For this Thursday’s throwback room we revisit a cozy retreat decorated by Mario Buatta for the Kips Bay Showhouse sometime in the 1970’s. In a glance we recognize his trademarks – an abundance of floral chintz, painted furniture, slipper chairs and chinoiserie. But, what of the bows, you ask? They’re there, above, painted on to the backs of the white-painted Italian armchairs, and in the last photo, used to hang a Regency genre painting. Given his eye for color and talent for furniture layouts, proportion and scale, this quite dated room does not feel dated at all. The only item that, for me, screams of its era is the needlepoint rug, with its black ground and pattern of stylized white tulips and green leaves. Still, I appreciate its intent in creating a dramatic contrast against the pale floor and to balance the weight of the rather large English lacquered cabinet. And though, today, we tend not to fill our rooms with lacquered furniture I appreciate how they bring levity to the Spring fresh quality of the floral chintz used on the sofa and curtains, all set against verdant green striated and lacquered walls.
The New York Times Book of Interior Design and Decoration by Norman Skurka, © 1976. Photography by Peter Reed.