The Private House

One of the most influential designers working in America today, Rose Tarlow knows that creating a truly beautiful room is as much an emotional matter as it is one of color, light, fabric, and furniture. In The Private House, she offers insights into the mind of a master designer—as well as a glimpse into some of the extraordinary homes she has decorated.

Drawing upon her wealth of experience as an antiquaire and a designer, Ms. Tarlow discusses and illustrates simple principles of creative design that are appropriate to any home. Always arrange your comfortable, upholstered furniture first, she writes; pay special attention to how light affects your spaces; and use carpets as background only, never as the focus of a room.

With chapters on lighting, fabrics, color, and intimate spaces, Ms. Tarlow encourages readers to plan and decorate each area of their house with elegance and personal style, covering all the essential elements of design—including the emotional ones. The result should be a house that welcomes family and friends, one that enhances our quality of life.