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For nearly five decades Barbra Streisand has been one of the singular figures in American entertainment. From the cabaret to the Broadway stage, from television and film stardom to her acclaimed work as a director, from the recording studio to the concert hall, she has demonstrated that the extraordinary voice that launched her career was only one of her remarkable gifts. For nearly five decades Barbra Streisand has been one of the singular figures in American entertainment. From the cabaret to the Broadway stage, from television and film stardom to her acclaimed work as a director, from the recording studio to the concert hall, she has demonstrated that the extraordinary voice that launched her career was only one of her remarkable gifts. Now, in her first book, Barbra Streisand reveals another aspect of her talent: the taste and style that have inspired her beautiful homes and collections. My Passion for Design focuses on the architecture and construction of her newest homes, the dream refuge that she has longed for since the days when she shared a small Brooklyn apartment with her mother, brother, and grandparents. A culmination and reflection of Streisand's love of American architecture and design between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, the book contains many of her own photographs of the rooms she has decorated, the furniture and art she has collected, and the ravishing gardens she has planted on her land on the California coast. In addition to glimpses of her homes, Barbra shares memories of her childhood, the development of her sense of style, and what collecting has come to mean to her. My Passion for Design is a rare and intimate private tour into the world of one of our most beloved stars. It will be welcomed by her many fans and all lovers of the great achievements of American design.


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For nearly five decades Barbra Streisand has been one of the singular figures in American entertainment. From the cabaret to the Broadway stage, from television and film stardom to her acclaimed work as a director, from the recording studio to the concert hall, she has demonstrated that the extraordinary voice that launched her career was only one of her remarkable gifts. For nearly five decades Barbra Streisand has been one of the singular figures in American entertainment. From the cabaret to the Broadway stage, from television and film stardom to her acclaimed work as a director, from the recording studio to the concert hall, she has demonstrated that the extraordinary voice that launched her career was only one of her remarkable gifts. Now, in her first book, Barbra Streisand reveals another aspect of her talent: the taste and style that have inspired her beautiful homes and collections. My Passion for Design focuses on the architecture and construction of her newest homes, the dream refuge that she has longed for since the days when she shared a small Brooklyn apartment with her mother, brother, and grandparents. A culmination and reflection of Streisand's love of American architecture and design between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, the book contains many of her own photographs of the rooms she has decorated, the furniture and art she has collected, and the ravishing gardens she has planted on her land on the California coast. In addition to glimpses of her homes, Barbra shares memories of her childhood, the development of her sense of style, and what collecting has come to mean to her. My Passion for Design is a rare and intimate private tour into the world of one of our most beloved stars. It will be welcomed by her many fans and all lovers of the great achievements of American design.

30 review for My Passion for Design

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    How do you even begin to address the narcissism and folly that is Barbra Streisand, designer and builder? Probably the most positive thing you can say is that her grandiose schemes, accompanied by costly mistakes, kept a lot of people employed. Like the guys who had to "paint every gap black with a tiny brush" on her barn, because they realized in retrospect that boards shrink in colder weather, revealing the white Tyvek paper underneath. But no matter. Barbra loves that "about wood, that it con How do you even begin to address the narcissism and folly that is Barbra Streisand, designer and builder? Probably the most positive thing you can say is that her grandiose schemes, accompanied by costly mistakes, kept a lot of people employed. Like the guys who had to "paint every gap black with a tiny brush" on her barn, because they realized in retrospect that boards shrink in colder weather, revealing the white Tyvek paper underneath. But no matter. Barbra loves that "about wood, that it contracts and expands. It's a living thing." (Actually, it's not, once it's been cut.) The handpainted wallpaper in her great room had to be done again and again, because it was handpainted, and each section was a tiny bit different. But she wanted them all the same, so back they went. The first time she built her pond, the builders lined it with rubber, which went against code. They had to rip it out and start again with heavy rebar. A set of rafters that stuck out of her mill house, connected to the water wheel, she thought were too long, so she had them lopped off. Oops, now they were too short. One of the large ceiling beams in her living room, she happened to notice, was two inches wider than the one next to it. She insisted they come out. No error was so small that it could be allowed to remain. It would have driven her crazy, looking at it! There are two main problems with Barbra's design. Good designers have a unity of vision. A well-designed home will have a coherent look, not a mishmash of styles. Barbra loves a slew of styles, and she incorporates most of them in her main project ("the elegant barn"). (The beachfront property she owns in Malibu contains the elegant barn, constructed from the ground up; the mill house, built along with the barn; the main house, where she actually lives, purchased already built; and Grandma's house, named by James Brolin because it apparently reminds him of grandmothers, which she purchased in a rundown condition and rehabbed.) The exterior of the elegant barn is a red barn with a stone turret from one side (she wanted it to look like Connecticut), and white shingle-style from the beach side (supposed to look like Nantucket). Inside, the greatroom is vaguely Jacobean. There's a Gustav Stickley office, a Greene and Greene library, a Federal "lounge," a Charles Rennie Mackintosh Hall, a Georgian "display room," and a suite of Art Nouveau rooms. So Barbra's first problem is that she lacks a coherent vision. She wants to include everything. She has no ability to edit out incoherence and excess. Her second problem, paradoxically, is that she's too matchy-matchy. Each room uses one or two colors. In one room with a burgundy and olive color scheme, "it was a challenge to find books I actually wanted that were bound in either burgundy or olive." Books always have to match the room's color scheme. In a blue room, there are only blue books. In her koi pond, she only has black and white koi. No orange. Each room that adheres to a historical style is too severely limited in range, like rooms in a museum. That's exactly what she wants, but it's not good overall design, unless you're the furniture curator at the Met. Homebuilding for Barbra is basically set construction. When she wasn't satisfied with what architects were drawing and modelling for her, she hired movie people. She visualizes everything as a film shot. In the elegant barn's basement, she built a brick-paved "street" lined with shops and park benches. It's very cloying and Disney. She used doors, posts, and corbels from the Meet the Fockers set. Upstairs, she had the doors to her gym modelled precisely on doors she had seen in Gosford Park. (There was a problem - you could see some of the gym equipment from the ground floor, since the doors were mostly glass. She gave away every piece of gym equipment that was tall enough that it could be seen from below.) The mill house, with its water wheel, is very "ye olde." She strives for authenticity, but sometimes things just end up looking phony, like the stone placed at the bottom of plaster walls in the mill house, "as if the plaster that covered them had crumbled away over the years." Much of her landscaping is unbearably precious, from the wishing well and water wheel to the phony rusticity of the pond and stream, to the random white picket fences, to the stone-paved "wagon ruts" underlain with concrete that lead to the house. She can't resist antique signage, as long as it came from a Hamptons flea market: GARDEN, on a big arrow, right at the entrance to the garden. Would someone, please, enroll Barbra in some type of biology class? In addition to her confusion about wood planks being alive, she wonders about roses: "I've often wondered where the scent comes from. Does it go up from the seed into the stem, mixing with earth and water? Are there little cilia that move it along?" Some of the book's photos are terrible quality - out of focus, or enlarged beyond the appropriate pixel level. She has as many photos of herself with Bill Clinton in her houses as with her husband ("in 1992 when Bill Clinton was elected president, I fell in love with America all over again"). Three stars because this degree of narcissistic excess is so fascinating. "At the Library of Congress, when they asked if I wanted to look at my own things, I said no. I just wanted to see Thomas Jefferson's drawings of the dome at Monticello." -------------------------------------------------- I simply must know if everything in Barbra Streisand's life is that silvery blue color. Her laptop, her toilet paper holders, her Xanax bottle cosy?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Fanning

    As concise as Paul Rand’s “Thoughts on Design”, as expansive as John Maeda’s “Maeda @ Maeda”, Streisand’s “My Passion For Design” may be one of the most important design treatises in the last 10 years, if not longer. Some will see this book, and the reach and record of the vision it attempts to encapsulate, as pure folly. The mad dream of a billionaire, bored of swimming through her piles of gold coins, desperate to stave off the dreary boredom of every day life, whatever the cost. But people lac As concise as Paul Rand’s “Thoughts on Design”, as expansive as John Maeda’s “Maeda @ Maeda”, Streisand’s “My Passion For Design” may be one of the most important design treatises in the last 10 years, if not longer. Some will see this book, and the reach and record of the vision it attempts to encapsulate, as pure folly. The mad dream of a billionaire, bored of swimming through her piles of gold coins, desperate to stave off the dreary boredom of every day life, whatever the cost. But people lack vision. People lack imagination. The heartless proles who decry this book have spent too long staring at shadows on the cave wall. Should Streisand care what they think? No. Is it the dreamer’s job to show them the way out of the cave? Or is it the dreamer’s job to redecorate the cave, reimagine it entirely, with some Sheraton chairs and a few Tiffany sconces? It all began with an idea: she would purchase her two neighbor’s properties, raze their houses, and then build an elegant barn atop the land. But not just any elegant barn. An elegant barn with a carefully crafted history, a barn in which each room is defined and inspired by famous architects of ages past. She would never live there. No, that was never the intention. It would just be a place for her to store her stuff. And if she utterly redefined American style in the process, so be it. There were many barriers in her way. Architects and contractors continually tried to thwart her plans. They tried to coerce her into not using such a mish-mash of styles. They even tried to ignore the details they felt didn’t matter. Do the panels in the doors need to exactly equal the height of the wainscotting in each room? If the room is dominated by a fireplace, do you need a door on either side of the fireplace, in order to maintain symmetry and balance, even though it makes literally no sense to have 2 doors both going out to the same side of the house from the same room? Yes. It matters. Who among us hasn’t wanted our basement to look like a shop-lined street, and inside one shop is all the antique dresses you’ve collected over the years, and in another shop all the antique hats, and in another shop all the antique dolls, and on and on and on? And what if you keep your picture of Barack Obama next to a painted wooden slice of watermelon? Weird and problematic? Or deliberately thought-provoking? It took her years. Over 10 years, and countless millions of dollars. She hired and fired teams and teams of architects, contractors, movie set designers. Any time they stood in her way, she stood her ground. A mad woman, or just a woman? She started with nothing but an idea and moved forward from there. Isn’t that the path all the best art sets out on? The not knowing where you are going, but the certitude that you will find yourself where you need to be, at the end. History--and this book--will tell the story. In time’s final accounting, this elegant barn, and the great lengths Streisand took to create it, the sheer force of will and money it took to translate it from her imagination to reality, will be proof enough of the ultimate triumph of beauty over reason.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    Who maintains the fro-yo machine in the basement? How much does it cost to keep a draftsman on staff to draw up one's random ideas? Where did the custom painted home gym end up? Do all the dolls come to life at night? So many unanswered questions. Also, James Brolin appears to only have a Stairmaster and a desk in the house, but he does get to have "rendezvous" with Babs in the Napping Room. Original review: Dude, she built a "vintage street of shops, including a sweet shop, a gift shop, a flower Who maintains the fro-yo machine in the basement? How much does it cost to keep a draftsman on staff to draw up one's random ideas? Where did the custom painted home gym end up? Do all the dolls come to life at night? So many unanswered questions. Also, James Brolin appears to only have a Stairmaster and a desk in the house, but he does get to have "rendezvous" with Babs in the Napping Room. Original review: Dude, she built a "vintage street of shops, including a sweet shop, a gift shop, a flower shop, and an antique shop" in her BASEMENT. Tell me you don't want to see pictures of that.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Judith

    Caveat: I am not a big Streisand fan, nor a big fan of home decorating books, so it was purely accidental that I ordered this book from the library. And once I got it, well, really, it's mostly a book full of pretty pictures of a house in Malibu overlooking the ocean with a few pictures of James Brolin (still handsome) and a lot of pix of the diva herself. So why not enjoy it. I gave it 4 stars for the following: 1. Streisand did an ab fab job of building, renovating, restoring, landscaping a pro Caveat: I am not a big Streisand fan, nor a big fan of home decorating books, so it was purely accidental that I ordered this book from the library. And once I got it, well, really, it's mostly a book full of pretty pictures of a house in Malibu overlooking the ocean with a few pictures of James Brolin (still handsome) and a lot of pix of the diva herself. So why not enjoy it. I gave it 4 stars for the following: 1. Streisand did an ab fab job of building, renovating, restoring, landscaping a property which could have contained another mcmansion, but instead is a beautiful New England farmhouse and barn complete with babbling brook. 2. Bless her heart: with all her money and power she still had tons of trouble getting the contractors and worker bees to do her bidding. In my youth I would have thought she was at fault for being too picky. As an old homeowner my sympathy is entirely with her. They think she's a bitch simply because she wants the plans followed and when they deviate she catches them on it. One builder after another think she should be satisfied with "Almost" instead of "Exactly". When we had our pool redone a few years back and they painted it black instead of Mediterranean blue, the contractor told me:"well, no one is going to get it perfect for you". And it's always like that with every job, so I was both relieved and furious at the same time to realize it's really not about money or power. It's about getting the job done right. 3. I loved that she was able to incorporate so many different styles in different rooms and not have the place look hodgepodge, but rather it was so much more interesting than a place which was strictly modern or all craftsman. 4. It was fun.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I can't believe I'm reading this. And, furthermore, I can't believe how interesting it is. I can't believe I'm reading this. And, furthermore, I can't believe how interesting it is.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jazzmin

    This book was amazing in so many ways and kept me captivated from start to finish. It was so interesting and well thought out. Barbra Streisand did such a wonderful job with photography and her explanations of each room. Her insights on different periods, designers, architechts, and everything in between there is to know about design was amazing as well. She seems to be a very smart lady and shows that she is not just another air-headed celebrity who chose to make a picture book about her home-d This book was amazing in so many ways and kept me captivated from start to finish. It was so interesting and well thought out. Barbra Streisand did such a wonderful job with photography and her explanations of each room. Her insights on different periods, designers, architechts, and everything in between there is to know about design was amazing as well. She seems to be a very smart lady and shows that she is not just another air-headed celebrity who chose to make a picture book about her home-decor. It is easy to see that heart was truly in this book. I enjoyed reading the details and personal connections and stories she told in relation to different items she owns. Her passion for design, as the book is rightfully titled, is obvious and was refreshing to read about. The book was also inspiring; I loved everything about her style and taste showcased throughout each part of her properties. Her collections, themed rooms, millhouse, and barn/farmstyle home and the little street she built below were fascinating... The fact that she owns a mind-boggling amount of pieces and a lot of things that seem unecessary did seem a little over-the-top at points, but that didn't change my admiration for her sense of design and style. Very neat, enjoyable read :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lee Anne

    An inside look at Barbra's "barn" and gardens. It's not to my taste, mostly Federal, but still gorgeous. The rose garden is amazing, as is the expected attention to detail (she even includes pictures of the mistakes that *had* to be corrected). My favorite parts, though, are the "napping room" and the basement, which was made to look like a street of shops, and houses Barbra's extensive antiques collections (clothing, dolls, etc.), as well as a "Sweet Shoppe," with popcorn machine and candies. I An inside look at Barbra's "barn" and gardens. It's not to my taste, mostly Federal, but still gorgeous. The rose garden is amazing, as is the expected attention to detail (she even includes pictures of the mistakes that *had* to be corrected). My favorite parts, though, are the "napping room" and the basement, which was made to look like a street of shops, and houses Barbra's extensive antiques collections (clothing, dolls, etc.), as well as a "Sweet Shoppe," with popcorn machine and candies. I like to think of her padding down there in the middle of the night. Except....this "barn" really is an outbuilding, and after 200 pages of it, you get to see the "main house." Seriously, the barn is a wonderland, and it isn't even where she lives?!?! I love her more than ever now.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mlg

    Barbra Streisand designs a house that looks like a barn on a bluff overlooking the ocean and fills it with priceless antiques. The house is nice, but I thought the grounds were much prettier. Her quest for "perfection" sounded a lot more like OCD. Do people really need "napping rooms" and "gift wrapping rooms"? Really? Barbra Streisand designs a house that looks like a barn on a bluff overlooking the ocean and fills it with priceless antiques. The house is nice, but I thought the grounds were much prettier. Her quest for "perfection" sounded a lot more like OCD. Do people really need "napping rooms" and "gift wrapping rooms"? Really?

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carol M

    The houses and gardens are absolutely gorgeous. But by the time I got halfway through this, I was just disgusted by the excess. Just so much stuff, and so many rooms, with so many antiques. And then there's the basement full of 'storefronts' to hold more stuff. She's the modern day William Randolph Hearst. The houses and gardens are absolutely gorgeous. But by the time I got halfway through this, I was just disgusted by the excess. Just so much stuff, and so many rooms, with so many antiques. And then there's the basement full of 'storefronts' to hold more stuff. She's the modern day William Randolph Hearst.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    Dolly Levi: Hello! Hello there, how are you? Oh Hello! Horace: You know too many people. Dolly Levi: Total strangers! Horace: Then why do you greet them? Dolly Levi: It makes me feel good to have so many friends. Horace: Oh, say hello for me too then. Dolly Levi: I already did.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I'm on the fence about giving this book four or five stars only because there were some things I did not like about it. Namely, her decorating style that involved dolls and clowns and so much...STUFF. I realize she's a collector and has some great pieces but I pity the person who has to dust all of her houses she has shown here. I liked the idea of her having different kinds of stores in her basement. It was cute. Charming even. Maybe excessive, yes, but this is Barbara Streisand we're talking ab I'm on the fence about giving this book four or five stars only because there were some things I did not like about it. Namely, her decorating style that involved dolls and clowns and so much...STUFF. I realize she's a collector and has some great pieces but I pity the person who has to dust all of her houses she has shown here. I liked the idea of her having different kinds of stores in her basement. It was cute. Charming even. Maybe excessive, yes, but this is Barbara Streisand we're talking about. Towards the end of the book, I lost count of how many structures on her property she actually has and built and redone. Each of them charming in their own, very different way. I would never want to leave my house(s) if they looked like this! A great coffee table book to keep out, and the photos really are gorgeous.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    The tone of the book is conversational. It truly feels as though she’s taking you on a tour through her different properties. She describes her design process as being the same as for her movie sets. She wants each place to feel authentic the time period and story associated. As she takes us from room to room we learn not only the fictional story behind her property as a whole, but the context behind the design of each room of the houses. Surprisingly, the book at times almost presents as a memoir The tone of the book is conversational. It truly feels as though she’s taking you on a tour through her different properties. She describes her design process as being the same as for her movie sets. She wants each place to feel authentic the time period and story associated. As she takes us from room to room we learn not only the fictional story behind her property as a whole, but the context behind the design of each room of the houses. Surprisingly, the book at times almost presents as a memoir not a design book. Barbra shares personal stories and behind the scenes of her life, including performances. She also sporadically explores the possible reasons for her extravagance and indulgences, and in doing so reveals an intimate side of her psyche.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Barbra Streisand is one of the most talented people I can name. She does it all...sings! Acts, directs, writes, even writes music, even does her own stock market trading, and now shares with us another of her passions. Everything she touches is amazing. I love the photos and the way she’s so particular about everything. Five different homes on one property and they all have some kind of theme. But the “mall” in her basement was something totally unique. Being the simple person I am, it’s fun to Barbra Streisand is one of the most talented people I can name. She does it all...sings! Acts, directs, writes, even writes music, even does her own stock market trading, and now shares with us another of her passions. Everything she touches is amazing. I love the photos and the way she’s so particular about everything. Five different homes on one property and they all have some kind of theme. But the “mall” in her basement was something totally unique. Being the simple person I am, it’s fun to look at what others have created. I like her farm kitchen and sitting room where she works. But her Barn is pretty cool.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tracie

    Read it on a recommendation from social media. There were some very beautiful parts of the book. But it was so much excess. I found it hard to imagine people actually being in some of the rooms. The gardens were beautiful. As RuPaul would say "Opulence; you own everything!" Read it on a recommendation from social media. There were some very beautiful parts of the book. But it was so much excess. I found it hard to imagine people actually being in some of the rooms. The gardens were beautiful. As RuPaul would say "Opulence; you own everything!"

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex Giorgio

    Oy. What I wouldn't give to tour her homes. Or to go dollhouse shopping with her. Oy. What I wouldn't give to tour her homes. Or to go dollhouse shopping with her.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laurel-Rain

    In this beautiful book full of gorgeous photos, the author takes the reader on a journey, sharing the many stories that led to the creation and design of each home and each room. Every home and room is designed to take advantage of the exterior world, including the ocean views, which are extensions of the interiors. Beginning with the various houses on the compound, like the Mill House, The Barn, Grandma's House, and the Main House, we get to experience, along with the author, the research she di In this beautiful book full of gorgeous photos, the author takes the reader on a journey, sharing the many stories that led to the creation and design of each home and each room. Every home and room is designed to take advantage of the exterior world, including the ocean views, which are extensions of the interiors. Beginning with the various houses on the compound, like the Mill House, The Barn, Grandma's House, and the Main House, we get to experience, along with the author, the research she did; how she brought pieces from storage that had been in other homes; her treasure hunts to shops and flea markets; and the relics from her own past, including her performing events. One thing I learned from this book is that Streisand saves just about everything, recycling her treasures and collections into whatever home is hers at the time. My favorite parts of the book were the little tidbits she shared that made her seem like a real person you could sit down and have tea with. Things like her love of juxtaposition: the crude mixed with the elegant; rough things mixed with smooth things; and her passion for certain colors. We also get to enjoy the tales of how she patiently sought out the wondrous treasures she eventually brought to each of the homes. The designs spring to her from her visual memories of things seen in the past. Finding craftsman and builders required a great and painstaking journey toward discovering just the right ones. Sometimes things had to be redone a few times, as the move from vision to design to fruition can have unexpected outcomes. This glorious journey is a testament to the author's passion and love of design, as well as her devotion to detail. My favorite of the houses was Grandma's House, a smaller guesthouse with cozy rooms and small-scale furniture covered in quilts. Another aspect I enjoyed a lot was the basement of The Barn, which was arranged like city streets, with shops. The shops ranged from antique clothing stores to doll stores, and the streets were very true-to-life quaint meandering pathways. "My Passion for Design" is a treasured collectible that I will enjoy over and over, turning the pages and relishing the images. It will be like revisiting favorite places and reexperiencing treasured moments. Five stars!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This book had been on my wish list since 2010 when it was released. It is a great bargain on Amazon at $4.26. I had a most delightful Friday evening after working all week by savoring this book. I read it from cover to cover. The beautiful photography was done by Barbra. As she states in the book she has been poor and she has been rich. Her father died when she was nine, she, her brother and her mom moved in with her grandmother. She never had a doll as a child but took a hot water bottle and fi This book had been on my wish list since 2010 when it was released. It is a great bargain on Amazon at $4.26. I had a most delightful Friday evening after working all week by savoring this book. I read it from cover to cover. The beautiful photography was done by Barbra. As she states in the book she has been poor and she has been rich. Her father died when she was nine, she, her brother and her mom moved in with her grandmother. She never had a doll as a child but took a hot water bottle and filled it with water and her grandmother made clothes for it. She was a very shy child but loved movies and theater at a young age. She is quick to tell you she is a perfectionist which puts a lot of pressure on a person. Her attention to detail is utmost which you will quickly discover in the book and drove me crazy. She took a quote from someone (can't remember), "Detail is the difference between something being ordinary or extraordianry". She also states her need for instant gratification which she thinks may have something to do with losing her father at a very young age. She began collecting at the age of 15. She planned this house for many years and it took over 5 years to be built. I like Barbra more because her sense of humor, her genorosity, her strong belief in reusing things or passing them on are depicted in this book. She is a woman who knows what she wants, how she wants it and is determined to get it. If I had the means to do what she does I'm sure I would. Our tastes are nothing alike, I'm more a warm and cozy type gal but found the book to be very enjoyable and a beuatiful coffee table book!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book is a tour of Barbra Streisand's home compound on the California coast at Malibu. It includes a "barn" (now a home) and a main house--both beautifully decorated with rooms in various styles, such as art deco, arts and crafts, federal style, a style that is centered on patchwork quilts, etc. Streisand's eye for design is surpassed only by the resources she has to invest in her vision, and these are lovely homes where many people could b accommodated. I was interested in her "basement," w This book is a tour of Barbra Streisand's home compound on the California coast at Malibu. It includes a "barn" (now a home) and a main house--both beautifully decorated with rooms in various styles, such as art deco, arts and crafts, federal style, a style that is centered on patchwork quilts, etc. Streisand's eye for design is surpassed only by the resources she has to invest in her vision, and these are lovely homes where many people could b accommodated. I was interested in her "basement," which is a sort of mall, with an antiques store, a vintage clothing store, a candy store, a cold room--places for her to display her collections and some costumes from Funny Girl and other movies. A short bit at the back of the book was fun in that it reveals where the TV is in some of the rooms--often "beautiful homes" spreads don't reveal that detail, even though we know people have televisions. A fun book to get from the library and flip through, although my repeated thought while doing so was "who has to dust all this stuff?" I noted that the blurb on the cover makes special mention of Streisand's support of numerous charities, perhaps lest we think she is being overly extravagant or blowing her money on excess. Perhaps these homes could one day be museums, where people could take a real (not just photo) tour--they appear to be of that quality.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Skyqueen

    The book actually gave me a headache!! But I loved it. Very inspirational. She discloses many personal things in a conversational way that the public probably did not know, so she comes across warmer than when you see her in interviews. The book itself is very high quality (she did a lot of the photography) and would be a treasure to own. A portion of the proceeds goes to her heart research charity and Sinai Medical Center. A very beautiful, well-written, knowledgeable, entertaining book depicti The book actually gave me a headache!! But I loved it. Very inspirational. She discloses many personal things in a conversational way that the public probably did not know, so she comes across warmer than when you see her in interviews. The book itself is very high quality (she did a lot of the photography) and would be a treasure to own. A portion of the proceeds goes to her heart research charity and Sinai Medical Center. A very beautiful, well-written, knowledgeable, entertaining book depicting building her home and displaying her many collections. The one thing I think she is missing is the introspection as to the reasons WHY she does the things she does; e.g. the way she is. She gives some insight to that from her childhood revelations which make it very obvious to me. I just hope she can make other people's dreams come true, the way so MANY people did hers. I could definitely live in the gardens.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Beautiful interior and exterior photos of her gorgeous homes. This is beyond a typical interior design book because it was written and photographed by Barbra herself and she tells in a very personal way how she designed and built her "barn" house. It is a glimpse inside her world where she can create whatever she wants and she wants a lot. She is a perfectionist to the extreme and makes no apologies for it. I kept feeling sorry for anyone who worked with her on these projects. She mentions sever Beautiful interior and exterior photos of her gorgeous homes. This is beyond a typical interior design book because it was written and photographed by Barbra herself and she tells in a very personal way how she designed and built her "barn" house. It is a glimpse inside her world where she can create whatever she wants and she wants a lot. She is a perfectionist to the extreme and makes no apologies for it. I kept feeling sorry for anyone who worked with her on these projects. She mentions several times how she went through teams of carpenters or different architects because they couldn't deliver her vision. The excess of the place is something to behold. She has a "street" of shops built under her house with a gift shop and wrapping room, a candy store, ice cream parlor, flower shop, antiques shop. . . It goes on and on and each shop was built to perfection. A lovely book to either enjoy for the pictures or to read cover to cover.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    This book was beautiful and while Barbara's taste is ecletic and a bit too knick-nacky for me, I found her style none the less beautiful. She incorporated great care and the best of materials, labor, and talent to create her home. I think the door and cabinet hardware came from such companies as Fersa, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Top Knob and many other high - end suppliers. The plumbing fixtures looked like Rohl and Herbeau. I learned a lot about what design meant to her and how the elements affec This book was beautiful and while Barbara's taste is ecletic and a bit too knick-nacky for me, I found her style none the less beautiful. She incorporated great care and the best of materials, labor, and talent to create her home. I think the door and cabinet hardware came from such companies as Fersa, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Top Knob and many other high - end suppliers. The plumbing fixtures looked like Rohl and Herbeau. I learned a lot about what design meant to her and how the elements affect her. She did exactly what one should do when decorating - do it for yourself rather than current trend or convention. My favorite room is the napping room. It seems like a nice hidey-hole to read and take luxurious naps on a lazy afternoon. I hope she writes another design book on some of her other homes.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Rivas

    This riviting book just captured me and woldn't let me go. I could hardly wait until I could pick it up again every time that I put it down. First, I just looked at the pictures and then went back and read it from cover to cover pausing frequently to look up artists and architects that Streisand would mention. She is probably one of the most throughly versed people one could find on Art Nuevo, Art Deco and the Arts and Crafts movements. I have a girlfriend who said she would go to auctions it wo This riviting book just captured me and woldn't let me go. I could hardly wait until I could pick it up again every time that I put it down. First, I just looked at the pictures and then went back and read it from cover to cover pausing frequently to look up artists and architects that Streisand would mention. She is probably one of the most throughly versed people one could find on Art Nuevo, Art Deco and the Arts and Crafts movements. I have a girlfriend who said she would go to auctions it would be Barbra Streisand who would win every important bid. Her houses were perfectly stunning works of art. She is a genius of song and of design.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Lovely lovely book. I love her decorating style....Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright..gorgeous rooms and gardens. Who wouldn't love looking out at the ocean every day? When she opens her front door you can see clear through the house to the sea. Stunning pictures and if you like Streisand...a must read. Lots of insight as to her design style. She still looks so good and I love the fact she is sooooo picky paying attention to all the tiny tiny details...reminds me of someone else I know! A great book Lovely lovely book. I love her decorating style....Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright..gorgeous rooms and gardens. Who wouldn't love looking out at the ocean every day? When she opens her front door you can see clear through the house to the sea. Stunning pictures and if you like Streisand...a must read. Lots of insight as to her design style. She still looks so good and I love the fact she is sooooo picky paying attention to all the tiny tiny details...reminds me of someone else I know! A great book from the best voice on the planet!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    Beautiful book showing Barbara Streisand's homes located on her California property. Her eye as a director gives her a unique perspective decorating her homes. She talks about her interest and influences. I'd find a room in the book I'd love and I'd think this is my favorite and then I'd find another and change my mind with no this one's my favorite. Some rooms where my favorites because of color choices others because of the furniture arrangement and collectibles. The section on her gardens was Beautiful book showing Barbara Streisand's homes located on her California property. Her eye as a director gives her a unique perspective decorating her homes. She talks about her interest and influences. I'd find a room in the book I'd love and I'd think this is my favorite and then I'd find another and change my mind with no this one's my favorite. Some rooms where my favorites because of color choices others because of the furniture arrangement and collectibles. The section on her gardens was inspiring, I think she could do a book on her gardens alone.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jan Polep

    I am not suggesting you read this book but you have to see the photos. Unbelievable! Silly me thought she would have an ultra cool California modern home overlooking the Pacific coast. Not! It is as if she transported a house of tricked out movie sets, lock/stock& barrel from New England...jam it full of collections and rooms of uncomfortable furniture. The basement is over-the-top, the Grandma cottage claustrophobic, but the landscaping and views are to die for. She loves it so I guess that's a I am not suggesting you read this book but you have to see the photos. Unbelievable! Silly me thought she would have an ultra cool California modern home overlooking the Pacific coast. Not! It is as if she transported a house of tricked out movie sets, lock/stock& barrel from New England...jam it full of collections and rooms of uncomfortable furniture. The basement is over-the-top, the Grandma cottage claustrophobic, but the landscaping and views are to die for. She loves it so I guess that's all that counts.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I was so happy when I saw that the Waterloo library had this book. This "house", which is more like a compound, shows the construction of her latest endeavor in California. She bought up two adjoining houses, to create her "barn" and "Mill house", which are additional areas, to house her vast collection of treasures. You have to actually see this book--words can't describe how much dedication it took to create this dream home area. There are many details and beautiful pictures, most of which Ba I was so happy when I saw that the Waterloo library had this book. This "house", which is more like a compound, shows the construction of her latest endeavor in California. She bought up two adjoining houses, to create her "barn" and "Mill house", which are additional areas, to house her vast collection of treasures. You have to actually see this book--words can't describe how much dedication it took to create this dream home area. There are many details and beautiful pictures, most of which Barbra took herself.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gaile

    This is a coffee table book full of lovely photos and descriptions of how Barbra Streisand built and decorated her home. The books shows a basement like something out of Disney World which surprised me as basement are not usual in Calfiornia and certainly not near the ocean. Barbra used a lot of stuff from her various movies in her home. However, going through this book, the reader is sharply removed that this is a woman who can buy whatever she wants. In me, it only incited eny and made me feel This is a coffee table book full of lovely photos and descriptions of how Barbra Streisand built and decorated her home. The books shows a basement like something out of Disney World which surprised me as basement are not usual in Calfiornia and certainly not near the ocean. Barbra used a lot of stuff from her various movies in her home. However, going through this book, the reader is sharply removed that this is a woman who can buy whatever she wants. In me, it only incited eny and made me feel very poor!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    This is an interesting book. If you ever wanted to know more about Barbara Streisand and you love homes, building homes and interior design then you are going to love this book. She has an eye for detail and doesn't miss a thing. If she had never been an actress then she probably would have been an architect, builder and interior designer. She goes into great detail about the homes she has built and the reasons why each element within her home exists. It is an excellent book to have in your libr This is an interesting book. If you ever wanted to know more about Barbara Streisand and you love homes, building homes and interior design then you are going to love this book. She has an eye for detail and doesn't miss a thing. If she had never been an actress then she probably would have been an architect, builder and interior designer. She goes into great detail about the homes she has built and the reasons why each element within her home exists. It is an excellent book to have in your library that you will pull out again and again.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Connie Curtis

    As a bookseller, I have sold tons of this book. I wanted to see what the hoopla was all about; plus, the cover is gorgeous! The pictures in the book are beautiful. Barbra is very open and genial as she tells in detail how she designed, built, and decorated her house in Malibu. It's not to my personal taste, but it is really beautiful. I love the views from her property! I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in design. As a bookseller, I have sold tons of this book. I wanted to see what the hoopla was all about; plus, the cover is gorgeous! The pictures in the book are beautiful. Barbra is very open and genial as she tells in detail how she designed, built, and decorated her house in Malibu. It's not to my personal taste, but it is really beautiful. I love the views from her property! I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in design.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl

    This book is very interesting both, the wonderful pictures and the story of how Barbra's dream became reality. The details and lengths that Streisand went to in order to get things just right, are a bit extreme, but this volume definitely has some fantastic design ideas. The cover price is $60. I paid much less than that during the liquidation sale of much beloved Boulder Borders Bookstore. I bought my father a copy of the book also because he is a such a fan of Barbra Streisand. This book is very interesting both, the wonderful pictures and the story of how Barbra's dream became reality. The details and lengths that Streisand went to in order to get things just right, are a bit extreme, but this volume definitely has some fantastic design ideas. The cover price is $60. I paid much less than that during the liquidation sale of much beloved Boulder Borders Bookstore. I bought my father a copy of the book also because he is a such a fan of Barbra Streisand.

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