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The House in Good Taste

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  59 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
A collection of writings on interior decoration by the legendary late designer shares the author's stylish emphasis on simplicity, light, comfort, and neutral colors and her practical advice on how to avoid ostentation, clutter, heavy window treatments, and more. 10,000 first printing.
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published June 12th 2004 by Rizzoli International Publications (first published 1913)
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Best Traditional Interior Design
14th out of 56 books — 13 voters
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Julie James
Elsie De Wolfe may have been the first female professional interior designer (and she was half Canadian!) Some of her tips I gleaned from the book include:

- you can't have too many mirrors
- cut fitted plate glass for table tops
- use white muslin or matching gay chintz for curtains and upholstery
- white, cream or gray walls
- realize the advantages of stools and benches instead of tables and chairs
- side consoles are handy when you need a table yet nest at wall when you need space
- She hates Vict
Apr 20, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
A book for those interested in the history of Interior Design. (This is not a modern glossy decorating book). Elsie de Wolfe was a pioneer in the business. Her advice still applies today--no matter what your personal style or budget may be. She was a talent and a wit; she had me laughing out loud at times. I would love to go back in time and "do lunch".
Lauren Chong Sng
Apr 19, 2014 Lauren Chong Sng rated it liked it
Most interesting portion was the chapter on Villa Trianon! Otherwise, the writing style was conversational and difficult to read. People spoke differently during that period.
Lynn Lipinski
Feb 24, 2011 Lynn Lipinski rated it did not like it
For modern readers accustomed to glossy photos of aspirational homes, this book will disappoint. Mainly narrative with only 13 black and white photos exiled to an appendix. But if the reader is interested in time travelling to the early 20th century, to the salons and homes of the upper class. The author Elsie de Wolfe has a strong point of view and tries to offer practical advice, particularly in her chapter on decorating apartments. "When you do begin to buy furniture, buy compactly, buy caref ...more
May 09, 2011 Jane rated it liked it
What a guilty pleasure of a book! Divine photographs, too. Some of De Wolfe's pronouncements make you laugh, but on the whole, she's right on the money.
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Elsie de Wolfe (1865-1950) was the first professional interior designer in America. She believed in achieving a single, harmonious, overall design statement, and felt that the decoration of the home should reflect the woman's personality, rather than simply the husband's earning power. De Wolfe introduced a startling freshness to the elaborate, heavily fringed and tasseled Victorian design sensibi ...more
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