Charlotte Moss is a designer, author, and philanthropist. She has designed numerous private residences and executive offices in the United States and abroad, collections of carpets, furniture, fabrics, china, and enameled jewelry. She has authored eight books, most recently A Visual Life: Scrapbooks, Collages, and Inspirations. She lectures internationally on the arts of living and is a contributor to House Beautiful magazine.
Reviews - What do customers think about Charlotte Moss: A Flair for Living?
An assessment of Charlotte Moss: a flair for living Aug 26, 2008
Visually, this is a beautiful book. The photography is excellent, and it is the pictures that provide value. The narrative has less impact, as little in the way of concrete information is given. In the end, however, the various rooms, inspite of their beautiful contents, leave an impression of emptiness. One cannot imagine people actually living in these rooms, and leaving any human imprint. The rooms are perfect as in a museum, but just as in that setting, no one may sit down.
Real Antiques, Faux Flair Aug 5, 2008
Moss is really good at the visuals (and textures) of interiors, and she has what's clearly a reverence for the history of home and garden design. Both help create the richness of image and inspiration that are this book's primary appeal. Less attractively, she does seem out of touch, not only with ordinary folks but also with ordinary emotions. You'll get some gorgeous visuals for the steep cover price here, but be warned that there's nothing "lived in" about this "flair for living."
I don't think it is her wealth in and of itself that is the problem. Many home and garden writers (not to mention personalities in other fields) are wealthy and yet come across on the page as very emotionally present. (Plus, from the evidence within it Moss was already very well off when she created A Passion for Detail, her warmest and most generous book.) For me, the dollars and cents don't really matter.
What does matter is warmth, which this book never really offers. Moss uses the cataloging of antiques, objects, purchases, historic influences, travel, famous inspirations, etc., etc. etc. as a way to wall herself off--it's a lavish fortress of sorts, as is the home itself. It's hard to tell who or what she would be without all this. In the end, the weird part about this book is that even when I loved a particular room or grouping or object, it didn't make me aspire to the lifestyle illustrated ...the formality and elaboration and old fashioned feeling of it all weren't attractive even when the objects themselves were.
Her BEST book yet! Jul 31, 2008
This book is filled with beautiful photos of the most superbly arranged and layered rooms that Charlotte Moss has ever done. Each page is loaded with visual ideas and requires careful study in order to see everything. The text is very interesting because she discusses her inspirations and philosophies, which are not only interesting, but also a great source of inspiration in and of themselves. It has been one of my evening reads for over two months and I never tire of it. I have also given more than 12 as gifts and all recipients have raved about it.
A laypersons perspective Jul 12, 2008
I always purchase design books with some trepidation since I am not a designer and do not own a McMansion. I do have an 1880 square foot ranch home built in the 1980s that deserves to be both beautiful and well preserved. I also have a strong interest in good, functional design that combines beauty and comfort. Although I am certain I could never afford Ms. Moss's services, her book was the next best thing. My mantra is now "your home should reflect who you were, who you are and who you are becoming." The book is a like a wonderful walk through a beautiful park or art gallery that you can take much from in terms of content, concepts and sheer enjoyment. I find myself referring to it often for all three. It was well worth the price. The only reason for the four stars is I am still waiting for someone like Ms. Moss to turn her talents to a home that can be afforded by someone other than the ultra wealthy.
Timeless Jun 7, 2008
This lovely book has exquist photos and is well written. I also like that it does not look like all the other recent books that show the "new look" but that she has shown us rooms that are timeless and not trendy. It is easy to follow the current fashions, but much harder to creat a room or a series of rooms that indeed look fresh through generations. You only need to make a few minor changes and the room is updated while with the "new look" you will be dated in no time and have to redo everything. I disagree with those who have express distain for her wealth.Who cares that she is rich and can afford wonderful things. The point here is to take her look and adapt it to your budget. It can be done. You just can't buy her look at Target and Pier 1. I strongly recommend this book.