Thirteen illustrated chapters exhibit Mlinaric's "new and refreshing eclectic approach" he brings to any interior decoration job. He rose to prominence in the 1960's and 1970's English decorating scene for his association with the group of leading decorators; and also for work he did for Mick Jagger and other prominent cultural figures of the time. The standards and flair of Mlinaric's eclecticism, however, are such that he was not confined to this period. In the 1980s and '90s, he worked on the much-publicized and much-praised restoration of Spencer House in London for Lord Rothschild. Besides being linked with major cultural figures, Mlinaric also received commissions for work for major public institutions. Among these were the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the National Gallery in London.
Mlinaric's reputation and his eclectic style led to work outside of England as well. He did interior decorating on projects in Italy, Corfu, France, Ireland, and also Texas and New York. The sites of his work range from city to country to water side to rural; the projects, from apartments and individual rooms to sections and private and public areas of manors. This variety of work is displayed in the thirteen chapters on individual projects and in a few cases similar type of project throughout Europe and a couple of spots in the U.S. Several photographs of different sizes from wide angle for entire rooms to close-ups for details of particular objects or groupings capture the accomplishment of the interior design. Mlinaric decorates a room as its architect might imagine it to be decorated ideally. Spacing, colors, shapes, central utilitarian objects such as sofas or beds, and furnishings such as lamps, ceramics, or bronzes make each room unique, inviting, and habitable. Mlinaric seamlessly and singularly bridges the usual, conventional divide between private and public. The objects of his designs--whether chosen by him or givens as with museum pieces--attract, and satisfy, one intellectually and sensually; while their placement (in spots in rooms of homes) or presentation (in museums) gives off an aura of intimacy and ease. This bridging of private and public is accomplished by one's conscious or unconscious involvement with the objects. In museums, this can be paintings, sculptures, or objects d'art; in private homes, often these combined with finely-bound books, ornately-framed mirrors, simply-shaped lamp shades, and combinations of formal-looking and generously-padded furniture.
Curiosity about how Mlinaric acquired his knowledge and vision is answered in the first chapter. Born in 1939, Mlinaric attended London's Bartlett School of Architecture; which at the time followed a historical approach to the study of architecture. This traditional approach included subjects such as "sciagraphy," the science of how shadows are cast and in so doing affect architecture. Travel to his father's birthplace of Yugoslavia and to Italy and France complemented his sound, traditional learning. In Paris, by chance he came upon the shop of the legendary decorator Madeleine Castaing. Its collection of mixed objects and materials made a lasting impression on him. Such are some origins of Mlinaric's outstanding design sense which is both uncompromising over decades and adaptable to the nature of each particular project. His characteristic eclecticism has no relationship to collage, pastiche, or kitsch. It is a reflection of classical education, wide-ranging experience and interests, and intuitions of space. He absorbed Madeleine Castaing's remark about designing rooms as poets write poems.