Mark Hampton on Decorating

Mark Hampton, Author Random House (NY) $24.95 (251p) ISBN 978-0-394-57987-0
Between 1984 and 1987, designer Hampton wrote a delightful column for House & Garden ; magazine; those who followed it will savor the short essays and nine new pieces collected here. Written in an easy, conversational manner enhanced by the author's very evident enchantment with interiors, the articles comprise a ``common reader'' on design, touching on areas of basic concern to decorators--colors, styles, plans, raw materials. Hampton opens each with anecdotes about his favorite rooms--which happen to be the very best of their kind--engaging us in a personal and spritely shoptalk. Read individually, the pieces gather momentum; unfortunately, when read consecutively, their careful construction reveals a formulaic style. Decorated by the author with charming watercolors and black-and-white sketches, the book seeks the look of a one-of-a-kind object much like Hampton's line of designer furniture. Well aware of the quixotic nature of his field, he is careful to avoid the quicksand of the soon-to-be-forgotten trend, and if one theme resounds throughout, the volume, it is that the most sought-after goal in decoration is the expression of individual style. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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