Chaos, Progress and Mario Buatta

Today my house is completely topsy turvy. If you rang my door bell and I invited you in, you’d be here for about 30 seconds before you would suddenly remember you had a pressing engagement elsewhere.  And I wouldn’t blame you, I’d run, too.  But I live here.

You know how something prays on your mind…something you’ve been putting off.  The weekends are filled with friends and activities, places to go and things to do.  But then a weekend arrives, and you know.  You know there are no more excuses…time to get down to it.

The office closet is finally getting painted,

As is the crown molding…

And the new baseboard and quarter round that was added when the hardwood flooring was installed.

With this new resolve and temporary burst of insanity energy, I decided to just make things as crazy and chaotic as possible, and paint the hall linen closet, too.

It’s even getting new shelves…more on that later.

The office has some new additions (I’ll share those soon) and they have me in a book ordering mood.  Today on a lark, I decided to look again to see if Mario Buatta had ever written a book.  I love Mario and not just for his decorating/design work but also for his sense of humor and for being a true gentleman.   Once before, while doing a search for any books he had written, I found a You Tube video where he had been interviewed many, many years ago.  The woman who was interviewing him seemed hostile at times, asking questions of Mr. Buatta that almost sounded like he had committed a crime and was being grilled for answers.

I was so impressed because never once did he show any irritation or lose his cool.  He was a complete gentleman.  I already loved his design work, but that day I knew I really liked the man, too.  So today, I looked once more.  Surely Mario has written at least one measly little book I could happily add to my new bookshelves.

Again, I was unable to find even one book on his amazing career and work.  I only found two books where he had written the introduction or foreward.  One of those I already own…the other has been ordered.

But I did come across this delightful interview in the Home and Garden section of The New York Times.  I’m happy to say, Mr. Buatta’s sense of humor is still beautifully intact.  And he loves one of my favorite magazines, Garden and Gun!  Ha!  Who knew?

Now, please Mr. Buatta…won’t you write a book for your loyal and book obsessed friends?  Pleeease?

Pssst:  You can see the completion of the hall closet here: Painting the Closets and Office Trim

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  1. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says

    That looks like my house every time I start any kind of project. I am always amazed at the kind of mess I can make in order to just change a couple of things. How wonderful to have everything so freshly painted. Hugs, Marty

  2. Barbara F. says

    I believe Mario Buatta lives in my little borough of Staten Island. I had a friend a while back who used to go to dinner with him from time to time. He is a true gentleman. xo,

  3. I love Mario, too. I think I published that link recently to the NYT article on my FB page. I don't believe that he has ever published a book. Many magazines have published his work, though. You can probably search the archives of AD, Veranda and Southern Accents, particularly.

    I don't envy your mess but I need to do the very same thing!

  4. Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) says

    Susan, I know what you mean when it comes to a burst of energy and the touch of insanity that comes along with it.. You are a much braver soul than I am to show all the chaos involved when it comes to painting, I too am painting.. will have to rethink showing all the work involved prepping the area.. then again it would show how "all" the work involved.. good luck with your project this w/k and your the new bookshelves.. hugs ~lynne~

  5. I love Mario Buatta's style… wish we were related so he would do my house! I'm off to search for that youtube video.


  6. Divine Theatre says

    My fits of energy are more "bursty", I think! For example, I am sitting outside having my morning coffee. Suddenly I grab a can of spray paint and I am painting a template on the lawn. The shovel…call the landscape supply for compost…Home Depot…plants…at the end there is a garden. Who knew! LOL!
    I am, however, all FOR organized energy bursts. I just never had one! Every time I plan something it never happens!
    Your room is already lovely. I cannot wait to see the finished product!

  7. Wow! I'm impressed with your ambition for the weekend! And I think YOU should think about writing the book about Mario's life and design… just a thought. Happy Saturday. 🙂
    Heidi @ Show Some Decor

  8. Designs By Pinky says

    Lordy, I am the QUEEN of one project leadng DIRECTLY to another one!!!! I am insane too:):) But it feels SO good to get these things DONE! Your office is going to be spectacular and I am a BIT jealous….OK, ALOT!!!! XO, Pinky

  9. Mario Buatta, the Prince of Chitz? I use to see his designs back in the 90s and loved them. Couldn't afford him but loved his designs any way.
    I looks like you'll have a fun weekend painting.

  10. Sometime would you share your top 5 or top 10 decorating books you love? Good luck on the project. I see where Mario wrote a forward in 3 books on Amazon. Look forward to seeing the end results of your projects….as are you I'm sure!

  11. Blondie's Journal says

    I don't envy you…cleaning out an office must take days…all those files and papers and gadgets. The things you FIND!! But it will all be worth it in the end! Hang in there!


  12. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Toni, that would be fun. I was just thinking about doing a book post since I just added some bookshelves to the office. I'd love to hear the top five for everyone!

  13. mississippi artist says

    You make me tired! I wish I had the energy to get up and start cleaning my closets, but I don't! Maybe I need some vitamins.

  14. FABBY'S LIVING says

    Well Susan, you're a woman of job started, job finished!, I don't blame you, it's awful to have something in the back of your mind that's not finished, I hate it too. I love Mario Buatta, the king of schintz! Can't wait to see this interview and thank you for sharing. Lots of hugs. FABBY

  15. That looks like my place now–and I am not even in the middle of a project! LOL [sob, sniff]

    I can't wait to see the projects you mentioned! I bet they will be great!

    (waiting for my burst of energy!)

  16. I agree with all the comments so far. My house looks like a hurricane came through, oh yes she did, 2 years old and named Abree Claire! Not that she needed much help!

  17. Karin Şen Cankan says

    Can I give you a hand? Way to go Susan you the hardest and the best.

    Easy come.

    Have a good (work) weekend.

    Karin Şen Cankan

  18. Everything always gets worse before it can get better. I hate doing big jobs like that because I know there will be such a mess. But once the work is finished and everything has been put back in place, your closets will be beautiful inside and so organized!
    Your office will be very pretty, I'm sure, as well.
    Hugs, Cindy

  19. On Crooked Creek says

    WoW! It must be the moon or something…."Mr. Ed" and I just did a makeover of the guest room closet!!! I'll post about that in the near future! Don't know if it was energy boost, boredom…or just time to get it done??? I'm already enjoying the transformation! The daughter~in~law said, "WOW"! when she opened the bifold doors! I'll be anxiously awaiting to see your finished project!

  20. Susan, be sure and show us you freshly painted closets and trim! You always motivate me!
    Please do post your favorite decorating books. I looked for your list on the sidebar a couple of weeks ago, because I was in the mood for a new decorating book. I decided you must have removed it when you redid your blog design. I ordered some Nell Hill books last year that you had recommended. I have really enjoyed them.

    Have a wonderful weekend of painting! That's right—get it all out of your system so you can just go antiquing next weekend!

  21. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks! It's almost done…and I'm whipped! Whew! Antiquing next weekend sounds wonderful!

  22. Envoy-ette says

    I'm actually relieved to see a little mess in your home! Now I know even a Wonder Woman like yourself has a day of mess! I'm sure it will be finished and even better in no time!

  23. sweet violets says

    I love Mario…the king of chintz!! Everything will be fresh and clean when you are done…..creative disorder is necessary….hugs…cleo

  24. Tammy at Tammy Loves Dishes says

    Susan, you have given me a new "excuse" for my mess, which sadly is not the result of a project, but is just a hot mess. From now on I'm saying, "Please excuse my mess, I'm in the middle of a painting project." They don't have to know the project is taking me ten years. 🙂

  25. I feel the same way about Mario Buatta, and also couldn't believe he'd never written a book when I looked him up some time ago. But I'll have to check out this interview, and the youtube video.

  26. Tabitha O. says

    I love making a mess and then seeing the after of projects, getting ready to make a huge mess as we rip up the carpet and paint the cement floor! Your link to your favorite magazine just made me homesick for the South, I really miss it.

  27. Gypsy Heart says

    Thank you for sharing! Looks like something I do when I start a project. I know you're going to be so happy to have all this completed!


  28. Yvonne @ StoneGable says

    Projects always seem to make big messes, consume mammoth amounts of energy (and money),and make me want to tear my hair out and say a bad word… until they are done. Then they seem worth it. Sorta like childbirth, right?
    xo Yvonne

  29. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Yvone, that's a great way to describe it.

  30. Wow, I spent today going through my kitchen cupboards and re-arranging things. Since I've gotten this certain bug for dishes lately I've been needing more space! I had the luxury of a fun day yesterday, but today turned into my kitchen project. I think it's that time of the year…

  31. I am in love with your porch!! You did a fabulous job with it. I have a front porch and back deck. I spend a lot of time there.

  32. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Thanks, Vicki! Porches and those outdoor spaces are the best! 🙂

  33. Violets Are Blue says

    Hi Susan ~ We are in the process of finishing the basement in our bungalow walk-out. I don't let anyone in our front door. With all the stuff that was in the basement now in the living room, dining room, hall and family room we would qualify for an episode of Hoarders. I don't even want to come home after work. Now drywall dust is EVERYWHERE. Good luck with the painting, we are just starting the primer coat on the basement walls, then the 2 coats of good paint. I may be ready for a soft white room before this is all done. Perhaps you would like to visit and paint all the miles of trim still to be done here? I just popped over and read Mr. Buatta interview. He's a RIOT! I agree, he needs to dish it all out in a book. Patty/BC

  34. Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage says

    My house looks very similar right now! Of course, I've got to get it cleaned up b/c everyone wants to come over after my feature in Romantic Homes magazine in the September issue! Your beautiful white PB office is partially to blame for the mess! I bought a lovely white desk and hutch at the Habitat ReStore, and moved that in my office, moving the old bookcases and all on them into the living room and hall! Blah!!! Hopefully I'll get stuff put back together so folks can come over!

    ~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

  35. The Tablescaper says

    I have a couple of projects that need energy like that and I just keep putting them off.

    Funny, I too have searched for a book by Mario Buatta. I was hopeful as I began reading. Too bad.

    – The Tablescaper

  36. I know Mario Buatta, and he is a very amusing man. He did a lecture for me once about designing Blair House in DC. He was introduced, and came out in a fright wig and gold buck teeth. He loves practical jokes. He does have a book out now. on Amazon.

    • I would love to meet him, he cracks me up. I was so thrilled when the book came out! Cynthia, have you ever watched the old video that’s on YouTube from 1981? The interview really gives an insight into how he works. Here’s the interview if you haven’t seen it. Next time you see him, tell him he has a big fan down in Georgia! 🙂

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