In Barbra Streisand’s first book, fans will experience the Hollywood legend addressing many of her personality traits through a book about design. More specifically, in My Passion for Design, the diva allows us a look at numerous rooms in her home, which she’s redesigned/decorated and dishes the renovation details on each one.
These renovations cost millions of dollars. Her home design project took years to finish. Ms. Streisand utilized a team of architects and spent hours via computer with them – while away from California – discussing details of her house remodeling project. She joked about the experience on page 122 saying, “I was on the Internet for hours every night, e-mailing back and forth about this house, while Jim (Brolin) and I were supposed to be spending alone time together. (It’s amazing I’m still married.)”
Earlier this year, acting legend James Caan and music icon Michael Bolton shared great stories, with CYInterview, about Barbra. Fans of Ms. Streisand will be sure to want to read this book. And for those wondering if it’s just a book about design, well, it’s far more than that.
When it came to the details of her home renovation – including all the materials used and architectural designs – Ms. Streisand candidly explains that her home renovations were more complex and difficult than directing any of her past feature films such as Yentl or The Prince of Tides. We see how she analyzes every detail, from dimensions to the right shade of color. Speaking of details, her vision on the subject matter comes through on page 136 where she says, “Details is the difference between being ordinary or extraordinary.”
There is a story, where Streisand had an issue with a carpenter, where she didn’t like the way something was constructed. For years, there has been reports and gossip about Ms. Streisand being difficult. She addressed that on page 108 of the book saying, “Difficult…I think it’s a very misogynistic attitude, because when a man does that kind of thing, people go, Wow. Isn’t he that great? He’s precise and he really sees and cares about things and he made them change it to get it right. But as I said in a speech for Women in Film in 1992, ‘A man is commanding – a woman is demanding. A man is forceful – a woman is pushy. A man is a perfectionist – a woman’s a pain in the ass.’”
Even with her detail oriented, perfectionist traits, she admits compromise definitely occurred during her gigantic home renovation process. On page 154, the Funny Girl states, “There comes a point when you have to compromise, and sometimes the compromise leads to something better. I go through this when I’m directing a film as well.”
What might be the most interesting thing to readers is learning about La Streisand’s personal experiences through the prism of home remodeling. A few revealing tidbits come up, for example, Ms. Streisand does not go out to shop for clothes much anymore. Or that she has edited movies and recorded songs in her home because it’s a long drive to the studios in Hollywood. These types of revelations are some of the elements that make this more than a book simply about interior design.
The joy here is we gain a glimpse of who the entertainment legend truly is.
A portion of the money from the book will be donated to the Women’s Cardiovascular Research and Education Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center by Barbra Streisand.