In Mario Buatta: Anatomy of a Decorator, Buatta’s friend and protégé Emily Evans Eerdmans has written a fascinating look into the life, style, and inspiration of one of America’s most famous interior decorators. Through archival material including presentation boards, scrapbooks, and correspondence with clients and fellow designers, she explores and formalizes Buatta’s design vocabulary, process, and shares how-tos. In this casual conversation, Margot Shaw talks with Emily about the book, Buatta, and design.
From Mario Buatta: Anatomy of a Decorator
A section of the book is set apart as a “Master Class.” It closely examines three projects presented in chronological order that Buatta completed in the last decade of his life. The Master Class looks at Toad Hall in Aiken, South Carolina; Issac Jenkins Mikell House in Charleston, South Carolina; and River House in New York, New York. Emily notes, “The interiors display the hallmarks of Mario’s style: gorgeous color, an expert mixing of pattern, dressmaker curtains, and a cohesive arrangement that allows a room to function as beautifully as it looks. Each space reveals a master at his zenith.”
The following three images are from Toad Hall.
By Margot Shaw
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By Emily Evans Eerdmans (Rizzoli, 2023)
Emily Evans Eerdmans is a design historian and founder of Eerdmans, a fine decorative arts gallery and consultancy in New York City. She is the author of several other books including monographs on Madeleine Castaing and Henri Samuel. A close friend of Buatta, Eerdmans oversaw the dispersal of his estate, including the blockbuster auction at Sotheby’s. Eerdmans has a Masters degree in Fine and Decorative Arts from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London, and has taught design history at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the New York School of Interior Design.