Sarah Hunter Kelly: Designing the House of Good Taste

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1 Scopus citations


Through discourse analysis, the researcher tracks the lifelong career of New-Yorkbased interior designer Sarah Hunter Kelly (1896-1982) in three distinct phases: traditional projects featuring French antiques, a middle phase blending contemporary and traditional furnishings within mitigated Modern interiors in North Carolina, and a more clearly observed and articulated Modern expression in the New York World's Fair "House of Good Taste" exhibition. Material and visual analysis here suggest a hybrid approach to the interior design profession during its infancy and early development, peeling away distinctions later suggested between interior design and interior decoration. Kelly's career intertwines with her clients across a social network and with other design professionals as she articulates a clear vision for good taste based on Elsie de Wolfe's seminal work on interiors, extending and expanding that vision across a sixty-year practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-89
Number of pages15
JournalInteriors: Design, Architecture, Culture
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2010


  • "House of Good Taste"
  • Interior design
  • Modernism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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