One really has to appreciate these wonderful reprints of then-contemporary works. In this case, a collection of full page, full color illustrations/designs of interiors from the art deco/moderne period, assembled at the time in 1935. Owing more to Le Corbusier and the more austere European aesthetic than the glamour of Miami or NYC, the heart here is of clean forms of modern materials. As the preface states, the desire is to get away from living in an antique store of oak furniture and clutter; instead, the goal is simplicity through modern materials like glass and steel.
The book contains 48 residential rooms covering most areas of a home: from bathroom to sitting room, living room to storage. Of note, kitchens are oddly missing from this collection but you’ll find other interesting ‘interiors’ such as terraces. A recurring theme in nearly all the plates is that the walls are not for hanging so much as part of the living space; furniture is nearly always built in and a part of the house structure. Beds, desks, couches, even dining room tables are almost always attached to or built into a wall so as to be inseparable if one moves homes. Few items of furniture are free standing and closets are envisioned as part of a wall block and not a separate room.
Since the illustrations are contemporary to the period, they are an authentic account of the period’s architecture and design styles. Clean lines, few pictures, typically wall-to-wall rugs with geometric designs and patterns. Especially striking are the childrens’ rooms with built in beds and desks that look clean and admittedly very sterile.
The book contains a simple one page publisher’s note and then another one page note from the original compiler, Delacroix. Plates are full page with only a simple title (room type, owner). Most are sketches of final room appearances but some plans are also included for several areas. Because they are sketches of how a room will be completed, we get a really nice picture of how pieces are put together – from furniture to color schemes, custom carpets to accents. The cover image is very indicative of what you will find inside.
In all, the 48 sketches are nicely presented and this is a great resource for the moderne (more than art deco, to be honest) movement. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.