Billy Baldwin X Benches Footstools
Newly upholstered Hollywood Glam Billy Baldwin X Benches or Footstools by the famous BILLY BALDWIN! These little doll babies are very well constructed and heavier than they look!
Use them in the living room for extra seating when you have guest or keep them tucked away in your bedroom by your bay window.
The dean of indigenous decorators (he abhorred the term interior designer), Billy Baldwin was at once a classicist and a modernist. Though his aesthetic emotions were from time to time stirred by things Continental, in general he disdained the florid, baroque and rococo in favor of the clean-cut, hard-edged and pared-down. Among his early influences were Frances Elkins, perhaps the most sophisticated decorator of her day, and Jean-Michel Frank, whom he described categorically as “the last genius of French furniture.”
Baldwin’s timeless triumph (he, too, considered it the coronet on his career) remains Cole Porter’s Waldorf Towers apartment, with its decisive library of Directoire-inspired tubular brass floor-to-ceiling bookcase-étagères arrayed against lacquered tortoiseshell-vinyl walls. Other cardinal clients included the Paul Mellons; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (for whom he decorated houses in Middleburg, Virginia, and on the Greek island of Skorpios); Diana Vreeland (whose vermilion “garden-in-hell” Park Avenue living room was one of his most audacious creations); the William S. Paleys (whose high-ceilinged living room in the St. Regis Hotel he covered in shirred paisley); Kenneth’s hair salon (a riot of color and pattern inspired by Brighton’s Royal Pavilion); and Greenwich’s staid Round Hill Club.
William Williar Baldwin, Jr., was born in 1903 to an old Baltimore family and grew up in a house designed by the eminent New York architect Charles A. Platt, where “I was given by my parents the present of the wonderful experience of doing my room entirely over, including the furniture.” After briefly studying architecture at Princeton and then grudgingly selling insurance in his father’s agency, he made the ineluctable leap into hometown decorating. By 1935 his work had caught the famous eye of decorator Ruby Ross Wood, who implored him: “I feel I need a gentleman with taste and I have found him in you, wasting away in Baltimore. We must get you away from there as fast as we can. There is obviously no work for you there. The house [you did for] Edith Symington stood out like a beacon light in the boredom of the houses around it. Will you take thirty-five dollars a week?” Baldwin moved to New York straightaway. “I was in revolt against Baltimore,” he later recalled, “a town in which there could not have been more than three or four French chairs. In New York there were thousands of French chairs—and lots of Rolls Royces so the traffic looked better.” After Wood’s death, in 1950, he branched out on his own, going increasingly out on the limb of “simplicity in every way.” Near the end of his life he wrote, “No matter how taste may change, the basics of good decorating remain the same: We’re talking about someplace people live in, surrounded by things they like and that make them comfortable. It’s as simple as that.”
CREATORBilly Baldwin (Designer)
OF THE PERIODMid-Century Modern
PLACE OF ORIGINUnited States
DATE OF MANUFACTUREcirca 1960
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUESFabric,Wood
DIMENSIONS18 in.Hx22 in.Wx16 in.D46 cmHx56 cmWx41 cmD
SEAT HEIGHT18 in. (46 cm)
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