Markham Roberts is the man! I mean, he has such an innate sense of style—why he can do anything! One of my new favorite designers. I received a copy of his book: Markham Roberts: Decorating The Way I See It.
Love porches—so in the first two pictures, he had me. The full color, double-page photographs of his design automatically pull you in. There is so much to love here.
There is: Contrasting period pieces with feminine colors and patterns like paisley and William Morris-type prints is comforting. Now toss in painted furniture, colorful walls (or maybe a repeating print wallpaper or fabric), add a rug with more pattern and all that against dark wood floors; hang some beautiful octagon-shaped mirrors (in pairs of course)—Whew! Perfection.
His rooms have lots of pattern play, shiny reflective surfaces, unique pieces of furniture, and interesting décor against color. Everything fits hand-in-glove and the attention to detail in tablescapes and over-the-top floral accents is genius.
“Everything fits hand-in-glove…”
Roberts also talks about the business of decorating and how it can go very wrong—I love that. For anyone who has chosen the wrong paint color, chipped the art, or were disappointed in a delivery—this is a breath of fresh air. Almost no designer talks about failure or disappointment in their books.
And in Decorating, you will see surprises. Like a python-covered conference table in his office, faux finishes and funky rugs.
He walks the reader through the all-important floor plan, and explains room symmetry and planned seating arrangements all the while looking for the mood, the purpose and playing up how the room “feels”. I love this book.
Roberts is a fan of the double-sided settee (why is this not a market staple?). It is actually an old concept: being able to face your lover while sitting on the opposite side of a couch. You will love the upholstery and pattern against pattern—and it is all anchored with a faux fur throw. Hello, I’m there. We could go on as the book is broken up into the step-by-step design process from floor plan and layout, to color and fabric, furniture and so on. Building a room.
You will love this book. There is so much education of the eye in here, and with each additional viewing, something new is discovered. Plus the text is straight-forward and exceptionally personal. One of my favorite areas is the double-spread photographs of powder rooms pages 94-95. That alone is fun and worthy. If you need to be taught or simply inspired, this book should be on your list of must reads.
Markham Roberts: Decorating The Way I See It by Markham Roberts, principal photography by Nelson Hancock. New York: The Vendome Press. ISBN: 978-0-86565-312-2. 256 pages, 300 color illustrations; $60 US/$69 CAN
About: Markham Roberts began his career working for acclaimed decorator Mark Hampton and opened his own firm in 1997. His work has been published in Architectural Digest, Domino, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Southern Accents, Town & Country, and The New York Times.