The other book for which I can credit my speedy recovery is The Great American House: Tradition for the Way We Live Now by Gil Schafer. Before reading the book, I was pretty confident that I would enjoy it as I'm an avid fan of Gil's work, not to mention the fact that he is a very affable and interesting person. Still, I didn't anticipate just how much I would enjoy this book. I opened the book, and before I knew it, a few hours had passed. And really, I can't imagine a better way to spend a few hours than to read Gil's engaging text and pore over the big, beautiful photos of his work.
I think that what I enjoyed most about this book is that it isn't solely a book about architecture. It's just as much about decoration and landscape architecture, too. And what impresses me is that Gil is so knowledgeable about all three, something that might explain why his houses have such great appeal. There is a harmonious relationship between the bones of the house and what lies both inside and outdoors. This is no easy feat, and Gil makes it look so effortless, though I realize it isn't. That takes great skill, something which Gil obviously has in spades.
If you want a book that is filled with glorious homes, beautiful interiors, and lush grounds, then Gil's book won't disappoint you. But if you also want a book that makes you think about what makes a home comfortable, modern, and timeless, then you've come to the right book. My only complaint is that I don't have a piece of property upon which to build a home of Gil's design.
*Gil will be presenting what looks to be an interesting talk next Tuesday, October 16, 11 a.m., at ADAC Atlanta. Titled Pink Clapboards and Tea Olive: What a Southern House Taught Me About Tradition, Memory, and Great Design, the presentation should be highly entertaining and informative, especially to those of us who call the South home. For more information or to register, please click here.