26 December 2009

my Top Five INTERIOR Design Books of 2009

My TOP 5 Best INTERIOR DESIGN BOOKS for 2009 in NO particular order-




French Interiors: The Art of Elegance

Michael Taylor: Interior Design

Your picks?

& anticipating

The Great Lady Decorators: Lessons from the Women who Invented Interior Design


  1. Oh Thank you for introducing your favorite books!

  2. I agree that these books got a lot of looks. However, I was deeply disappointed with the Jacques Grange and horrified by In House. For years I have been a fan of Grange and to finally have a book out was just wonderful. Until I tried to read it. The copy is treated with not as much dignity of captions and are put at the end of the book totally dismissing the fact that any words were needed.

    I had a similar issue with In House but my response was much more visceral. Here was a dream team of Derry Moore and Mitchell Owens. However, Owens writing, which I regard as the best in the business right now, was reduced to unreadable and placed in what I thought were juvenile "boxes." Ragged right and left copy, thin serif type, and small typefaces sends a big message to me: writing not important but the watch me!!! watch me!!!! graphics (which add nothing to the comprehension of a room) are. I know of several people who have returned this book. I'll keep it on my shelf and someday when I am already feeling really, really cranky and I pull out the magnifying glass and try to discern the words I so looked forward to reading.

    I enjoyed the YSL book (the version you pictured here was my favorite cover), but the book that brought me please and one I return to almost weekly is the French Interiors book.

    I think David Hicks book was a better read (and, yes, one easily could) than In House. I think Allesandra Branca's book is more informative than In House.

    Against my better judgement I have reordered GLD book. A cruel hoax is unfurling: mags are disappearing and so are the words in our decorating books.

    A book I'd like to see? Photographs by Ivan Terestchenko with legible words by Mitchell Owens and designed by an adult who knows that a book's design is a tool to understanding the book not an opportunity to be a showboat.

    Sorry for being so wordy.

  3. hbd- In Defense of...need I? of course not, but it is fun especially when with home. As you know I am a book fiend (lest I tarnish my spotless reputation I say not whore)
    In general I have thought of design books as sacred-nay to the coffee table book. The reading of some are less important than others. With the JGrange book- reading the text then pouring through the photographs was inspiring-and something to continue to add to my visual compendium. In HOUSE,both photo and text important as a history-though at this point the print is too small for my eyes(finding it so with a lot lately)I look at these as a separate entity-picture to be read, text to be read,& again to be married a third go round. The graphics did not bother me-though some of the laying out does in general. My complaint with a Branca book (and many others) is there isn't a broad body of work to warrant a book-"new Classic Interiors" or Suzanne Kassler, Hayes,etc etc-I demured on more books like this than ever this past year.What is in store for the future, Can't wait to see next year's crop ofs...

  4. I'd definitely add Ashley Hicks' new book on his father. I read every word of it, which is hardly the case with most decorating books where the writing is so much gushy blather. But then, the Hicks book was more of a studied and thoughtful biography with pictures than the usual picture books with imbecilic captions one usually sees...

  5. I can't wait to get my hands on the "Great Lady Decorators!" It looks amazing...I assume there will be a big portion devoted Wharton?



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