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The Exuberant Work of Interior Designer William Diamond, "Colonial Revival on Acid"

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The interiors the late designer William Diamond created with his design partner Anthony Baratta—called "decorating's dynamic duo" by House Beautiful— were "near-hallucinogenic" fields of color and creativity. As The New York Times also noted in its recent obituary, the pair's full-bleed re-imagination of traditional design aesthetics and patterns was nothing short of "colonial revival on acid," according to curator Donald Albrecht.


A video showing Diamond Barrata working on a home renovation

A self-taught designer who was born in Manhattan in 1952 and grew up in Long Island, Diamond began a lifetime steeped in the visual arts by studying painting at Carnegie Mellon. He dropped out after seeing the work of David Hockney and exclaiming that "stole his idea." The work of Diamond Baratta—often for wealthy Wall Street execs and located in New York, Connecticut and the Hamptons—earned praise from many corners of the design world. Morris rarely designed for himself, spending much of his life in modest apartments with just a single mattress and television set, claiming more possessions would interrupt his flow.

The partnership's work has been honored with the Benjamin Moore Hue Award for lifetime achievement in the use of color and a place in Cooper-Hewitt's 2003 National Design Triennial "Inside Design Now,"which noted "dramatically magnified and refocused" take on traditionalist décor. Diamond's tragic death, a suicide, according to his sister, came after years of depression.

The Riotously Colorful World of 1930s Designer Dorothy Draper [Curbed]
Behold, 10 of the World's Wildest New Interior Spaces [Curbed]
A Kaleidoscopic Revamp of a Crumbling 1800s Mexican House [Curbed]