Book Love – Mario Buatta: Anatomy of a Decorator

Any design lover needs to hop over to Amazon and preorder this book ASAP so it will arrive to you next Tuesday on release day. I was ecstatic to receive an advance copy.  It is not only pretty but chocked full of useful design advice, design history and Marioisms.

Emily Evans Eerdmans was a dear friend and protege of the design giant and is truly the authority on all things Mario.  She also happens to be super talented as an author, designer and style maven.  We traveled to Egypt together in March. 

I have a soft spot for Mario as I have so many fond memories when he decorated and visited my childhood home (SEE HERE) and fun visits to see him in New York throughout the years. He was not only the most talented designer and collector but such fun and a jokester like no other. 

Mario Buatta: Anatomy of a Decorator

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.

I remember his apartment / office like this. It was a bit of controlled chaos. 

I can thank Mario for starting me collecting 19th Century Sporting Paintings and Dog Paintin from a young age. He urged my mother to get me interested with something I loved, which is of course dogs. 

I will share some magical collages on instagram that I have in my office of notes from Mario to my mother over the years. 

Image Courtesy of Estate of Mario Buatta

All images courtesy of Rizzoli 

About The Author:

Emily Evans Eerdmans is a design historian and founder of Eerdmans New York, a fine and decorative arts gallery and consultancy. She is the author of Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration (2013), among others. Patricia Altschul is an American socialite and art collector. Altschul has had several residences designed by Buatta.

Daily Desires: 

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  • August 30, 2023

    franki Parde

    Well…you touched many heartstrings today…especially mine. The design giants…showing their talent and passion…making memories. franki

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