The redecoration of the White House has made Americans decorator-conscious as perhaps never before. Michael Greer, outstanding among American designers, is responsible for the Blue Room in the White House. This book is definitely carriage trade; he assumes a setting on a grand scale, and a pocketbook to match; either impeccable taste or the wisdom to employ an interior designer whose taste cannot be challenged. He has brought together an immense amount of informed material, at times so specifically ""informed"" that it will be unintelligible to the uninformed. He can be witty or scathing or both. He assumes familiarity with a chronology of periods and characterizations of the same -- and perhaps careful study of text and correlating pictures will supply something of this familiarity. His range is wide, going from architectural details to minutiae of accessories, from ceilings to floors, from grand drawing rooms to bathrooms, from the sublime to the ridiculous. He discusses furniture, rugs, draperies, plants, sculptures, paintings, mirrors, lamps and lamp shades, and so on and on. Actually this will be a gift book for that difficult hostess who will be sure it is a compliment and not a criticism; it will be a book to leaf through for its 194 full-page photographs (16 in color) -- and to read with care where the subject matter catches the roving eye, where a hint or an answer to a problem is found. Special.