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 – “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-Ready Monday – Bobby McAlpine’s “The Home Within Us”

One of the most inspirational architects/interior designers of today is Bobby McAlpine. Co-founder of architecture firm McAlpine Tankersley and interior design firm McAlpine Booth & Ferrier, and furniture designer for McAlpine Home, he offers ideas for every area of home.

McAlpine’s beautiful projects speak for themselves: they show that architecture, interior architecture and interior design are wholly dependent on each other for a project to be successful. His homes are rife with stunning details, inside and out, creating a cohesiveness that makes each one greater than the sum of its parts. McAlpine calls this his pursuit for “the inheritable house”, doing this through explorations of timeless forms and styles in an effort to give each client a home reflective of them. The Home Within Us is his first publication, complete with rich commentary and striking photos. There is a great deal of attention paid to the basic concepts that drive each design and the details with which they are realized.

all images from Pinterest

Further reading:

McAlpine Tankersley Architects; McAlpine, Booth & Ferrier Interiors, McAlpine Home


Come back tomorrow for a longer discussion about architecture and timeless interiors!