Before and After

I have not read it cover to cover, merely flipped back and forth and oohhed and ahhhed. The HG Complete Guide to Interior Decoration, 1960 is a gem. A few images caught my eye. I’m pretending they’ve inspired some modern day masters. The image above is Violet Searcy.

Whom my big city friend is unlikely to know, but I think his Sag Harbor living room has a similar feel. It’s a bit hard to tell from the camera angle. Trust me.



The Raleigh Tavern room in Williamsburg is certainly color cousins to Sallie Giordano’s work in Farrow and Ball’s The Art of Color.

Edward Wormley designed the room below.

It is just me, or can you see the influence on the Gambrel room?

Natural wall covering, punchy pillows, sculptural lamps?


This is one of my favorite rooms in the book.

Which Bunny William’s barn seems to echo.

The space, above, designed by Richard Kelly, is just as striking as the much blogged Paltrow Hampton’s hangout below.
There are a few images with charming chintzes. This one, likely a multi-colored floral, still reminds me of Peter Dunham’s fabrics.

There’s sure to be more to follow as the book is truly a treasure. As is it’s giver.
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8 thoughts on “Before and After

  1. Great photos – I love look at interiors from that era. I love the first pic, and the Gambrel inspired room (you’re right on the mark there, by the way)!

  2. See, I just knew that it had your name written all over it. All the more reason, you need to publish a book like this!

  3. Looking at the old design books is such fun, especially when you can see influences reflected in contemporary design.

  4. There’s a whole series of this same book from House & Garden going back at least to the mid-193Os, and the 1947 edition–a gift at my mother’s bridal shower–triggered my interest in decorating back when I was in junior high. Since then, I’ve picked up the other volumes, and they’re all excellent, not just because they show the best interiors of their period–most of which no longer exist–but because many of those rooms were done by talented designers who have since fallen into an undeserved obscurity. In these pages, their work looks as fresh as the day it was completed.

  5. Ditto on all of the above – the fact that you came up with these sharp and spot-on observations in in a matter of hours…you DEFINITELY need to do a book…You have a gift with wording as well – you’re the whole package! Go for it!!!

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