Pauline Metcalf
Acanthus Press, New York, 2010, English
Nonfiction, Interior Design
10 x 12 inches, hardcover, 300 pages, 300 illustrations
ISBN: 9780926494077
Suggested Retail Price: $75.00

From the Publisher. Trendsetter, fashion icon, and wife of an internationally renowned novelist, the interior designer Syrie Maugham (1879–1955) created an ultra-chic world that was as unique as it was influential. Her ethereal all-white rooms of the 1920s and 30s were echoed in high-style interiors around the world and translated into sets for movies and theatrical productions. Much of the look we associate with the Hollywood glamour of the time owes its simple elegance to Maugham’s pared-down aesthetic. Syrie Maugham celebrates the work of this legendary British designer in the first comprehensive study of her dramatic life and meteoric career.

Author Pauline C. Metcalf takes readers on a lively transatlantic voyage through Maugham's world, from the drawing rooms she decorated in London to the houses, villas, and apartments commissioned by clients in the United States and on the Continent. With over 250 photographs and illustrations, Syrie Maugham also profiles the designer's international clientele, a rarified group that included British royals, European aristocrats, American socialites, and Broadway stars. In Maugham's blend of traditional refinement and the Style Moderne, with occasional Surrealist flourish—console tables floating on dolphin bases, fringed sleigh beds, sheepskin rugs, and miles of mirrored screens—this cosmopolitan beau monde discovered a perfect expression of café-society chic.


On 2 book lists
Dominique Browning

We think of Hollywood glamour as quintessentially American, but it actually grew out of the style of an English designer credited with designing the first all-white room. She worked in New York, Chicago, and Palm Beach; many of the techniques she employed are still popular today. Maugham was a contemporary of Elsie de Wolfe’s, and though their tastes differed, each left a profound impression on the history of interior design.

Susan Weber

Explores the fascinating life and talents of Syrie Maugham (1879–1955), wife of Somerset Maugham, fashion icon, interior designer, and mover and shaker in the world of interior design. Particularly noted for introducing all-white rooms and understated interiors mixed with 18th- and 19th-century furniture, she had an enormous influence that ranged from Hollywood film sets to Britain’s royal family.

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