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Mario Buatta: Anatomy of a Decorator

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The first authoritative assessment of Mario Buatta by a protégée of the decorator. Never-before-seen archival material is culled to present the design master as someone who remains impactful in today’s world of maximalist interiors.

This book presents the design tricks and decorative life of Mario Buatta (1935–2018), one of America’s most famous interior decorators. Drawing upon Buatta’s vast archives and revealing the foundations of his work, which include hundreds of presentation boards, more than eighty scrapbooks chronicling his career, and correspondence with clients and such design notables as John Fowler and Sister Parish, Anatomy of a Decorator illuminates the designer’s work with a focus on influences, process, and evolution. His very last projects, not included in Rizzoli’s comprehensive book on the decorator in 2013, are evaluated and provide readers a masterclass in decorating à la Buatta. Ribbons, needlepoint, fine English and American antiques, floral chintzes, blue-and-white porcelains, lacquerware, botanicals, vibrant color combinations, and whimsy abound.

Chapters include a close look at the important figures who guided his trajectory, including Nancy Lancaster, Rose Cumming, Keith Irvine, and Albert Hadley; an assessment of how the designer catapulted from Staten Island without a college degree to become a household name; and a breakdown of Buatta’s design vocabulary and how-tos. This book is an essential addition to the libraries of design aficionados.