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Diamond Baratta Design    by William Diamond & Anthony Baratta order for
Diamond Baratta Design
by William Diamond
Order:  USA  Can
Bulfinch, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

Over the past twenty-five years, the name Diamond Baratta Design has sparked instant images of color and a vivid style that's a wonder to behold. This book marks an anniversary, but it also highlights the power of aesthetic design. The rooms showcased in this volume have one thing in common above all else: they're elegant, inviting and infused with an energy and passion that seems to seep through the pages.

In their introduction, the authors reveal a secret of sorts. 'The sense that everything is balanced and fine-tuned in our rooms is also due to the fact that we almost always do the architecture as well. In most of our projects, we simultaneously formulate the floor plan and the elevations while we conceptualize the decorating.' Although we don't all have the luxury of rearranging the structural design of our homes, we can benefit from Diamond and Baretta's decades of experience.

This beautiful coffee-table book is organized into sections by the type of design being highlighted. It begins by transporting us into the home of Young Moderns, a couple who hired the designers to decorate a 'six-story Manhattan townhouse to be classically elegant but not serious or stuffy.' From there, we move on to Folk Art, a section that describes the impact of 'decorative objects made by artisans and craftsmen.' The striking difference between the rooms and elements portrayed in these two sections reflects artistic genius, highlighting the way modern eclectic style and comfortable old patterns can coexist and work off each other.

Other sections center around Bold Themes, Modern Pastels and The New Traditionals. From country dining rooms decorated in modern styles to botanically-themed foyers, each page is a treat for the senses. The images of the rooms portrayed call out to readers to be studied more than once, as there's always a minor detail that escapes a first perusal and deserves to be appreciated in greater depth.

Diamond Baratta Design is a breathtaking book. It belongs on the coffee-table of anyone interested in interior design as well as anyone awed by the way color, patterns and motifs can combine to create a living work of art.

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