Read The House in Good Taste by Elsie De Wolfe Free Online
Book Title: The House in Good Taste|
The author of the book: Elsie De Wolfe
Edition: Rizzoli International Publications
The size of the: 29.15 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2567 times
Reader ratings: 4.8
Date of issue: June 12th 2004
ISBN 13: 9780847826315
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
After ninety years, The House in Good Taste by America's "first lady of interior decoration," Elsie de Wolfe, still offers timeless design advice.
Compiled from her articles in newspapers and magazines and first published in 1914, The House in Good Taste is a seminal book on interior design with ideas that have lasted a century because they influenced not only the wealthy clients of Park Avenue and Palm Beach, but popular taste as well.
De Wolfe advised Americans to shun ostentation and clutter in favor of simplicity, to dismantle the draperies in order to let in the light, and to replace garish colors with beige and ivory. "I believe in plenty of optimism and white paint," she declared, "comfortable chairs with lights beside them, open fires on the hearth and flowers wherever they 'belong, ' mirrors and sunshine in all rooms." The rooms that Americans inhabited in the middle of the twentieth century still today owe much to de Wolfe's tastes.
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Read information about the authorElsie de Wolfe (1865-1950) was the first professional interior designer in America. She believed in achieving a single, harmonious, overall design statement, and felt that the decoration of the home should reflect the woman's personality, rather than simply the husband's earning power. De Wolfe introduced a startling freshness to the elaborate, heavily fringed and tasseled Victorian design sensibility of her time.
Before de Wolfe began helping her friends with home decoration around 1900, American homes had never been "designed." Upper-class women called in curtain makers, furniture salesmen, wallpaper hangers and other craftsmen, and then attempted to arrange these elements themselves. While carrying on the tradition of decorative surfaces and harmonious color combinations, de Wolfe cleared away the thickly curtained and upholstered look of the nineteenth century. Having spent summers in France, she had come to prefer the light, gilded interiors of Versailles and the delicate lines of eighteenth-century French furniture.
Elsie de Wolfe was born in 1865 to a fashionable New York City family. In 1884, she began an acting career, appearing in A Cup of Tea. At this time she met Elisabeth Marbury, who would become a lifelong friend and companion. Never an unqualified success in the theater, de Wolfe continued to act in various productions in the United States and abroad until she was in her early forties. At one stage of her career, while she had her own theatrical company, she planned all the stage designs, impressing her audiences with her great fashion sense, her fine eye for color, and her ability to create a harmonious environment.
By the early 1910s, de Wolfe had developed her own distinctive style, which included bright colors, fresh paint, and easily maintainable surfaces. One visitor described de Wolfe's home as a "model of simplicity in gold and white." De Wolfe covered dark wood with white paint, removed heavy draperies from windows to let in the light, and covered furniture in chintz. Her book The House in Good Taste (1913) has influenced several generations of designers. In addition to the Colony Club, de Wolfe's important design projects include the homes of Mrs. George Beckwith, Mr. and Mrs. William Crocker, the Barrymore, and Henry Clay Frick, as well as a dormitory for Barnard College in New York City.
In 1926, de Wolfe married Sir Charles Mendl and moved to Beverly Hills, California, where she continued to startle her contemporaries with her innovative designs. She was probably the first woman to dye her hair blue, to perform handstands to impress her friends, and to cover eighteenth-century footstools in leopard-skin chintzes.
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