How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century


I'm on somewhat of a decorating spree at the moment, so the arrival of How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century has come at the perfect time!

This book captures the individual approaches of sixteen icons of style: Lady Diana Cooper, Evangeline Bruce, Louise de Vilmorin, Sybil Connolly, Hélène Rochas, Gabrielle van Zuylen, Mona von Bismarck, Pauline de Rothschild, Babe Paley, Elsa Schiaparelli, Fleur Cowles, Pauline Trigère, Bunny Mellon, Dominique de Menil, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Lesley Blanch. Author P. Gaye Tapp analyzes each of her subjects’ refined way of living, how each embellished her residences (or left them elegantly stark), and the long-lasting effects on today’s generation of designers and connoisseurs of beauty.

The book is presented in four sections that describe the aesthetic approaches that the women took in decorating their abodes: “The Fashionably Chic”, “The Unconventional Eye”, “In the Grand Manner”, and “Legacy Style”. Each interior illustrates the crucial aspect of the woman’s definitive taste. Some worked closely with decorating legends such as John Fowler, Albert Hadley, Billy Baldwin, Syrie Maugham, and Jean-Michel Frank. Others took to the task of decorating single-handedly—like Pauline Trigère, Sybil Connolly,  and Fleur Cowles. The interiors of these trendsetting women defied their time and inspire and delight to this day. In How They Decorated, one can learn from the most notable style muses of the last century.

Thanks to Rizzoli for a review copy of this fantastic book!

Babe Paley

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