Monday, December 10, 2012

John S. Elmo Uses His Design Background to Write a High-Style Novel

Two-time New York Metro ASID president, distinguished lecturer, author of ‘All About Walls’, and 1974 recipient of the Distinguished Fellowship by the American Institute of Designers, John S. Elmo Pens the High-Style Novel, ‘Room for Enjoyment’

John S. Elmo’s sophisticated novel, Room for Enjoyment: Memoir of a Design Merchant, transports readers to the New York of 1976.  Famous designer-architect Eaton Downing is charged with the task of building a palatial estate for fifty-four-year-old businessman Moses Abrams and his twenty-eight-year-old chorus girl bride, Dolly.

The couple wants more than just typical bedrooms in the home; they want “A Doll’s House”, literally.  Downing must work to complete the task at hand: eight themed rooms, including a Japanese room, an Egyptian room, a French room, a Southwest room, an 18th century room, and a room of the future, as well as finding appropriate costumes for Dolly to match each room.  Knowing that he needs help to complete the project by the deadline, Downing enlists the help of his friend, Leigh Beltor, who designs Dolly’s period gowns.  Naturally, there is more than just work to their partnership, and things start to heat up.

Elmo’s distinguished background in design—among other distinctions, the author is a Parson’s graduate, Distinguished Fellowship by the American Institute of Designers in 1974, and served as president of the New York Metro ASID chapter on two occasions—lends itself well to the story, providing readers with vivid mental imagery of the scenes that he describes.

Room for Enjoyment is a fun, engrossing, high-style read that will keep readers hooked from cover to cover.  It is enjoyable for design students and enthusiasts, but for those who are not as familiar with design, it is just as enjoyable, thanks to Elmo’s convenient glossary of design terms.  It is already receiving early praise from Kirkus Reviews.  Readers will, undoubtedly, be left anxiously awaiting the next installment, Rooms of Happiness, which will be published in late 2013.

John S. Elmo

John S. Elmo graduated from Parson’s in 1950.  He was drafted into the Korean War and served in Korea from 1952-1953.  When he came home, he established a design firm in New York City, which garnered national and international recognition in the press.  He went on to become a lecturer all over the United States, serve as an advisor to major home furnishing companies, and to serve as president of the New York Metro ASID chapter on two occasions (first in 1973 and again in 1985).  Elmo was awarded Distinguished Fellowship by the American Institute of Designers in 1974, and he wrote a non-fiction book, All About Walls (Popular Library) in 1975.


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John S. Elmo

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