Being a bit of a traditionalist myself - I of course took a shine to a woman who embraced neo-classicism while others were grabbing onto the swiftly evolving modernism. Madeleine Castaing was an antiques dealer and renowned decorator who had a passion for 19th century furniture and an amazingly brave eye for colour.
Her legendary shop on Rue Jacob in Paris served as a studio and atelier for the myriad of eccentric experiments she trialled. It can be easy to become comfortable in design and stick to what you know, but this book is a perfect illustration of the genius which comes out of designing with courage.
There is also a documentary film entitled Madeleine Castaing by Christohpher Flach http://www.madeleinecastaing.com/index2.php