Mario Buatta’s name may be synonymous with chintz, but his interiors are about so much more than a cotton floral print. With a dazzling mastery of color and an expert layering of patterns and objects, he created glamorous rooms that radiated joy and romance.
No matter where the style pendulum was swinging during his nearly sixty year career, Mario stayed true to his philosophy of the “undecorated” interior, based on his deep affinity for the English country house style which he found, in his own words, “effortless and without forethought. Those houses and their collections had been added to, built up slowly for generations, and their continuous use for centuries had given them a special aura, a patina all their own which any decorator would find hard to duplicate.”
Mario’s version of this style is undeniably American in its exuberance and optimism. Indeed sitting in one of his rooms is like sipping a glass of champagne – one can’t help but feel that life is as fizzy as an RKO musical. Perhaps this is why so many of us are celebrating his work anew. A glass of champagne and happiness sounds like just the thing these days. Lightness and gaiety were everything to Mario, and behind all his gags and jokes (many terrible) was his desire to entertain and amuse, to remind us to not take it all too seriously. Mario’s point of view was anything but frivolous – it is as life-affirming and profound as it gets.
-Emily Evans Eerdmans