The Decoration of Houses

Front Cover
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1897 - Decoration and ornament - 204 pages
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User Review  - Abbess - LibraryThing

long out of print classic, lovely pix. Wharton's writing is fun, interesting to see the stylistic differences compared with her novels. Sumptuous package in this new edition, with very good extra notes and other information. Read full review

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User Review  - carterchristian1 - LibraryThing

Delightful to look at, but who lives this way except the very rich ? Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
25
III
34
IV
48
V
64
VI
74
VII
89
VIII
103
X
122
XI
134
XII
145
XIII
155
XIV
162
XV
173
XVI
184
XVII
196

IX
106

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Page 32 - Each room in a house has its individual uses: some are made to sleep in, others are for dressing, eating, study, or conversation; but whatever the uses of a room, they are seriously interfered with if it be not preserved as a small world by itself.
Page xii - De la distribution des maisons de plaisance et de la décoration des édifices en général ». Paris, 1737.
Page 9 - ... accepted as the necessary laws of the various forms of art. Thus, in reasoning, originality, lies not in discarding the necessary laws of thought, but in using them to express new intellectual conceptions ; in poetry, originality consists not in discarding the necessary laws of rhythm, but in finding new rhythms within the limits of those laws. Most of the features of architecture that have persisted through various fluctuations of taste, owe their preservation to the fact that they have been...
Page 2 - Houses, that architecture and decoration could be set right "only by a close study of the best models"— and these, she made plain, were "chiefly to be found in buildings erected in Italy after the beginning of the sixteenth century, and in other European countries after the full assimilation of the Italian influence.
Page 198 - Modern civilization has been called a varnished barbarism: a definition that might well be applied to the superficial graces of much modern decoration. Only a return to architectural principles can raise the decoration of houses to the level of the...
Page 187 - Anyone could acquire bibelots — all you needed was money. But not anyone could collect or acquire objets d'art: Good objects of art give to a room its crowning touch of distinction. Their intrinsic beauty is hardly more valuable than their suggestion of a mellower civilization — of days when rich men were patrons of the "arts of elegance" and when collecting beautiful objects was one of the obligations of noble leisure.
Page 17 - ... that none of them precludes the exercise of individual taste, any more than the acceptance of the syllogism or of the laws of rhythm prevents new thinkers and poets from saying what has never been said before. * * * All good architecture and good decoration must be based on rhythm and logic. * * * To conform to a style then is to accept those rules of proportion which the artistic experience of centuries has established as the best, while within those limits allowing free scope to the individual...
Page 5 - This rule naturally holds good of house-planning, and it is for this reason that the origin of modern house-planning should be sought rather in the prince's...
Page xxii - When the rich man demands good architecture his neighbors will get it too. The vulgarity of current decoration has its source in the indifference of the wealthy to architectural fitness. Every good moulding, every carefully studied detail, exacted by those who can afford to indulge their taste, will in time find its way to the carpenter-built cottage. Once the right precedent is established, it costs less to follow than to oppose it.
Page 25 - Men, in these matters, are less exacting than women, because their demands, besides being simpler, are uncomplicated by the feminine tendency to want things because other people have them, rather than to have things because they are wanted.

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