Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The House in Good Taste” as Want to Read:
The House in Good Taste
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The House in Good Taste

by
3.77  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
After ninety years, The House in Good Taste by America's "first lady of interior decoration," Elsie de Wolfe, still offers timeless design advice.

Compiled from her articles in newspapers and magazines and first published in 1914, The House in Good Taste is a seminal book on interior design with ideas that have lasted a century because they influenced not only the wealthy c
...more
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published June 12th 2004 by Rizzoli International Publications (first published 1913)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The House in Good Taste, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The House in Good Taste

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
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
...more
Peg
Nov 11, 2016 added it
Great read with wonderful historic references.
Dianna
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published in 1913, The House in Good Taste by Elsie De Wolfe is a window into what interior design would have looked like at the time—for the upper class. De Wolfe had decided opinions on design and taste and wasn't afraid to share them. Here are a couple of gems I enjoyed:

"There is nothing more abused than the piano. . . I love music—but I am not a musician, and so I do not expose myself to the merciless banging of chance callers. I think pianos are for musicians, not strummers, who
...more
Kristine
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
The House in Good Taste by Elsie De Wolfe is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-January.

A Dover edition originally published in 1913, this is a visual portfolio of Elsie De Wolfe, the U.S.' first interior decorator. The photos show a use of angles to frame the room (arm rests, tabletop corners) and patterns on upholstry, carpets & curtains. There's also a sense of natural light being used against reflective surfaces and white/ivory walls, as well as colonial print bedskirts and comfor
...more
Krista
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: interior-design
A classic of interior design, written in de Wolfe's inimitable warm and witty style, and still relevant for today.
GONZA
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book is like jumping back in time, a century back in time, when the houses were huge and you cannot buy kitchens in Ikea. Fascinating.

Leggere questo libro significa tornare indietro nel tempo di almeno un centinaio di anni, quando le case erano immense e non si potevano comprare le cucine da Ikea. Affascinante.

THANKS NETGALLEY FOR THE PREVIEW!
Lynn Lipinski
Feb 22, 2011 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
Lisa
Apr 20, 2014 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".
Jane
May 01, 2011 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.
Lauren Chong Sng
Apr 19, 2014 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.
Debbie
rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2016
Marieli
rated it really liked it
May 10, 2014
Elizabeth
rated it liked it
Mar 14, 2010
Laurence
rated it it was amazing
Aug 16, 2012
Dallas
rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2017
Holly
rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2017
Donald
rated it liked it
Nov 10, 2014
Mary
rated it it was ok
Mar 25, 2009
Denise
rated it it was ok
Jan 26, 2013
Shirabyoshi
rated it really liked it
Aug 22, 2014
Marta Vielhaber
rated it liked it
May 31, 2016
Gabrielle Swinnea
rated it really liked it
Sep 27, 2014
Danielle Forbes
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2015
Rachel
rated it it was ok
Apr 03, 2013
KU2
rated it liked it
Apr 09, 2013
Mollie Peterson
rated it it was amazing
Jul 14, 2016
Deborah
rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2015
Gretchen
rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2011
Michele Gavaletz
rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2016
Flaubertian
rated it liked it
Jan 19, 2017
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Decoration of Houses
  • The Letters of Noel Coward
  • Warming the Stone Child: Myths and Stories about Abandonment and the Unmothered Child
  • Scaling Down : Living Large in a Smaller Space
  • Frank Lloyd Wright: The Houses
  • The New Architecture and the Bauhaus
  • Style and Idea: Selected Writings
  • Music and Imagination
  • Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details
  • Home-Making
  • Bazaar Style: Decorating with Market and Vintage Finds
  • Do It Gorgeously: How to Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products
  • Sara Midda's South of France: A Sketchbook
  • Among the Tibetans
  • House Beautiful Decorating with Books: Use Your Library to Enhance Your Decor
  • In Front of Your Nose: 1945-1950 (The Collected Essays, Journalism & Letters, Vol. 4)
  • Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living
  • The Odd Woman
14 followers
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
More about Elsie De Wolfe

Nonfiction Deals

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    $10.74 $1.99
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    $13.95 $1.99
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    $11.74 $2.99
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'm Just a Person
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
    $9.74 $2.99
  • The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New
    $8.24 $1.99
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
    $27.99 $4.99
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman
    $12.99 $1.99
  • A Man Without a Country
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Murphy's Boy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
    $12.99 $1.99
  • History of God
    $5.99 $1.99
  • My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Essential Rumi
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Name of God Is Mercy: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    $10.74 $2.99
  • Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War
    $13.99 $1.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
    $8.24 $1.99
  • How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (A Harvest Book)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
    $6.99 $2.99