Array Spring 2018

Page 32

Books Axel Vervoordt: Stories and Reflections

Creating Beauty: Interiors

Classical Principles for Modern Design: Lessons from Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman's The Decoration of Houses

India Hicks: A Slice of England: The Story of Four Houses

Axel Vervoordt and Michael James Gardner Flammarion April 2018, 312 pages $30

Kathryn Scott Rizzoli March 2018, 240 pages $55

Thomas Jayne Monacelli Press January 2018, 240 pages $50

India Hicks Rizzoli March 2018, 224 pages $50

At the age of 67, international Belgian interior and product designer Axel Vervoordt has at long last written a memoir on a life well lived. Known for his unique and effortless minimalist interiors, he has garnered a worldwide following, and his personal home and reconstruction of a village in Antwerp is the stuff of design legend. Notable projects include actor Robert De Niro’s Manhattan penthouse and the interiors of Ira Drukier’s Greenwich Hotel. A fixture on the global art and antique scene, Vervoordt is widely considered one of the most esteemed dealers and curators in the world. Readers are privy to recollections and stories of the people who influenced his life and shaped his work from patrons, friends and clients to artists and mentors. Personal musings on visits from Rudolf Nureyev to his castle, his first Magritte purchase and tales of his legendary Venice exhibitions dot the pages of his fourth book.

Interior designer and awardwinning artist Kathryn Scott’s first monograph Creating Beauty: Interiors features a wide array of her handcrafted interiors from a sophisticated Central Park and Parisian-inspired neoclassical townhouse to a contemporary Hudson Valley retreat. Her five-story Italianate Brooklyn Heights brownstone is one of the special highlights, showcasing her use of customized details in serene and harmonious spaces. Reflecting her disciplined eye and attention to artisanal detail, the book explores the tried and true principles of proportion, effective use of unexpected materials and architectural detailing along with the various themes of her interiors that have appeared on the pages of House Beautiful, Architectural Digest and Southern Accents. She also conducts popular tours for Institute of Classical Architecture.

Turn-of-the-century interior designers Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman’s iconic design tome The Decoration of Houses was known as the “Bible of American Design” in 1897. A primer of classical symmetry and proportion, the book eschewed heavy Victorian-style furnishings that were a welcome departure from the Gilded Age of excess. The book also signaled the emergence of design as a profession. Noted design historian and designer Thomas Jayne tackles the age-old classical principles, adapting the doctrine of today’s modern living. As he aptly notes, “The Decoration of Houses is the level-headed, indispensable book on the subject. It is not an overstatement to say that it is the most important decorating book ever written.” Elaborating on the design principles through his own work at Jayne Design Studio, he showcases the restoration of eighteenth-century interiors in Crichel House in Dorset, England and Hudson Valley country house retreats to city living in Manhattan. Wharton and Codman would be proud.

Author, model, designer, television personality and entrepreneur India Hicks could easily be considered this decade’s Martha Stewart. Daughter of the legendary ’60s design icon David Hicks, life growing up in England and life as an adult in the Bahamas shaped her design aesthetic and the creation of a lifestyle brand that includes books and home accessories. With a royal lineage and pedigree (Charles, Prince of Wales is her godfather and she served as a bridesmaid in his wedding to Princess Diana), it’s only fitting her fifth book explores her recently designed country home in Oxfordshire and the history of three of her parent’s homes, Broadwell, The Grove and Bitwell along with David Hick’s celebrated gardens. The second portion of the book dissects the interpretation of her new home, America Farm, and how she has incorporated English traditions, adapting the designs into modern life and making it her own. Anecdotal tales on country life, local pubs and markets also fill the pages. Couture designer Carolina Herrera pens the book’s foreword.


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