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Billy Baldwin Decorates: A book of practical decorating ideas Hardcover – March 1, 1972


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Chartwell Books; [1st ed.] edition (March 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0030010217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0030010217
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Billy Baldwin Decorates is more than a how-to decorating book, although it is a very good one. Baldwin mingled with the wealthy and famous, yet while he name drops, he does it in a matter of fact way rather than a "I'm so cool I can name drop" way. He talks about and shows the work he did for Cole Porter, for instance. Yet despite the name dropping, he was also realistic about mixing luxury and practical living. If you like white walls, spare furniture, and "great rooms", this book is not for you. If you want to decorate a room to be comfortable yet stylish, then it is. Baldwin shows photos of rooms he designed. While some seem period 1960's, and were, others hold up very well. Baldwin also championed using small space effectively. He was very adept at dividing rooms into zones, even small ones, and uses his own one room apartment in Manhattan as an example. Rather than the less-is-more of recent small space design, Baldwin was adept at making rooms so comfortable that the small size didn't matter. He also wasn't ashamed of using inexpensive materials if he felt they seved the purpose well. In many ways, this book, while dated at times, has more to recommend it than recent books on the subject.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Classicdude on March 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a review of the 1972 edition of BILLY BALDWIN DECORATES with a Forward by Cleveland Amory. Tellingly, it is dedicated to his late mentor Ruby Ross Wood (who headed the first department store decorator department and was the ghost-writer for THE HOUSE IN GOOD TASTE). For the uninitiated, some of the most striking aspects of the book are the still-stylish rooms and still-valid advice. One of the Fathers of American Decorating, Billy Baldwin gives his thoughts on interior design illustrated by drawings and photos, in black & white and in color, of his projects. The photo reproduction quality is not to the standards of today's glossy coffee table books, but the content makes up for the short fall. Chapters are Taste and Logic in Decorating, Rooms to Live In, How to Work With A Decorator, The Elements of Decoration, The Bones of a Beautiful Room, Decorating for How and Where You Live, Your Own Personal Stamp, and The Big Question of Change. Each chapter also has informative sub-chapters.

Some of his most famous projects are featured. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to the similarities of two of the most admired -- his own small studio apartment in a modern high-rise building on Manhattan's Upper East Side and Cole Porter's apartment in the Waldorf Towers which housed is late wife's collection of French furniture. Both iconic Bachelor Pads have inspired countless imitations, rightfully so. Although Mr Baldwin claimed that "if you can tell I did a house, I didn't", his sense of style was unmistakeable and a good lesson to us all. This book is a must-have for everyone interested in residential design.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Classicdude on April 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
See my review for the 1972 edition with Forward by Cleveland Amory. This book is a Must-Have for everyone interested in residential design.
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