"We all know that interior decoration
is seen by many as a frivolous career
full of ruffles and flourishes
and preposterous fashion statements,
yet to transform the bleak and the barren
into welcoming places where one can live
seems to me an important
and worthwhile goal in life.
Sometimes the transformation
can stun the eye,
sometimes simply gladden it,
but these are not frivolous pursuits."*
Mark Hampton wrote this in the introduction of his 1989 and first book, Mark Hampton on Decorating. Twenty-five years later and these words are just as important, maybe more so, lending legitimacy and professionalism to a field still not always seen as such. An icon of American design, Mr. Hampton died a short ten years after publishing his first book, on this day in 1998.
Alexa Hampton, Mark's daughter, is now at the helm of the firm he founded in 1976. Alexa's exquisite room for the 2012 Kips Bay Show House contained more than one nod to her prolific father. Designer, artist, author, scholar, educator; we owe him much.
I had the happy fortune to tour the Kips Bay Show House and took these pictures of Alexa Hampton's beautiful room. Tailored, detailed, refined, elegant. A mix of styles and eras, masculine and feminine, yin and yang. Nothing frivolous.
Thanks for reading,
*I added the italics