"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...