Monday, April 12, 2010

New to My Library

"Rooms to Inspire in the City" is the brand new title, the latest in a series, that again finds author Annie Kelly collaborating with her photographer husband, Tim Street-Porter. The settings are cosmopolitan, the designers represented no less so: Carolina Irving, Peter Dunham, Mary McDonald among them. The New York City apartment shown below was designed by Jonathan Adler.

"Rooms to Inspire in the Country" is the previous title in the same series. I'm so glad the release of the current book reminded me that I hadn't yet picked up this one. The title, I think, is slightly misleading for these are not country "style" homes at all, but weekend retreats and family estates in such far-flung locales as Connecticut, Malibu and Shelter Island. Designers are an eclectic mix too: Steven Gambrel, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard and the incomparable Tony Duquette. The author's own home, pictured below, may be my favorite.

You might remember "The Comforts of Home" from my recent giveaway. It's such a pretty, inspiration-filled book, I had to have one for myself too. Author Caroline Clifton-Mogg shows us how to fashion a cozy yet stylish home in a way that melds with the currently-popular desire to live more simply. Charming vignettes like the one below remind us that the classic basics never go out of style.

"French America" by Ron Katz is at once history lesson and design inspiration. It explores the French heritage in America through an overview of history, culture, architecture and decoration in regions from New England to the Gulf of Mexico. The book is a fascinating read and a feast for the eyes. The centuries-old French colonial and Greek Revival plantation homes that dot the Mississippi Valley are particularly captivating.

"New Classic Interiors" by Alessandra Branca splashed onto the scene last fall amid much fanfare and praise. I don't know why I waited so long to get it for it's quickly become an all-time favorite. I've paged through it more times than most books I've owned for far longer. I love this designer's bold use of color and pattern and this large format book does her work justice with beautiful photography and terrific graphics too. And, really, how could I not love a book that includes this spread?

Color and pattern and sophisticated bohemian style are the hallmarks of "Downtown Chic", the book that chronicles the experiences and wisdom of Robert and Cortney Novogratz of Sixx Design. Over the last ten years, the couple has renovated and decorated several homes of their own and built a thriving restoration and interior design business all while raising seven children. No surprise, then, to find that they're also now the stars of their own Bravo series, "9 By Design", premiering this week, on Tuesday night. I'll be watching, will you?

So many books, so little time! Below, just for fun, is a recent photo of my own bookcase. These design books are in the "library corner" of the living room, near a favorite chair, because I refer to them often and simply enjoy having them around. There are plenty of others in my office, miscellaneous art books and all the less attractive how-to type manuals. That's where I store most of my back issue magazines too but on the bottom shelf here you can see one of my most prized decor-related possessions: every single issue of Cottage Living magazine ( a moment of silence, please). What are your favorite design books? Do you see any of them here? Could you use a recommendation? Or perhaps a 12-step program to curb your addiction? Talk to me about any or all of the above...


Jennifer, Inside Out Colour and Design said...

Yes please, can I sign up to your 12 step programme?

My husband keeps on saying "Is that ANOTHER new book on the coffee table?" Our coffee table used to be empty (remnants of having a toddler in the house) but as she's now 9 I figured I could put them out again. All my old ones are, well old. So with the Aussie dollar being good to your US dollar, I've been splurging on Amazon.

Not fussy what I buy really. As long as they have fabulous inspirng and aspiring images.

Can you help me?

Book Addict

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I think I may have to add that Alessandra Branca book to my library. I really need to get a bookcase in my living room since that is my current HQ. I had packed up all my decorating books last year to prepare the house for market {we're staying for now}, but I really miss having my books out. I refer to them, too, not just for myself but for clients, too.

Tish Jett said...

I'm absolutely obsessed with books (and magazines and some blogs, like yours for example) about interior design and beautiful living.

I have shelves and shelves of books on the subject in French and in English.

These look divine. The rooms looked lived in, not sterile and stage set -- even though they were -- for a photograph.

Your blog is magnificent.

Michelle said...

I didn't receive the 9 book, but another designer I know did, and it is amazing!!

Anything with Tim and Annie is worth buying in my book...rooms to inspire is still one of my all time favs.


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Tracy
"Comforts of Home" looks like it would be my kind of decorating book. I was also a fan of Cottage Living Magazine and I've been subscribing to Country Living Magazine for a couple of decades. They are both inspiring magazines for the warm, comfortable and eclectic look that I prefer.

the gardeners cottage said...

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for the reviews and for tempting me to go out and spend my money! I'm trying to get rid of stuff not add it. But all of them sound soooo good!


ps ~ sounds like you may have a started a new 12 step program!

Step 1 ~ Admitted we were powerless over decorating books and all they make us want to buy.

Tammy@InStitches said...

wow, that's a lot of books. I keep mine spread out around the house so it doesn't look like I have an addiction ! I just got the Domino book this weekend.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Many of these I have not seen, thanks for all the info and insights!


Thank you for this today. I love books, stacking them proudly on tables & by my bed. I find them entirely necessary. When I travel I stock up on everything I can carry home. xx's Marsha

Love Where You LIve said...

I see one especially familiar title among your collection! I had stacks of both magazines and books . . . it's crazy! These look; I may have to go shopping again (smile). cheers, -s

ann marie said...

I just love that red and white print on the settee! Thanks for the inspiration!

La Dolfina said...

Wow those are some great book intro's! I used to be a design bookaholic but I've somehow managed to curb it a bit but now you've peaked the urge to check some of these out!
Thanks so much for your fascinating comment about your Elvis party. Wow what an amazing event you put on!!
E+J carried around your piece of paper with your thrift store suggestions and we hit all the Revivals except the one in Indio!
Have a wonderful day Tracy!!

Simply Luxurious said...

All of those books look fabulous. It is so true that Comfort is the ultimate luxury. And anything French - I will definitely have to look into that book regarding French in America - looks interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I love a good design book and there are some in your post that I haven't seen yet. Some of these comments are pretty funny. I guess they're right. The first step is admitting that we have an addiction. :-)