Words of Interiors

Literature that proves the impact a single room can have on our entire being... 

Celebrating four decades of The World of Interiors, the magazine's team recently published an anthology of written depictions of interiors as a extra inside their usual offering. 40 pen-portraits of rooms, buildings and decor, spanning from 21st century novels to 18th century letters, are illustrated by words and language to paint a picture. It is as much about what is described as it is about what is left out, but most of all, the literature extracts further emphasise the impact a single room can have on our entire being. 

So moving that this compilation was, we have decided to share a few of our favourite descriptions with you, alongside imagery of some of our most swooned-after homes and dwellings. Enjoy!...

"There is no virtue per se in antique furniture. Every nuance needs to be considered when putting something old where something new might go... Buy the beautiful, the grotesque, the evocative, the insane, if it be of exquisite quality and craftsmanship so much the better. Don't be scared of buying the heroic, just please don't buy what everyone else does. And when you've got all of these things, wear them out with carousing and go out and get some more." — Christopher Gibbs, Aesthetics on the Skids (1967).
The English estate of photographer Erik Torstensson.

"I sit with my back to the beautiful central garden. There is no easy chair. When I am exhausted, I lie on the floor. I like the way the windows go from floor to high ceiling. No curtains. I prefer nothing or shutters. The carpet comes from Christopher Legge and is a mad Matisse Oceania of pineapples and zigzags like a pin-table. It's the kind of carpet everyone else thinks is a mistake. You need a pair of Ray-Bans. But my motto is Bugger Beige."

"Not much wall space because of the books, but a pencil drawing by Mark Alexander of his Japanese ex-girlfriend. The weight of the almost straight graphite lines could be the actual coarseness of her black beautiful hair. A masterpiece. Sometimes I work in the kitchen as well." — Writer Craig Raine describes his working space in My Room (2008).[Image of Louise Bougeois home and library.]

"Objects in use for centuries (the house, table chair) were once good, but now no longer fully do their job. In order to make them meet our needs we must design them encumbered by the weight of history." — Annie Albers (Bauhaus), Economic Living (1924).
"And then: the Potters' living room. It is a great room, and it should properly be entered to a flourish of trumpets, maybe Bach - anyway something small but perfect and imperishable in the way of Bach. The whole house is perfect, and ever so slightly creepy because of that, save for this, the living room, which is so magnificent it transcends its own pretensions, with its wall of French doors that open onto the square of grass bordered by a rose thicket, as if nature itself were a series of rooms not unlike the one you're standing in - outdoor rooms with viridian carpets and ceiling clouds by Michelangelo and blossoming dark green rustling walls." — Michael Cunningham, By Nightfall (2010).
Carlo Mollino house, Turin.
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