Friday, May 17, 2013
Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design
Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Michael Smith lecture about his new book, Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design. Prior to the event, I knew of the premise of the book, which chronicles the evolution of a house from conception to reality. But until I heard Michael speak, I had not realized how truly special this home really was.
Built to evoke a Palladian villa, this Malibu, California house was a labor of love, one seen through to fruition by the homeowners, the designer, the architect (Oscar Shamamian), the contractor, and various artisans. The tales that they share are the heart of this book, and they give much insight into what makes a spectacular home. But what I find to be most remarkable about this story- and what intrigued the most about Smith's lecture- is both the care and the detail that was lavished on this house. From imported stone to mosaics to a smattering of furniture once owned by Bill Blass, nothing but the best would do for this house, although there was nothing ostentatious in the result. It all worked well together splendidly.
As most of you know, the house has since been sold to new owners and the contents of the home were auctioned off by Christie's last month. Thank goodness that we have this fascinating book that documents this one-of-a-kind house.
© Building Beauty: The Alchemy of Design by Michael S Smith, Rizzoli publishers, 2013.