Style watch

Talented and gifted

New books showcasing smart people and ideas are perfect for the design lovers on your list.

By Michele Keith
December 12, 2010

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Martha’s Vineyard: Contemporary Living

By Keith Moskow and Robert Linn

The Monacelli Press, 224 pages, $50

All designed within the past five years, the homes in this book are thought-provoking and planned with lifestyles, technology, and the environment top of mind. They present new architectural visions with a nod to the old, connecting indoors with outdoors and combining myriad materials into stylized takes on uncluttered decors. Site plans and floor plans accompany the photography.

Victoria Hagan: Interior Portraits

By Marianne Hagan

Rizzoli New York, 240 pages, $50

Interior Design Hall of Fame honoree Victoria Hagan, in this book written by her sister, leads us from waterside homes (among them places on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard) to city and country residences, where her unique integration of color, silhouette, art, and light casts a contemporary yet timeless glow on each. Environments that make one “feel elevated in the presence of beauty” are her goal. She doesn’t disappoint.

Room for Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play

By Susanna Salk

Foreword by Kelly Wearstler

Rizzoli New York, 240 pages, $45

Pure magic, the rooms here leap from exuberant to whimsical to dramatic and more, producing “private worlds where children can discover who they are and . . . were meant to be.” For newborns to teenagers and created by top designers, parents, and even kids, the rooms’ sleep, play, and study areas are as functional as they are imaginative.

Alexa Hampton: The Language of Interior Design

By Alexa Hampton

Clarkson Potter, 256 pages, $50

Interior designer Alexa Hampton says inspiration and vision are important to great design, but the four “empirical truths” – contrast, proportion, color, and balance – are paramount. Explaining the design processes behind 18 diverse projects that illustrate these basics, and sharing tips on everything from wallcoverings to working with light, she’ll help readers create their own personal spaces.

Details: A Stylist’s Secrets to Creating Inspired Interiors

By Lili Diallo

Clarkson Potter, 256 pages, $40

Sometimes all it takes to make a room unforgettable is a little tweaking, and this book, authored by a top stylist, shows how you can do it, quickly and easily. Whether you’re looking to up the glamour, display a collection, or add some color, Lili Diallo’s surprising touches – a framed panel of elegant wallpaper, magazines stacked like art, one red wall – inspire.

Peter Pennoyer Architects: Apartments, Townhouses, Country Houses

By Anne Walker

Foreword by Robert A. M. Stern

The Vendome Press, 224 pages, $60

Called the “ruler of Right Now in American Architecture” by Tom Wolfe, Peter Pennoyer creates projects that exude an inventive spirit while staying true to his scholarly command of architectural history. This book, exploring 20 residences that include a beach house in Buzzards Bay, is illustrated with bold photographs and detailed floor plans and drawings.

At Home: A Style for Today With Things From the Past

By Suzanne Rheinstein

Foreword by Margaret RussellRizzoli New York, 240 pages, $55

“Fewer things but better things” is one way Suzanne Rheinstein describes her relaxed yet elegant style, and what better way to understand it than up close and personal: Two of the homes showcased are hers. Luxurious fabrics, many her own designs, fine, antique pieces arranged for comfort, sophisticated pattern combinations, and exquisite accessories will have readers asking for more.

Lars Bolander’s Scandinavian Design

By Heather Smith MacIsaac

The Vendome Press, 192 pages, $40

A must for design libraries, this book guides the reader through Lars Bolander’s Scandinavian aesthetic, both yesterday and today. Beginning with exteriors, gliding from room to room, spotlighting such notably Nordic elements as painted furniture, Mora clocks, and mid-century chairs, it overflows with ideas on how to put together variations of the look and incorporate its distinctive features into any decor.

Michele Keith is the author of Designers Here and There: Inside the City and Country Homes of America’s Top Decorators. Send comments to

Details: A Stylists's Serets to Creating Inspired Interiors
  • December 12, 2010 cover