Monday, May 10, 2010

Given the chance ...

... was my answer when earlier this year I was asked if I always wore blue. Seemingly I had worn blue shirts and blue sweaters so frequently, probably daily given my predilection for the color, it had become a matter of remark amongst my students. I've checked in my closet and of the forty-three shirts hanging there twenty-two are blue or blue and white. Simply put, I like blue.

Imagine then the effect this room had (partial photo, I'm afraid) when I turned the page to it. Of all the beautiful interiors in Mark Hampton, an American Decorator, this room is probably the one I would have requested of Mr Hampton had I had the chance.

Mark Hampton, an American Decorator is a book long-awaited - it does not disappoint and lives up to the fanfare. One cavil: there is a pretty major proof-reading glitch - a large chunk of text repeated and a misnaming of a chair - beyond that, perfection.

Nowadays there's an apparently unending stream of books by and about modern decorators in which it seems to me there's little that is not trite. Lack of originality is a accusation levied at Mr Hampton but this book should give the lie to that, if only from the point of view that originality is a quality much hyped in this business but of which little is ever seen.

Photo by Eric Boman.


  1. Blue, so true. I have started bluing my wardrobe-In fact , decided to only buy blue for any new summer clothes(then I saw this pink think) oh well- one consistency with me is inevitable inconsistency. I am glad you returned to this book-it deserves continued praise and interest- my post is about it today as well. I think that Lauder room is pretty fantastic. Gaye

  2. I think my husband's closet is much like yours. Even with his green eyes, he prefers blue. With my green eyes, I much prefer green. i like blue porcelain accents. My everyday dinnerware is Blue Calico. But being in an all-blue room would give me a case of the serious blues.

    I noticed the glitch in the Hampton book. It annoyed me that someone was asleep on this much awaited book. I believe there is a place for originality if it works. But just to be jarringly different to be original lacks staying power, don't you think? A room that helps provide comfort and add beauty to our lives in this day and age is original!

  3. little augury - I have other colors of shirts, apricot, green, pink, but in the form of stripes and I have been known to wear solid pink or orange polo shirts but it is a rare thing. I have an inexplicable aversion to plaids but can tolerate a fine check in blue on white. Blue make me comfortable. Today's outfit: blue blazer, aforesaid blue and white check shirt, blue jeans and black shoes with black socks. Completely recessive, which is exactly how I like it.

    home before dark - my eyes are brown but other than shoes and belts it is not a color I wear. Such an odd thing this color preference. My partner has the most fascinating green-gray eyes.

    A blue room sounds like heaven to me but like heaven probably would need a little light relief! I totally agree about the equation of difference with originality - there's many a paragraph to be written on this subject, but I shall desist. It is a very interesting thing this drive to be original and with it, frequently, a complete lack of understand about sociability, comfort and beauty (to use your phrase)

  4. Blue- I am known for wearing blues and greens. It's my signature so much so I was given a blue and green party by a former employer and dear friend. I attribute it to my auburn hair, white skin and blue green eyes. Unknowing sales people are always trying to sell me orange, yellow and brown but they are just too strident for me. Hampton had wonderful things to say about combining blue and white china against green walls. Best, Kendra