I’ve been perusing two gorgeous new design books that I wanted to share with you. It’s been nice to have some summer reading to do and these two titles are big on color and timeless style.
Released just today is Abigail Ahern COLOR: Transform Your Home published by Quadrille with photographs by Graham Atkins-Hughes. Right off the bat, you know this isn’t your usual book on color in interior design. For one thing, the cover has a black background.
Usually when we’re talking about color, it’s in bright happy hues. This book is not about bright, and not even really about “happy” But it is about how gorgeous, saturated colors will completely transform a space into something that is soulful and sexy.
Abigail Ahern is a British decorator who has been named “one of the world’s most exciting decorators” by W magazine. The book includes chapters entitled: “How to Stop Procrastinating About Color” and “Ten Ways to Color Confidence”. She goes through color combinations by creating “Matching Pairs” and also discussing neutrals, metallics, “inky” hues and brights.
If you like sophisticated, dark and moody spaces (see above screen grab from a google search) Abigail Ahern COLOR would be an excellent addition to your library.
My other summer read has been LIVING NEWPORT: Houses, People, Style by Bettie Bearden Pardee with principal photography by Mick Hales, published by Glitterati.
“Living Newport: Houses, People, Style offers up an insider’s view of Newport, Rhode Island which has long been celebrated for its stunning seascapes, famous mansions, Jazz Festival, annual Flower Show and world-class sailing. In Living Newport readers will get a rare glimpse into this fabled town where privacy is a treasured asset offering sneak peeks into the lives of the “old guard” as well as the “new” Newport social set. These tastemakers have the means and the ability to live anywhere but have chosen this perennially-favored City by the Sea.”
Author Bettie Bearden Pardee is a year-round resident of Newport and a noted hostess and community leader. She’s written for Bon Appetit and served as creative producer for the 13-part PBS series The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House.
There’s an interesting anecdote and a little mystery about the beautiful cover image of the book. The pink hat was left by an anonymous visitor to the famous Marble House and the scene was snapped by photographer Kenneth Lindh. It’s the perfect image for a cover I think. Evocative of the place yet also a little bit modern. You can read more about this on Bettie’s blog here. Of course, Newport’s place in America’s history has long been established – the beautiful natural environment along with the summer cottages of the Belle Epoque-era titans of American industry. Images of ladies receiving callers and making the rounds, servants scurrying around and elegant times of days gone by certainly resonate. This book brings those gauzy, hazy images into a little modern relief by focusing on how people are living in Newport today.
Aside from the beautiful images and “insider’s view”, I love that the book is broken up into seasons:
As a passionate New England girl, I love all the seasons we have here (well, maybe not so much the winter we just had, but I do like most winters!) and sorting the book by seasons celebrates not only Newport’s glittering set but also how deeply the natural environment influences the built environment. LIVING NEWPORT by Bettie Bearden Pardee is great read for architecture and history buffs alike.