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Jayne Design Studio

Classic Principles for Modern Design

Published 03.31.21

Lessons from Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman’s The Decoration of Houses

Interior designer and decorative arts historian Thomas Jayne takes on the redoubtable Edith Wharton and her co-author Ogden Codman, whose 1897 book The Decoration of Houses is acknowledged as the Bible of American interior design. Wharton and Codman advocated for classical simplicity and balance, replacing the excesses of the Gilded Age. In Jayne’s view, “The Decoration of Houses is the level-headed, indispensable book on the subject. It is not an overstatement to say that it is the most important decorating book ever written.”