Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Interior Design Books

Bibliolator; bibliomaniac; bookman and bibliophile.  According to Webster’s Dictionary, they all mean the same thing:  a lover of books especially for qualities of format. Did you notice the ending on that sentence?  “especially for qualities of format.”  Not only is a book maniac in love with the paper literature but a specific topic of paper literature.  That is a perfect description of me.

You know you really love something when you have the great urge to ingest every last bit of that topic. You also know that if you are not reading the stuff you would normally be reading all the time…. you must be working WAY too much.  With a mere week left of an online class, let me just say that I am ready to rest and read.  So, what will I be perusing when all of this mayhem has died down?  I’m so glad that you asked!

First stop on my perusal will be Alex Hampton’s new release entitled The Language of Interior Design.  Since it was on my pre-order list from Amazon Prime, it has been lingering on my night stand for several weeks now beckoning me to begin.
As daughter of interior designer Mark Hampton, author Alexa Hampton received a primo apprenticeship at her father’s knee.  Traveling the world with her father and touring the great architectural landmarks bestowed upon Alexa an indescribable gift of design perfection.  The training did not end there but rather morphed into a life dedicated to design beauty.  She gained knowledge of good design language, the vocabulary to speak it and the elements that define it.  Through the pages of The Language of Interior Design, the reader is transported to 18 of her archetypical spaces – including a 1912 McKim, Mead & White restoration located on 5th Avenue in NYC.   Ms. Hamton has been listed in Architectural Digest and House Beautiful  as one of the nation’s leading designers.  With licensed products for the home (including furniture, fabrics, carpets and lighting) I assume one might say that Alex Hampton “has it made.”

Following is Jonathan Adler's Happy Chic Colors and stop number two.  With his brilliant mind unleashed in non-traditional ways, he is reminiscent of my younger son Ethan (given the chance for Ethan to create his own firm).  Released on November 2nd with a reasonable price of $17.95 combined with Amazon deals, this read is near the top of the pile. 
In this book, Adler quips about one color scheme, his favorite paint chips (of which I have gathered an entire spreadsheet dedicated to those chips) as well as his preferred fabrics.  Perhaps the most insightful part of the book is his reflection on personal muses Diane Vreeland and Grace Jones.  It’s absolutely remarkable how Adler is able to weave together a cohesive design with a smattering of vibrant color.  The fun doesn’t stop there – check out his website.   

Following Adler, I will be picking up the recent release Peter Pennoyer Architects.  Emphasizing the unique relationship of architecture and design, this hardback brings inspiration to the forefront.
Next up…Mary McDonald.  Since my Amazon account is running low, perhaps I will ask Santa to bring me this gorgeous tome – Mary McDonald: Interiors, The Allure of Style.  With a price tag of $34.95, this is one not to be missed.  Ms. McDonald has been in the business for over 15 years and continues to rise to the top of the design circles.  Consistently classified as one of House Beautiful magazine’s premier designers, Mary McDonald is based out of L.A.  She has a keen sense of combining bold patterns, chinoserie and Indian influences with contemporary lines splashed with impeccable color sense.  Truly, there is none like Mary McDonald.  Just as appealing as the designs in the book are the photographs – striking to say the least. 
Last but not least, is the other pre-order on my list being released today --- A Passion for Interiors: A Private Tour  by Carolyn Roehm.  The red cover evokes buttery Christmas memories for me and is the ideal Christmas coffee table book – right up until the end of February.     
In this book, Ms. Roehm shares her lifelong love of classical architecture and design by graciously inviting the readers into her preferred spaces in three notable homes: her own dazzling Manhattan prewar duplex (another indicator of success in the design world); her antique filled Colonial era stone house in Connecticut; and a special friend’s Aspen residence representative of 18th century Sweden.    

Ms. Roehm embarked on her career as a fledging design assistant to the famous Oscar de la Renta (remember…first jobs make a huge difference).  Since that humble beginning, Carolyn Roehm has lived in numerous residences, designed countless homes and has penned many books including A Passion for Blue & White, A Passion for Flowers,  A Passion for Parties, At Home with Carolyn Roehm and finally Presentations.   Considered one of America’s foremost tastemakers, Roehm proves that an impressive beginning with one of the world’s kings of fashion oozes success.  She is also a columnist for Veranda and a frequent speaker on the lecture circuit.   

A Passion for Interiors contains well over 300 photographs and proves to be just the cure for your decorating doldrums.  An admitted Roehm devotee, Oprah Winfrey admits: “Whenever I’m having a stressful day, I just want to open up Carolyn Roehm’s books, look at beautiful things and dream.”

If Oprah can find time to enjoy her favorite decorators, then I suppose that little ol’ me can do the same.  And so, this week (after my classes) I will attempt to do just that with the book listed above.  I will read and rest with the hopes of one day adding design bibliophile to my resume. 

Until then…


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