THE DECORATING BOOK by Mary Gilliatt

THE DECORATING BOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Decorating à la mode--in the mode, that is, of department-store model rooms. Presumably, these swank interiors exist somewhere--they're pictured in color photos (of what look, usually, like actual rooms)--but given the ""cleverly-planned bathroom-study"" (tile floors and matching, tile-encased tub; antique desk and chair), one does wonder. This is cosmetic interior design, in any case, for--need it be said?--people of considerable means. The very few installations that could be duplicated at little cost are Spartan cells prettied-up--like the ""tiny, low bedroom"" for which ""a minimal, uncluttered approach"" is advised (meaning an iron bedstead, one small round table, one or two straight wooden chairs); even an overnight guest would be inconvenienced in such quarters, and without a decent light or a comfortable chair, no one could remain there. But it's the look that's of the essence here, not living arrangements. Somewhat more utilitarian--or at least utilizable--are the two ancillary sections: a Sample Book of wallcoverings (papers, laminates, tiles, etc.), drapery and upholstery fabrics, and miscellaneous floorings (nothing so mundane, however, as vinyl); and a directory of Furniture and Furnishings which describes and illustrates hundreds of items--from a 1670 Japanese cabinet to toilet-paper holders. Shopping information is provided for the Sample Book items, so this could serve in the absence of nearby showrooms. Mostly, though, it's for up-scale ogling (and a few good laughs).

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1981
Publisher: Pantheon