Thursday, April 28, 2011

Florence de Dampierre on Walls

I just finished reading Florence de Dampierre's latest book, Walls: The Best of Decorative Treatments, in anticipation of her lecture next Thursday at the Atlanta Decorators Show House. Unfortunately, I just realized that I won't be able to attend as I'll be getting things together for a Derby Party that evening. (Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I've been worrying about how to attain the proper shade of green for the Benedictine Dip.) But, all is not lost because I do have Florence's book, and let me tell you, it's really quite good.

Walls covers the history of decorative wall treatments like wallpaper, stencils, wood panels, and murals. I know that to some people, the word history is enough to make them run for the hills, but please don't let that deter anyone from reading this book. While the text is really very interesting, I think that what truly makes this book a keeper are the beautiful photos by Tim Street-Porter, Pieter Estersohn, and other photographers. There are images of historical rooms with all kinds of stunning wall treatments (think Caramoor, Beauport, and Schonbrunn) as well as contemporary work by the likes of de Dampierre, Annie Kelly, and Alberto Pinto. Just take a look at the photos below and I think that you might agree.

Florence's lecture will take place at the Atlanta Decorators Show House on Thursday, May 5 at 4:00pm. For more information, click here.

A colorful mirrored room with gilt bamboo molding by Howard Brodsky. Pieter Estersohn, photographer.

The Chinese Cabinet room at Schonbrunn in Vienna. I've seen this room in person, and it's truly unforgettable. Photo from Bridgeman Art Library.

The late Dodie Rosekrans' San Francisco dining gazebo. Tim Street-Porter, photographer.

A Parisian study inspired by the Robert Adam designed Etuscan dressing room at Osterley Park, England. Pieter Estersohn, photographer.

Framed Chinoiserie scenic wallpaper in an early 20th century home. Pieter Estersohn, photographer.

A powder room designed by Thomas Beeton; the Chinoiserie fresco was executed by Dana Westring. I also must say that the black lavatory is good looking as well. Tim Street-Porter, photographer.

All images from Walls: The Best of Decorative Treatments by Florence de Dampierre, © Rizzoli Publishers, 2011.


  1. Absolutely lovely wall treatments.
    Thank you for sharing and I will buy this book immediatley!!

  2. What a great surprise to see one of my John Tackett Design projects! The photo is reused from a SOUTHERN ACCENTS article about the improvements to a wonderful old Volk Estates home. In collaboration with Dallas decorator Josie McCarthy, the persimmon glazed Garden Room features framed painted Chinese wallpaper that Josie had acquired for the Dining Room in the owners' previous home. All the panels are the same height, but I designed the frames on a module to accomodate the different widths. They will be featured in a future post in The Travellers series of The Devoted Classicist blog.

  3. John- How exciting!! I just love that those framed panels. Really beautiful.

  4. All beautiful but I especially love the last oh so charming powder room - that fresco is stupendous!!

  5. Great post Jennifer!

    Love what you love...

    Dean, Naples

  6. This is a top notch book. I cherish to copy I won.

  7. This is a great book, I am a designer/decorative artist and just did a post on English print rooms which are featured in the book. It is some what of a lost art and very time consuming but well worth it. The print room in my home is done with color prints as I was looking for more of a modern version of a classic. Love your post.
    Photos of my space are on