Billy Baldwin
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York, 1974, English
Nonfiction, Interior Design
ISBN: 9780151120703

From the Publisher: A resplendent memoir by the dean of decorators of his more than 40 years of creating beautiful things for fascinating people. Billy Baldwin writes intimately of Greta Garbo, Cole Porter, Mary Wells, Gilbert and Kitty Miller, Mrs. William Paley, Diana Vreeland, the two Jackies (Kennedy and Onassis), and others of his famous clients. He gives us as well an irresistible account of the dark side of decorating—the impossible clients—in stories that are wickedly funny, not least because of Baldwin’s perpetual astonishment in the face of the absurd (the Broadway producer who wants a sofa covered in a “material I've never seen, ideally, one that has never ever been made,“ or the playwright who orders him to buy false book spines to fill her bookcases. Through these pages teeming with invaluable decorating hints, the reader can trace the development of the theories that have made Baldwin the most sought after, admired, and imitated decorator on two continents. But the greatest pleasure will be in getting to know Billy Baldwin himself: his love for beauty, his nearly superhuman tolerance of idiosyncrasy, and his gentle, accepting humor.

On 4 book lists
Dominique Browning

A delicious memoir, disguised as a design book, which chronicles the lifestyles of mid-century High Wasp society. It contains a rather astonishing chapter on two visits with Jackie Kennedy. The first took place a week before President John F. Kennedy's fateful trip to Dallas; the other three weeks after he was assassinated. Baldwin was asked to decorate a house for Mrs. Kennedy and her children that she had quickly purchased in Washington. One doesn't stop to think about how difficult it must have been for the newly widowed First Lady, her life shattered, to have had to suddenly move house, and give her small children a new, warm, and secure sense of home. Baldwin's descriptions are sensitive and fascinating.

Ernest de la Torre

Baldwin was one of the great visionaries who made beautiful and comfortable homes—reading about the people for whom he designed them was fascinating.

Alexa Hampton

See my comment on Billy Baldwin Decorates.

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