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book review
Hot off the press: Eight new design books for April and May
Apr 10, 2015

Showhouses inspire while they are open, but design books can inspire forever—or at least until the next bestseller lands on the shelf. Editor at Large has picked eight of the top titles to pique designers' interests this April and May. From the luxurious textiles of Pierre Frey to designer Jason Grant's tips to bring a little piece of summer indoors year-round, these texts are worth a browse.

Parisian textile and wallpaper company Pierre Frey has been creating its luxury products since 1935 and hasn’t stopped bringing French taste to the rest of the world since. Pierre Frey: Inspiring Interiors, A French Tradition of Luxury by Serge Gleizes/Philippe Garcia (Abrams) explores the history of the family-owned company and some of its most iconic fabrics, rugs, and accessories—and how they’re used by today’s best interior designers.

In An Insider’s Guide to Interior Design for Small Spaces (Zero Circle Publishing) interior designer Gail Green offers up her tips for designing and decorating small spaces, focusing on four basic areas: lighting, color and paint, furniture arrangement and selectionand architectural changes. Her 30 years of design experience help readers understand how to deal with small problems, navigate landlord-approved design ideas and know when it is best to call in a professional.

Coastal Living Beach House Happy: The Joy of Living By the Water (Oxmoore House) by Antonia van der Meer explores the idea of being not only “house proud” but also “house happy,” and the reasons why those who live on the coast seem so cheerful. Outlining the “six routes to happiness found in beach houses,” van der Meer focuses on the nexus between decor and architecture in creating an ideal atmosphere for living. The book will be available on April 21.

Nothing chases the last nips of winter away like looking forward to the summer, and Jason Grant’s Away at Home (Rizzoli) shows readers how to bring a touch of summer indoors all year round. With style tips inspired by road-trips, beach houses, boutique hotels and summers on the coast, the book is a veritable photo-tour through the best and most iconic imagery of summer vacations rather than a how-to guide, leaving space for readers to imagine their own ideal summery spaces.

In The World of Shabby Chic: Beautiful Homes, My Story & Vision (Rizzoli) Rachel Ashwell looks back on 25 years of inspiration and lessons learned while pioneering the “Shabby Chic” aesthetic. With more than 250 photographs outlining her journey, including decorating the homes of Jessica Simpson and Pamela Anderson, Ashwell shows readers the best of these romantic, charming interiors.

Designer, mom and author of the blog with the same title Gabrielle Stanley Blair shares her tips for assembling a beautiful, comfortable, functional and kid-friendly home in Design Mom (Artisan). The room-by-room guide is filled with not only organizational ideas, but ways to set up spaces to encourage children to be easily involved with helping around the house.

Through a study of 26 architects, J. Michael Welton explores the different ways in which architects use freehand drawing when creating designing built environments in Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand (Taylor and Francis). The text, illustrations and photographs delve into the creative process that still exists in a field that, like all else, has been hugely mechanized and digitized. Architect and Professor at Washington University in St. Louis Robert McCarter contributed the foreword, while the book highlights practicing architects such as Alberto Alfonso, Richard Meier, Laurinda Spear and the late Michael Graves. The book will be released on May 10.

Living in Style Country (teNeues) presents exquisitely designed interiors juxtaposed against beautiful surroundings that accentuate the natural building materials of the structure. Featured residences include a modern restored English barn, Provençal or Umbran cottages, opulent colonial homes on the American coastline and more, depicted through the photography of Andreas von Einsiedel with text by Jean Nayer

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