UPDATE:  Today (Friday the 16th) is the last day to participate in the give-away! I'll announce the winner on Monday the 19th, so stay tunned.

It's a Sanity Fair first! A give-away, and being from me, it's a book! I've collected vintage design books for years, and I can attest to the fact that they're invaluable. And this give-away choice is a double for design:  it has a great cover and great content (sometimes, you CAN judge a book by its cover!). The book is Dorothy Rodgers' The House In My Head.

Socialite extraordinaire, wife of the "Rodgers" in "Rodgers and Hammerstein," entrepreneur, art collector, and fashion and decor diva, Dorothy Rodgers was a Manhattan chameleon. And she was so well known for her superb hostess skills (from conversation to recipes) that guests dubbed her "La Perfecta." Jackson Pollacks hung on her walls; Slim Hayward and Noel Coward hung out in her drawing room.
In 1964, Dorothy published a book called My Favorite Things. It was a whirlwind of advice  - everything from how to properly throw a dinner party and display your hobbies as decor, to tips on maximizing storage space in small closets. She knew from whence she spoke - entrepreneur Dorothy had founded her own design and renovation firm Repair, Inc. years before. And she practiced what she preached. Overwhelmed by the amount of care (even with servants) that her colonial Connecticut manse required, she set out to design a modern, efficient home from the ground up. That project became The House In My Head.

The House In My Head chronicles every step of her home's creation, from the "first pencil stroke to lighting the final lamp;" Dorothy thought about everything:  how she preferred to store things, the lighting she liked, the way she (and her family) inhabited a home. She was determined to create perfection. It's a design story we can all sympathize with:  triumph and frustration, excitement and planning - and a welcome reminder that even super wealthy socialites must suffer at the hands of contractors (though the recent success of your husband's musical, The Sound of Music, makes bill-paying painless). As Rodgers herself says in the book's conclusion: "if only we had known how much confusion, delay, uncertainty and expense we would have to accept.... however, to create one last 'if only'... if only we had built the house ten years ago." But the real plum in the pudding is her recipe collection in the back of the book, meticulously organized into select menus. My favorite? A special brunch menu for spring:  Spring Soup with scallions, Croissants, Chutney, Sliced Tomatoes with Basil and French Dressing, and Sour Cherry Tart. Break out the good china!

The Give-Away ends next Friday. The random generator will choose a winner from among comments I receive April 9 - 16. So leave a comment, and cross your fingers (and be sure to include your email)! BONUS:  "Follow" Sanity Fair in the LH sidebar, and you'll be entered twice - just be sure to mention in your comment that you did so!

Specs:  254 pages, First Edition, Color and Black and White photos by House Beautiful. Jacket review by Kitty Carlisle Hart. Published by Avenel. Rare vintage edition; excellent condition with only minor wear; one pen mark. A note to overseas readers:  all shipping is to U.S. addresses. Keep that in mind!
Read more about Dorothy here via the New York Times.

Image of Dorothy from


Laura Casey Interiors, LLC said...

Oh I would love to win! What a great giveaway. I am following now too. Thanks!

Beach House Living said...

Sure looks like a book with sound advice that has endured through the decades that followed.

Southern Aspirations said...

oh what a fantastic giveaway! I would love *love* to win this! And of course, I am a follower!

le style et la matière said...

What a great title! And what a pretty head she had.
Apparently what was inside was well made too. Both of the books you mentioned look very interesting.

Kathysue said...

OMG! I would love to win this book. I bought Dorothy Rodgers my Favorite things at a Flea Market this year. I was so excited to find it!! Someone told me that she has the same philosophy in designing a home as I do!! I also had a kinship with her since The Sound of Music was the movie my Hubby and I went to on our first date in 1967! Oooops I just told my age, Oh well!! Thank you for the visit to my blog it is nice to meet you and to also find your great blog. Kathysue

The Zhush said...

WOW! I have never heard of her! How can that be? Now I feel like I want to know EVERYTHING about her...that's why this blog world is so addictive! (and the Chanel "bag" is part of the s/s 2010 accessories collection!)

Averill said...

What a great giveaway, Skyla! So perfectly, so stylishly "you".

crt said...

i would love to be entered!


annechovie said...

Sounds like a facsinating book, Skyla. Have a fab weekend. xx

Dumbwit Tellher said...

This book is one that looks tremendous. I love design & architecture books, to me they are treasured as if they are jewelry. My second favorite subject is history, so this book as it all. Such a terrific gift. I have followed you but also joined through networked blogs. Happy weekend to you ~

little augury said...

Such a wonderful book, Here to highly recommend it. pgt

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I'm in. Would love to add this to my library. I'm a follower!
Happy weekend,

Robin said...

A) thanks for stopping by my blog! Don't give up on Peeps - try them stale! I'm sure you can still find them half price in your grocery store this week. Just slit the cellophane and stick them in the cabinet for a couple days and then enjoy!

B) And now that I'm here, I'm in love with your blog. Damn! As if I needed more to read every day!

Lily Lemontree said...

What a great giveaway! I have been on the hunt for this book for years and a good copy continues to allude me! I am keeping my fingers crossed on this one. Stumbled across your blog somehow, it's just wonderful and I am following now too!

Debra Healy said...

Greeting from Paris,

My son just watched
"The King and I" for the first time. He was enchanted.
We have been singing the Rogers and Hammerstein tunes all week. The books look wonderful. Bonne chance!

Vickie H. said...

Please count me IN! What a neat giveaway! I am also following now as well! I would love to own this book.

Couture Carrie said...

Awesome post and giveaway!


Barefoot in the Park said...

fabulous! i'm a new follower!

FrenchBlue said...

Thank you for visiting me at FrenchBlue today! I would love to be a part of your fabulous Friday Give-away! I am also your newest follower!!
Have a Weekend what is left:)

sinnlighet said...

Good morning,

Just want you to know that I like your blog.... a lot!!

I'm so happy for your comment on my Wabi & Sabi blog.

A small footprint from Agneta & Sweden again ;)

domesticgoddess said...

I am feeling lucky today! I really enjoy your blog!

Rebecca@Harmony and Home said...

I've never heard of this book. But, being a lover of books (and with that having the problem of where to put all my favs), I'm very intrigued now to see this book! Definitely sign me up! Great giveaway!

Kayla said...

I would love to win. I just found your blog. It's great.

More Olives Please said...

This book sounds lovely, and I am in the market for a new book!

maureen @ The Inglenook Decor said...

Oh gosh...I love books & this sounds like a fun & educational read! totally joining this giveaway & following u too :)

La Dolfina said...

What a perfect give-away and an incredible introduction to Dorothy Rodgers. It must be hard to give away such a treasure!
So happy to find you and your blog!
Is that a photo of you in the header?
OK, I think I am your newest follower for the moment and I definitely have my fingers tightly crossed as this is a giveaway I would love to win!!
Wishing you a lovely week ahead.

Sarah Klassen said...

What a generous giveaway -- I am very curious about this book now :)

Count me in!

Christy said...

Um yeah I'd LOVE to win that book!

Kristin said...

What a beautiful book - would love to win! Thanks for the giveaway!

Claire Watkins, ASID allied said...

I think I am squeezing in at the last possible second to get included in your give away! Yes, please!

Erica said...

Looks like a lovely book. Great idea for a giveaway!

Suzan Fellman Showroom said...

A terrific blog you have! I too have a tremendous vintage library of design books, however, I do not have this one. Consider me 'entered'. best, suzan

Lee said...

I would love to win the book. She sounds like a talented and fascinating woman.

Anonymous said...

As a newly married young interior designer I fell in love with this wonderful newly published book in the store where I worked in very south Texas. Would love to have it for my own as I get ready to put together the house in my own head.

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