Saturday is Kansas City’s Dining by Design. A while ago, the most charming gentleman called me and asked if I could do a table. I was thrilled! I was flattered! I was chairing something else the same night. Darn. But, I would be happy to make a donation to their silent auction.
But what to get for the party guests who, presumably, have everything? A chic and sophisticated crowd, I needed to put some thought into what to donate. Nearly anything I would want to pass along would not be fitting for this soiree.
Also, icky to just pick up something new. Think, think, think. Ah ha! Vintage design books. Some folks will have their own collection, but the hunting and gathering does sometimes stand in the way of what one wants and what one has the time to find.
So, off to Spivey’s, a most wonderful spot that carries rare, out of date, and, ok, used books. Also, a fine selection of maps and vintage and antique prints. You could stay and hunt for hours if you had the time. There is always at least one dog there and sometimes more, which is just plain right. If I ever own my own business, I’m taking my dog to work.
Up the stairs, down the hall past military and U.S. history is architecture, city planning and interior design. The interior design books are actually in a closet with the door removed. I’ve never been, not once, when I didn’t walk away with something very good.
One time, many years ago, I stumbled across Mark Hampton’s On Decorating. First Edition. Signed. If not the Honus Wagner card of design books, certainly in the top ten.
For Dining by Design I picked up Colefax and Fowler, The Best in English Interior Design, House and Garden’s Complete Guide to Interior Decoration, Inspirational Interiors by Roger Banks-Pye of Colefax and Fowler and House and Garden’s Best in Decoration. I also acquired AD’s Designers’ Own Homes, published in 1984. There is room in the nifty tote that goes with, but, well, it has this house of Hadley’s and I’m not sure I can part with it. I guess you’ll have to stop in to find out just how altruistic I am.