A few new books

Posted on Tue, 25 Apr 2023 by KiM

Let me start off by saying this first book, Ateliers of Europe, is now in my top 3 favourites design-y books of all time. It is so unique which is a real bonus given everyone seems to be putting out design books these days and while the spaces can be great, they are just spaces. These are ATELIERS. IN EUROPE. OMG. From Prestel Publishing.
This visually stunning love letter to the art of craft takes readers inside Europe’s most illustrious–and in many cases endangered–decorative arts workshops to profile how artisans continue to maintain the highest centuries-old standards of workmanship and creativity. Beginning in the Renaissance, ateliers were established as places for European artists to work and teach their crafts. Centuries later most of these spaces have disappeared, but a select few continue to produce some of the world’s most celebrated and sought-after objects in the areas of crystal, ceramics, wrought iron, fabric, bookbinding, mosaic, wood paneling, and more. John Whelan and Oskar Proctor traveled throughout Europe to document these important spaces, both to celebrate them and to preserve their disappearing ideals. Ranging from the well- known to the obscure, this volume takes readers inside dozens of ateliers from Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland.

Next is The Artistry of Flowers: Floral Design by La Musa de las Flores by María Gabriela Salazar, with photos by Ngoc Minh Ngo and published by Rizzoli. This one I thought might be a bit of a bore but I should have known how wrong that was given who the photographer is (I’ve been a fan for many years). But it didn’t stop there. I have very limited free time so I tend to not read much but just look at the pretty pictures and get to the end faster. Not the case here. I read every word. I can’t remember the last time I read every word of a book that wasn’t a novel. It’s a beautiful book all around. Highly recommend.
The Artistry of Flowers encourages everyone to live with florals and to appreciate their beauty as we appreciate art. Celebrated floral designer Gabriela Salazar teaches us how to look at flowers and understand their characteristics from an artist’s perspective. Drawing on her painting background, Salazar looks at floral arrangements as compositions. She highlights which type of blooms are best for different designs and shares building blocks for floral designs ranging from simple and sculptural to complex and colorful, including arrangements for any mood and different decor.

The last book I’ll share today is A House in Maine by Nina Campbell, with Giles Kime, and photos by Paul Raeside. This one wasn’t quite my cup of tea but soley because Nona Campbell’s style doesn’t really do it for me. But this home is so grand and if I can get past her style, it was so meticulously curated and the “how the other half live” vibe is really worth it if you’re a fan of Nina Campbell. And I am a huge fan of Paul Raeside so it’s eye candy I can get behind in how he masters shooting interiors. And if you’re a fan of all shades of purple you need to buy this book.
The interior design of this New England seaside escape—by decorating legend Nina Campbell—explores a myriad of themes: the evolution of a home, the importance of place, and the creation of an oasis amid a bustling world. The interiors of this glorious retreat’s many buildings are given the Nina Campbell treatment with vibrant palettes, sumptuous fabrics, fine antiques, and a contemporary clarity. Constructed at the turn of the last century, the core of the main house is a simple cottage overlooking a secluded cove. The pioneering couple who built it had no idea that they were creating a legacy that would become central to the lives of future generations of their family, who use the place as a retreat from busy lives in the city.

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