Friday, June 6, 2008

Vintage Treats Just In...

David Hicks - On Decoration
Published by the Macmillan Company, New York - 1966
Out of Print - $100

Got a fairly good copy of the above title - no dust jacket unfortunately but this Hicks title in particular pops up so rarely, it seemed too good of an opportunity to miss......I particularly love this one in his series as it includes Chapter 8 "Halls, staircases and rumpus rooms". I am not sure what a rumpus room is but I think I may want one.

The picture at the top is an image of Helena Rubenstein's apartment - you can't quite tell from the photo - but those walls are purple tweed and the carpets are textured and  the colour of an aubergine/eggplant...bellissimmo..

I included the other photo as I love the juxtaposition of the classical bust and the Francis Bacon painting. I love a bit of Bacon and I understand his genius etc.etc. but his work still scares the bee-jesus out of me.

Billy Baldwin Decorates
First Edition 1972
Published by House & Garden
Out of Print $120

Billy Baldwin the decorator (not to be confused with the dashing Billy Baldwin of Baldwin-Acting-Dynasty, husband of Chynna), has been routinely called one of The Founding Fathers of American Decorating and oh me and oh my he should be. In his long and illustrious career he decorated homes belonging to luminaries such as: Cole Porter, Diana Vreeland and Brooke Astor. This classic interiors reference book shows all his style panache and more and dolls out some Baldwin gems:

"Nothing makes a room sparkle like mirror. Mirror is mysterious. In large shimmering sheets, it can change the shape and size of a room.....Mirror is by nature glamorous and gay. It makes things bigger....or at least I have never known it to make things smaller."

The New York Times Book of Interior Design & Decoration by Norma Skura
Published 1976 by Times Books
Out of Print

This gem arrived in yesterday - a heady look into the magic/madness of 1970s interior design. The author, Norma, takes a whirlwind tour of the residences of some of Manhattan's notable names and uncovers their design tips and tricks. Norma also deigns to give us some of her wisdom on this subject, my favourite being:


Newly weds are notorious for making the wrong decorating decisions. Their first purchases are invariably sources of regret at a later point in their lives. The problem is basically a lack of exposure to the full range of decorating options. Newly-weds tend to settle for department store cliches or some mass manufacturer's poorly designed and overpriced line of furniture. It is like purchasing a cheap dress with a bad cut: it will never lay right; the hem will be uneven ; the zipper will always bulge; it will simply never fit properly. "

Amen. I think the drift is: newly weds ignore this advice at your peril or be doomed to having a house that, on the inside, looks like an ugly misshaped sack dress.

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