Mother’s Day is Sunday, and if you are looking for a last-minute gift, books are always my favorite option… and thank goodness for two-day shipping via Amazon Prime! Here are a few my favorite new books for spring, perfect for Mother’s Day or simply to add to your own collection. (Descriptions via Amazon.)
Images courtesy of Rizzoli
The first book dedicated to Henri Samuel, considered one of the pre-eminent French interior designers of the twentieth century and acclaimed for his mastery of historic design, as well as his eye for contemporary presentation and furnishings–a high-point addition to Rizzoli’s continuing coverage of the masters of the field.
Design legend Henri Samuel believed that a successful interior was one in which an observer never suspected that a decorator had been involved. This book takes the reader inside some of Samuel’s groundbreaking and inspiring interiors, beginning with his first job assisting Stéphane Boudin of Jansen in the 1920s through postwar Paris society and into the go-go ’80s. During his illustrious career, Samuel created rarefied and beautiful environments for his jet-set clientele–Doris Duke, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, Susan and John Gutfreund, Valentino Garavani, and multiple Rothschilds and Vanderbilts. Such was his expertise that museums such as Versailles and the Metropolitan Museum of Art consulted him on the installation of period rooms. Samuel was a master at reproducing intimate spaces in various historic styles in addition to mixing those styles in an erudite way: modernist paintings were installed over Empire consoles, Louis XIII furniture shared space with Oriental objects, neoclassical chairs were placed beside tables of brass and Plexiglas.
This book records Samuel’s life, his career, and the luxurious interiors he created for his clients and himself–rooms that look as fresh and alive today as they did when they were first arranged. It is a necessary addition to any design library.
Images courtesy of Phoebe Howard
From design expert (and interior design readers’ favorite) Phoebe Howard comes a new book focused on decorating with beautiful blue color schemes. Coastal Blues is a glorious decor book filled with inspiring images of beach houses, seacoast getaways, vacation cottages, and luxurious seaside manors. It is also a hardworking how-to-get-the-look book that offers solid interior design and styling advice. Featuring brand-new, never-before-published projects, every page reflects the ease and casual elegance of shoreline living. With chapters such as Sea Glass (brilliant blue color schemes), Indigo Bay (true blue schemes), and Ocean Mist (pale blue schemes), Phoebe Howard shows design lovers how to make the coastal style modern, fresh, and very much their own.
Images courtesy of Kimberly Whitman
Punch by the cupful makes a comeback on the party scene. Consummate hostess Kimberly Whitman introduces the lively, rich history of the punch bowl, from India to England & Europe to the American South and beyond. She creates a dozen festive party ideas organized around a punch bowl: an Easter Egg Hunt, a classic Blue and White Party, a Bar Cart Party, a Fall Gathering, a Holiday Breakfast Coffee, and more. Recipes for both alcoholic and nonalcoholic punches, plus recipes for what to serve with it are the center of each celebration. Kimberly’s expert hostess tips are scattered throughout. A variety of punch bowls, bases, and glasses featured in the book will send readers out shopping for their own special style.
Images courtesy of Nathan Turner
Designer Nathan Turner’s style is synonymous with the easy glam of California living. His first book introduced readers to his casual American style and chic design sense. Now, he has written a love letter to his home state in I Love California. This book is a journey up and down Highway 1 that takes readers from the redwoods of northern San Francisco, to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, to the beaches of Southern California. Simple recipes and tips for entertaining are featured alongside never-before-seen interiors. Lavish photographs capture the homes, people, and food of each unique location in glorious, sun-drenched detail. This book even includes Turner’s signature recipes for California comfort food, like his family’s Cioppino, Marinated Tri-tip Steak, Mexican Chocolate Cake, and more.
More than just a design book, I Love California will appeal to all readers—whether they’re entertaining friends and dining with family, or just wishing to visit the sun-dappled coast. As Nathan says, “The recipes and decor here are inspired by my home state, but really it’s a state of mind.” Now, you can create this dreamy California lifestyle anywhere.
Images courtesy of Assouline
In the latest body of work by author and photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank, the artist set out to explore what modern motherhood means in the 21st century. Turning her lens on 70 iconic families of mothers and children from such celebrated names as Delfina Figueres, Carolina Herrera, Lauren Santo Domingo, Anne Vyalitsyna, Aerin Lauder, Patty Jansen, Swanson Frank’s stunning portraits capture the emotional bonds and beauty that frame the primal relationship of a mother and child. Complementing her work is a series of questions-and-answers, in which Swanson Frank delicately tasks each mother to look within themselves and express what being a mother truly means to them. Their answers, while exceedingly thoughtful and introspective, are also amusing, fascinating and moving. Each one of these intimate and stunning portraits will captivate and inspire readers as they embark on this profound journey that reminds us all of the power of motherhood and the great gift of love.
Images courtesy of Rizzoli (read my review here)
Charlotte Moss inspires readers to imbue everyday life with elegance and romance. Moss focuses on events—as small as breakfast in bed or tea in the afternoon or as elaborate as a festive Christmas luncheon or large dinner party—and the artifacts of our lives (china, silver, linen) to create the backdrop for a life well lived.
Moss celebrates the day-to-day by bringing her enthusiasm and impeccable style to every domestic activity. Setting the table becomes a joy when putting together stylish combinations of place mats, monogrammed linens, china, tableware, curios, and flowers. From tasteful meals for one to grand occasions for friends and family, Moss chronicles her own aptitude for hospitality. Style icons are conjured for their entertaining savvy: Pauline de Rothschild for her pioneering tabletop decoration, Marjorie Merriweather Post for her organizational precision, Lesley Blanch for her introduction of exotic delights to the table, and Elsie de Wolfe for her always-right recipes. Butlers’ pantries are explored. Linen closets are catalogued. Flowers are collected from the garden and artfully arranged for a memorable meal. Moss invites you into her world to discover how to make everyday an occasion.
The next two books were released last fall, but they are excellent and would make a lovely gift or addition to your library… Other fall 2017 releases I previously reviewed include Second Bloom, Life at the Top: New York’s Most Exceptional Apartment Buildings, Classical Principles for Modern Design, Wedgwood: A Story of Creation & Innovation, About Decorating: The Remarkable Rooms of Richard Keith Langham, A Place to Call Home – Tradition, Style, and Memory in the New American House, A Place to Call Home – Timeless Southern Charm, and D. Porthault: The Art of Luxury Linens.
Images courtesy of Vendome Press
Versailles is one of the most photographed places in the world. Yet masses of tourists make it virtually impossible to imagine the splendor of the palace as it existed from the time of Louis XIV, the Sun King, in the 17th century, until the fall of Napoleon III in 1870. Now, four talented photographers were granted unlimited access to Versailles when the château was closed to visitors, and their work allows privileged access not only to the private suites of Louis XV, the boudoirs of Marie-Antoinette and Madame de Pompadour, the celebrated Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Chapel, the charming Orangerie, and Marie Antoinette’s bucolic Hamlet, but also to mysterious chambers and hushed apartments never normally seen. Captions describe daily life at Versailles and the momentous events that have taken place there, all published in a sumptuous oversize format befitting its majestic subject.
Images courtesy of The Monacelli Press
Harrie T. Lindeberg (1880–1959) was born of Swedish immigrants who settled in New Jersey. He apprenticed with architect George A. Freeman, joined the prestigious firm McKim, Mead & White in 1901, and forged out on his own in 1906, beginning fifty years of independent practice. An impressive client list includes the leading American families—Du Pont, Havemeyer, Doubleday—for whom he built houses in affluent suburbs and resorts across the country—Rhinebeck, Newport, Grosse Point, Lake Forest, and the Gold Coast of Long Island.
Architect Peter Pennoyer and historian Anne Walker bring Lindeberg’s work to life in Harrie T. Lindeberg and the American Country House. This survey of Lindeberg’s most stunning and influential projects includes more than 200 photographs—including new color photography by Jonathan Wallen—floor plans, and sketches. After introducing Lindeberg’s personal history and professional background, the book traces his career from his acclaimed debut in Pocantico Hills to larger developments like Meadow Spring and the export of his signature style to the Onwentsia Country Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. Pennoyer and Walker follow Lindeberg as he adapted to the building busts of the Great Depression and the rise of modernism. Experimenting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s aesthetic mission to bring America’s architecture abroad, Lindeberg also designed the United States Legation in Helsinki.
A gorgeous entrée to one of America’s most recognizable yet underappreciated architects, Harrie T. Lindeberg and the American Country House brings readers insight into how we view country houses today.
And lastly, here are a few books you will want to preorder for fall 2018… Please stay tuned for further reviews!
Happy Mother’s Day, and Happy Reading!