Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937; Codman, Ogden / The decoration of houses
Introduction, pp. xix-xxii
xxii Introduction get it too. The vulgarity of current decoration has its source in the indifference of the wealthy to architectural fitness. Every good moulding, every carefully studied detail, exacted by those who can afford to indulge their taste, will in time find its way to the car- penter-built cottage. Once the right precedent is established, it costs less to follow tha.n to oppose it. In conclusion, it may be well to explain the seeming lack of ac- cord between the arguments used in this book and the illustrations chosen to interpret them, While much is said of simplicity, the illustrations used are chiefly taken from houses of some impor- tance. This has been done in order that only such apartments as are accessible to the traveller might be given as examples. Un- professional readers will probably be more interested in studying rooms that they have seen, or at least heard of, than those in the ordinary private dwelling; and the arguments advanced are indirectly sustained by the most ornate rooms here shown, since their effect is based on such harmony of line that their superficial ornament might be removed without loss to the composition. Moreover, as some of the illustrations prove, the most magnifi- cent palaces of Europe contain rooms as simple as those in any private house; and to point out that simplicity is at home even in palaces is perhaps not the least service that may be rendered to the modern decorator.