Curtains and Drapes: History, Design and Inspiration

Jenny Gibbs, Author
Jenny Gibbs, Author Overlook Press $45 (224p) ISBN 978-0-87951-539-3
Hardcover - 978-0-304-34259-4
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-84188-040-2
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-0-304-34817-6
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Gibbs offers an informative chronicle of the place occupied by curtains and drapes in Western European interior design from medieval times to the present. Her window solutions tend to evoke a Masterpiece Theater feeling--the grand elegance of heavy, dark interiors made even gloomier by cutting off window light. Given a stately mansion to bedrape, one might do well to attempt an imitation. Yet modern-day adaptations of the 18th-century look may seem alternately depressing and inappropriate. However, Gibbs guides us well through rooms whose doors and windows are swathed with expensive cloth and lavish trimming. The author also provides examples of 20th-century window treatments--including some quaint art deco interiors that seem chosen to make modernity look a bit ludicrous. But that's true to the range of a rather narrow aesthetic; much here seems to involve fussy ballooned curtains, swags, valances and whatever's ``busiest.'' Some designers, still, will take comfort in the thought that ``more'' may really be better. Illustrated. (Aug.)
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