Home Furnishings Daily, June 14, 1961 -- The Embassy Look By Joan McHale


Anita Moller, A.I.D., has one boss, hundreds of clients to satisfy and more than 3,800 homes to decorate. As chief decorator for the Dept.of State's FBO -- Office of Foreign Buildings --Miss Moller, a Parsons School graduate, is in charge of American embassies and diplomatic establishments the world over.

FBO is also responsible for staff residences and offices. Congress allocates the funds she works with, however, she is often in the position of not knowing if and when money is coming, until Congress appropriates money for her projects.

Facing her problems in particular she has to gear furnishings to a worldwide variety of climates and environments, and having to come up with an "American Look." Imagine having to placate new ambassadors and their wives who may not like the decor of their future homes. She doesn't get to go abroad; her work is mostly in absentia.

Until recently, FBO was instructed to use foreign currencies. That eliminates high costs for American manufacturing. Then the new word came down the pike: "Buy American."

She buys directly from 600 to 700 factories and suppliers. An extensive file is kept on each, and an entire room in the office is for swatches, another for rug samples, wood finishes and paint colors.