This first book is frankly the BEST book for summer you will get your hands on. I adore both of these books Vendome Press sent over but The Maine House is about cottage, summer living in all its casual splendour and that really speaks to me right now. Photographer Maura McEvoy and art director Basha Burwell traveled the length and breadth of Maine in search of houses that capture the state’s singular character. These are not designer houses; they are homes created by the people who live in them, from artists to writers to fishermen, distinctive for their ingenuity, originality, and fierce individuality. Many are unchanged, inhabited by generations of the same family; some are ingenious conversions. I read it last weekend and its so good I’m exciting to go through it again this weekend, while lounging in my greenhouse, with a drink in hand and a cat in my lap.
Next up is Provence Style: Decorating with French Country Flair by Shauna Varvel. This book is about living the dream – in a 200 year old chateau/farmhouse (among others). Sign me up! I’m so incredibly intrigued by homes in Europe from this era so this book is eye candy that immediately reeled me in.
The era of colorful rusticity and shabby chic has since been replaced by a far more nuanced approach in line with contemporary tastes and needs. Provence Style showcases this new direction, featuring Shauna Varvel’s eighteenth-century Rhône valley farmhouse—Le Mas des Poiriers—as an exemplar. Named for the working pear orchard on the grounds, the property was reimagined by Varvel and noted local architect Alexandre Lafourcade, who transformed an outdated structure into a luxurious and contemporary expression of Provençal style. Alexandre’s mother, renowned landscaper Dominique Lafourcade, designed the extensive gardens. With her exquisite home serving as an archetypal starting point, Varvel goes on to explore the architectural and interior elements that are part of the reinvented Provençal aesthetic. Featuring a selection of homes created by noted interior designers, Provence Style beautifully illustrates the textures, furnishings, fabrics, color pairings, motifs, and accents that define each area, from kitchens, living spaces, bedrooms, and bathrooms to garden terraces and courtyards.