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Sheer Opulence (Decor Best-Sellers) Hardcover – October 1, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
If only he had brought these talents to bear upon his own interiors, which are at their best merely whimsical and at worst faintly tawdry. The gorgeous photography serves to reinforce the notion that all interior decoration is somehow suspect. Use of materials and architectural detail is arbitrary to a fault.In short, nothing quite rings true, and the quality of Character that this designer admires in the works of his predecessors is disconcertingly absent from these hollow excercises. Perhaps when Evelyn Waugh's Mrs Beaver noted that "decoration is not an exact science" she gave the world something to chew on.
Several years ago Mr Haslam moved into the Hunting Lodge, lived in previously by the great John Fowler. A double paged spread illustrates a corner of the diminutive Sitting Room. A bulky sofa having an array of "accent" cushions is thrust further into the room by a table behind it, and above that table are 18century French engravings in gilt frames. The effect is ludicrous. One hardly expected Nicky Haslam to dupicate the Fowler scheme, but at the very least he might have honored the spirit of the place, and restrained himself from tarting things up.
Nonetheless, this is a fascinating glimpse into a sort of unreal, fantasy world where publicity and social skills count for
something alarmingly persuasive. Being a good interior decorator isn't in the least a simple matter, yet the myth lives on in these pages.
Anyone can follow the rules and create a nice room, it takes a creative mind to go beyond that, and this book shows that.
Well, what a disappointment. The cover of this book shows a really lovely, restrained yet homely and restful interior, and definitely whets the appetite for more; then you get into the body of the book and discover it's full of some of the naffest, most dated rooms you ever saw in your life.
If you are a faux-toff desperate to make your newly-minted money look old, Haslam is obviously your man. He seems to love his frilly-knicker curtains, gopping rococo antiques, and fussy fabrics and upholstery; never layers the passing of time or incorporates the patina of age and wear; and he absolutely doesn't know when to stop. It's like a caricature of 'posh', and exactly how a sink-estate dweller who's won the lottery might furnish his new country pile.
Haslam's colourways are also very dated (I suspect the publisher didn't bother to incorporate any of Haslam's newer work), and his room treatments devoid of any real interest because everything is simultaneously excessive and totally bare of any real personality. Even in paperback, and even if you merely bought this book to accustom your design eye to tastes that aren't your own, this book is a complete waste of time and money. I'm returning my copy to Amazon, and you should save yourself the trouble of even borrowing it from the library.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book arrived in just a few days and was in very good condition. While Mr. Haslam's style is not always what I would choose for my own personal decor, I admire his daring and... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Nancy McLean
I absolutely adore Mr. Haslam's book on his hunting lodge home. I have learned a lot and just think his taste and style is absolutely wonderful. Read morePublished on July 1, 2013 by Vermont artist
I totally disagree with some of the reviews above; Nicky Haslams' designs are timeless; if you're a fan of his you'll love this book ; if new, welcome to his world. Read morePublished on April 6, 2013 by sonyag
tacky, dated interiors that might delight the nouveau riches. Good photos, 'tho.Published on February 4, 2004