Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"these are not frivolous pursuits"

"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, Mark's daughter, is now at the helm of Mark Hampton LLC, 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,
Linda Pakravan

*I added the italics


  1. Anonymous24.7.14

    No indeed. Nothing frivolous about this room. I've been studying your beautiful photographs and keep coming back to the desk vignette. Love that Acropolis-ey sculpture so much.

    The quote you've provided is brilliant and reassuring to those of us a tad obsessed with making our homes the best they can be.

    1. Thank you! That desk (and room) was fabulous in real life; the pics don't do it justice by half.


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