Read Em or Weep

I meant to do a Mother's Day post. It had been bouncing around in my head even though I think Mother's Day is something of a Hallmark holiday. (Not that I have anything against Hallmark; we are not a one-horse town around here, but if you come to look over our stables you'll see that Hallmark is something of a Clydesdale. Now I'm mixing Missouri metaphors, as Clydesdales are associated with Busch which is headquartered on the Eastern side of the state.)

In any event (or holiday), I've had Mark Hampton, An American Decorator and The Great Lady Decorators, The Women Who Defined Interior Design, 1870 - 1955 (because every good book needs a nifty subtitle) sitting on my desk/bedside table for about a month.

I wanted to suggest, in the post that wasn't, that you should buy both of these books for any design aficionado on your list or yourself if you are so inclined. As a pair they would make a mother of a gift, or at least I think so as one of the most interesting parts of this blog odyssey has been to learn more about design history.

I would hate for someone who is firmly entrenched in the designers of the day to think these books have no relevance. I think you will see the influence of these past decorators and perhaps be inspired as well.

As for aforementioned designers of the day, take note. Those names of decorators past which trip so easily from our tongues are likely to have tomes of their own. The book is the thing. Pity me who can enjoy volume upon volume of Dorothy Draper, but must make do with a few glimpses of Ruby Ross Wood, leaving me to toss and turn over what I must have missed. A page or two here, a page or two there (including 251 of Regency Redux, and if you don't own that one, you need it as well - now I have spent your lunch money for the month) is not nearly enough.

You've been warned. Regardless of your talent - publish or perish.

Images from top, Mark Hampton by Duane Hampton, Rizzoli, photography by Scott Frances; Michael S. Smith, Houses, with Christine Pittel, Rizzoli, no photography given for this image; The Great Lady Decorators, design by Rose Cumming, photography by Wendy Hilty; Ruthie Sommers via her site,; The Great Lady Decorators, Rizzoli, design by Madeleine Castaing, photography by Antoine Bootz; Miles Redd via

I received The Great Lady Decorators and Mark Hampton from Rizzoli and maybe Regency Redux as well; I'm a little foggy.

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