February 27, 2008

Interior Views: Design at Its Best

I am sure you're sick to death of hearing about the treasures I find at the Book Thing, but this weekend I got a couple of great books that are interesting from a perspective of 20 to 30 years. For a while, I've been writing about whether Carleton Varney's 1970's Book of Decorating Ideas has stood the test of time. For the most part, it has.

I found an interesting book called "Interior Views: Design at Its Best" by Erica Brown, published in 1980 by Viking. This book is a series of two-page profiles of noted interior designers of the day, followed by two pages of colour photographs of a job they've done. It was interesting to see how many names are still current and working, as well as how many have vanished into the mists of time.
Sister Parish


David Hicks



Nicholas Haslem


David Hicks design

I also found the wonderful book, "Mark Hampton On Decorating" with his lovely watercolour paintings and beautifully calligraphied titles. This book has been a favourite for a long time, but I'd sold my old copy when I moved abroad. I am glad I have it again!

I had to show you this hideous picture that shows how dated some designs become. It's by someone called Antony Redmile.

21 comments:

  1. As with fashion, classic never goes out of style.

    I'm rather disturbed by that last photo.

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  2. How could Redmile get it so, so, SO wrong?
    Some of his things were quite wonderful in that neo - barbarian meets neo - baroque way.

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  3. So exactly where is this book thing?
    I live in the DC area and would love to check it out.

    That chair in the last photo is one scary sucker, BTW.

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  4. I've never seen anything quite like that chair...LOL!!!

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  5. Cindy... it's www.bookthing.org. it's on the northern side of the city, in a not-too-great area. only open on saturday and sunday.

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  6. thank you so much for this very informative blog. i enjoy the read and look forward to reading more. i recently move from Manhattan to Upstate NY to a farmhouse where we are in the process of renovating the home. Paint colors are an issue and you have given me much to think about. PS....Love the Pig!

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  7. What a fun find! And thanks so much about the comment about the geese...seeing them fly over is a sure sign that the season is changing! Cheers!

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  8. Hahahaha, I have "Interior Views" and reread it often. Does that make me an antique?

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  9. Meg, I'm so envious of all your finds!

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  10. You know, that chair needs a leg lamp!
    Thanks for the link and directions!

    Cindy

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  11. I think that just goes to prove how wrong 'trendy' decorating is. Stay classic and you'll never be embaressed looking back at your past!!

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  12. I love the idea of a leg lamp to go with the chairs... or one of those sconces with an arm holding a torch!

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  13. omg! that chair!!!! hahahahaaha that seriously is like the ugliest thing I have ever seen. And no, we're never tired of your book thing! only wish we could go with you!

    Joni

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  14. the book thing sounds fabulous! i want to go!

    and yes, that chair is one of the scariest things ever, but i'll take the horns flanking that painting, thank you very much!

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  15. Other than the chair and the rug, and the weird maison jansen table on crack with odd dried flowers in a ostrich egg, it's a nice room. oh wait that's almost the whole room minus the painting and the horns. I believe trendy pieces can be good. Look at John Dickinson, trendy turned classic.

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  16. Antony Redmile's pieces are classics, and fantastic, I have a Rams Head life size with a Brass opening crown and an Ostrich Egg on top, around his crown are Malachite stones, it is awesome and we call hime Ramsey, he is the figure head at the end of our Dining Table. Quite Unique.
    Thankyou Antony Redmile for being so you and Unique.
    Elle

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  17. Most of the people posting don't know much about historical design, that's for sure. The chair is pretty awful but the Redmile table next to it is fantastic and there are several other Redmile pieces in the background. Redmile was wildly successful in the late 60s and early 70s but his pieces were not made that well and are very difficult to find these days.

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  19. First you know nothing about J. Antony Redmile and then you post a picture of Sister Parish, a no-talent bigot who was one of the biggest anti-Semites going. Ask David Kleinberg about how she refused to speak to him when he worked at Parish-Hadley.
    You make yourself look foolish.

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