Classic Design for Modern Living

Category: books

5 Simple Ways To Spruce Up Your Space

Kenneth Walter, Chicago Interior Designers, Gray & Walter Interior Design

 

I have noticed the temperature in Chicago dropping a bit, I suppose this is inevitable. October is almost here after all. Many of us are thinking of ways to change our homes and apartments since the holidays will be here before we know it. I am always thrilled to see the difference a few enhancements can make. The interior design ideas I am suggesting can be very simple to somewhat complicated, so plan accordingly. No one enjoys being half done, especially if you have guests during the holidays. Here are a few thoughts for you.

 

 

Kenneth Walter, Chicago Interior Designers, Gray & Walter Interior Design

 

 

New Furniture:  Stating the obvious here, I find it so amusing how we all procrastinate. That said, if you need new furniture before the holidays it is not too late. Don’t put off the inevitable. I can assure you that prices will increase in the new year so this is the best time to purchase new furniture. I constantly hear horror stories from new clients about purchasing furniture from well known retailers. Did you know interior designers have access to high quality lines (made in America) that are less expensive and better made than many popular retailers?

 

 

Kenneth Walter, Chicago Interior Designers, Gray & Walter Interior Design

 

 

Clean up/create Guest Bedroom: Did you say you have guests staying with you over the holidays? Well fear not my little crocodile we better get cracking. Whether you have a few things or nothing at all there is plenty of time if you get motivated now. We have wonderful sources for bed linens by the way.

 

 

 

Kenneth Walter, Chicago Interior Designers, Gray & Walter Interior Design

 

 

Painting: Nothing transforms a room quicker than repainting it; whether the room needs a clean coat of paint or you want a new color. This is the simplest solution for maximum change and achieved fairly quickly. Whether you hire a painter (highly recommended) or do it yourself be sure to have everything buttoned up prior to pulling the trigger.

 

 

Kenneth Walter, Chicago Interior Designers, Gray & Walter Interior Design

 

 

Throws/Pillows:  Your space can really benefit from new pillows, a throw or both. I firmly believe a handsome  throw is essential with the upcoming cooler weather. It’s always fun to change things around during the change of seasons isn’t it?

 

 

Kenneth Walter, Chicago Interior Designers, Gray & Walter Interior Design

 

 

Accessories & Artwork: What are we all waiting for? I visit clients who have artwork stacked in closets and boxes of objects that could be displayed. If this is not the case for you it’s time to visit a showroom or gallery and pick up a few things. Beautiful things come in all price ranges so let’s get out there and find something wonderful!

 

Kenneth Walter, Chicago Interior Designers, Gray & Walter Interior Design

 

Pressed for time? I cannot stress enough how great these things are: fresh flowers, some candles, a new tablecloth or even a beautiful bowl of fruit. These little things can enhance your space in an afternoon prior to the arrival of your guests. It’s the little things that count and are the best. I’ll be curious to hear what you choose to do. Please give me a call if you need help or just want to chat. I’ll look forward to it!

 

Big Hugs,

-Ken

P.S. If you are looking for tips to get organized you may enjoy this post http://wp.me/p2RdfV-js

A Passage To China

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

 

In my mind I am a mental traveler…to paraphrase the words of Isak Dinesen who wrote Out of Africa, a favorite of mine. Today I am traveling to China via my hometown Chicago. There are many reasons China can be too far a journey. As an interior designer I would be happy to hop on a plane! However, I am in luck today, all I had to do was drive fifteen minutes from my previous appointment to Pagoda Red’s new location on Morgan Street in Chicago. Come along, I think you will enjoy it!

I was full of anticipation as I pulled into their convenient parking lot. I had not visited since Betsy Nathan moved her shop a year ago. Upon entering I was struck by the glorious pieces sitting on a dark and sexy vintage tile floor imported from Asia. What a warm welcome I received and I suspect you will too! You will see a handsome array of modern pieces as well as artifacts that a scholar would love. Since I am not a scholar of Chinese Art I will merely say the mix is wonderful.

 

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

What A Glorious Array!

 

 

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

19th Century Courtyard Panels backed with “Utopia” fabric from Pierre Frey. Look at these gorgeous 18th Century Hand Carved Lion Dogs and Fabric Draped Stool

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

Love the modern Painting paired with the Chinese Half Table and Shanghai Deco Arm Chairs

 

 

 

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

Jade Meditation Stones lead you out to the Asian Garden

 

As I toured the gallery I was in for more than I bargained for. Betsy took me to see the mature Asian garden, this in itself is a feast to behold. I was literally transferred to another place and time, you must see this garden to believe it. I am a big fan of gardens in general so you will not be disappointed.

 

 

 

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

Carved Lion Dog Markers standing tall, so proud & inviting!

 

 

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

 

Sadly I didn’t get to take any photos during my garden tour. The day began scorching hot and sunny, but that changed after the garden walk when the weather changed dramatically. The heavens burst with a symphony of lightning and thunder which turned this visit (originally scheduled for an hour) to well over two hours, it was still pouring when I left. No worries, I made it out unscathed. I drove home happy in a pounding rainstorm, I had lots of things to daydream about and present to clients.

 

 

 

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

Carved Hitching Post From Northern China, 19th Century

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

When Worlds Collide:  Boho Meets Deco

I sat for quite a while in this room and watched the rain pour and pour. Thanks for your gracious hospitality Betsy, I enjoyed the Prosecco and nibbles too. Inside tip: it is always wise to feed the hungry interior designer my little crocodile. We do get hungry!

Chicago Interior Designers, Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design

The mesmerizing power of crystal, made of rock crystal as old as the earth

I don’t need a crystal ball to know you will enjoy taking a trip to Pagoda Red. Happy Hunting, and a big thanks to you for reading my posts, your comments delight me!

Big Hugs,

-Ken

 

What Does Luxury Mean To You?

How To Create A Handsome Study

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

Most designers tend to throw around favorite words, I suspect I do too. If you know me, you already know I tend to use the H word quite often. In this case H is for handsome! As an interior designer I must embrace many styles effortlessly to delight my clients here in Chicago and further afield. I must be well versed at all times. However, I do have a style that I really love, it’s not for everyone though. I work very hard to find the style that is best for you!

Secretly locked inside of me is a european gentleman living in grand style wherever I roam. You must know by now I’m a bit of a daydreamer! This special space resides within all my imaginary homes: the flat in Paris and London, the grand palazzo in Venice, the country house in Tuscany and in the English countryside. Each home has one common denominator. What is that you ask? Well, I will tell you all about it now, it is the gentleman’s study. The study is a place to retreat and read, have a tot or two of your favorite hooch, listen to music, work on your hobbies or whatever you wish! And never fear ladies, the room can be for you too! Here are my thoughts about creating such a space.

 

 


 

 

 

The Lean & Clean Study

To achieve this look you must be disciplined. No clutter is allowed, haha! But the rewards are wonderful, less is more…but there must be great storage to hide all the things people have today. Whatever happened to that paperless society we’ve been reading about forever?

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

This look requires great discipline

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Plenty of room to spread out

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

This space is compact but has everything

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Sometimes all you need is a quiet place to read


The Collected Study

This type of study is a bit more cluttered, but in a good way! Here is your opportunity to have more objects on display. Do you need a space for your stamp or book collection, display trophies of some sort, or perhaps artwork? Some of my clients like the newest technology, we can help with that too. What about games, whether virtual or old school like cards, billiards or darts? Just relax, we have you covered.

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

This is not Granddad’s study

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Clean, modern, slick & sexy

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

This space has plenty of room for modern & old school games

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

The study and dressing room combined

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

This study is fresh, clean & not fussy


The Old World Study

To some, a study must have paneling, leather chairs and the smell of cigars, I understand this very well. But this is not for everyone. The study is all about the inhabitant, it must speak to you. How will you use it? Is it just for you or will you entertain in it? No room for such a space you say? You would be surprised, this kind of space can be kitted out in a studio apartment. The photo below has everything you need, a bar, a hidden tv on a lift and a murphy bed behind the wall panels.

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Old World meets the 21st century with hidden technology

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

This long space allows plenty of room for billiards & cards on one end

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

The other side of the room is for sitting, watching TV and reading

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Heaven…just add scotch


Who Are You?

Think about what you like to do, what are your hobbies, will you entertain in the space? What is your budget, what is realistic to achieve within the space you have? I have created three “study profiles”.  I am definitely not a one size fits all kind of guy, neither are you but you will get the idea–scroll down for more.

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Professional athlete and adventurer, he is interested in the world around him.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Magazine editor, man of the world, loves wine, reading and collects watches.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Actress, mother and fashionista, a mix of old and new, she loves beauty.


Inspiration To Build Your Study Around

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Do you like antiques?

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Are you looking for a multi-purpose space?

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Perhaps you live in an old building but want a little fun.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Sometimes it begins with a pair of chairs!

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

A cozy and petite space can also double as a study

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

The rustic study

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

The study and art gallery combined

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Is this what you are looking for…

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

…or this?

The study is a wonderful space to hang out, read or merely daydream. Let us know how we can help, I would be delighted to create a little slice of heaven for you. I’ll be heading home now so please excuse me, my first stop will be my study/dressing room to change out of my work clothes.

Cheers,

Ken

 

 

 

The Holidays Again, Oh No! 15 Survival Tips For You

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Illustration by Jeremiah Goodman

 

The holidays are here once again, each year I am astounded by how quickly the year has passed. Does this happen to you? In my work as an interior designer I am busy making your space magical, I rarely have time to do anything for myself. We have seen the perfectly set tables and decorated trees in holiday movies. I can’t help it, I’m a hopeless romantic. This post is aimed at each of us who really want to prepare for the holidays but need a little motivation. While I admire great cooks, I personally leave anything fancy to the professionals. Yes, I can roast a turkey quite well and make certain dishes. But let’s be clear, I am no chef. That said, here are some ideas anyone can use to really enjoy the upcoming holidays.

 

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

  1. Think small! I love the above photo, it is evocative of the kind of dinner most of us would be pleased to sit down to. I particularly like the image as it is not a traditional setting like a dining table. Not everyone has a large family or a large dining room for that matter. This looks perfect to me!

 

 

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

2. If you have a home and are organized you most likely have a mud room or great entrance area that is perfectly suited to the storage of boots, hats, coats and the like. Not everyone has this kind of space yet pine for a mud room. If you think you don’t have any room look at the image below, if it can be done in a hotel room it can work in your space.

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

 

 

 

3. What if your entryway is empty? Most homes I visit today are more than half empty. I am not speaking of my clients but am referring to this attitude of never making time to furnish your home. This handsome console would add pizzazz to your entryway. It would also make a terrific sofa table or center table.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

 

4. Storage issues you say, we all have them. When in doubt, buy a cabinet–it is the perfect way to hide things in a mud room; additional placemats, napkins or place settings in the dining room; or use as a media cabinet. I love this piece, it is handmade by a great group of veterans in Texas. What do you think of the steel and reclaimed wood?

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

 

 

5. You just found out you’re hosting a holiday dinner, lo and behold your range or oven are broken. I will never forget we had the same issue a week before Thanksgiving many years ago. Mr. Aware, yes me, missed that little detail. We moved into our new home (100 years old but who’s counting) in August of 1998, everything was working ok at the time. That was not the case in mid-November. Great, oh great! The heat was on in more ways than one, luckily we were able to get a new oven a week before Thanksgiving.

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

 

 

6. I have a small budget, I can’t do any of this! That’s ok too. A fresh coat of paint on the wall is a no brainer even if you and a few friends have to do it one weekend. The new Benjamin Moore latex paints are terrific, many will cover in one coat as long as you are not covering a super dark color.

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

 

7. I’m not hosting at my house and I hate the host house, now what? Ok I get it, but please get over it. The main thing is, you will all be together (sometimes that’s the real problem, smile)! Does it really matter if your Great Aunt Gertrude or Nana’s house is a bit grand and not your taste? I say embrace it! Enjoy their dishes, crystal and flatware. Why not? It’s just one day, and think how happy Nana will be to see her things being used and enjoyed by her nearest and dearest. Oops…do I hear a broken glass falling? They are just things! If she’s afraid of breakage then use the everyday service or rent it, most places will deliver and pick up for a very small fee. It’s worth it!

 

Kenneth Walter, Chicago Interior Design, Gray & Walter Interior Design

Don’t let a grand setting put a damper on your holiday

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

Sometimes the old ways are the best!

 

 

 

8. I don’t want to have my holiday dinner inside, what do I do? Lucky you! We have had some really warm weather lately in Chicago, this is not realistic for us however. If you live in the south or somewhere with warmer weather by all means have the gathering outside. Hell yes, why not? Please invite me next year!

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

 

9. Our Guest Bedroom is dreadful and my mother-in-law is a royal you know what! Better get cracking my little crocodile! There are plenty of ways to do over a bedroom quickly. Look at the handsome photo below for inspiration. Chances are you will not find the exact items readily but you can find very nice things at Crate & Barrel for instance. Better yet call me, we can take care of this issue quickly!

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

What a great use of an attic space!

10. For Pete’s sake I don’t live in a house, I have a little apartment and have to serve four people. Problem solved, look at the lovely room below, the set up is clean and modern and will solve your issue–bam!

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

11. Stock the liquor cabinet, make sure you have plenty of mixers in individual bottles. Do you know what your guests like to drink? If not, you need to make a few calls or send some emails.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

12. My room is a mess, there is stuff everywhere. Dedicate one day to it and put your clutter away, try to pull the room together the best you can! When in doubt donate things you no longer use or put things in storage if you plan on needing them again.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

 

13. Hang your artwork! I meet people all the time who have things stacked up everywhere. I am not talking about artful arrangements of pictures propped on the mantle. This has to go!

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

14. The little things count! Ok I get it, you don’t have a room like this. But you could, start small! Buy a throw to cuddle with, a few pillows and candles. Put some nuts in a dish and candy in another, don’t forget some great books on the coffee table to inspire looking and conversation.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

 

15. I’m broke and just lost my job. Well that happens! So make some cards, paint some cool glasses and give them to your family. What did you say? You’re not artistic, well that’s ok. Write a hand written note telling someone how much they mean to you. Give your sister-in-law some IOUs for babysitting so she and your poor brother can get away from the kids to feel human again. Help your Dad clean out the garage, yes really! You get it, not everything good comes from a store.

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

Kenneth Walter, Gray & Walter Interior Design, Chicago Interior Design

 

I am so grateful to have my family, my health and a profession that gives me immense joy. What are you grateful for? I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season ahead.

 

Big Hugs,

-Ken

Designer Book Club

Created by Korean designer Sehoon Lee, this set of wall boxes does the unexpected. The boxes are actually hinged together so that they can flex and move around each other into different shapes.

Created by Korean designer Sehoon Lee, this set of wall boxes does the unexpected. The boxes are actually hinged together so that they can flex and move around each other into different shapes.

When I meet with new clients, I often ask them to go through books and magazines and mark images that resonate with them.  It opens the lines of communication and visualization.  There are so many great design books to pull inspiration from whether it be color palettes, textures, lighting or window treatments.  Below are a some of my favorites for your next interior design project.

Cheers-Ken

AH

Albert Hadley, by Adam Lewis, Rizzoli

Here, in his own words, is the first complete look at the career of Albert Hadley, legendary interior designer. A lavishly illustrated celebration of more than half a century of stunning interiors work, the book explores Hadley’s personal and professional influences. It traces the path of a career that brought him into contact with all of the major figures in twentieth-century design: First as a student and then a professor at Parsons School of Design, where he became a close friend of Billy Baldwin and was by turn a student, friend, and colleague of Van Day Truex; to his working with Eleanor Brown at McMillen, Inc.; to his influential partnership, Parish Hadley, with the venerable Sister Parish; to his current work as the head of Albert Hadley, Inc. Exploring Hadley’s design philosophy and process in great detail, the book covers the rooms that made design history, from the magnificent Rosedown Plantation to the Kennedy White House to Mrs. Vincent Astor’s library. Enriched with dozens of new and archival images, as well as Hadley’s acclaimed sketches and a catalogue raisonné listing every major article and book written about Hadley’s work, Albert Hadley is the definitive, exclusive look at one of the most brilliant designers this country has ever seen.

DP

Dream Palaces, by Marc Waler, Jerome Coignard, Vendome Press

Throughout the 19th century, European royalty built extraordinary palaces to which they retreated from their “official” lives in St. Petersburg, Paris, Vienna, and elsewhere. This book offers a panorama of these fantastic estates, where leading architects, craftsmen, muralists, garden designers, and naturalists were employed at enormous expense to create a life of unsurpassed luxury. Many of the palaces are now legendary: Ludwig II’s famous Neuschwanstein, which dominates the Bavarian Alps; the “Alexandra Cottage” of Peterhof, the gift of Nicholas I to his wife; the lovely Castle of Miramare built for the ill-fated Archduke Maximilian, the short-lived emperor of Mexico. The palaces are “romantic” in every sense, as creations of their time, and as places suffused with nostalgic memory.

GAH

Grand American Hotel, Vendome Press

From Publishers Weekly:

In the preface to this handsome photographic tribute to a former age, architecture critic Paul Goldberger refers to the great hotels of American and certain Canadian cities as popular icons: only the privileged have enjoyed the opulent service and appointments at the Plaza or Waldorf in Manhattan, at Chicago’s Drake, the Beverly Hills in L.A. or the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal; nonetheless, these hostelries and the comforts they represent are solid presences in city skylines and the fantasies of the public. Hundreds of color and black-and-white illustrations, selected by photo editor Walter, capture details and wide-angled views of luxurious dining rooms and lobbies; the text by Donzel ( Grand European Hotels ) and Gregory, publisher of Vendome, offers historical overviews of the hotels and references to specific parties and events associated with each. Many of these hotels have been restored and refurbished, yet, as this volume points out, their heyday was closer to the beginning of this century than to the end.

GH

Grand Hotel, Vendome Press

This book is hard to find but it has provided me with years of inspiration.

IS

Italian Splendor by Jack Basehart  Rizzoli

The magificent private residences built by the noble families of Italy are unsurpassed in their architectural diversity and artistic grandeur. This luxurious, full-color volume is a photographic journey to 50 of Italy’s most beautiful palaces, castles, and villas.

 

LT

Living Traditions by Matthew Patrick Smyth, Monacelli Press

Classic style and impeccable attention to detail are hallmarks of the work of interior designer Matthew Patrick Smyth. His comfortable, timeless rooms are tailored to fit his clients’ personalities and lifestyles, whether they are dynamic young couples with children or cultured art collectors. Smyth masterfully blends contemporary pieces with antiques to endow each space with a sense of solidity and history while maintaining a completely fresh, modern sensibility.

Smyth credits his mentor David Easton for teaching him how to see the intrinsic value of any given piece and to successfully mix furnishings with similar lines, materials, and forms even when they are products of different centuries. Easton also embedded in Smyth a love for travel—leading to the designer’s devotion to all things French that permeates his work. Smyth opened his own firm in New York in 1987 and now works with clients around the globe. His designs—characterized by refined, flawless interior architecture—are seen in grand Shelter Island mansions, classically proportioned San Francisco townhouses, and demure Parisian pied-à-terres alike.

In this lavishly illustrated volume, Smyth reveals his own design tips, rules, and approaches to meeting challenges offered by uniquely shaped spaces. He focuses on editing collections to better showcase individual works, the personal nature of color selection, adding—or restoring—historical references, and finishing a space off with glorious, often unexpected fabrics and trims. Over two hundred color photographs showcase a wide variety of styles, from a nature-infused Aspen vacation home to the quintessential Upper East Side apartment to a London flat that smoothly blends its owner’s inherited collection of Renaissance art with fine Indian pieces.

MH

Mark Hampton on Decorating, Random House

From Library Journal:

This is a collection of the monthly columns written by the author over a three-year period for House & Garden, plus additional material written especially for the book. Designed and illustrated by Hampton himself, the book is visually attractive. Unfortunately, the text is little more than a tour of the decorating styles of the rich and famous. The author’s knowledge of his field is obvious, and his opinions are informed, but the rather breathless, gushy style that works in a popular magazine column does not carry over well as a serious book. Offering little real substance, the chapters all sound the same.

– Constance Ashmore Fairchild, Univ. of Illinois Lib., Urbana-Champaign

My take on Mark Hampton:
Although this reviewer is well intentioned, I think she is totally missing the point. Mark Hampton was a fantastic artist and designer, his watercolors are worth the price of the book alone. When reading his columns I always felt he had a lot of talent to share with his clients and readers alike. He had a true gift that is illustrated in this book- he educates the reader while telling a story. In many ways I feel his “breathless” method of writing was Mr. Hampton pinching himself for his luck in having such great clients. The book is definitely worth purchasing if you like classic, well articulated traditional design.

MMW

McKim, Mead & White: The Masterworks, by Samuel G. White, Elizabeth White  Rizzoli

McKim, Mead & White rivals Frank Lloyd Wright for the honor of the premier architectural firm in American architecture. During McKim, Mead & White’s most creative period (1879-1915), the firm received nearly 1,000 commissions, which include many of the most famous and important buildings ever built in America. Now, following Rizzoli’s Houses of McKim, Mead & White, authors Samuel G. White and Elizabeth White here document the great non-residential works of America’s greatest classical architects. In lavish color and archival photographs, the book includes the Boston Public Library, Newport Casino, the second Madison Square Garden, the Washington Memorial Arch, the Morgan Library, major works at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the campuses of Columbia and Harvard universities, Pennsylvania Station in New York, Bank of Montreal, American Academy in Rome, the Century Association, and the Harvard, Metropolitan, and University clubs in New York, among others. McKim, Mead & White: The Masterworks is certain to stand the test of time as one of the most important publications on American architecture.

NY1930

New York 1930 by Stern, Gilmarten, Mellins  Rizzoli

From Library Journal:

This exuberant, lavishly produced volume chronicles the decades between the wars, when New York City was transformed into a mecca for art, entertainment, business, and commerce. The tumultuous period witnessed the contruction of many of the architectural monuments that have come to define New York: the Chrysler Building, the Empire State, Rockefeller Center, and the George Washington Bridge. While focusing on these landmark structures, the authors consider other components of the built environment as well: the public housing projects, highways, parks, and commercial, residential, and entertainment districts. Their delight in their subject is evidenced by the lively text and careful selection of over 600 period photographs and illustrations.

THWU

The Home Within Us by Bobby McAlpine  Rizzoli

Architect and designer Bobby McAlpine creates idyllic houses that wed historical precedent with gracious modern living. His distinguished firms, McAlpine Tankersley Architecture and McAlpine Booth & Ferrier Interiors, are renowned nationwide for their talent in designing residences that resonate with nostalgia, fantasy, and a sense of place. Their dwellings—from country and seaside retreats to homes in historic American neighborhoods—offer favorite period styles with a timeless quality. Presented are over twenty houses in a variety of settings that illustrate concepts running throughout their work. Juxtaposing intimate spaces with lofty entertaining areas and combining unexpected materials, such as stone with thatch, are among the hallmarks of these prestigious firms. Examples include a Mediterranean-revival house with sleek factory-sash windows and classical Roman columns, a beach house with a vaulted hallway leading to a light-filled contemporary salon, and an unusual house that blends Scottish vernacular style with modern details. With lush photography capturing the romance of these houses, The Home Within Us is ideal for anyone wishing to be inspired by the poetic design of a romantic home.

AMQ

Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty, Metropolitan Museum

Arguably the most influential, imaginative, and provocative designer of his generation, Alexander McQueen both challenged and expanded fashion conventions to express ideas about race, class, sexuality, religion, and the environment.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty examines the full breadth of the designer’s career, from the start of his fledgling label to the triumphs of his own world-renowned London house. It features his most iconic and radical designs, revealing how McQueen adapted and combined the fundamentals of Savile Row tailoring, the specialized techniques of haute couture, and technological innovation to achieve his distinctive aesthetic. It also focuses on the highly sophisticated narrative structures underpinning his collections and extravagant runway presentations, with their echoes of avant-garde installation and performance art.

Published to coincide with an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art organized by The Costume Institute, this stunning book includes a preface by Andrew Bolton; an introduction by Susannah Frankel; an interview by Tim Blanks with Sarah Burton, creative director of the house of Alexander McQueen; illuminating quotes from the designer himself; provocative and captivating new photography by renowned photographer Sølve Sundsbø; and a lenticular cover by Gary James McQueen. 

My book collection.

My book collection.

I never tire of design books.  If you have any recommendations to share- I would love to hear from you.  Have a wonderful week!