A smooth line of chatter about entertaining, decorating home and office, choosing gifts, and such--in the fashion of the Horchows and their (mostly) famous friends. Practical pointers are few and old-hat--like the advice to serve buffet food that will fit on a single plate. Mostly, Horchow tosses off assorted suggestions (for, say, flower arrangements) or discourses at length on a particular situation (like preparing breakfast for weekend guests) or describes, in detail, an ""exciting"" room or gift or celebration of his experience. Most amenable perhaps to the discursive treatment is the chapter on ""The Art of Collecting""--a paean, really, to the pleasures of collecting with some applicable advice (on storage and insurance) and obvious applicability, too, to the author's business interests. (Suggesting--none too brightly--endangered plants as a worthy collection, Horchow adds: ""I have been leaning in that direction in the catalogue by offering lithographs of the endangered flowers that Fleur Cowles painted for us."") The muted commercialism is a minor irritant, however, compared with the smug self-congratulation and the constant celebrity-stroking. (After telling us, for instance, that ""Mildred and Edwin Knopf. . . gave a new house intimacy and charm by making a photo album of their halls and study,"" he simpers: ""You probably know who the Knopfs are: Mildred is the author of several enchanting cookbooks. . . and Edwin is the famous movie producer who worked with such stars as. . .""), Even those who swear by the catalogues may find it a bit much.