Mario Buatta’s Timeless Allure

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  1. Andrea,
    What a wonderful interview and photos. I noticed in a lot of the photos that he leaves his ceilings white. Do you know if that is because he uses so much color and pattern on the walls and fabrics? I would be curious his thoughts on painting your ceiling a color. I personally always paint mine other then white.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I have loved Mario Buatta–St. Mario–ever since that first room in the 1969 H&G. Every place I’ve lived, I have done in some version of this style. The 80s were glorious–you could find tons of things commercially and combine them with things you inherited, picked off the street, found in junk shops, whatever, and create this wonderful ambience. If I make it to heaven, I know it will be decorated by Mario Buatta. MY heaven, anyway.

  3. It is impossible to overstate his dominance in decorating in NY particularly in the 1980s when I lived there. As a California raised recent college graduate I was overwhelmed by the kips bay show houses as well as “grown ups” park avenue homes of this time. People with lesser wealth also decorated this way. The thing that separates Mr Buatta as a decorator I think is his sense of humor about it all, his joviality, his sense of fun – despite an underlying scholarly approach (and the fact that he is an artist and brilliant colorist!) Absolutely no pretentiousness. So unlike a Ralph Lauren room (read “stage set”) Mr Buatta somehow managed to create rooms which were real. And people basically forgot about them, had parties in them, spilled wine, their dogs had accidents – they lived their lives. It was a unique period. People were warmer, kinder, more interesting and educated – and not cynical. I chalk this up largely to Mr Buatta and the personal warmth and genuine happiness he brought to American homes. Today is my birthday – what a present Andrea! Thank you for this great, great post!

  4. Mario Buatta has always been my decorating hero, since the early 80’s when his rooms were featured in so many of the wonderful magazine of that time…I have always decorated this way and always will, I love Chintz, lots of color, whimsy, warmth and Dogs…Mr. Buatta opened my eyes and my mind to this and I never looked back…I live in hope that some day in the near future Decorators will come out of the incredibly boring style that exists now which for me shows a total lack of personality or imagination, but fortunately for us who want to boldly go down the color road, we can…

  5. Thank you for the post- it made my day! I was feeling at a loss recently when trying to decorate a home we recently purchased. I have storage full of antiques and even custom chintz draperies from the 80’s that I can’t bear to part with. I suppose I was thinking that my children and grandchildren wouldn’t appreciate this style of decor since they are constantly bombarded with catalogs from retailers that are heavily influenced by the rustic farmhouse trend currently in style. I can’t deny what I love which is anything English. I think I will get those chintz draperies out and hang them!


  6. Thank you for this beautiful testament to the wonderful designs Mr. Buatta has created. I had the delightful pleasure of meeting him at one of his High School Reunions many years ago on SI, NY. The world is a prettier place because of his talents.

  7. Now you’re talking!Through my wonderful book club, I was able to attend a book signing when his book came out. My wife was unable to attend,so I represented us both,and told Mr. B about the huge box of tear outs of his previous work that we have collected over the years and of how pleased we were that he finally has a book to do him justice. I told him that seeing a new room of his is like reading a new book of a favorite author:happy with the anticipation of the loved and familiar and excited about whatever new awaits us.He was totally warm and charming,and we lamented the demise of “pretty” in so much new design. Save us from minimalism and gray!

  8. I just adore everything by Mario Buatta! What a wonderful interview. I really love this series that you’re writing this month. It is so refreshing, after looking through magazines trying to find something pretty and finding nothing but a sea of beige, it is wonderful knowing there are still so many that love old school classically beautiful interiors. Thank you Andrea!

  9. Whata great post !!! So many photos of beautiful rooms. I, too, lament the grey, the minimalist, the boring. It’s worth noting, however, that were I young again– and with the situation of frequent moving to climb the financial ladder facing today’s younger people–I, too, would want disposable, temporary furniture and no fancy draperies to move and to hope would fit my next windows.

    That said, I’m now looking at “downsizing” and wondering who will want my mother’s dining room hutch, the waterfall desk, the poster bed, and the thick wool Bokhara that keeps my farm-y house floor comfy in winter. Not to mention 60 year old kitchen implements.
    And the Remington typewriter.

    Sad days, these, for the lovers of the older furniture who live far from a population center.
    Now to get mom’s pink draperies out of their crate. One bedroom has her draperies, so can another!

    • Your comment sort of debunks a theory I’ve been tossing about: aesthetics between generations. I have many friends whose design styles align more with their grandmother than mother. I thought maybe those of us who grow up with antiques and chintz turn away from it, whereas those who grow up in minimalist/modern turn toward it like Mario. I suppose it’s as simple as we like what we like.

      When my East Coast grandparents died, none of my cousins wanted their furnishings. It was a real shame because they had some fabulous retro chic pieces. Even though they did not want the antiques, we found young buyers who were tremendously appreciative. Of course, you prefer it stays in the family but there’s something special about redirecting it to individuals who truly appreciate quality and have pride of ownership.

      As I stated in the article, my style is that which you, Mother, Miss Patricia and Mario lament. I believe it will evolve once I move into my forever home. Perhaps I will attempt to persuade Andrea to do an entry on my house so that I may offer some insight as to why Millennials often embrace minimalism. Our generation is inundated by technology that’s evolving at a frenetic pace. A monochrome/minimalist home offers a calm escape – welcome static after a dynamic day. There are other reasons such as the one you state, but I shan’t blabber more here!

  10. I am so thrilled to find this blog! I started following Glampad on Instagram recently because I was so thrilled to find someone else who loves true, classically beautiful design! I can’t stand to have the same things as other people and abhor following the crowd! I’m glad that I’m not just out of touch because I’m determined to decorate the way I love! So happy to be here!!!


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