Monday, October 07, 2013
Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of Fabulous
Over the years, there have been certain sentiments that I hear expressed time and time again. One of those sentiments is, "When is Mario Buatta going to do a book?" Well, thankfully for us, that question has been answered in a really grand way.
Written by Mario Buatta with Emily Evans Eerdmans, Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Decoration is a hefty tome (seriously, you need to use both hands to pick it up) that covers the decades-long career of the great designer. Thanks to beautiful color photos of numerous projects, the reader can witness the evolution of Mario's career from young designer of the 1960s to the legendary Prince of Chintz of today. But the sense that the reader will likely get, I think, is that Buatta's evolution as a designer has been incredibly subtle. Mario obviously knew what he liked from a young age and stuck with the chintz, dog paintings, porcelain, and English antiques, even when these furnishings weren't always the rage. (I would argue, though, that these furnishings never really go out of style. They're too classic to do so.) And what is also quite impressive is that the same client names appear in the book over and over again. Mario's clients are very loyal to their designer, and their repeat business must be a testament to Mario's talent, not to mention his charm and sense of humor.
And speaking of that legendary sense of humor, Buatta's comic relief is evident throughout the book. (You would be disappointed if it wasn't there, wouldn't you?) When you get your copy of the book, you must read Mario's introduction. It is laugh-out-loud funny and off the wall, too. All in all, this is a book that you'll thoroughly enjoy. You'll also be glad that you added this soon-to-be classic to your design library.
I first saw this photo as a child in the 1980s. I didn't know who Mario was back then, but I remember thinking that whoever he was, I wanted to know him. He looked like a lot of fun.
You'll notice that most of the photos I chose to use here show bedrooms. Mario is a champ at decorating bedrooms, which always look so feminine and so comfy.
Mario also has a wonderful sense of color.
One of Mario's more recent projects: the Manhattan apartment of Hilary and Wilbur Ross.
I'm predicting that the pennant valance is going to make a comeback.
All images from © Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Decoration, Rizzoli New York, 2013.