Sunday, 28 August 2011

the old and the new

Another new book release I'm looking forward to..."The World of Muriel Brandolini". It's hard to not be envious of Brandolini: an exotic family and upbringing; an Italian banker for a husband who also happens to be a Count; and a few fabulous family homes around the world. Credit where credit is due though, Brandolini is not just another wealthy house wife who suffers from delusions of being a designer. Brandolini is a one of a kind and has created some of the most refreshingly new and achingly stylish interiors. Ever. If the front cover is anything to go by, this book will be a treat. I can't wait.

Out of the books I've recently finished, "The Architecture of Happiness" is definitely the best. In fact, it may even be one of the best books I've ever read. Alain de Botton, author of several non-fiction books, is also the founder of The School of Life and the Living Architecture foundation. In this particular book de Botton talks about the significance of architecture in a way that my writing skills will not do justice to describe. His words are poetic, moving and meaningful. Everyone should read this book, from critics to lovers of the built environment. If you didn't already understand the profound effect our man-made surroundings have on us on a daily basis, you soon will. The best passage from this book has stuck in mind, and probably always will - "An ugly room can coagulate any loose suspicions as to the incompleteness of life...."

Another fantastic read - "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs. Or anything by Jane Jacobs really. Jacobs seminal work on the planning and development of cities was incredibly influential at the time it was written, in the 1960's. Even reading this today so many of Jacobs thoughts and ideas are incredibly current, relevant and just as important today as they were then. The issues she raises do not just pertain to American cities, or even just New York where she was living at the time of writing. These are issues of city planning and urban development that are important to all cities in all countries of the world. Only now, there is more of a sense of urgency. We are still building cities for cars instead of people...

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Absolute perfection

I'm so in love with this vignette in the home of designer Steven Volpe, I just had to share.

Photographed by William Abranowicz for Elle Decor September 2011.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Books worth waiting for

It seems like this is the time of year for publishers to come out with new releases, as there are a few more that I'm waiting for not so patiently. Here are a couple I have pre-ordered, and one I'm still pondering...

I have long admired the work of NY based David Kleinberg...his style is modern and classic and utterly timeless. A previous employee of the venerable firm Parish-Hadley Associates he has been running his own company since 1997. Kleinberg is responsible for some of my all-time favorite rooms and I can't wait to see what is in his first book, "Traditional Now". I just hope it doesn't disappoint - or worse that its full of images already on his website.

Another of my favorite designers is Peter Marino, a man of almost unmatched style. No great surprise then that he and his firm are behind the design for many of the high-end retail stores around the world, including those for Luis Vuitton. If its what I'm hoping it will be, this new book "Louis Vuitton, Architecture & Interiors" should prove to be a long term source of inspiration.

I've blogged about Maria Pergay before, and I already own a book on her work, the previous edition by Suzanne Demisch and Stephane Danant. As I'm not sure how much more this volume will contain I'm still pondering. But I suggest if you're a fan of Pergay (and if you're not, you should be!) and you are interested in her work then this new volume "Maria Pergay: Complete works 1979 - 2010" would be the book to buy.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Pinto in print

I recently, somewhat reluctantly, subscribed to the electronic format of bunch of magazines that I regularly buy. Until I get myself an ipad I'm going to be reading them on my pc, which is just not the same as holding a magazine in your hands. I will miss it, however, I decided it was finally time to put my money where my mouth was and stop participating in the destruction of so many trees. That, and I am running out of space for them (I have 10 yrs worth of some, and I just can't bear to part with them)...and I'll save a little money in the meantime.

So I was pretty thrilled with my in print version of Architectural Digest this weekend, and in particular the dressing room of Alberto Pinto's own Rio de Janeiro apartment. Not so much with any other of the rooms, but the bleached mahogany pretty much made up for the rest of it in my eyes.

I've long been an admirer of Pinto's work, so its a little surprising that this is my first post about him. I also don't own any of the many books he has published. However, I noticed today that he has a new one coming out that looks interesting, and I think it just may feature this apartment. Its available for pre-order on Amazon do yourself a favour and reserve yourself a copy like I did!

Photograph of Pinto's dressing room taken by Ngoc Minh Ngo for AD USA, September 2011.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Stuart Scott & Associates

Its been almost a year since I was in London celebrating with our friends at their wedding. That means its also almost a year since I was at Decorex....(where on earth has the year gone??) I wish I was able to go again this year, but since I can't I am certainly enjoying from afar the images of the new range of furniture by Stuart Scott & Associates. Stuart, formerly of Somerville Scott & Co., is launching his first collection at Decorex this year. Each piece is a definite classic, and I only wish I was able to see them in real life as I'm sure they're even cuter than their photographs. So, to those of you attending Decorex, or any of the other wonderful design events in London this year, enjoy... however for those of you, like myself, who won't be there - these are for you!

Toku Table

Vagas Lounger Chair

Tux Sofa

Sir Roger Chair

Isabella Slipper Chair

Henri Club Chair

Alae Wing Chair

Tenno Table

Parqueterie Table

Edo Table

All images care of Stuart Scott