Frances Elkins

Interior Design

Stephen M. Salny (Author)

With a Foreword by Albert Hadley


The career of Frances Adler Elkins (1888-1953), sister of renowned Chicago architect David Adler, spanned more than three decades.

An avant-garde decorator and arbiter of taste, Elkins was celebrated for inspired designs that integrated various periods and styles, from country French to chinoiserie to art deco, and featured furnishings by such modern designers as Jean-Michel Frank and Alberto Giacometti. This book offers a tour of twenty-nine luxurious Elkins interiors, including several collaborations with Adler. Elkins's illustrious clientele extended from coast to coast and as far afield as Hawaii, including many private and public commissions in northern and southern California and the Midwest. Generously illustrated with 160 stunning color photographs as well as black-and-white photos, the book includes a list of selected clients and a visual inventory of selected furniture, fabrics, wallpapers, and accessories favored by Elkins.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • July 2005
  • ISBN 978-0-393-73146-0
  • 9.5 × 12.3 in / 192 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“[L]avishly illustrated…Her subtle genius is captured by the numerous color photos” — World of Interiors

“Salny… makes a case here for regarding Elkins as much more than a society decorator… He points to powerful influences in her work… that support the idea of Elkins as a sort of American filter for European avant-gardism, introducing it stealthily and incrementally in her designs for upper-crust clients with more traditional tastes. Though her rooms might blend Asian antiques with Queen Anne and Chippendale, a modern undercurrent could always be felt in the emphasis on order, balance and serenity.” — The Washington Post

“Any design devotee would enjoy this book.” — Los Angeles Times

“[A] valuable insight into the life and works of a legendary interior decorator… Highly recommended.” — Choice

“[A] splendid, authoritative treatment.” — California Bookwatch

“I also admire…Frances Elkins: Interior Design…bent open at least once a week by someone on my design team” — California Homes

“[E]ntertaining as well as meticulously researched… Keep a bookshelf slot open for it in your decorative-arts section.” — Clem Labine's Period Homes

“If you seek inspiration for your own interiors then I suggest that you take a look at the new book on the notable American decorator Frances Elkins, whose stylish interiors have a resonance particularly suitable for present-day tastes.” — Mayfair & St. James's Life

Also by Stephen M. Salny All

  1. Book CoverThe Country Houses of David Adler


  2. Book CoverMichael Taylor: Interior Design


  3. Book CoverWilliam Hodgins Interiors


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