Monday, April 17, 2017

How They Decorated

The cover of P.Gaye Tapp's new book
features a delightful 1937 watercolor by Cecil Beaton
depicting Harrison and Mona Williams in their
Palm Beach, Florida, living room
decorated by Syrie Maugham.
P. Gaye Tapp, author of the blog Little Augury, has just released a wonderful new book HOW THEY DECORATED, INSPIRATION FROM GREAT WOMEN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.  It is not a book about Lady Decorators, but about the women whose personal style influenced interior design, sometimes working with a design legend, but other times working on their own.
Evangeline Bruce's Georgetown townhouse is one of three
residences discussed.  Here, the Drawing Room features a
pair of Gothick chairs that had belonged to decorating
legend Nancy Lancaster.
Photo: Horst P. Horst, Architectural Digest.
The book is organized into four sections.  "Legacy Styles" features a chapter each on Lady Diana Cooper, Evangeline Bruce, Louise de Vilmovin, and Sybil Connoly.  "In the Grand Manner" presents the interior of the homes of Helene Rochas, Gabrielle van Zuylen, Mona Harrison von Bismark, and Pauline de Rothschild.  "Fashionably Chic" shows the residences of the fashion plates Babe Paley, Elsa Schiaperelli, Fleur Cowles, and Pauline Trigere.  And the final section, "Unconventional Eye" discusses Bunny Mellon, Dominique de Menil, Georgia O'Keffe, and Lesley Blanch.

The Dining Room in the Paris home of Helene Rochas
is arranged for intimate comfort with elegant fauteuils
that formerly belonged to the style-setter Carlos de Beistegui.
The trompe-l'oeil panel over the mantel was painted by
Alexandre Serebriakoff.
Photo: Pascal Hinous, Architectural Digest.
Charlotte Moss, a successful interior designer in her own right, provides an insightful Introduction.  The text is generously supplemented with an invaluable cache of drawings and reference photographs, plus delightful watercolor illustrations by Jimmie Henslee created especially for the book.
The Grand Salon of Elsa Schiaparelli's
eighteen-room apartment on rue de Berri,
Paris, exhibits a folding screen
commissioned from Christian Berard.
Photo:Hans Wild, The Life Picture Collectiion/Getty Images
The Devoted Classicist has read the book cover-to-cover and throroughly enjoyed it.  All interested in the history of decorative arts are sure to appreciate HOW THEY DECORATED published by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., the source of all images used here.
The Anteroom between the Living Room and Dining Room
of Bunny Mellon's New York City townhouse provided
a transition space between the two decorating schemes.
Photo: Michael Dunne, The Oak Spring Garden Foundation.