The formal and elegant "tea" room at Monticello has beautiful classical architectural detail. Throughout his life, Jefferson continued to develop his architectural theories and changed the house accordingly.
Thomas Jayne, friend and decorator extraordinaire, has written the outstanding new book: The Finest Rooms in America. It celebrates the decoration of fifty American rooms from the 18th century to the present. He writes about places he knows personallyâ€”from grand houses to small apartmentsâ€”and the elements that contribute to the success of each room. Thomas, himself a Winterthur trained classicist and connoisseur, has deliberately featured a cross section of rooms from California organic to unexpected, elegant and stylish spaces for living and sleeping, relaxing and entertaining. The rooms have been decorated over time and demonstrate the changing preferences for certain colors from the vivid schemes at Mount Vernon, to Mark Hampton’s silver papered bedroom, to the earth tones in Rose Tarlows’ house.
Thomas’ Winterthur training, where every object or place is studied and compared to related examples, has given him a unique perspective on the decoration of rooms and the objects in them. The Finest Rooms makes it abundantly clear there is not one style that is particular to our American tradition or culture. We have been influenced by the stream of immigration to this country, by the expression of personal style and the mixture of foreign decorative arts.
After completing the Winterthur program, Thomas went to work for Parish-Hadley, rather than follow the curatorial path of most of his classmates. The Anglo-American style at Parish-Hadley, where good architecture and architectural detail, great quality and meaningful art are part of the decoration, was great training ground for the would be “decorator”. He followed this experience with Albert Hadley and his updated vision of American style. Thomas has developed his own decorative language of quality and authenticity and a fresh take on historic style.
Thomas Jayne is the perfect person to write about the rooms decorated by others as both a scholar and decorator. He wrote the book as a reference for outstanding works that exist today. The Finest Rooms in America is educational reading and there is so much to learn from each interior. Last I heard, the book was sold out, but I am sure reprinting is in the works.
Please click the following link to visit the Jayne Design Studio Blog.
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