While it’s usually the fall season that brings out the blockbuster line up of design books, this spring, a strong selection rivals tradition. With a particularly crazy year of events to date, I am rather late in my reviews. Many of these books have already been circling in the blogosphere but I wanted to add a few thoughts and recommendations in this, a first of several round ups of recent titles.
You will want to move into the incredibly charming home of Furlow Gatewood. With evocative text by follower southerner Julia Reed, there are few more irresistible volumes around than One Man’s Folly.
As we frequently chat about the appeal of authentic and personalized interiors, the series of buildings and follies that make up Gatewood’s rural Georgia home epitomize the ideal.
From the tiny bedroom in the Peacock House, to a more recent airy addition to the Barn, staying true to one’s vision never looked so good.
In her seventh book, my talented video partner, Susanna Salk, shows another side of deeply personal spaces. Decorate Fearlessly proves that living with what you love results in rooms that are emotionally inspiring and visually satisfying.
Whether “a living room in Provence or an entry hall in Boston,” it’s those spaces that effectively express their owners’ personalities that have earned a spot in this vivacious volume. Seemingly impossible combinations like the bedroom of the Madcap Cottage gents on the cover are inspiration to abandon the rules and follow your instincts.
Learning to train your eye is an exercise that can’t be emphasized enough. Alessandra Branca proves the point with an effortless fantasy that elevates “fresh and beachy … (to) an exotic and rich version of a classic.”
Miles Redd yet again proves himself master of the mix. With a chic saturated fusion of styles and eras, this dining room goes for the gusto with bold color and symmetry. Yet it’s not always about bright hues and pattern play. A yin yang of masculine and feminine define Hubert Zandberg‘s luxurious bath with refined lines, simple yet elegant details and a chiaroscuro of light and dark.
Maureen Footer is one of those rare creatures who embodies an impressive knowledge of design and the decorative arts, particularly of French origins, with an enviably modern yet timeless chic personal style. So it was somehow no surprise that she authored the marvelous new monograph, George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic.
While I had certainly heard of the legendary designer, I knew very little of his work that established him as the originator of the now oft emulated mix of the high and low. Just like the author, he managed to stylishly incorporate his love for classic French design with a modern flair, as in his design for the Chateau de Neuville below,
influencing generations of designers to come. In the chic interwar years, his designs found popularity with the fashionable set, including such style icons as Babe Paley, below, shopping with Stacey in Paris,
Grace Kelly and Diana Vreeland, standing in her Stacey-designed apartment below. In this elucidating and entertaining volume, Footer shows us a legacy with enduring design relevance today. As she herself wrote in her illuminating piece about the book for the Wall Street Journal, “Though Café Society clients could afford just about anything, what they wanted most was something money couldn’t buy: effortless chic.”
Friend Jane Scott Hodges, owner of Leontine Linens, is a thoroughly modern woman whose thriving business and beautiful book prove that contemporary life can successfully embrace the art of couture linens. Besides a fresh coat of paint, the author of Linens, shows how changing up your linens, whether in the bedroom or on the table, is the easiest way to freshen your decor.
From classic to modern to an eclectic exuberant mix like Cathy Kincaid Hudson‘s design for the bedroom below, Linens features rooms and vignettes with inspirational and instructive advice.
The art of the bespoke is alive and well and Jane shows just how creative and expressive it can be. On the table and throughout the home, linens are a time honored way to personalize your decor.
As Charlotte Moss enthusiastically expresses in her introduction, the creative process of entertaining, begins in the drawers of her linen cabinet, the one from her East Hampton home below.