Roehm’s birds, bees and more

Lifestyle icon Carolyne Roehm was scheduled to lead the lineup of guest speakers at the annual Lyndhurst Flower & Antiques Show in Tarrytown April 3 through 5. It has been suspended due to COVID-19, and ticket holders will receive a refund.

The former fashion designer and noted tastemaker — whose career also touches on gardening, entertaining and the decorative arts — was to speak about her love of fine antiques and flowers during a presentation April 4, while also spotlighting her latest jewelry collection, “The Birds & The Bees,” and signing copies of her latest of a dozen books.

Roehm, who has professed a love for both dogs and design, is also noted for her charitable efforts for animal welfare, specifically through her “Going to the Dogs” initiative, which benefits dog and cat shelters across the country.

Recently, the designer, whose homes include those in Manhattan and Litchfield County, took the time to answer some questions from WAG:

As we shared with you, at WAG, we theme our issues — and this one is our annual “salute to the animal kingdom.” Can you talk a little about your devotion to animals, from your latest jewelry collection, “The Birds & The Bees,” to your own beloved dogs?

“I suppose being an only child dogs easily became the loves of my life. But I love all animals — horses, cats and birds. I am now at the stage in life that when I see an insect in the house, I will put it on a piece of paper and put it outside so it might continue its journey. When a bird or a chipmunk or anything gets killed, I give it a burial.”

Can you share a bit about your background, specifically what were your most important influences and how they shaped your professional life?

“My important influences are the usual ones — my grandmother (for her artistry in the creative world), my mother (for her strength and discipline in life) and my two design and life mentors, Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass.”

Your most recent book, “Carolyne Roehm — Design & Style: A Constant Thread,” touches on so many topics, from fashion to flowers, table design to interiors. Do you see those elements as distinct — or do you consider them part of a whole approach to life?

“I have to say I consider (it) both ways. I see them as freestanding entities where I become immersed in the specific topic, and then I review and see all the topics as the collective approach to a lifestyle. 

Can you share what you may be working on these days — a new collection or book? Are you always thinking of what’s next?

“Yes, I am always thinking of what next, because I love designing product and ideas just pop into my mind and then I want to bring that design to life. I am currently working on a series of books and then a freestanding book on Charleston, South Carolina.”

And finally, can you tell us how you would you spend a perfect day, when you had no work commitments and could simply do what you love best?

“That is easy. I would spend the day in the garden amongst my flowers and veggies, with my pups running around me. I love listening to either a great thriller or mystery audio book as I work or simply to beautiful music or, if it is in the early morning or evening, I just listen to the sound of nature.”

For more, visit carolyneroehm.com.

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