From the introduction:

“It is refreshing to come across someone who knows about a lot of things, who’s been to many places, and who can wear their knowledge well. The word dilettante (from the Italian word dilettare, meaning “to delight”) was used to describe the daily activities of some upper class English gentlemen. A dilettante dabbled in many subjects—from Renaissance painting to classical sculpture to French poetry. He was a generalist. He had roving sensibilities and followed a subject simply for the sake of acquiring the knowledge.

It takes the sensibility of a dilettante to create elegant eclectic rooms. Eclectic rooms do not have an immediate impact, like an all-white room or a rustic cottage might have. It takes some time to absorb the intention of the mix. These rooms are personal. They are the result of a unique set of experiences and knowledge and the result of careful editing and thoughtful choices. There are no rules—only the sensibility and confidence of the designer. And unlike simpler looks that can be put together quickly, an elegant eclecticism needs time to evolve. Unfortunately, we live in a world of specialists rather than dilettantes…”

Room Recipes

Rockport Publishers