I've long been an ardent fan of writer James Reginato's articles for such publications as Vanity Fair and W. A sometimes chronicler of the homes of the great and the good, Reginato has in recent years profiled the aristocratic domiciles of the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, the Duke of Marlborough, and the Marquess of Cholmondeley. In this book, Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats, Reginato has compiled these profiles in one volume, focusing on the splendid homes of the English and Irish aristocracy. And what a volume it is, with featured homes that include Blenheim, Haddon Hall, Lismore Castle, and Goodwood House. With photography by the esteemed Jonathan Becker, Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats will likely join the league of those coveted books about high-society by Horst and Slim Aarons.
(© Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats by James Reginato, Rizzoli New York 2016. Images © Jonathan Becker)
There have been a number of "the making of a house" books published over the last few years, but one that has thoroughly impressed me is A House in the Country by the husband-and-wife duo, designer Katie Ridder and architect Peter Pennoyer. Devoted to the conception, execution, and decoration of the couple's Millbrook, New York house, A House in the Country is an engaging book that chronicles both the practical and creative sides to creating a dream home from the ground up. What struck me was how personal their house is. This might sound like a lame statement, because in theory, a house should reflect the personalities of its owners. But how many times do we see impersonal homes? Not here. Ridder's love of color, pattern, and exotic flourishes shines through, as does Pennoyer's attention to the sometimes-quirky-but-always-delightful details, both of which make this house, and this book, something truly special.
(© A House in the Country by Peter Pennoyer and Katie Ridder, Vendome 2016. Images © Eric Piasecki)
If you've spent any time on Instagram lately, you're likely well aware of designer Mark D. Sikes' debut book, Beautiful, an apt title for a book filled with dreamy interior photos. Organized by color, each chapter examines Sikes' passion for certain colors (blue and white, brown, green, and red) and demonstrates how the designer uses these colors to imbue a home's interiors with personality and style. Alongside images of Sikes' work, there are photos of vignettes and mood boards, all of which provide the reader with ample design inspiration.
(© Beautiful by Mark D. Sikes, Rizzoli New York 2016. Images © Amy Neunsinger)
I've long been a fan of designer Michelle Nussbaumer's lush and visually-stimulating interiors, so I had been anxiously awaiting the publication of her new monograph, Wanderlust: Interiors that Bring the World Home. And after diving into the book, I can say that it's a real treat to peruse. Nussbaumer's passion is for the exotic: Turkish textiles, Moroccan rugs, Indian paintings, and Venetian furniture, all of which lend her clients' homes a worldly flair. But even if exoticism isn't your thing, I think you'll still appreciate this book. Nussbaumer's interiors are the kind that invite more than a passing glance, instead revealing their splendor upon thoughtful observation- and that's just what makes this book so captivating.
(© Wanderlust: Interiors that Bring the World Home by Michelle Nussbaumer, Rizzoli New York 2016. )
And last but certainly not least, The Perfect Bath, Waterworks co-founder Barbara Sallick's paean to the perfect bath. And what constitutes the perfect bath? To Sallick, "these three words immediately conjure up an irresistible, even timeless vision of relaxation, reflection, and restoration." This book features sybaritic baths, Spartan-but-luxurious baths, and classic baths that are reminiscent of the Twenties and Thirties. If you are a designer seeking inspiration for clients' baths or someone like me who dreams of one day having the perfect bath, this book is for you.
(© The Perfect Bath by Barbara Sallick, Rizzoli New York 2016. )