Text by Margaret Zainey Roux
For Richard Keith Langham, decorating is more than a profession—it’s a lifestyle. Over the past three decades, the Alabama-bred, New York-based interior designer has appointed some of the country’s finest homes that are now highlighted in his newly released book, About Decorating: The Remarkable Rooms of Richard Keith Langham.
Written by style orbiter Sara Ruffin Costello, About Decorating offers readers a glimpse of the man behind the brand through affable anecdotes of Langham’s charmed childhood in small-town Brewton, Alabama, and his early years in New York City sorting fabric samples in the Quadrille showroom during the day while attending design classes at night at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Langham’s debut on the design scene came as an apprentice for design master Mark Hampton. Later, he served as an associate with the elite firm, Irvine & Fleming, where he learned to carefully craft layers of detail and hone his technique under Keith Irvine.
“My method has really never deviated over the years,” Langham says. “I have never followed a trend or paid the slightest attention to the newest thing. I still do things the old-fashioned way— dreaming up the room first and adding each element piece by piece to achieve a finished result that has personality, suitability, and depth.”
Filled with inspiring imagery, the 256-page volume offers insider access into 13 private homes designed by Langham, including a cheerfully chic retreat off the Florida coast, a 19th-century Italianate manse in New Orleans’ Garden District, and a Dutch Colonial farmhouse in the middle of Amish country. While each dwelling is tailor-made to suit its unique habitat and inhabitants, there are common threads among them, such as cascading curtains, whimsical wall coverings, and couture-quality accoutrements like tassels, tufts, and trim.
“I love all the ingredients in a room, and it is a thrill for me to see all the elements come together,” Langham says. “When years of paint samples and sawdust and site meetings come to an end, it is satisfying to see what started as just a house turn into that most precious of all places—home.”