Barbara Streisand’s Hobby |
June 20, 2013
Barbara Streisand is a hot topic in Israel this week; She came here to sing at Shimon Peres’ (the Israeli president and a good friend of hers) 90th birthday ceremony, which was broadcasted in all the TV channels, and she’s staying in order to give two historical performances – one tonight (Thursday) and the other on Saturday night. But what the many people trying to get tickets for Barbara Streisand’s show at the last minute may not know is that the iconic singer/actress has a hobby that is so dear to her, she wrote a book about it: she loves to decorate.
Three years ago, Barbara Streisand wrote a book called My Passion For Design about just that – her passion for design and the process of decorating her Beverly Hills home, which she claims to have done by herself (though looking at some of the intricate work makes one wonder). She also took most of the photos included in the book, published by Viking, that prompted a visit to the Oprah show and even an emotional meeting with Robert Redford, her The Way We Were co-star.
But you know what? The rooms shown in the book make me wonder what prompted Streisand to get them published. The stuffy sitting rooms where her portrait is taken; the lavender room in the guest house where Streisand has recorded songs with many music legends like herself; the so-called “shopping mall” where make-believe shops store her various collection from dolls to antique dresses to awards. None of it is bad, per-se, but you can’t really call that good design. And that’s okay – not everyone needs to hire a designer or be an expert in design or even care about design – but then why publish it? The answer is probably (as hilarious bloggers Tom and Lorenzo would say): because she can.
- Streisand sitting for a portrait at her home | from the book
- Barbara Streisand's screening room | from the book
- The Lavender room in Streisand's guest house | from the book
- Antique dresses in Streisand's "shopping mall" | from the book
- Barbara Streisand at her house | photo by Terry Richardson for Harper's Bazaar
- Barbara Streisand's house in Beverly Hills - Exterior
Having taken that load of my chest, here are 5 guidelines for celebrities that are thinking about writing a design book:
- Ask yourself: do you have talent? Not a singing, acting or even being-on-reality-tv talent, but rather talent for decorating. In the case of Julianne Moore, by the way, the answer is yes, and I would love to see a design book from her one dy. Ellen, too, belongs to this category.
- Do not hesitate (do not hesitate) to get help from the pros: ghost writers, photographers or stylists who can change the vibe and look of a room with some props and that magical touch they have. No one expects you to know everything. In fact, people don’t even like a know-it-all.
- You love design. Scratch that, you live for design. That’s great, write about it from your own personal point of view. You don’t have to present yourself as the expert that you are not.
- The more private rooms (bedroom, home office, kitchen, dressing room) you show – the better. After all, voyeurism is what makes the world go round, tabloids sell, gossip blogs viral and sites like Hooked On Houses – addictive.
- When all else fails, ask yourself: am I Barbara Streisand? If the answer is yes, go ahead. You can do whatever you want. If the answer is no, follow the guidelines above. And if the answer is maybe, well, you might want to see a doctor.