The Style Files: Carolyne Roehm

Carolyne Roem Landsape Headshot Medium

Tastemaker, style icon, designer, and author, Carolyne Roehm embodies the lifestyle that so many dream about. Carolyne has been the doyenne of all things chic for decades now and she is someone I have admired for as long as I can remember. Having started her career in fashion, working alongside her mentor, Oscar de la Renta for 10 years, Carolyne eventually launched her own fashion house in 1985 and went on to serve as the president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Over time, Carolyne honed her focus on gardens, flowers, and houses– all of the beautiful things she is legendary for. I truly love conducting my series of interviews for The Style Files and I must say, this particular profile has been a favorite to work on. Carolyne’s extraordinary world is filled with all of the wonderful things I grew up dreaming about. The attention to detail in every room, every floral arrangement, every meal is palpable, as is Carolyne’s passion for creating beautiful environments and experiences. I have come away from our conversation understanding that Carolyne is incredibly gifted at what she does, but her greatest joy comes from sharing her gift with the people she loves. While we may not all have homes quite like Carolyne’s, we can get a glimpse into her world through her wonderful website and her various books, including the latest one– At Home in the Garden, which is filled with glorious images and personal anecdotes. Enjoy!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Carolyne Roehm: Classic, based around things that endure, that are timeless, whether fashion or in the home.

Carolyne Roehm Chinoiserie Room

{The Beautiful Chinoiserie Room at Carolyne’s Charleston Home}

PC: Have you always been passionate about flowers and entertaining? What is the mark of a good hostess?

CR: Yes! A good hostess is a happy hostess. Organized enough to allow time to look after herself and her guests. If a hostess is enjoying herself, so will the guests.

Carolyne Roehm AHITG

PC: What does your home say about you?

CR: Someone once said, I live Informally in a formal environment, and I think this is spot on.

carolyne roehm bird room

{Carolyne’s Bird Room in Charleston}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

CR: Everyplace – and I don’t necessarily have to turn to it – it exists everywhere you look – both in nature and man made environments.

Carolyne Roehm Lucky and Statue

{One of Carolyne’s Beloved Dogs, Lucky, in the Garden}

PC: Who are your personal style icons:

CR: Hubert Givenchy, Audrey Hepburn, Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta.

Carolyne Roehm Tulips At Home in the Garden

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

CR: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Doughnuts

carolyne roehm weatherstone

{The Veranda at Carolyne’s Connecticut Home, Weatherstone, Set for a Summer Supper}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

CR: Kindness

Carolyne Roehm Blossom

{A Watercolor Painting by Carolyne Roehm}

PC: Who has been your greatest professional influence:

CR: Oscar de la Renta

carolyne roehm oscar de la renta

{Carolyne and Oscar}

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

CR: Being madly in love, drinking champagne and going dancing.

Carolyne Roehm Blossom Table Small

{A Stunning Table Setting}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

CR: I’m already working on another book, designing products, and want to improve on my watercolor painting.

Carolyn Roehm At Home in the Garden Cover Medium

{Carolyne’s Newest Book, At Home in the Garden was Released a Few Weeks Ago– It is beautiful and would make a wonderful holiday gift!}


The Style Files: Carolyne Roehm

Go-To Outfit: Black cocktail dress

Style Mantra: Keep it simple, and then accessorize

Scent: Guerlain Apres L’Ondee

Piece of Jewelry: Large diamond stud ear rings

Color I Never Tire Of: Red

Flower: Rose

Indispensable Design Element: Blue and white porcelain

Era for Design: 18th century, Louis XVIth to Directoire

Dream Project: Restoration of an 18th century l’orangerie in France

Fabric/Textile: Just couldn’t choose, I adore so many

Hostess Gift: This year, a beautiful magnifying glass like one a friend gave me

Meal: Fresh pasta with white truffles

Drink: French red wine

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Red wine and watching back to back Scandal or 24

The Style Files: Carolyne Roehm

3 Things I Love About My City: New York – its spirit of how it comes together when times are hard, the diversity of the creativity, and the great talent in all the artistic fields.

Weekend Destination: Weatherstone, my house and garden in CT

Hotel: Cliveden House, UK

City: Paris and Florence

Museum: The Louvre

Artist: Francisco de Zurbaran

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “Live Like You Were Dying” – Tim McGraw or “September” – Earth, Wind & Fire

Actor/Actress: Clarke Gable / Audrey Hepburn

Prized Possession: My Dogs

Risk Worth Taking: It depends on the circumstances.

Greatest Extravagance: Sweet peas when they’re out of season

Go-To Color Palette: Navy and white

Rule to Break: Ones that people try to impose on you

Movie Set Design: Gone With the wind

I can never have too many… Flowers

Paloma Signature

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  1. I feel as though Carolyne and I were separated at birth! I adore her style and discerning taste when it comes to interiors. Everything about this interview is inspiring – thank you, Paloma! xo