Design Taste

Compare your own design taste with some of the world's best designers. And if you find one you like better than your own -- steal it. We won't tell!

A decorator must understand that taste is not a standard but the power to discern, to concentrate. Taste is an appreciation of order and a sure knowledge of what constitutes fitness. These concepts can be learned through education, travel, experience, and living. In learning these principles, the person will come to understand that a room - any room - is simply an enclosure of space and time for a specific purpose. The challenge is to know what is suitable in this defined space.
Albert Hadley, The Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designer

A person with a real flair is a gambler at heart.
Billy Baldwin

Any designer who does not appreciate or know about good food is not a very good designer. The planning of a meal and it presentation - the texture, the color, the tastes, the hot and cold temperatures - are the same concerns that affect an environment.
Robert Kime, Architectural Digest

Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style.
Billy Baldwin

Everyone carries his own inch-rule of taste and amuses himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels.
Henry Brooke Adams, The Education of Henry Adams

Flair is a keen natural sense of discernment, a natural talent or ability that cannot be taught. One has it or not.
Robert Kime, Architectural Digest

Flair is a primitive kind of style. It is innate and cannot be taught. It can be polished and refined. When a person has flair, a grounding in the principle of design, and self-discipline, that person has the potential of being an outstanding designer.
Albert Hadley, The Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designer

Great blends of pattern, like great dishes, must be carefully tasted. And constant tasting is what teaches a cook how to taste.
Billy Baldwin

If you have marvelous taste and know exactly what you want, you don't need a decorator.
Billy Baldwin

It is general knowledge for anyone interested in color that subdued value, intensity and hue make for quieter, less adventuresome interiors. Stronger approaches need stronger knowledge, more experience and flair.
Van Day Truex, Interiors, Character, and Color

It is usually a mistake to impose an individual's taste on a room that has its own....style. Conversely, to put very fine pieces of furniture in a room that is without architectural distinction is as absurd as wearing a tiara with a bathing suit.
Nancy Lancaster

Neither good taste nor wealth... can transform a house into a home, for a home does not consist in the quality of its architecture or decor, but in the quality of the lives that it expresses.
Philippa Tristam, Living Space

Nothing is in good taste unless it suits the way you live. What's practical is beautiful...and suitability always overrules fashion.
Billy Baldwin

So many young decorators are trying to reinvent the wheel, and the results are sometimes very dubious. They're striving to do things that have never been done before. Quite often it is done without authority, without knowledge, and without a background in taste. They need to be educated about the past, and they need a richer vocabulary.
Albert Hadley, The Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designer

Taste is a sharpened eye for the beautiful, the interesting, and the unusual - coupled with the talent to apply all of these to one's life.
Eleanor Lambert, founder of the International Best-Dressed List

Taste is relative and is the sum total of the intellectual and emotional experiences of the individual experiences of the individual. Taste, in order to be positive and vital, must be exercised and developed. Taste is changeable and is influenced by environment. A highly cultivated taste, a taste that is knowledgeable and eclectic, is likely to be exciting and provocative, a personal taste at its highest level.
Eleanor Brown, The Finest Rooms by America's Great Decorators

Taste is relative, but to be positive and vital it must respect the past, accept the present and look forward with enthusiasm to the future.
Eleanor McMillen Brown, Sixty Years of Interior Design

The basic rules of proportion and scale are unchanging. They are reinterpreted according to the needs of the time. I like simplicity and I believe in restraint. Above all, there should be harmony-of proportion, line, color, and feeling. The most important element in decorating is the relationship between objects- in size, form, texture, color, and meaning. None of these is in good taste in itself but only in relationship to where it has been placed and what purpose it is to serve.
Eleanor McMillen Brown

The contemporary eye combines objects and material of the present with objects and materials from the past, not because of fashion but because of one's own knowledgeable eclecticism - the result of one's own varied experiences and cultivated taste.
Eleanor McMillen Brown, Sixty Years of Interior Design

The essence of taste is suitability.
Edith Wharton, French Ways and Their Meanings

The greatest mistake in the world is to believe that so-called good taste is any use without a sense of comfort to complete it.
Sibyl Colefax

The settled, comfortable look of beautiful upholstery makes otherwise austere rooms more cozy and adds to rooms of clinical structure the traditional qualities of charm and comfort. Active, positive taste demands a constantly fresh appraisal of familiar forms - holding on to those thing that add quality, beauty, and pleasure to one's life, disposing of superficial impediments.
Eleanor McMillen Brown, Sixty Years of Interior Design

To develop in taste, quality, and personality one is obliged to respect the past, accept the present, and look with enthusiasm toward the future.
Eleanor Brown, The Finest Rooms by America's Great Decorators

[I like] to preserve simplicity rahter than over-polishing. Fashions are changeable. Taste is in realizing the essence of a place.
Nancy Lancaster, English Country House Style

[on American decorating] We can recognize and give credit where credit is due to the debt of taste we owe to Europe, but we have taste, too - in fact, we're a whole empire to taste. That is my flag, and I love to wear it.
Billy Baldwin

[on taste] The ability to notice, appreciate, and judge what is beautiful, appropriate, harmonious or excellent; a sense of beauty, excellence and fitness.
Robert Kime, Architectural Digest

[Taste] is an evolution and refinement of the one's personal likes and dislikes. This evolution takes place with a constant curiosity and interest in everything. The editing consequently refines the choices and defines taste.
Norma Kamali

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