Monday, September 22, 2014

Age Old Design Advice from Famous Experts

Billy Baldwin Inspired Decor
Image: Architectural Digest

Decorating tips from some well known experts.

Some of the best decorating tips are timeless. See what some of the experts have said about decorating that ring true over a century later.

Edith Wharton on Color Choice

Edith Wharton
Image: Belnecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Before becoming a Pulitzer Prize winning author, Edith Wharton wrote The Decoration of Houses in 1897. She advised "the fewer colors used in a room, the more pleasing and restful the result will be." This advice encouraged a limitation of the color palette in a room and no doubt influenced the color pop decor we still see today. With a limited color palette, it is easier to create focal points with furniture, artwork and accessories.

Image: Garrison Hulliger

Elsie de Wolfe on Removing Clutter

Image: Architectural Digest

In 1913, de Wolfe wrote The House in Good Taste in which she recommended keeping "the framed photographs on the writing table, the dressing table, the mantel...but do not hang them on your walls." Elsie de Wolfe's design style came on the tail end of the Victorian era, during which decorating was excessive and cluttered. Her advice is centered around simplicity, not to mention that those framed pieces on a table or mantel add a bit of personality to an otherwise plain piece of furniture.

Image: Real Simple

Billy Baldwin on Rugs on Carpet

Billy Baldwin
Image: Billy Baldwin Decorates

"I like the warm, deep-comfort look of smaller rugs laid right on top of wall-to-wall carpet. The smaller rug could be a bigger scale pattern...or a needlepoint, or a beautiful Oriental." A famous decorator in his own right was decorator to some very famous clients that included Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Cole Porter. Billy Baldwin often placed patterns on patterns and the perfect manifestation of this rule was his placement of patterned rugs on patterned carpet. Don't be afraid to add a little bit of texture and dimension.

Image: Billy Baldwin Decorates

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