Mark Hampton was a huge influence to me as an Interior Designer. His book Mark Hampton on Decorating has been on my nightstand for a few weeks now. Before that, it was buried in my bookshelf for a couple of years. His passing was un-timely, and his talents are missed. I particularly remember his family being featured in House and Garden, back in the eighties, and their black walls in the LR, and the finely set DR table. The Legends of ID are worth another look…there is something there that we can interpret for today’s interior. His firm is now being run by his daughter Alexa…check it out here.
The rendering of this green DR in Texas was referenced originally in his column in House and Garden in 1984, and subsequently in his book- as are all of the columns, plus a few written just for the book. With chapters like Rooms, Materials, Elements and Styles, the book sucks you into an abyss of watercolour euphoria, featuring rooms like this DR and the beautiful rooms below.
Can you imagine a client getting one of these as a gift after Mr. Hampton’s firm designing the interiors their home? I wonder if he also drew for process? I always wonder this, because as a pretty picture, these finished portraits are beautiful, but have a sense of finality, where a client would feel there was no room for change. They are for that purpose, because most clients will not even pay for rendered elevations. Process drawings are actually my favourite types of drawings, because they are fast, and communicate in a different way than these amazing watercolours by Mark Hampton.
Here are those other watercolours I promised featured in Mark Hampton on Decorating:
A small NY farmhouse from the Chapter Rooms, and the column “Small Rooms, Big Assets”
Bill Blass’s living Room at his 18th-century Connecticut farmhouse
“The spirit of English decorating is rooted in a veneration for the past and a firm
belief that newness is vulgar”
Billy Baldwin’s apartment in Amster Yard in Manhattan
“I can’t imagine not being able to use one of these colors”
“The Incomparable Reds”- his column in the chapter Colour
“Cerise is as formal as oxblood is informal”
Hope you enjoyed the work of Mr. Hampton!