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A view of the double height (of course!) room.

 

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The chairs are from her old mentor’s line – Oscar de la Renta.  Isn’t this the prettiest room ever???  Love it!!

 

 

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I especially love how the shelves behind the blue and white jars are painted green!  What a great idea.  Blue and green are so pretty together.

 

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The spring-summer look on the console table.

 

 

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And, in the winter, the sofa and chairs get slipcovers in warm reds and paisleys.  A red and green rug goes down on the floor and suddenly the room looks completely different.

 

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Amazing transformation.

 

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The fall-winter rug and flowers.

 

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Fall flowers on the console. 

 

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Another project at Weatherstone was the old greenhouse.  There is a large commercial style greenhouse on the property, but this was one that was older and not used – until Roehm decided to clean it up one day. 

 

 

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It took pressure washers and scrubbing and lots of elbow grease to clean the glass.  Here’s the finished project – set for dinner.  What can I say?  The girl is talented.  In droves.  You should see her watercolors.  Unreal. 

 

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And all styled for photographs. 

Be sure to read her blog HERE.  It’s amazing and gorgeous, just like Carolyne herself!!!

To order her new book Flowers or any of her other later books, just click below:

 

 

 

 

 

To listen to Carolyne Roehm on The Skirted Roundtable, go HERE and click on the green bar at the end of the story.

90 comments :

  1. Thank you for bringing us along! I adore this woman! Every last thing about her!

    xo

    Andie

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  2. Gorgeous, just gorgeous! Thank you for the inspirational post, Joni.
    - Ashley

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  3. Beautiful post. Carolyne Roehme is not at all what I imagined either - I sensed a bit of vulnerability in her. I know she is friends with Mary McDonald and Nathan Turner.

    Think I might have to get myself a copy of her Flowers book. I love flowers and agree with her that this is a niche book market which needs to be tapped into.

    My favourite house of hers is the Weatherstone studio - cosy and intimate, I could move right in!

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  4. I'm tickled to hear she's turning her lovely hand to a Charleston house.
    Such a perfect fit, I would think.
    Lovely post, Joni.
    xo

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  5. I have almost passed out from the sheer beauty and elegance of this post. This is the biggest style icon today and congratulations that the SKT
    was actually able to convince her to be interviewed. I can't wait to listen, but most importantly to spend hours pouring over these divine
    images of her great talent. I suppose the motto of this post should be "marry well, divorce better", but none the less, Carolyn has the most exquisite taste - a pure feast for the eyes. Congratulations SRT - the best "get" yet!!!

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  6. Good lord, what it must be like to have more money that God! I suppose if I were in her position, I'd come up with some pretty nice rooms too, especially if I had all the time in the world to pursue my interests. Anyway, it's lovely.

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    1. Utterly gorgeous rooms, architecture and landscaping. What impressed me the most are the fabulous, large scale paintings. About 30 years ago, I found an enormous (at least 10 feet tall) French Style portrait at an antiques warehouse in Houston. It was around $30K. That would have blown my decorating budget for years. However, I still dream about that painting and wonder who ultimately bought it.

      Just one room or even one vista is completely unobtainable for 99.9% of your readers. This home is so over the top that I am not even sure these can serve as inpiration pictures. None the less, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

      Smiles from My Slice of Provence,

      Charlotte Des Fleurs

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  7. Interesting to note that Carolyn once had a relationship with Ed Rollins who ran the political campaigns of many prominent Republicans. It
    is clearly the only male companion CR had that did not enhance her financial portfolio upon departure. It was always a mystery to me what the
    attraction to Rollins was but perhaps he provided a desired conduit to those in power. From a small town in Missouri, CR has done quite well
    for herself. In the world of style, she is far more opulent and glamorous than Martha Stewart, but without the empire. The photos in her book are breathtaking. Now Joni, do your homework. Let's see if there are photos of the spaces archived without the additional fluff
    brought in to stage the photo shoot as you have so expertly pointed out in past posts. Just how much of these beautiful accoutrements actually belong to Carolyn Roehme?

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    1. actually - she was married before Henry. To a German, Roehm. Her maiden name is jane carolyne smith - and she was known as Janie, I read. I actually think she does own all of it. Remember - it all burned, everything had to be new at Weatherstone. I kept thinking about how much that insurance payment is each month?

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    2. Axel Roehm, a chemical industrialist. The marriage lasted a year.

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  8. Westies! Adorable, adorable Westies!

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  9. Hi Joni,
    I have had the pleasure of walking along the grounds of Weatherstone, twice in the past few years. I have walked inside her studio, smelled her roses, taking endless photos of her beautiful perenial gardens and grounds. I have taken photos from her porch and bought her ribbons and all her books and listened to one of her lectures. I also had the pleasure of meeting her mother and her twice. Both ladies are gracious and kind and so approachable and lovely. Her garden staff is wonderful and the grounds are truly picturesque. If you haven't had the chance, try to, it is such a wonderful experience. I love Carolyne Roehm and have been influenced in design and gardening because of her incredible books, especially her seasonal notebooks and her passion series. Lovely, absolutely lovely.
    Thanks for an amazing post.
    xoxo
    Lisa
    Leeshideaway.blogspot.com

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  10. She has an extraordinary taste level. Love,love,love!
    -linda,ny

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  11. Another outstanding, thorough post. I love Carolyne's drive and attention to detail...remarkable! Thanks, Joni.

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  12. Joni, can you identify the blue stripe fabric which appears on a chair and headboard in one of the bedrooms. One of the stripes has a leaf pattern on it and the other stripe design in the fabric is ultra small checks.

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    1. I'm not sure - but maybe it's a Brunschwig. She uses their fabrics a lot.

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  13. Have to agree with a couple of the comments left by your readers. If I, too, had the money and time to pursue decorating, gardening, etc, I would be able to come up with some fabulous designs. It all seems a bit excessive to me. Most of your readers would not be able to relate to this extravagance.
    Lisa

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  14. Caroline is one of my favorite designers! I love her way of decorating houses! And she loves to bring in a lot of panelling! Gorgeous!
    Greet

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  15. Fabulous post, Joni. I have all of Carolyne's books and am following her blog. Did you notice the beautiful pair of carved console tables in her dining room? Merveilleux! I would love to see the rest of her kitchen. I wonder if she has featured that anywhere. Now I am off to listen to the interview.
    XO, Victoria

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  16. Amazing post! These images are gorgeous and so inspiring! Love the gardens too.

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  17. I absolutely loved Carolyn on the skirted roundtable! Listening to her she became a lot more down to earth for me and has me appreciating her books all over again. You have to admire her and her attitude, if you want to know something go to school! And nope you don’t get lonely when all alone for days at a time when you’re busy I know since my husband travels a lot and I can go weeks without seeing another person. Being along actually focuses you on the task at hand. I can’t wait to go order a copy of her flowers book. Wonderful once again Joni!

    XXX
    Debra~

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    1. I agree! She seemed down to earth on the interview. I thought she would be snooty - but she was the opposite. i really liked her tremendously.

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  18. What exquisite taste- that duplex! I just love these glimpses you give us into homes we would never see otherwise, yet alone imagine.

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  19. Gee, I wonder which HomeGoods Caroline shops at! :) Simply amazing! Like taking a tour of Versailles! Good grief. As someone mentioned, it's a bit hard to call this inspiration. More like awe-inspiring. I don't know anything about the woman. I hope she's as happy as she is gifted!

    And Joni, you always win the prize, for posts with the most jaw dropping pictures!
    Thanks!,
    Barbara
    The (lived-in) Treasured Home

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  20. I've been following Carolyne since living in NYC at the same time (during the Henry era); she is not only really talented, she's a total class act! I love her books, and still refer to the seasonal "notebooks" from time to time for a little inspiration. Thanks for the lovely post, now I can't wait to hear the SRT interview.

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  21. She "even" went to Home Depot to pick up paint? How else would she get it? Please refrain from the fawning superlatives -- so unnecessary when the photos more than adequately show her exquisite taste and style.

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    1. those were her words actually, not mine.

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  22. I don't think I am a fan of her decorating style. I mean, even the piano was WAY over the top! That being said, her flower arrangements and photos are beautiful! I love the simple silver cup with big bountiful blooms! And the gardens, Oh My!!!

    Thank you Joni for showing us around these lovely gardens on this quiet foggy Sunday morning :)

    ~Angela

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  23. Impeccable - rooms are architecturally beautiful as well as the pieces of furniture she chooses. Read a number of remarks about the amount of money all of this must have cost and how unrelateable it is - but I must say not everyone with money has taste - how fortunate she has both.

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  24. Sigh. I'm so jealous. Sooo sooo jealous.

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    1. You are also Sooo sooo pathetic!!!

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    2. why? I can relate to what laura said. I would love to be able to afford what I love - but I can't. So, when you see it - you realize how lucky that person is to have it all. I doubt laura is truly jealous. But it does make you wish to win the lotto !!! :)

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  25. I adore CR + everything she does + have her new book. What beautiful pictures. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  26. After looking at these gorgeous images and listening to the interview, I come away with a few impressions of CR that are not so flattering. Indeed she is a talented purveyor of style and her taste is exquisite, but one has to wonder whether or not many of your readers and you, of course, Joni given the same divorce rate from older, successful men who enriched CR's pockets could not have done the same thing. It is easy to be successful when you snag a wealthy private equity investor at a cocktail gala and finally get your friend Oscar to light a fire under him so that he makes an honest woman out of you. CR has never parlayed her talent into the kind of success that failed marriages have. I say let's celebrate woman who really achieve something on their own (and you have interviewed a number of these) and stop celebrating the gold diggers like CR. I wish you had asked that outside of attending charity galas, if CR actually did anything useful with her marriage payouts beyond her self absorbed pursuits.

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    1. Just finished listening to the SRT interview of Carolyne Roehm. What really wowed me is her almost naive, "can do" attitude. If more people looked at what is possible rather than focusing on what seems to be be impossible, they would have much better lives.

      Brava, Carolyne!

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    2. ok, let's watch it here. Actually - she married Henry before he made his billions. Not sure if you knew that. plus - i think she has been quite successful on her own. Granted she might not be able to have a property like that - but she has owned it for over 30 years and probably paid a lot less than she would have to today. She married a successful man who ended up being wildly and hugely successful during the course of their marriage. Is she not supposed to benefit from that? And she got that job with Oscar on her own when she was very young. She has great talent - was a great dress designer, can paint, garden, design - not sure why you are putting all this on a husband she hasn't been with for decades now.

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    3. She may have been a great dress designer, but did not have the business acumen to create a brand which is essential for the fashion industry. There is not that much demand for $3000 evening dresses compared to the industry at large so if you will notice, most of the large fashion houses branch out into other areas such as fragrances, mid-range sports wear, etc. It is these additions that actually support and make profitable the high fashion end of the business. Indeed, Oscar did just that. Carolyne did not.

      For some reason you need to diminish Henry Kravis' wealth at the time of the marriage in order to prop up Carolyne Roehn's success. The two were never in the same league. So, perhaps some of us are "watching it" more than you are.

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    4. her business was pretty successful. she chose to close it due to personal reasons, when Kravis' son died. She talks about that in the interview. She thought all that was frivolous when she was depressed from his death. and she says you shouldn't make decisions like when depressed, she was sorry she did close her line. i'm sure in time she would have marketed it and had all the other lines too.
      no one is diminishing his wealth - he was a billionaire. but he wasn't when she married him. he was successful, yes. but he wasn't in that league when they married. you want to rewrite history and claim she married him because of his wealth. maybe she did - but she had no way of knowning that his wealth would grow wildly, after they had been married for a while.

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  27. Seems in stark contrast to your wonderful design style Joni but beautiful nonetheless. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I much prefer Joni's style.

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  28. Impeccable taste. But where does that poor woman actual live ?

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  29. Thanks for giving us the correct pronunciation of her name. I've always wondered what it was. CR has exquisite taste IMO. I have several of her books. I especially like her Notebooks. Having not known anything about her personal life, I've always imagined her speaking with a french or british accent. Not sure why. Thanks for the eye candy. The white on white table in the white and green garden is my fave.

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  30. Wow! This is the most beautiful post I have ever seen on her! Her properties are as stunning as anything I have ever seen.
    Regards
    Jamie Herzlinger

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  31. Wow, Joni!
    You outdid even yourself today! This is fabulous!!
    I can't think of a more talented designer.
    Happy Sunday.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  32. I always admire Carolyne Roehm's use of blue and white and her new book is one of the most beautifully photographed books I have seen in a very long time, a beautiful addition to any home.
    Kathysue

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  33. Thank you for going through so much time and effort for such a beautiful post.

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  34. I can only say that she had one hell of a divorce settlement from the corporate raider to pay for all this. It is all very beautiful, yet somehow sterile.

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  35. Joni,

    Thanks for the great post. I just want to point out some people are super jelous of her money. It's her money. They have no right to judge her or viciously attact her. It makes me sick.


    Your royal fan

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    Replies
    1. Anon. 5:42, I am not in the least jealous of Carolyne's money. I have sufficient monies myself to not only have what I need, but just about all I could want. There are people in this world who simply cannot to satiated and must accumulate, hoard and store because otherwise they live vapid lives. I cannot judge CR's life, whether truly vapid or not, but I can judge some things by what I read about her and what I have seen in this and other post and her own publications. There are many very wealthy people whose money is "old" as they say and don't feel the need to live like this in order to feel successful. No one has viciously attacked her, but her matrimony record speaks for itself and is readily accessible to anyone who wants to read it. She was not married to a corporate raider as someone mentioned earlier, but she was married to a successful and by accounts generous man who she lived with long enough both prior to and after marriage to assure herself of a generous "buy out". No wonder she's a "loner". Men are probably scared to death of her. Do your research before you accuse others of being jealous.

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    2. AGAIN. She was married before Henry. He was successful when they married, but his billions came during the marriage. She never married again, but she has been with her current partner (who owns the Aspen house) for years and years. I think he is probably successful, but not in the Henry leaque. AND note - she WORKED throughout her marriage to him. She always worked. She said people thought she shouldn't, but she enjoyed working. She works very hard. I'm not sure why you think men are scared of her = she's with a very nice one today. I think you are the only who truly needs to do your research.

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    3. Actually Joni, your post on Carolyne Roehm caused me to do extensive research. You need to get some of your facts straight and get out of fairy tale mode. Henry Kravis was a huge catch for Carolyne Roehm. He was a highly successful partner in a prominent NY private equity firm. She met him at a party and learned they would be spending Christmas at the same time in Aspen. As only Carolyne can spin a tale, she says her mother chaperoned the first date - yea right!!! This woman publishes beautiful books, but also has fangs.

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    4. Correction: Christmas was spent in Vail - not Aspen. I believe she referred to Aspen in the interview as "wintering" there.

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    5. Again, I didn't say he wasn't a catch. I doubt she would marry some loser who didn't work, ok? She is a highly motivated, strongly driven woman, a Type A personality = of course she would be attracted to men who were the same. Nothing wrong with that. But again, he had not aquired his massive wealth when they married. He was wealthy, but not like he was at the end of their marriage. Why do you want to rewrite history? Fangs? Please. She got a job with oscar de la renta, - on her own - just out of college adn he became her mentor. He was like a father to her. She did that all on her own. She is obviously very charismatic, talented, and has great energy and a great work effort. Why are you knocking her? I don't get that. It's not as if she married Henry and just lived off his money. NO - she worked and not just having charity balls either - she built her own business, made it successful, did all this while she was supposed to be some kind of gold digger according to you. it's just not true. A gold digger doesn't work. They marry and sit around in fancy clothes and spend their husbmand's money. Apparently, she made enough money to spend on her own. Would you call Carolina herrera a gold digger? Or Marchesa? Both these woman have wealthy husbands too, yet work their asses off with their own label.

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    6. Sorry to see that you are in such denial of the facts. You need first and foremost to diminish the wealth of H. Kravis in order to make Carolyn Roehm look more respectable. I will repeat once again, Kravis was a prominently wealthy NY business man when Roehem met him. Stop trying to mitigate his wealth in order to make Carolyne look better. He invested the 20 million in her business before they were officially married. Guess you didn't know that either. This woman smells money from miles away. As to her depression at the death of one of his son and her subsequent decision to close her business is one that is disputed by many who know her. That is not to say that she did not have empathy, but she closed her business to "work on her marriage" which was failing and at the same time her business was also failing because she was too heavily vested in "small offerings". Self absorption seems to be the only illness Carolyne suffers from, not depression.

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    7. Since you insist that you know her so well, know her inner thoughts about her depression, about her reason for marrying - i"ll let you have the last word because obviously you are insistent on that too. I doubt you know her personally. And I doubt you know anything about her depression or her marriage. Whatever. Sounds like a lot of projection to me.

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    8. A bit of research is better than a puffed up fairy tale any day. Some ignorant person reading your comments would think you were a wealth management consultant and had personal knowledge of Kravis' wealth. You have absolutely no idea whatsoever what this man's wealth was whether earned or inherited (he did come from a wealthy Oklahoma family). It's time that you stop speaking with such bravado about things you know nothing about. If the fairy tale makes you happy, go for it. I prefer to stick with the facts though they be a bit inconvenient based on your narrative.

      Delete
  36. I'm certainly not jealous of her money and agree she has every right to do what she wants with it. But as I looked thru these images, I thought this is NOT how I would choose to spend my money if I had as much. I just will never understand the need for multiple, lavish homes like this. I would never be able to truly enjoy it because I'd be feeling so much guilt and unworthiness, thinking about so many, so less fortunate. Nor would any amount of charitable giving help me justify the need to own "things" just because I could. I'm sorry, but I don't understand the purpose of flaunting money this way.

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    Replies
    1. ok. She has an apartment in NY and a country house. Wow. It's not that much. When she was married, they had 7 houses!!!! So 2? She recently bought the house in Charleston, which is probably more a business decision. She'll be able to write several new books centered around that house now, the renovation, the gardens, charleston itself, etc. No one seems to criticize all of Martha's houses. And even she got rid of Turkey Hill after all those years there. Probably for the same reason. When your business is writing about entertaining at home, you have to have the home to write about. You can't just write about the same one over and over. I get that.

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  37. I like the way she used lots of white so she could use lots of color. I thought it was beautiful!

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  38. I'm curious what (or more likely who) you need to do to afford this? Sorry, needs to be said. As for her style, it's fine. I'll take OdelaR or Colefax or Bunny any day (all of whom I see represented here almost uncannily).

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  39. I'm late now for my dinner guests!ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!EVERYTHING!I will go back and take another look tomorrow........would love to tour her garden in the Spring!I had her statue posted on my refrigerator for years..........from the garden.I have tried to join her blog but for some reason it will not take me!Does anyone else have this problem?I know its me!I would so appreciate any help anyone could give me!Until morrow..............must dash now!STUNNING!

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  40. I take away inspiration -- inspiration to create in my own space no matter how magnificent or how quaint.

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  41. Marriage with a Midas Touch -

    http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20117575,00.html

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  42. Joni: Very beautiful post! Carolyne's homes are stunning to say the least. True, the scale and grandeur may be unattainable for most of us, but I think what I like most about her style is that she creates DRAMA. That can be done at any price point, and this post has inspired me to note that. How ever simple the house might be, I think there are ways to make a big statement. The repetitive them of creating height in her spaces is profound. We designers should all think about that more even in simple projects. Thanks Joni for doing what you do so well!

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  43. This is just all so excessive. My God. I just saw a documentary of homeless people actually living underground in our big cities...horrible. And the thing is...they are probably living right under her opulent NYC apartment. I don't know...I will listen to the interview on The Skirted Roundtable (you ladies do a fabulous job!) but I doubt I change my mind about her. I own many design books but I have never been drawn to her. Yes, her homes are beautiful, no doubt - her garden is unbelievable ( I cannot imagine the money she spends on "help") - but it is all too much for me.

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  44. I love her use of blue and white and although some of the decor is over-the-top, one cannot deny that she has great style! BTW, I have read several of her interviews (one in the NY Times several years ago) that state that she purchased Weatherstone AFTER she was married to Henry Kravis - not BEFORE as stated here. In the interview, she stated that she had brought Henry out along with another couple to view the house and that's when they decided to buy it. And I quite don't understand comments are being made as to how someone spends their money (Market Decor above). Surely, Ms. Roehm can spend her money any way she wants.

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    1. It was never stated in the post that Weatherstone was bought after Roehm's (name of first husband she continues to carry) marriage to Kravis (second husband) ended. It was, however, clearly one of the door prizes of the failed marriage. We are all free to spend our money as we wish. We are also free to express our opinions on the excesses of Ms. Roehm's spending. I suppose the name Roehm gives Carolyne a bit more provenance than a name like "Smith".

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    2. no. i just reread the book - she states she was dating her boyfriend at the time and she took him with her. i assume that was henry. its possible she bought that estate with her own money, not his. She has lived there for over 30 years now. She did not buy it after Henry, but before. Not that any of this matters, but lets keep the facts straight, ok.

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    3. From the New York Times article entitled: Fractured Fairy Tale, the couple married in November of 1985, divorced in l993. Bear in mind they lived together three years prior to the wedding which took place in the apartment they shared. At the time of the divorce, Kravis got the NYC apartment and all other homes. Roehm insisted on keeping Weatherstone. Kravis also invested heavily in her clothing company - $20 million dollars worth. I think we are keeping the facts straight.

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  45. JONI-


    Your best post ever!

    It's magnificent.

    It's so long...it makes my blog stories look like midgets in comparison.

    Bravo to you I'm going over now to list to SRT...can't wait...lots love DIANE
    THE STYLE SALONISTE

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  46. Such an eye for beauty and detail. Carolyn Smith has created her own world. Jay Gatsby would be jealous.

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    Replies
    1. Too bad F.Scott Fitzgerald is not around to chronicle it.

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    2. Who needs JAY GATSBY around to chronicle her world when JONI here has done quite a SUPERB job! :)

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  47. What a spectacular visual feast! The flowers -- and then those INTERIORS! I could never tire of classical design, when it's executed so masterfully down to the smallest detail. These are truly timeless spaces that will never look tired.

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  48. Just as Ms Roehm is indeed free to spend her money and live any way she wants - I am certainly free to express my opinion about it. I did listen to the interview with Roehm on the SRT (great job ladies!) and she has created a glorious cocoon of splendor for herself ( a self described "loner") - which, of course, she is free to do.

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  49. Carolyn Roehm is not the first person of wealth to create beautiful homes and gardens and will not be the last. Her personal life aside (which is really no one's business but her own), Ms. Roehm has created some wonderful rooms and gardens, all beautifully photographed.

    Why can't we just enjoy these creations, perhaps glean some ideas and inspirations from them, and let it go at that. Why must we analyze Ms. Roehm's life and motives? This insistence on picking everything to death is pointless.

    April, Just Verte Style

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  51. The whole area is filled with brilliant design. You made the most out of it.

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  52. If opulence offends you, just log off and save yourself the money on blood pressure meds. I live very simply, but I truly enjoyed the post because most of it was really beautiful to me.

    Most of all, I appreciate the amount of work and effort and dedication Joni puts into her blog - every time, whether or not the designs appeal to me.

    Congratulations, Joni. You're a class act.

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  53. First of all, I want to confirm.. are you saying that Carolyne's name is pronounced with a long i? like Car - o - line? Not with a short i like Car - o - lynn? I'm so confused! I've never heard it pronounced with a short i before ever!
    SO curious on that one.. She is coming for our Antique and Garden show in Omaha in September. I'm chairing the event and want to make sure we are all pronouncing her name correctly.
    Also, as I was scanning through the comments to see if this pronunciation thing had already been addressed, I was giggling at some of the anonymous comments. I recently received an email from a viewer who can't take a joke, and who obviously doesn't enjoy seeing awesome people living awesomely. I find it funny that they spend the time to read something they seemingly are so unhappy about, and then spend some more time leaving a nasty comment. A waste of time! I say move on to something that makes you happy!
    XO
    Jan

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  54. superb pics - if you like this house, you might like ours too - have a look at http://www.swdishinteriordesign.co.uk for some stunning shots of our antique gustavian and handmade bespoke furniture. There's also a lot of lovely swedish antique pieces fro sale on the website too and we ship worldwide so do let us know if there's anything you like

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  55. Her luscious gardens and floral arrangements are utterly exquisite! What marvelous taste she has!

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  59. Great job interviewing, Carolyne Roehm. I was Carolyne's private tennis coach for six years. I traveled from Oregon to Connecticut and Aspen, Colorado in the summer time to help Simon and Carolyne with their tennis games. They became great friends and we had so many laughs on and off the court. We also went on horse back rides in the," Rockies", as they are excellent horse back riders, too. Carolyne and Simon always amazed me with their kindness and hospitality. They are such social pros when you socialize with them at dinner parties or having lunch with them outside on a beautiful Connecticut afternoon. She also is a great dog lover, helps out shelters, and owns nine dogs. That right there tells you alot about her heart and how much she cares about the world around her. Carolyne, if you read this, thank you for the memories and hopefully we will share more great times on and off the tennis court someday. Life was so much fun when we were playing, "High U Die". Your friend always.....Dick Beamer

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  60. I think you need to proofread your material BEFORE you post it! Very poor grammar and missing words!

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