The Decoration of Houses

Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman Jr.

Grace Conlin (Narrator)

12-01-95

5hrs 50min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Nonfiction/Drama/Performing Arts

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Play Audio Sample

12-01-95

5hrs 50min

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Nonfiction/Drama/Performing Arts

Description

“The practical advice, with its emphasis on simplicity, still has a wide application. A book with enduring appeal.” Kirkus Reviews

One of the classic works on interior decoration, Edith Wharton's The Decoration of Houses offers a comprehensive look at the history and character of turn-of-the-century interior design. Cowritten with architect Ogden Codman, Jr., this invaluable reference provides us with numerous keen and practical axioms for house design, such as (1) The better the house, the less need for curtains, and (2) the height of a well-proportioned doorway should be twice its width.

In the words of John Barrington Bayley, President of Classical America, "this book has charm. The Decoration of Houses brings to mind the pictures of Walter Gay: There are the reflections in looking-glasses, and on parquet, and the garnitures of chimney-pieces, boiseriers, the odor of wax; outside the tall glazed doors there is a sunny silent terrace, we are now at Mrs. Wharton's Pavillon Colombe—a well laid out parterre, a rose garden, and an orchard of Reinette apples and luscious double cherries."

Praise

“The practical advice, with its emphasis on simplicity, still has a wide application. A book with enduring appeal.” Kirkus Reviews

“Wharton and Codman took a reformist stance, suggesting that clients stop treating the interiors and the exteriors of their houses as separate projects and start seeking more simplicity and less ornament. Wharton had an opportunity to play architect and decorator herself in Lenox, Massachusetts, where (with the help of professionals) she built the Mount, a Georgian mansion with a cascade of beautiful gardens. She wrote to her sometime lover Morton Fullerton, ‘Decidedly, I’m a better landscape gardener than novelist, and this place, every line of which is my own work, far surpasses The House of Mirth.’” New Yorker

Details
More Information
Language English
Release Day Nov 30, 1995
Release Date December 1, 1995
Release Date Machine 817776000
Imprint Blackstone Publishing
Provider Blackstone Publishing
Categories Arts & Entertainment, Home & Garden, Architecture, House & Home, Nonfiction - Adult, Nonfiction - All
Author Bio
Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) is the author the novels The Age of Innocence and Old New York , both of which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She was the first woman to receive that honor. In 1929 she was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Fiction. She was born in New York and is best known for her stories of life among the upper-class society into which she was born. She was educated privately at home and in Europe. In 1894 she began writing fiction, and her novel The House of Mirth established her as a leading writer.

Ogden Codman Jr.

Ogden Codman Jr. (1863–1951) was a noted architect and interior decorator. He is the coauthor, with Edith Wharton, of The Decoration of Houses, which became a standard in American interior design. Codman’s New York clients included John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Frederick William Vanderbilt. 

Narrator Bio
Grace Conlin

Grace Conlin (1962–1997) was the recording name of Grainne Cassidy, an award-winning actress and acclaimed narrator. She was a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC, and won a Helen Hayes Award in 1988 for her role in Woolly Mammoth’s production of Savage in Limbo.

Overview

One of the classic works on interior decoration, Edith Wharton's The Decoration of Houses offers a comprehensive look at the history and character of turn-of-the-century interior design. Cowritten with architect Ogden Codman, Jr., this invaluable reference provides us with numerous keen and practical axioms for house design, such as (1) The better the house, the less need for curtains, and (2) the height of a well-proportioned doorway should be twice its width.

In the words of John Barrington Bayley, President of Classical America, "this book has charm. The Decoration of Houses brings to mind the pictures of Walter Gay: There are the reflections in looking-glasses, and on parquet, and the garnitures of chimney-pieces, boiseriers, the odor of wax; outside the tall glazed doors there is a sunny silent terrace, we are now at Mrs. Wharton's Pavillon Colombe—a well laid out parterre, a rose garden, and an orchard of Reinette apples and luscious double cherries."

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