April is an exciting month for the design-obsessed. Spring is in full bloom, High Point Market takes place and we get to see the best and brightest in the design industry, and a slew of new books are released! I can never have enough beautiful coffee table books. I don’t have many vices outside of a glass of wine here and there, reality television, and stacks upon stacks of books on design, entertaining, travel, fashion, gardening, and inspiring people. I was so thrilled when Rizzoli recently sent me a few titles to review which are among my favorite this season!
Homefront: Design for Modern Living by Windsor Smith | I had been anxiously awaiting Windsor’s first design tome for months. I have admired Windsor’s work for years and find the way in which Windsor pairs modern and traditional elements to be endlessly inspiring. She is one of my favorite interior designers and her beautiful book, Homefront does not disappoint. Its glossy pages are filled with beautiful images of a variety of homes that she has designed for clients including, Gwyneth Paltrow who penned the book’s foreword and who famously scooped up the House of Windsor in Brentwood, California. The house is featured extensively alongside other beautiful projects as Windsor guides the reader through the various design hallmarks that have come to define her style. For more on Windsor Smith, check out her Style Files interview in the LDV archives.
Island Style by India Hicks | India Hicks has long been regarded as an arbiter of style– first, because of her extraordinary background and soon after as a tastemaker with impeccable style of her own. India is the daughter of the legendary English decorator, David Hicks (my design hero) whose bold taste and geometric patterns have endured for decades and Pamela Hicks, the daughter to the Earl and Countess of Mountbatten. The Earl was the Viceroy of India, hence India’s name. You may also remember India as one of the flower girls in her godfather, the Prince of Wales’ wedding to Lady Diana Spencer. After a career in modeling, the British beauty met her partner, David Flint Wood and succumb to island life, remodeling an old house that would become their beloved Hibiscus Hill in the Bahamas where they reside with their children, Felix, Amory, Conrad, Domino, and Wesley. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales is responsible charming and heartfelt foreword in Island Style. The book is filled with extraordinary photographs of India’s family, her chic island home, and the beautiful surroundings in the Bahamas. Island Style features plenty of design and entertaining inspiration, but it goes beyond the surface to the true beauty of the Bahamas– preserving its rich cultural and natural resources. This book will inspire you to seek out your own personal paradise. For more on India Hicks, check out her Style Files interview in the LDV archives.
On Garden Style by Bunny Williams | Bunny Williams is the grand dame of American Design, so as you might imagine, everything she does is absolutely exquisite. Her gardens are no exception. The gardens Bunny has designed over the years are as famous and beloved as the beautiful homes in her portfolio. On Garden Style was originally published in 1998 and since I was 17 and more interested in Dawson’s Creek so, I’m absolutely thrilled that it has gone back into print in this newly updated volume which includes many never-before-seen photos. Bunny guides the reader through some of the most inspiring gardens in the world, walking us through the history of formal gardens, and then helping us to establish a garden style, much the same way a decorator would guide a client through a traditional design process. On Garden Style is both philosophical and practical– musing on the beauty and magic of these splendid gardens and then guiding the reader through the process of understanding and selecting the various elements that every beautiful garden needs. On Garden Style is an absolute must-have for anyone with a green thumb or an appreciation for nature’s majesty. For more on Bunny Williams, check out her Style Files interview in the LDV archives.
Casa Bohemia by Linda Leigh Paul | I have always been fascinated by Spanish Colonial architect. I grew up spending summers in Mexico visiting my mother’s family and I remember always being drawn to the stunning architecture of buildings that were hundreds of years old. From the exquisite tile work and vibrant colors, to the central patios and beautiful fountains, I still love the style to this day. In a world filled with grotesque Spanish style McMansions, it is so refreshing to see the homes that Linda Leigh Paul has selected for Casa Bohemia. From authentic, centuries old haciendas in Mexico to private residences in Spain and the classic Spanish houses of Southern California, Casa Boehmia is a love letter to the the various iterations of the Spanish-Style house. I really enjoyed the fact that each chapter features an individual house and its story. It is a wonderful treat to see modern homes, like that of actress Ellen Pompeo decorated by Martyn Lawrence Bullard or Lewis Nequette of Dungan Nequette Architects’ in Birmingham, Alabama next to grand Spanish colonial houses from the 1700s in San Miguel de Allende. Filled with stunning images from cover to cover, Casa Bohemia‘s beautiful scenery is sure to inspire anyone with an appreciation for architecture. It has been many years since Fabian and I visited San Miguel de Allende, but Casa Bohemia makes me want to book our plane tickets and find a private house to rent soon!