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January 01, 1989|Virginia Gray

Interior Visions: Great American Designers and the Showcase House

BY CHRIS CASSON MADDEN

(Stewart, Tabori & Chang; 1988)

A PICTORIAL TOUR OF 30 of the country's most celebrated showcase houses from metropolitan New York to Texas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and even Hawaii. Featured is the work of such celebrated interior designers as Mark Hampton, Mario Buatta, Albert Hadley and Sister Parrish and Los Angeles' Kalef Alaton, Craig Wright and Janet Polizzi. Included is a broad range of styles: neoclassic, Moderne, French and English Country, American pedigree, sleek contemporary and often lavish whimsy.

The book is divided into sections--halls, then on to living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, baths and finally porches. Glamorous living rooms and bedrooms make up the bulk of the book, but lots of practicality and ideas are found in the smaller sections on kitchens and baths. In a chapter on the history of showcase houses, the author's research has found that the first showcase house was in Hillsborough, Calif., in 1958. Along with an index of the houses shown (only one of which is located in Los Angeles), Madden offers advice on how to find the right interior designer. ($45)

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