Saturday, July 18, 2009

the domino manifesto--and a Declaration of Independence

OK, today I'm going to start working my way slowly through my entire run of domino magazines. And opening the Spring/Summer 2005 issue, what do I find but a full page photograph of a piece of domino stationery with the following manifesto hand-written on it:


-- We swear by the 3 R's: repaint, repaper, reupholster

-- Steal ideas from other people's houses

-- Even the insides of closets & cabinets can be beautiful

-- It's OK to NOT BE finished


-- a chandelier is as timeless as a black dress

-- Renters need not be second class citizens

-- sometimes your mistakes become your greatest inspirations

(louis xiv & Eero Saarinen should hang out more often)

-- When traveling -- skip the snapshot & buy something unique for the coffee table


Wonderful advice! And strangely familiar. After all, our Dorothy (Draper, silly!) began 1939's Decorating is Fun with "A Declaration of Independence." And much of Draper's advice is echoed in the domino's manifesto, leading me to think that the spirit of domino was around when the magazine was just a gleam in Conde Nast's eye. And that makes me believe that that spirit will continue.

Check out what Dorothy Draper had to say:

Almost everyone believes that there is something deep and mysterious about [interior decoration] or that you have to know all sorts of complicated details about periods before you can lift a finger. Well, you don't.

This is a book about how to have a good time decorating. If you want to be grim and serious about it don't read another word, for what I have to say is not for you. I don't believe there is any rule in the game that can't be broken.
... you need not be awed by the learned ones. You can spin your own web and make it very beautiful indeed.
Your home is the backdrop of your life, whether it is a palace or a one-room apartment. It should be honestly your own--an expression of your personality. So many people stick timidly to the often uninspired conventional ideas or follow some expert's methods slavishly. Either way they they are more or less living in someone else's house.
You need courage to experiment, courage to seek out your own taste and express it, courage to disregard stereotyped ideas and try out your own.
Don't be in the least disturbed by trends or fashions, or anyone else's advice. They are probably wrong. Be critical--never humble.
Clear fresh splashes of color can do more for a room than any other one thing.
Plan your room for the people who live in it.
Decoration can't be divorced from living or it's not sound decoration.

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