Tryst with a House & Tom. Part 3

I have a confession. I dreamt that I went to court for blatantly stealing a chocolate brown room with cotton candy pink sofas.  I confess.  I, Ruthie Sommers, ripped off one of my favorite decorators in the history of decorators, Tom Scheerer.

Interiors of Tom Scheerer for Book

Tom sits on the steps of his family’s home in East Hampton. The wallpaper and coral colored tread combination has seen generations of families. Powerful decorating comes from the inhabitants when they recognize that new is not always better. Disposable decorating has become second nature these days. “Trending alert”, headlines magazine articles about the newest ideas to follow. Wallpaper one day and then remove the next? Not in my swatch book!


Tom Scheerer Decorates, by Mimi Read is arguably the best design book in ages.

Mimi, a super smarty pants writer, (Think magna cum laude Brown University in literature) penned his book and I could hang on every word she wrote as she described this master of charming and fresh design.

Why is his book different? Well, for starters all of the rooms are actually rooms he designed for homes around the world. Unlike several design books on the market, nothing reeks “photo shoot for book”. Formality is missing and what a relief! Each space, whether town or country or island, lends itself to ever lasting decorating. I find myself wanting to read, eat, entertain or nap after a sun drenched day in all of his rooms and, truthfully, in all of his beds.

Familiarity drives my personal design and this is why I adore my old car and yearn for my grandparents peeling cherry wallpaper in their china closet. Spirit and life are the definition of a successful room. No two homes feel that they are related in his work. They may be distant cousins with similar exquisite design qualities but all of his work feels particular to the client and the home.

We must move on to the subject at hand. Lyford Cay Club and how I was caught with my hand in the brownie jar. At this club Tom created what is an already iconic room. A room where a mocha grande of brown grasscloth drenches the  walls with stenciled cream palm trees and is peppered with pink sofas, sisal rugs and gold mirrors.

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I did ring up Mimi to find out how Tom came up with his famous mural idea.  He explained, ” I was going for an El Morocco look, vividly etched to those of a certain vintage. The iconic New York cafe society hang out was midnight blue with uplit white papier-mâché palms shooting up behind zebra covered banquettes.

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Lyford Cay Club has a history that is as colorful as its interiors and guests.   When I open a delightful invitation via mail (thank goodness for real invitations..) and the name Lyford Cay Club sits raised off the card, I know I am going to be packing my bags. Weddings and birthdays are a highlight in my travel notebook of spectacular weekends I have spent in the Bahamas vacationing here.


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Tom redesigned the interiors at this venerable private club. Clearly, it was a match made in heaven.








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How did he decide on chocolate brown?” I ALWAYS choose chocolate brown when attempting something chic and sexy”. When I read this on my email,  I turned a shade of Ban de Soleil gel #4.

Moving on to my blatant thievery for my client in Chicago , I will remind you that my client had been very sick. The chemo had her in bed, during tough bland winter months. Elissa is quite the traveler and the thought of Lyford Cay Club holds happy memories. What better way to have a nibble of a memorable room than to recreate it?



In comes the most talented painter I know, Patrick Roullier.

Patrick Roulierr

Patrick Roullier

Painting palm trees on the walls in Lake Forest Chicago felt a tad out-of-place so when in Rome.. well, be true to your surroundings. We copied the trees on her front lawn, speckled lily of valley around and plopped the large acorns that drop on her driveway in the fall. Some insects and butterflies made flight into the mural as well. And cheesy as this may sound, Patrick pulled it off. Elissa has a young son and he suggested this.  Watching him catch a glimpse of a butterfly on the way to bed is worth all the cheese in the world.



2 thoughts on “Tryst with a House & Tom. Part 3

  1. Kathleen Erin

    Swoon, I am loving your blog and of course your inspirations. Glad Tom isn’t having you thrown in the slammer, but if he changes his mind can I be friends (while you’re “away”) with whomever is inviting you to Lyford Cay Club? I also have Tom’s book and love it down to the bamboo cover.

    1. ruthiesommers Post author

      Isnt his book to die for? When I was researching over the internet I found that several other folks had clearly had a taste of cheating off Tom.. Thank you for sending in the comments. I have been in transit and have to get back to writing.. ( which as seen from my typos) I need practice !


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