As I have been trotting out my vintage images, a certain "anonymous" reader has been commenting and giving me much-valued advice. Anon suggested I pay special attention to the Louis Gopp years at House and Garden; he also recommended Mark Hampton's monthly column in these issues as particularly informative.
I've been a bit of a Hampton fan. I was very fortunate to find a signed first edition copy of Mark Hampton: On Decorating at Spivey's, one of our used book stores "in town." As I began saving the articles from House and Garden, I realized they had been compiled for On Decorating.
Part of the charm of this book is Hampton's illustrations, some of which accompanied the articles. One of my favorites is "Long Live the Enfilade." The word enfilade means strung along like beads on a thread. This architectural approach to design is classic and enduring and creates particularly lovely views.
Vogue Living, Fall/Winter 2007; Port Eliot, Cornwall, England. Photographed by Francois Halard.
As Hampton notes, the enfilade can be used effectively in houses both grand and modest. The advantage of this layout is the feeling of discovery as you pass through the spaces, and the elimination of what are often dull hallways.
Hampton speculates that the enfilade passed out of favor because the long vistas were difficult to heat and cool and provided less privacy than a more complicated floor plan. Apparently, it's difficult to ditch the servants if your rooms open on to one another in this way.
Mica Ertegun, American Designers' Houses.
As Hampton notes, neither of these factors is a common problem in the modern day.
John Saladino's Robin Hill in Influential Interiors. Guess where he's from?
As I am more a decorator, and less a designer, it's difficult for me to fathom moving doorways three to four inches, but Hampton believes what must be done, must be done.
Spaces Magazine, Zim Loy, designer. Photographed by Landon Collis.
He retells the story of the legendary Albert Hadley and how he threatened to run away from home unless the driveway was repositioned "to form a circle centered on the facade of the house." This is a guy who needs an axis. And yes, as the tale goes, the elder Hadley changed it.
It is a lovely view. I think I'm drawn to Georgians for this reason.
There's a particularly striking sun dial at Christopher Filley's right now (or there was last week) that I'm thinking would be perfection on a stand right in front of that window. It's not for me, you understand. I think I owe it to Mark and Albert.
Drawings, top, all Mark Hampton, Mark Hampton: On Decorating.