“word to the wise” wednesday — billy baldwin

Architectural Digest Billy Baldwin Woodson Taulbee Living Room

When you’re decorating, you must learn to break rules, but not all of them.  Take the case of pattern on pattern.  Some decorators today think you can willy-nilly mix prints.  Not so.  This only results in confusion.  There always must be some connection if you are using more than one print.  It can be the color, curves, or line, but the connection must be there.  I also think it is very important to establish a connection when you mix pieces of furniture that have different provenances.  They must become good neighbors.  It is possible to place a superb modern table next to an antique chair, but if you put a reproduction table next to an antique chair, it will look wrong.  There wouldn’t be any connection at all.

Billy Baldwin

Billy Baldwin NY Studio ApartmentI read Billy Baldwin: The Great American Decorator by Adam Lewis over the holidays, and it is fan-flipping-tastic.  Seriously, it is so so good.  The last third of the book is devoted to a verbatim transcript of the “Decorating Today” lectures that Billy gave at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.  Did I mention that the book is so so good?  Order it.  Today!

Top photo by Billy Cunningham via Architectural Digest.  Interior design of Woodson Taulbee’s apartment by Billy Baldwin. Bottom photo via the Wall Street Journal, where it appeared courtesy of Rizzoli/Horst.  Interior design of Billy Baldwin’s New York studio apartment.  

“word to the wise” wednesday — markham roberts

Markham Roberts Hudson Valley House Living Room

Because of the nature of my job, I am always thinking about how I’d like to improve the place. … The wants go on and on, but rather than drive myself crazy about what I can’t do, I decided to rethink what I have and make it work until I can do the things I would ultimately like.  It isn’t very attractive to always be thinking, “I want, I want, I want.”  So I try to remember to take a breath, look at everything we’ve already been able to do, and be grateful for what we have.

Markham Roberts, on decorating his own home

What do you think about “Word to the Wise” Wednesday?  As I work to freshen up my blog content, I’m taking a hard look at what works and what doesn’t.  I still love design-related quotes, but I’d love to know if it’s something you find interesting as well!

Decorating the Way I See ItOne idea I had was to take a “deep dive” into various design books … perhaps using quotes from the same design book for several weeks.  Call me crazy, but I actually read them — and I love the insight they provide into other designers’ creative process.  Thanks, Santa, for my copy of Markham Roberts’ Decorating the Way I See It!  Sweet friends, this book is a must-have for your design library.  And the snakeskin print cover is divine.  

Over to you.  Should I keep W2TW Wednesdays?

Markham Roberts’ monograph available on Amazon.com.  Image of his Hudson Valley House via My Design Chic.  Their blog post on Markham showcases many of his amazing projects!  

traci zeller