Interior Design

Rose Cumming: Design Inspirations

Rose Cumming was the most flamboyant and exciting of the so-called Great Lady Decorators who invented the field of professional decorating and interior design in the early twentieth century. Flavored by surrealism and suffused with drama, her interiors were sumptuous, mixing bold colors and patterns. Her own library had emerald-green walls, a peacock -blue satin sofa, and scarlet japanned chairs. 

Cumming’s famous New York decorating and antiques shop became a stopping point for celebrated personalities such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Andy Warhol, Rudolf Nureyev, and Jacqueline Onassis. Encompassing styles from gothic, Venetian, and Austrian baroque to early Oriental furniture, Cumming would add glittering chandeliers, birdcages, and fine carpets. Her glamorous style was reminiscent of film sets, and Marlene Dietrich and Norma Shearer were among her clients. 

This book, the first on Cumming, is a richly illustrated volume of a great American artist, whose influence is manifest in the ongoing production of Cumming-designed fabrics and wallpapers. Rose Cumming will inspire the interior designer and home decorator, both professional and amateur alike.

About The Author

Jeffrey Simpson is an author and editor. For three decades, he served as contributing editor and writer for Architectural Digest. Sarah Cumming Cecil is president and principal at the Rose Cumming interior design firm and continues the design tradition established by its eponymous founder.

  • Publish Date: September 04, 2012
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: House & Home - Decorating & Furnishings
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 10 x 12
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $74.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-3846-2


"This book is magnificent and is filled with stunning images of Roses' work, including her early work and well known rooms, letters, images of her original hand block prints, sample boards, sketches and my favourite- a look book of sorts in the center of the book, filled with pictures of Roses' rooms, just like it would have been given to clients way back in the 1920's & 30's. Put this one on your must read list for sure!"

"There is so much to read about Cumming in this book....just get the book and let it unfold itself to you and you'll be hooked, intrigued and just plain astounded by this lovely lady." ~Studio of

"This lovely history of one of the truly great American decorators chronicles Cumming's beginnings and presents beautiful examples of her work." ~Traditional Home

This monograph is no mere coffee table book, though photographs of gorgeous spaces are plentiful. Through personal letters and business correspondence, we learn about the day-to-day workings of an influential 20th-century decorating firm." ~If the Lamp Shade Fits

"..I got completely lost in the pages of sketches, hand-drawn patters, interiors and portraits." ~Posted by Kevin Sharkey for Martha