Kemble’s Keepers

Photograph by Breithaupt

Sought-after interior designer Celerie Kemble has released a coffee-table book attractive enough to grace the sophisticated rooms she creates. But Celerie Kemble: To Your Taste ($45, Clarkson Potter/Publishers), is more than a pretty look book. Kemble, a principal in Kemble Interiors, a firm started by her mother, Mimi McMakin, dishes philosophy, affordable hints, and opinions.

The photos of beautiful rooms are reason enough for paging through the book. But take time to read her well-grounded philosophy, as well as some specific likes and dislikes.

Her design don’ts:

• Ubiquitous dark or jewel-toned reproduction Persian carpet. (“Unsuccessful stabs at formality and opulence.”)
• Mirrors hung horizontally. (They “foreshorten” ceiling height.”)
• Lacquered brass. (“Lacks warmth … garish.”)
• Matching bedroom suites.

Some of her favorite things:

• An English-armed sofa.
• A little bit of animal print in every room.
• Grass-cloth wall coverings.
• Lattice-covered walls á la Dorothy Draper.
• Clean, uncluttered surfaces — tables not suppressed by piles of paper, books, magazines, and junk.
• Extraordinary ceilings — faux painted or wallpapered.