Category Archives: Fine Print

Fine Print: The 15 Best Design Books of 2015

Although I hesitate to bring most forms of paper into my home—brochures, receipts, bills, press releases, invitations, business cards— I still love books. Especially glossy design books. I don’t leaf through them nearly enough, but I appreciate being surrounded by them. Our living room in Boston, like many traditional Back Bay condos,  has double built-in bookshelves flanking the fireplace, trimmed in traditional molding and calling out for impressive tomes.

 I used to save decor magazines, which filled the top shelves nicely, but with the advent of Pinterest et al, tear sheets are just clutter.  Besides, I now have enough coffee table books and small artworks to fill in all 16 shelves stylishly. Thanks to Rizzoli, who sends me all the best books, and the other publishers who send along design titles as well. I looked at all of them, and these are my favorite 15 design books of 2015.

Best Design Books 2015 Eddie Ross Mix

Eddie Ross Modern Mix

Best Design Books 2015 Carrier & Company

The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes by Justina Blakeney

Best Design Books 2015 Greg Natale The Tailored Interior

 The Tailored Interior Greg Natale

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The Kinfolk Home

Best Design Books 2015 Retreat The Modern House In Nature

Retreat: The Modern House In Nature by Ron Broadhurst

Best Design Books 2015 Gardens At First Light By Stacy Bass

Gardens At First Light by Stacy Bass

Best Design Books 2015 India Hicks Island Style

India Hicks Island Style

Best Design Books 2015 Abigail Ahearn Color

Abigail Ahern Color: Transform Your Home

Best Design Books 2015 Carrier & Company

Carrier and Company Positively Chic Interiors

Best Design Books 2015 Carrier & Company

Emily Henderson Styled

Best Design Books 2015 Casa Bohemia

Casa Bohemia: The Spanish Style House
by Linda Leigh Paul and Ricardo Vidargas

Best Design Books 2015 Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber American Master

Best Design Books 2015 Palm Springs Modern Living

Palm Springs Modern Living by James Schnept

Best Design Books 2015 Beekman 1802 Style

Beekman 1802 Style: The Attraction of Opposites

Best Design Books 2015 Tricia Foley

Tricia Foley Life | Style: Elegant Simplicity at Home

Here’s what one bookshelf looks like at the moment. Note the back issues of Architectural Digest on the upper left shelf.

Styling Your Bookshelf With Design Books And Art

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Fine Print: Eddie Ross Modern Mix

The new Eddie Ross Modern Mix design book by Eddie Ross with Jaithan Kochar (Gibbs Smith, October 2015) is a design book to put on your holiday list to give and to get. From the appealing, vibrant cover, all the way through from beginning to end, the photos and tips kept me engrossed, flipping back and forth to re-study the images.

Eddie Ross is the East Coast Editor of Better Homes & Gardens and a former editor at House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living, and Food Network. He’s also a trained chef. Mostly though, he’s a self-proclaimed hoarder of beautiful things. I love minimalism but I am absolutely wooed by Ross’s collections of tabletop and home furnishings, but more than that I’m smitten with the way he puts them together.

In addition to all the objets, we see Eddie Ross in action, thrifting and styling. There are tips running throughout this design book too. Some go beyond the usual advice (get to estate sales early) to tricks for restoring ceramics and such. I am a design book hoarder, true, but this one I love. It’s staying on my coffee table so I can leaf through.

I may actually have a please-be-my-friend crush on Eddie Ross. I follow him on Instagram (@eddieross) and he seems like a fun and happy guy. He is making his way through the country on his book tour, and will be stopping in Boston this Thursday, October 15th at Hudson in the South End 6:30-8:30. I will be there.

Here is a sampling of photos from @eddieross Instagram feed as well as snapped from the pages of Eddie Ross Modern Mix.

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

Eddie Ross Modern Mix Interior Design Book

 

 

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Fine Print: Casa Bohemia

Casa Bohemia: The Spanish Style House by Linda Leigh Paul (Rizzoli 2015) showcases 29 bohemian style homes—vibrant Spanish-style houses in the southwestern and southern United States, Mexico, and Spain, from restored haciendas in Mexico to early and recent 20th century California mission styles. Rich colors abound and details include ornate wrought-iron, wood balconies, graceful arches, crafted glass, and patterned tiles and textiles. 

Here’s a peek at half a dozen interiors of the bohemian style homes found in Casa Bohemia. Also, if this is your kind of look, have a look back at yesterday’s post 14 Bohemian Style Patios.

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Photo by Jim Bartsch

Casa Ablitt designed by ar is full of colorful tile and walnut wood details. The cutting and placement of this bohemian style home’s 10,000 tiles took 44 weeks to complete. In the living room there are tiles in stripes and chevrons, as well as other distinctive tile patterns. In the back corner of the room, there’s a built in bar adjacent to the walnut keyhole windows.

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Photo by Jim Bartsch

The kitchen of Casa Ablitt is also one in green and blue, with decorative tiles and painted cabinets.The smaller windows have custom wrought-iron gates.

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Photo by Jim Bartsch

A child’s room in Casa Oak Tree, also designed by Santa Barbara, California-based architect Jeff Shelton.

Bohemian Style Homes Casa Bohemia Rizzoli

Photo by Ricardo Vidargas

Undulating walls and woven tile patterns are signature Spanish style elements. Note the succulent plantings too.

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Photo by Albert Font

Casa Eivissa, a farmhouse on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza, off the coast of Spain belonging to a design and fashion photographer and restored by J.A. Martinez Lapena & Elias Torres Architects. Original ceiling beams, made from twisted Sabina trees, were removed, cleaned, and replaced one at a time during the home’s restoration.

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Photo by Albert Font

The south-facing terrace at Casa Eivissa is sheltered by a reed canopy designed by Barcelona-based architect Elias Torres.

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Casa Bohemia: The Spanish Style House
Rizzoli 2015

 

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Fine Print: London Designer Anouska Hempel

London-based designer Anouska Hempel (also known as Lady Weinberg) has had a very large career. Hempel, who I’m guessing has a flamboyant personality, was born Anne Geisler. She started out as a New Zealand actress before becoming a hotelier, interior designer, and London society fixture.

She has established four hotels and designed numerous restaurants and retail spaces, including six Van Cleef & Arpels stores and the Louis Vuitton flagship in Paris. She’s also designed two yachts, English gardens, and haute couture for Princess Diana.

The book, written by Marcus Binney, is beautiful, with over 400 photographs of Anouska Hempel’s interiors, architecture, and gardens.

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Rizzoli sent me a copy of Anouska Hempel, which is appropriately placed on my Heywood Wakefield coffee table next to a beach stone tower and my Cathy Moynihan bird sculpture.

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Photo by Marina Faust

A house at Salzburg in the half-light of dawn.

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Photo by Adrian Houston

The basement bar of Anouska Hempel’s first hotel, Blakes London. Note the massive Louis Vuitton trunk and nautical-style cushion in Hermes orange.

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Photo by Simon Mack

A pair of free-standing lattice screens divides the kitchen from the dining table at Anouska Hempel’s London hotel La Suite West. The interior has a minimalist Japanese feel.

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Photo courtesy of The Hempel

The Lion’s Cage suite at The Hempel Hotel. Each of the 40 rooms and 10 apartments had a minimalistic Zen design, done all in pale woods and whites. The hotel was a favorite of Victoria Beckham and Michael Jackson. It was sold a couple of years ago and is now closed.

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Photo courtesy of The Hempel

A kimono on a wall at The Hempel.

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The attic bedroom at Anouska Hempel’s country house, Cole Park, an historic manor with a moat west of London.

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Anouska Hempel

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Anouska Hempel, Rizzoli (December 2014)

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Fine Print: DesignPOP by Lisa S. Roberts

Architect and collector Lisa S. Roberts new book DesignPOP (Rizzoli 2014) surveys the best furniture and accessories (so far) of the 21st century. In between the bold photographs of these iconic contemporary pieces, Roberts discusses new materials and processes, as well as how sustainability and social responsibility, influence designers’ paths. She points out that even the definition of designer is changing as disciplines merge. For example, products from companies like Apple and Dyson often exemplify considered cutting edge design.

As I flipped through the colorful pages of DesignPOP, I was struck by how many of the items I’ve come across in my life, and even own. While I covet high end design, I don’t have the funds for splurging on it. However, Roberts mixes the practically unattainable with practical everyday products

For example, she puts forth the Soft Urn designed by Hella Jongerius, which appears to be a traditional pottery vase, but is instead made of silicone. I discovered silicone urns a number of years ago (I think mine are by Menu though), and love them because if the kids knock them over, they won’t break.

I’ve bet you seen the Bobble, even if you don’t realize it. Bobble is an ergonomically-shaped, thin plastic water bottle with built in filter, designed by Karim Rashid. I have one for each of my kids to keep by their bedsides; I purchased them at Target. I’ve never changed the filters… should probably get on that.

Other designers highlighted include Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Marc Newson, Marcel Wanders, Yves Behar, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Philippe Starck, Ross Lovegrove, and Jasper Morrison.

I sent Roberts a few questions to answer about her findings and favorites from DesignPop, answered below, complete with products featured in the book.

Lisa S Roberts Author Of Design Pop 2014

Were most of these products familiar to you before starting the research? Any new finds?
I knew many since I follow the industry very closely. But during my research I discovered the Flip Flop Vase by Diederick Schneemann, the Chubby Chair by Dirk Vander Kooij, the Lytro Light Field Camera by New Deal Design, and the Nest Thermostat by Tony Fadell.

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Flip Flop Vase by Diederick Schneemann
Made from recycled flip flops washed up on Kenyan beaches .

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Chubby Chair by Dirk Vander Kooij
Made from 3D printed recycled refrigerator plastic, with their waste made into clothes hangers.

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Nest Thermostat by Tony Fadell
$249 at Amazon
We purchased one of these, drawn in by both the design and “smart” functionality. Unfortunately we couldn’t get it to work with our HVAC system, but not for lack of trying. This 2.0 version may be easier to implement. They have a great help line.

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Your picks all come out of the 21st century. What are some products designed before 2000 that may have been included if  you expanded the time frame?
There were a lot of game-changing designs before 2000. There’s the Vermelha Chair by Humberto and Fernando Campana, the Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry, and the Bookworm by Ron Arad.

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Vermelha Chair by Humberto and Fernando Campana
$12,821 at Switch Modern
The upholstery is completely made of intertwined cotton ropes.

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Wiggle Chair by Frank Gehry
$1,140 at AllModern
Designed back in 1972 and made from cardboard.

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Bookworm by Ron Arad
$408 at Lumens
I’ve always been intrigued this piece in the MoMA catalog. It’s flexible and can be made into any shape.

Which brand new products would make the list if you did a follow up?
The Carbon Balloon Chair by Marcel Wanders. It’s made of carbon fiber and resin, weighs about one and a half pounds, and can hold up to 198 pounds. Also the Polygon Chair by Joris Laarman, which combines advanced technology with hand assembly. It’s comprised of mathematically designed CNC milled pieces that are assembled like a puzzle, by hand.

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Carbon Balloon Chair by Marcel Wanders
An ultra light carbon fiber chair inspired by balloons.

Do you own any of the products featured in the book?
I own many of the products in the book. Some are on display in my personal gallery and some I live with. I love the Collapsible Strainer by Boje Estermann because it takes up so little space in my drawer. The Peacock Chair by Dror Benshetrit sits in my foyer and is as attractive as it is comfortable. The Fred Humidifier by Matti Walker comes out whenever someone in the family has a cold. I also have two Midsummer Lights by Tord Boontje that hang over the conference table in my home office.

collapsible-strainer

Collapsible Strainer by Boje Estermann
$60 at Lumens
Last year I bought a collapsible silicone salad spinner at T.J.Maxx for our little condo in Florida. It is one of the best gadgets you can buy, because really, who has room for a salad spinner. Ditto for a full-size colander.

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Peacock Chair by Dror Benshetrit
Two-and-a-half years ago I interviewed Dror Benshetrit at his studio in NYC for Design Milk. He had one of these chairs there and I was instantly smitten. It’s felt and very visually satisfying. The full interview is here, and you can see some extra tidbits and photographs here.

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Midsummer Light by Tord Boontje
$98 at A+R
I bought two Midsummer Light shades, one in citron and one in violet, many years ago, thinking I might use them in the guest rooms on the Cape. I didn’t, but I still have them. I know one day I’ll find the right spot. They’re magical.

Which are your favorites?
The iPhone because I can’t live without it and the Bank in the Form of A Pig by Harry Allen because it always makes me smile. I love my Rainbow Chair by Patrick Norguet because it captures light in the most amazing way, casting a rainbow shadow on the floor. Also, of all the designs I own, it has increased the most in value since I purchased it!

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Bank in the Form of A Pig by Harry Allen
$200 at Nordstrom
This design, which is now done in shiny turquoise, pink, gold and other colors, was modeled on an actual suckling pig that had died of natural causes, cast it in resin. $10 of every pig bank sale goes to the Humane Society.

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Rainbow Chair by Patrick Norguet
$8,500 on eBay

Which design do you most covet?
Tide Chandelier by Stuart Haygarth, but it’s so big, I would have no place to put it.

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Tide Chandelier by Stuart Haygarth
£20,000 – 30,000  at Phillips
A valuable example of trash to treasure.

Design Pop Book By Lisa S Roberts 2014

Design Pop by Lisa S. Roberts (Rizzoli, 2014)
$26.27 at Amazon

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