Design and architecture go hand in hand, and it's not uncommon to find books on both subjects in a single collection. Two people with an amazing library are Richard Bories and James Shearron of the architectural firm Bories and Shearron. With Bories' experience as an architect and Shearron's background in design, the two create homes that are rooted in tradition but that are "modern in intention [and] that age gracefully over time." How refreshing!
Bories and Shearron are unabashed bibliophiles. Their library is a working one, and they enthusiastically mine their books for inspiration. Yet, they do not slavishly copy what they see, instead updating and tweaking ideas to fit the 21st century setting. To me, this is what makes their work so successful. You must visit their website to see their projects (including a collaboration with Miles Redd). And in regards to their favorite books, I'll say that this is the first time that I've only had one book from a book list. Many of these titles are rare and may be hard to find, but if you have an interest in architecture especially, I think these books will be well worth the hunt!
(Image at top: A recent Bories and Shearron project was the renovation of this 18th c. house)
A few of Bories and Shearron's architectural drawings:
A painted floor inspired by Batty Langley
A Louis XVI library inspired by the boudoir of Marie Antoinette at Petite Trianon
A built-in bedroom armoire inspired by the 18th century designs of Ince and Mayhew
Top Ten Book List:
1) Hope's Metal Windows and Casements (1926) by Henry Hope & Sons, Ltd. This bound copy of the famous British metal window and door company is a traditional architect's dream. It has full-scale sections, details, and elevations of every conceivable window and door type. Contains beautiful B&W photos of great country houses and public buildings around the world that use their products.
2) Gardens Old and New: The Country House & Its Garden Environment (3 Vol.,1900-16) by H. Avray Tipping.From the publisher of Country Life magazine, 300 plus pages of large B/W photographs with descriptions of all periods of England's great country house gardens photographed before WWI. Leafing through the pages of these three volumes is a dream-like transportation to another time and place. In addition, it's a great education in the history of English garden design.
3) Sporting Stables & Kennels, by Richard V. N. Gambrill and James C. Mackenzie; foreword by James W. Appleton, M.F.H. (1935). A truly rare compendium of stables, dog kennels, and other out buildings of some remarkable English and American country houses. Plans, architectural renderings, and incredible interior photographs.
4) Versailles (1970) by Ian Dunlop. A chatty novel that does a wonderful job of leading the reader through all of the architectural and cultural phases of the famous building and its infamous inhabitants. Full of floor plans and photographs. Forwards by Nancy Mitford and Sir Arthur Bryant.
5) The New Book of Smart Interiors (1937). A very rare book of selected interiors from the American version of Country Life magazine. C. L. existed for only a decade or so--its heyday being the 1930s. The focus was on the very rich and their country houses. It was filled with lavish spreads displaying complete country estates: from the stables to the decor of the main house. These pictures of American country houses you will not see anywhere else as the magazine, the corporation, and its archives have all disappeared!
6) Chateaux De France. Editions Des Deux-Mondes. (1954), by Francois Mathey. A collection of beautiful B/W architectural photographs of all the great chateaux of France. They are shown at a time when many appear to have been abandoned after WWII--suffering the beauty of benign neglect.
7) Demeures et Jardins de France (1953), by Olivier Queant. A great photographic collection of small houses and their gardens (ancient and modern) from all over France. A mix of house plans, garden plans, and some interiors.
8) Small Castles and Pavilions of Europe (1976), by Jerome Zerbe. This book is an excellent companion to Zerbe's earlier Les Pavilions. In this volume, his B/W photographs show great architectural gems from all over Europe. Cyril Connolly's lively and lengthy introduction sets the stage for an enlightening discussion about the architecture of the houses, the families that live in them, and their histories.
9) Decoration de France, Apartements et Hotels Particuliers (1949), by Olivier Queant. Color and B/W photographs in twelve chapters covering rooms in the townhouses and apartments of Paris--both Modern and Traditional. A great record of chic Art Deco interiors of the 30's and 40's with classical decors from 18th and 19th century salons.
10) Chinese Houses and Gardens (1950), by Henry Inn and S. C. Lee. A collection of B/W photographs and drawings documenting the architecture and the decorative arts of the finest examples of early Chinese houses. Aside from the photographs, there are drawings of fretwork designs, hardware, furniture, and paving patterns.
11) Georgian Houses of America (2 Vol.,1933 and 1937) by Architect's Emergency Committee. Two luxurious, over-scaled volumes of presentation style elevation drawings, floor plans, and photographs of the best examples of American Colonial, Federal, and Greek Revival houses. The group that produced the drawings and edited both volumes consisted of twelve of the most illustrious architects of the day. A must have for anyone interested in the history of American architecture.