Must-Read Monday – “The Private House” by Rose Tarlow

I must admit, this is on my to-read list, because I haven’t gotten to it yet!  Rose Tarlow is a huge design force, for both her interiors and her stunning furniture pieces.  Much like last week’s book by Kelly Hoppen, this is a designer’s take on making a house a home.  These are just a taste of the many beautiful images contained within the pages.

(images via)


Must-Read Monday: “Home: From Concept to Reality” by Kelly Hoppen

Hello all!  I’m finally back on the blogging wagon… Life has been “interruptive” as of late! But now I have another must-read for you this week.

This book is about British designer Kelly Hoppen’s own journey to define home.  As a result of her experience, she deftly explains the design process, working from whole to part, and focusing as much on architectural detailing as furnishings.  Stunning photographs, neutral palettes, and a strong sense of balance and proportion make this home a wonderful study in timelessness.


(cover image from Amazon, other images via)

Must-Read Monday: “Patterns of Home” by Jacobson, Silverstein & Winslow

Last week’s topic was “Inviting and Welcoming” as being essential to timeless design, and it’s a topic big enough to warrant another week of discussion!  Mahady’s book was one inspiration, this book was another.  “Patterns of Home: The Ten Essentials of Enduring Design” was actually the textbook for one of my first design classes.  Though it was used as a textbook, it is not written for students alone.  I found its photographs, illustrations and language to make each point very accessible.

These are the ten essentials the authors outline:

  1. Inhabiting the Site
  2. Creating Rooms, Outside & In
  3. Sheltering Roof
  4. Capturing Light
  5. Parts in Proportion
  6. The Flow Through Rooms
  7. Private Edges, Common Core
  8. Refuge and Outlook
  9. Places in Between
  10. Composing with Materials

You’ll see a lot more here this week about inviting design, so come back and join us!

Must-Read Monday – “Welcoming Home” by Michaela Mahady

As you all can tell by now, I’m addicted to books.  And, unfortunately for my habit, I discovered many months ago that One Kings Lane has coffee table books for sale every couple weeks, I’ve been in big trouble!  I want to share with you one I just received last week, and is so perfect for the theme of this blog.

“Welcoming Home” is written by Minnesota architect Michaela Mahady.  Her goal in presenting this publication was to present that main characteristics of a house that make it an inviting home.  Personally, I think the summary in the book jacket does the best job of stating this:

“…architecture Michaela Mahady explores how humans experience built places in order to identify those characteristics that make us feel welcome, protected, comforted and happy.  She examines such elements as welcoming entryways, sheltering roofs, handcrafted details that convey personality and tradition, and materials and colors that create comfort and warmth.”

Personally, I think she does a great job at doing this.  While her examples are predominantly Craftsman-style homes, there are beautiful photographs of all the concepts she discusses.  She has designed the book to look at a house from the outside in, working from a holistic perspective to focusing on details.  She points out our timeless trait “sense of place” in a great way, discussing physical, emotional and physiological ties with the land and community, and offers some great anecdotal examples.  She gives advice on what questions to ask yourself during a building process to ensure that the home reflects your lifestyle and your neighborhood.

(all images from Google Preview)

What makes you feel welcome in a home?
What have you done in your home to make others feel welcome?

Come back tomorrow to discuss more on this timeless trait!

Must-Read Monday – Jasper Conran’s “Country”

Good morning, Monday!

Another week and another book recommendation. Today, I want to introduce you to Country, the first publication by the English-born fashion and costume designer Jasper Conran.

A note of caution: this is not a book about design. It is a book about a way of life, of heritage, of traditions. Its fabulous photographs capture farmers in their fields, families in their homes, the beauty of the English landscape. Conran writes about how so many country homes have remained rather unchanged for generations, due both to lack of funds and simplicity.

What his words and photographs exude are a strong sense of place, of family, of lifestyle. Their buildings have a common vernacular, same as the people who live in them. But this is the important part, the homes represent the people who live in them: their sensibilities, their relationships, their everyday routines.

I think this book also introduces some of what I want to talk about this week: sense of place, tradition, vernacular; the importance that environment plays in both architecture and interior design.  Stay tuned!

Must-Read Monday

Good morning!  Welcome to the first Must-Read Monday here at Amaranthine Aesthetic.  I’ve struggled with what to share today, because my list continues to grow.  But I think I’ve decided.  Last week, I introduced the Timeless Living books by Wim Pauwels.  He’s become rather prolific, having published numerous tomes on the timeless design subject.  So I wanted to introduce you to some of these.

These books certainly present and promote a very European perspective on timeless design.  But the color palettes and architectural details are incredibly inspiring.  These books have provided ideas, inspiration and solutions in my work as a designer, and are loved by clients and architects alike.  These are like grown-up picture books – not much commentary, but large collections of beautiful photographs.  His newer publications also do a better job of photographing the small details that make up such stunning interiors.

Have any of you read or used any books by Wim Pauwels?  Do these look like something you would use?

Come back tomorrow for Timeless Trait Tuesday!

Wim Pauwels

There are several well-known and beautifully-done design books focused on this same topic, titled “Timeless Living”. Belgian author Wim Pauwels showcases a variety of European homes that meet his definition of timeless. It is not hard to see why most of them are chosen. The spaces exude a simplicity, created through truth in architecture, an abundance of natural light, attention to craft and expression of materials. There is an obvious rejection of the superfluous and a concentration on necessity. Exquisite details punctuate each space.

Pauwels offers one look at timelessness in this series, and his other publications continue in the same vein. But the purpose of this blog is to seek out our own definition, applicable and useful in our modern everyday lives.

This is just one designer’s definition, now it’s your turn to share yours! This is a journey where hopefully we all discover something new, that might shed new light on how we view designing our own homes to suit our needs.