Our First Press!
The day we met Mario Buatta, he arrived at our mother’s apartment for a photo shoot with Architectural Digest complaining of indigestion. Mother, concerned for his well being, quickly offered some Tums or Alka Seltzer which he declined. Mario then proceeded to shut himself in her tiny bathroom for quite some time, alarming our mother even more. When he finally emerged, he took a seat on her couch and proceeded to pass gas during the entire interview. Needless to say, our mother (who is a lady and has only raised daughters) was speechless… until Mario stood up and removed a whoopee cushion!
Palm Beach Bedroom
Houston Living Room
Everyone who knows Mario knows he’s a prankster, that he loves bad puns and will have you laughing on the floor if he had his way. While he’s New York born and bred, his glamorous interiors span the globe and still, he remains down to earth even after being so much in the public eye. We’ve been fortunate to work with him on several projects, including a Regency-style library which he did for the Kips Bay Showhouse in 2006.
A Stylish Vignette
Kips Bay Showhouse – 2006
His fifty year career is now being celebrated in a new book to be released next Tuesday by Rizzoli. With 432 pages of beautiful design, this tome is destined to be a classic and not the least bit “chintzy” (pardon the bad pun!)
Fifty Years of American Interior Decoration
Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Our dear friend, decorator Mario Buatta, called the other day looking for foxglove plants for clients in Texas and though we haven’t featured these plants in our collection in years, we were more than happy to oblige. Given his love for classic English style and use of floral prints, Mario is the so-called “Prince of Chintz” (a nickname he received twenty-five years ago).
Mario Buatta - Living Room in New York
Mario Buatta - Bedroom in Houston
With its hand-drawn, exotic flowery patterns and beautiful colors, Indian chintz (from Hindi meaning sprinkled or sprayed) was introduced to the English by the British East India Company in the 1600’s. The fabric’s soft texture and easy maintenance (compared to the wools and linens that were de rigueur in those days) made it an instant success and its popularity has never faded.
Lee Jofa - Smithfield Parnham
Some may think of chintz as fussy and old-fashioned, but we think that the new patterns being introduced by the likes of Celerie Kemble and Cath Kidston are fresh and fun. Mario couldn’t agree more – “Every decade has had its chintz. It’s like having a garden in your house year-round, and it’s cheaper!”
Hazelton House - Anne Dorothea Fabric
Celerie Kemble - Hot House Flowers
Photos from Architectural Digest, Lee Jofa, Hazelton House and Schumacher