Books How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century
The Art of Elegance: Classic Interiors
Hotel Chic at Home: Inspired Design Ideas from Glamorous Escapes
Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques
P. Gaye Tapp Rizzoli April 2017 224 pages, $55
Marshall Watson Rizzoli March 2017 256 pages, $55
Sara Bliss Monacelli Press November 2016 272 pages, $45
Susan Sully Monacelli Press April 2016 216 pages, $45
Much has been written about the great doyennes of the past, but few accounts are quite so entertaining and informative as designer P. Gaye Tapp’s new book How They Decorated: Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century. Sixteen celebrated women of style are profiled in four different categories—Legacy Style, In the Grand Manner, Fashionably Chic, and Unconventional Eye—with each story reading like a novel. The lives and designs of style setters such as Pauline de Rothschild, Mona von Bismarck, Babe Paley, Elsa Schiaparelli, Bunny Mellon, and Georgia O’Keefe—just to namedrop a few—are showcased in their fashionable and well-curated habitats. Tapp notes that their refined way of living had a lasting effect on generations to come in the areas of fashion, interiors, and art. And as interior designer Charlotte Moss—a great woman in her own right—pens in the book’s foreword, “Each of the subjects in How They Decorated moved to the beat of her own drum: Yet their lives have all stirred our own in some way.”
New York interior designer Marshall Watson makes his foray into the publishing world with his book The Art of Elegance. Named Traditional Home’s “Designer of the Year,” the Stanford-educated designer has a penchant for European inspired, richly detailed interiors. Watson details projects ranging from a cottage in Newport Beach and a Gramercy Park apartment to an Italianate villa in Los Cabos, and he delves into the history of the houses as well as the design principles behind each project. As each interior is as unique as its owner, the designer examines the topics of light, balance, proportion, and livability, all successful tenets of good design. Watson also has signature lines for Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman and rugs for Doris Leslie Blau.
Inspiration comes from a variety of sources and none better these days than the hotel room. Five-star hotels, in particular, are the new design stars, providing a serene and sophisticated womb for the weary traveler. Writer Sara Bliss offers a virtual hotel library for the inveterate armchair traveler and design aficionado, taking the reader around the world with a glimpse of spaces we may never see—bedrooms, baths, and even children’s rooms and hallways. Based on research for her traveland-design blog Hotel Chic (which reaches readers in more than 180 countries), 130 of the world’s unique hotels are profiled, including boutique hotels from India and Thailand to East Hampton and Hollywood. The author also provides practical design tips “for any style and budget” and interviews from top designers such as Mary McDonald, John Robshaw, and Michele Bonan, who reveal their favorite hotels and designs.
The past meets the present in Southern author Susan Sully’s latest design book Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques. An antiques aficionado and expert, she details, “Antiques add the touch of time and the human hand. Every dented baby cup, mended tablecloth, perfectly or imperfectly preserved piece of silver or porcelain tells a story that began long ago and hasn’t ended yet. There are no rules about living with them, except to take what’s old and keep it young by making it part of daily life.” Sully offers ways to incorporate antiques into contemporary interiors along with how to display collections, set a table with heirlooms in mind, and mix and match items from a variety of periods and styles, which is no easy feat. From a converted 1915 Alabama fire station to a Greek revival in New Orleans, the homes of collectors, designers, and antique dealers and how they live with treasured items are also showcased.