I recently had the pleasure of spending a few hours chatting with Chuck Chewning, the recently appointed Creative Director of Donghia. After years of working in the luxury residential and hospitality design field, Chuck's career has taken an interesting turn with his new job at Donghia- a move that is especially appropriate as Chuck has long admired the work of the late design legend Angelo Donghia. Chuck has a lot of passion and enthusiasm for the company and is in the process of returning Donghia to its very stylish roots, and I for one cannot wait to see what he has up his sleeve. But based on what I've heard, you die-hard Angelo Donghia fans will not be disappointed.
One thing that really struck me about Chuck was his extensive knowledge of design history and the decorative arts, not surprising for someone with a background that includes historic preservation. And did I mention his envy-worthy design library? He has decades worth of design magazines and scores of books, so I couldn't help but be nosy and find out which books have inspired him the most. Here they are with comments provided by Chuck:
New York Interior Design, 1935-1985
This is a monumental 2-volume work by Judith Gura who teaches at the New York School of Interior Design and directs the design history program. The books are divided between Traditional and Modern but the crossover of styles is very evident in all the interiors. This is a comprehensive collection of archival photographs of some of the most impressive interiors designed by New York designers spanning 50 years.
(editor's note-the book is available as a limited edition set or each volume can be purchased separately.)
Le style Givenchy
This is an exquisite book showcasing the artistry of Givenchy through his personal interiors, fashion and lifestyle. The photos are beautiful and masterfully woven together to give you a true sense of the Givenchy style. It makes you aware that design and beauty are integral to the whole French lifestyle.
Bloomingdale's Book of Home Decorating
This is a jewel of a book that showcases the eclectic interiors produced by Bloomingdale's in the early 1970's. The diversity of styles and settings are amazing and fun to see. The room settings are very sophisticated and chic!
David Hicks-Living with Design
First of all I love the "James Bond" cover and the format of this book. Hicks' projects are thoroughly represented from residential, commercial, showroom and gardening design. It is full of editorial clippings, archival events and personal mementos of Hicks. He is a pioneer of mixing contemporary and traditional design together. In addition as a Hicks fanatic, I recommend all of his books!- David Hicks on Decoration-with Fabrics, David Hicks on Decoration, David Hicks on Bathrooms, David Hicks Style and Design.
Interiors '70: Carla De Benedetti
This is a new book which chronicles prominent Italian interiors from 1967-75. The photos by Carla de Benedetti are beautiful and the interiors are magical time capsules. I continue to marvel at the masterful eclectic mix that Italians can naturally achieve. Even after living in Milan myself for 3 years I still strive to design with that in mind.
Ten by Warren Platner
I have always been enamored by Platner's furniture design and this book shows the extent of his talent through architecture and interior design. The photos are by Ezra Stoller and have an atmospheric beauty to them. The corresponding text is equally inspiring and worth reading.
This is the quintessential book on celebrity interior lifestyles photographed by Horst in the 1960's, 70's, and 80's. These beautiful photos capture a glimpse into the homes of the world's most glamorous people.
House & Garden's Complete Guide to Interior Decoration
I actually have three editions of this book from 1940 to 1970. I am still lamenting the loss of House & Garden magazine of which I have all my issues dating back to the early 1980's. The H&G decorating books are great "how to" books that feature interior photos, sketches, charts, diagrams and chapters of historical styles all with the idea of educating the housewife on the art of decorating.
Billy Baldwin Decorates
I love Billy Baldwin's design and how he could successfully design both very contemporary and traditional interiors. There is a certain comfort and elegance combined that is timeless and classic in his work.
Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People
This incredible book features homes from the archives of Vogue and Vogue Living over the past twenty years never published. Hamish Bowles spent hours going through the Vogue archives to compile these beautiful photographs of the houses and gardens of the world's most celebrated individuals and the diverse lifestyles they live.