Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Dorothy Draper Rules

I bought two versions of Dorothy Draper's Decorating is Fun from e-bay a while ago. The first is a bit of a mystery . Why is the cover green and not pink? Definitely a very early edition, 1939 published by Doubleday Doran & Co New York price $2.79

A revised edition came out in 1962 and I'm guessing mine could be a first edition? Stamped inside the front cover is a message from Doubleday & Company " A personal reading copy for our bookseller friends, whose opinions and criticisms we welcome and value" This was rather more pricey at the time, $4.95

The point is, it's interesting to compare the two. There are no photographic illustrations in the later version and it's on the whole rather disappointing. Dorothy Draper's advice on hanging pictures is always welcome, but she appears to have changed her tune by 1962:

We used to believe that pictures had to be hung so that they were all the same distance from the ceiling, and it was against the rule to hang a large picture and a small one on the same wall. Now pictures are hung in a much more casual manner. A feeling of balance is always important, of course, but it can be achieved by what is under the pictures. A picture should always be an integral part of the group of furniture and accessories over which it hangs. I'll admit that obtaining this sort of balance is not nearly as easy as having all your pictures the same size..



Search me if I can see much difference in her hanging strategy but it certainly looks a lot more convincing in the later version.


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  2. Love this one Rosa! We check your blog daily.. xx


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