Celebrated American decorator Mark Hampton left an indelible mark on the design field not only through the high-profile projects that made him a household name, such as the George H.W. Bush White House, Gracie Mansion, and the American Embassy in Paris, but also through his writing. In 1989 Hampton published Mark Hampton on Decorating, an expanded collection of his insightful and entertaining columns for House & Garden. The book quickly became the design bible for established decorators and amateurs alike, and now a new generation can enjoy the classic guide with this reprint edition. Hampton’s original text and illustrations are perfectly preserved, and the volume is enhanced by tributes from Architectural Digest editor in chief Margaret Russell and his daughter, Alexa Hampton, an accomplished designer and author in her own right.
The pages are rich with design history and wisdom and punctuated by Hampton’s watercolors and drawings. The designer’s sharp observations and humor enrich each chapter, whether he’s discussing the importance of finding a good upholsterer (“Perhaps there should be a bumper sticker asking, ‘Have you hugged your upholsterer today?’”) or Aubusson-covered pillows (“Personally, I don’t much like lounging on a pillow that is made of some stuff that used to be on the floor”). As Russell writes in the foreword, “It is a book that informs, inspires, empowers, and, quite simply, entertains.” Unlike many current design books, On Decorating does not promise to completely transform your space or revolutionize your next project, but it just may change the way you look at all rooms. And a good eye, like a good book, never goes out of style.