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book review
Hot off the press: Six design books debut in May
Apr 30, 2014

Following the release of more than a dozen intriguing design, architecture and garden books last month, six more are hitting the shelves in May. Read on to find out which books are worth digging into this month.
  
Dakota, Apthorp, San Remo are legendary New York apartment buildings that evoke images of marble-lined lobbies, uniformed doormen and sunlit penthouses with sweeping Central Park views. Built from the 1880s through 1930s, classic prewar apartments were designed to lure townhouse dwellers reluctant to share a roof with other families. Billed as private mansions in the sky, they promised a charmed Manhattan lifestyle of elegance and luxury. Manhattan Classic: New York’s Finest Prewar Apartments (Princeton Architectural Press) by Geoffrey Lynch takes readers on a lavishly illustrated guided tour of eighty-five of the most coveted buildings in New York.
  
In Designs for Living: Houses by Robert A.M. Stern Architects (The Monacelli Press), Roger H. Seifter, Randy L. Correll, Grant F. Marani and Gary L. Brewer, who lead the residential practice at Robert A.M. Stern Architects (RAMSA), present 15 houses the firm has completed over the past 10 years. From contemporary interpretations of the shingle style to robust Mediterranean designs, the houses are stylistically diverse reflecting RAMSA’s deep knowledge of history and precedent. Each partner provides insight into the design process and his individual approach to working with clients.
  
The new book by master event planner and floral couturier Preston Bailey, Designing with Flowers (Rizzoli), celebrates the latest ideas in floral design, from centerpieces to environments. In his sixth book, Bailey takes the reader on an exploration of the meaning and importance of flowers, which are the key element of his parties. Taking a dozen of his most recent events, he walks the reader through his inspiration and process, demonstrating how flowers can create a unique event infused with personality.
  
In Kentucky: Historic Houses and Horse Farms (The Monacelli Press), pre-eminent architectural and interiors photographer Pieter Estersohn guides readers through Bluegrass Country, the legendary landscape around Lexington, Kentucky. The wealthiest town west of the Alleghenies prior to the Civil War, Lexington has a rich architectural and cultural history that is manifest in the elegant houses within and around the center. Equally compelling is the equestrian heritage that has made Lexington the “Horse Capital of the World.” Among the properties presented are Ashland, an Italian-inspired villa built for distinguished statesman and orator Henry Clay; Pope Villa, one of only two extant residences by Benjamin Latrobe, the architect of the U.S. Capitol; Waveland, a completely intact Greek Revival estate from the 1830s; and Pleasant Hill, the largest restored Shaker community in the country.
 
Mary Randolph Carter's newest book Never Stop to Think…Do I Have a Place for This? (Rizzoli) indulges reader’s desire to surround themselves with belongings that impart beauty and meaning to their lives and interiors. Whether one has a passion for flea market thrifting, a collection of pedigreed antiques, or simply finds inspiration among “castoffs” in the attic, this book is a tribute to making artful interiors with special finds.
The Windows of Buck House: Fabulous Fictional Females (Acanthus Press) by Deborah Buck presents 22 of the most famous Buck House window installations and the characters that inhabited them. Each chapter is devoted to a single character, photographed in full color and accompanied by her autobiographical declaration. Buck herself was in charge of creating a series of bi-monthly theatrically-inspired window installations featuring female characters that set the stage for the retail adventures happening inside the store. Buck and her small team carefully curated and crafted the exquisitely detailed vignettes, now featured across the pages of the book.

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