Several new books have popped up in my mailbox lately from Rizzoli. I have since devoured them and let me tell you, they are all eye candy at its finest. I adored these books and they are definitively keepers for the coffee table.
First up is The French Royal Wardrobe: The Hôtel de la Marine Restored by author Jérôme Hanover and Gabriel Bauret, with photographs by Ambroise Tézenas. This volume goes behind the scenes to reveal the history and metamorphosis of the Hôtel de la Marine, a treasure of Parisian heritage. An extensive four-year restoration was completed in 2021; the building reopened to the public and features a museum, conserved apartments that highlight the tastes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, an exhibition hall, a bookshop, and three restaurants. Previously unpublished photography captures the splendor and majesty of the monument. What made this book really special were all of the photos of what went on during the renovations. Typically books would feature the end result of the renovation, not photos during the work being done. It make for some really hauntingly beautiful captures that are quite magical.
The next book was packed with delicious spaces I could not get enough of. At Home with Designers and Tastemakers: Creating Beautiful and Personal Interiors by author Susanna Salk, with photographs by Stacey Bewkes. This one features some gorgeous homes I absolutely fell in love with, and included one of my favourites – Stony Ford, the Hudson Valley home of Susan and Will Brinson of @houseofbrinson. Susanna Salk visits incredible homes of designers and other creatives, experiencing how they live and how they decorate when it’s for themselves, not for a client. Whether it’s the Connecticut weekend retreat of textile designer John Robshaw, or photographer Pieter Estersohn’s restored Hudson Valley home full of his work and inspiration, or the cozy garden retreat of chef Lulu Powers in West Hollywood, Salk has gathered decorating tips and secrets from some of the most stylish and savvy people.
And lastly, Presidential Residences in France by author Adrien Goetz, with photographs by Ambroise Tézenas. This volume offers a visit to the presidential residences of France: the Élysée Palace and its neighboring Hôtel de Marigny, the Lantern Pavilion hidden away in the park of Versailles, and the Brégançon Fort. These are the places where one can discover the excellence of French artisans, its art conservators and restaurateurs, and its famed gardeners. These sites of political theater and residences of the French president showcase France’s exceptional artistic heritage and present the great treasures of “French taste,” in perpetual reinvention from the eighteenth century through today, to diplomatic visitors from all over the world. I really loved this book because it really took me by surprise how much modern elements had been added in the past and how spectacular they look against exceptionally elegant and ornate architecture.