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The Decoration of Houses

Edith Wharton , Ogden Codman


The Decoration of Houses was a manual that changed the way Americans viewed the decor and use of rooms in their homes. It criticized the heavy, overstuffed opulence of Victorian decor and suggested that space to move through a room be considered as part of the plan and design. Wharton and Codman present space as an element of beauty to be enjoyed as a comfort, rather than an area that needs to be filled. They emphasize decorating with architectural elements such as beautiful ceiling, wall and window treatments. Their focus is on classical architectural design principles such as balance, symmetry and simplicity. Another element of interest to this book is that it may aid readers in understanding Wharton's fictional characters; she often used architecture to communicate her characters' states of consciousness in her fiction.
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