Authors encourage owners to design interiors that reflect personality
Stylish coffee tables have a tall stack of fresh design books to display this season. After a lean few years in the interiors book category, an army of experts is bringing us the best of design in 2012.
The list of authors includes West Coast rock-star decorators, style bloggers and TV design personalities. A message from these books is this: Your home should reflect who you are. So, we might add, should the books you display in your living room. Here are our picks.
“Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love,” by Sherry and John Petersik ($25.95, Artisan Books). Richmond, Va., bloggers Sherry and John Petersik use their fixer-upper houses as labs for DIY improvements. The husband-and-wife team, who are self-described “cheapos,” have a huge following on their friendly blog, Young House Love.
The book serves up no-attitude advice and step-by-step directions for lots of everyday projects, including dressing up an $8 flea-market mirror or painting ugly kitchen cabinets. Your goal in life might not be to re-cover a lampshade or weave a twine headboard, but that could change after reading the Petersiks' upbeat instructions.
“The Things That Matter,” by Nate Berkus ($35, Spiegel & Grau). Ever since Chicago designer Nate Berkus began appearing on Oprah in 2002, his name has been associated with room makeovers that reflect the lives of the people who live in them. In his second book, Berkus presents houses that tell the stories of their owners.
For him, this is more important than the color of the paint or the width of the crown molding. Berkus, in a very personal chapter, reveals how he is connected to the leather rhinoceros head and the chunk of malachite in his New York place. Then he invites us into the homes of 12 others. Through those stories, he hopes to inspire readers to celebrate and decorate with what is unique about themselves.
“Home by Novogratz,” by Robert and Cortney Novogratz ($35, Artisan Books). How do you decorate a surf shack? The Novogratzes would know. A hip, urban couple with seven children and a knack for interiors that combine the bold and the beautiful, their look has launched a brand.
Robert and Cortney Novogratz propelled their lifestyle and talents into an HGTV show, a home-furnishings collection for CB2 and, now, this book chronicling their vintage-meets-modern design style. Twenty projects that the couple transformed, from a cramped condo in Queens to a mod bedroom for triplets, highlight the Novogratzes' talents. Realistic budget-analysis estimates for each project show the cost of looking awesome.
“The Collected Home,” by Darryl Carter ($45, Clarkson Potter). In his second book, Washington designer Darryl Carter explains how he creates his refined yet rustic spaces. There are ideas for hinges, moldings and paint colors. Then, there is something deeper and more personal.
“In collecting your home, you are sharing the story of your life,” Carter says. His widely published homes are treasure houses of weathered and striking art, antiques and architectural salvage. Carter explains how he elicits clues from clients about what speaks to them, as he works with them to create their rooms. If you're ready to curate your place in a meaningful fashion, this book will guide you in the right direction.
“Barbara Barry: Around Beauty,” by Barbara Barry ($65, Rizzoli). Anyone who has met Los Angeles designer Barbara Barry knows she is someone who cares deeply about every little thing, from how to properly arrange a tea tray to how to display arugula in the fridge. The goal for Barry is always beauty.
In this, her first book, she uses stunning photography and carefully composed prose to explain how you can achieve her well-ordered and Zen lifestyle. If you let Barry be your life coach, you will learn to simplify and elevate what you have. The photos of flower-filled bedside tables, crisp linens and carefully composed firewood stacks make you feel calm just studying them.
“Rhapsody,” by Kelly Wearstler ($55, Rizzoli). If your life is lacking in glamour, flip through the latest book by Beverly Hills designer Kelly Wearstler. Her decoration of high-profile boutique hotels and a stint as a judge on Bravo's “Top Design” series brought national attention to Wearstler's bold personal style and her way with textures, colors and gilded Rococo mirrors.
The Wearstler inspirations offered in this book are more in the lavish photographs than the text. She illustrates how some of her large projects using mixed materials such as marble and crystal can be recomposed in a smaller environment. By the last page, you might be tempted to invest in purple leather chairs, mirrored doors and studded metallic walls.
Jura Koncius is a staff writer for The Washington Post.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers claim former Cowboys cornerback Webb
- Pirates notebook: Lambo called up to replace ailing Snider
- Secret judicial ruling blocks release of sexually explicit emails
- Saturday’s scouting report: Reds at Pirates
- S&P races to August milestone
- NFL notebook: Niners’ Smith gets 9-game suspension
- Penn State notebook: NCAA rebuts report of eased PSU sanctions
- With eyes on China, Japan seeks record defense budget
- Missing Northview Heights girl found safe in school
- McDonnell case heads for jurors
- Beijing expected to restrict Hong Kong candidates