Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration

Mario Buatta: Fifty Years of Design has been on my table for a little while now and I happily had some time today to remove the plastic wrap and dive in!

Mario Buatta

A lover of chintz, I have always been a fan of The Prince of Chintz.

Notice how much we have in common, he…

Mario Buatta

I am only able to show you the back of chair in my home due to the “current construction” taking place but you will get the picture, me…

Mario Buatta

One of my favorite stories related in the introduction has to do with a neighbor from Mr. Buatta’s childhood.  He tells about the pride he always had in his Italian heritage and describes a woman in the neighborhood who “walked around with her nose in the air”.  Upon asking his mother what her attitude was about he was told “Her forebears came over on the Mayflower.”  He continues, “A few years later they were moving and outside of the house were these big vans labeled Mayflower Moving and Storage.  I told my mother, ‘Look! Mrs. Adams is going back on the Mayflower.'”

I suppose this has a certain appeal for me due to the fact that the Mayflower Moving Company figures prominently in my childhood!

He is a legend…

Mario Buatta

I love his scrapbook pages and in particular this rendering of the “Buatta Family Tree”…

Mario Buatta

a verse from “The Prince of Chintz Song” written by Christopher Mason recounts

“His famous doggy pictures

With ribbons on their frames

Became the rage on Park and Fifth

And even in St. James”

I can think of nothing better than a fabulous display of man’s best friend…

Mario Buatta

Hmm, maybe I am missing some ribbons and bows…

dog portraits

(by the way, those doggy portraits are the work of my talented friend Ann Brock!)

I love this Manor House Master Bedroom done for a 1976 show-house room.  The mix of pattern, the carved deer trophy, the painted floor inspired by an American quilt, what’s not to love?  And, it is as current today as it was in 1976…

Mario Buatta

“People have laughed at me over the years, but the same people are now hanging pictures from sashes and bows, and using chintzes like there’s no tomorrow”  -Mario Buatta…

Mario Buatta from the New York Times

image via The New York Times

Emily Evans Eerdmans sums it up –

“The Mario Buatta look has come to define an era in American culture as ebullient and luxuriant as the beauty of his rooms.  The pendulum of fashion swings back and forth, but Mario has always been secure knowing that beauty and comfort never go out of style.”

This tome is one to be read and re-read, perhaps while sitting on the chintz…

dogs on chintz

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  1. sally randall says:

    love this! just cruising through some doggy pics last night ( we have a few that come to the horse show) so I am Loving the blue ribbon on the doggy paintings.

  2. says:

    I love the way he always uses dog portraits and lots of blue ribbons!

  3. Lisa Darnell says:

    I do love a nice chintz!!! And prints on other grounds, too

  4. Sara Margaret johnson says:

    I met him in High Point a few years ago and he seemed like a really nice man.

    • says:

      Lucky you! Just from reading his introduction in this book I know that he would be lots of fun!