I do not think I have read a coffee table design book (if you can call it that) from cover to cover like I devoured Interior Design Master Class. It is as educational as it is inspirational and a "must have" in the library of arm chair decorators to established professionals. Over two years in the making and fresh off its second printing by Rizzoli, editor Carl Dellatore (whom I had the pleasure of traveling with to Menla Mountain retreat, see here) has collected one hundred essays from one hundred designers, together with awe inspiring photos from each of their projects to create a tome the likes of which I have never seen. The essays, articulately and beautifully written, are broken down into six categories such as Theory, Style, Structure and Composition. Within each of the design disciplines are the essays a particular designer chose to explore: craft, alchemy, jazz, Paris, film, sex. It is a little peak "behind the curtain" of how great designers think and what inspires them.
|Kara Mann, ph: Nick Johnson|
As each designer explored their process, I found several themes running through the essays. All great rooms tell a story. The stories come from inspiration found just about anywhere. The importance of travel was touched on by many, as well as life experiences, history and nature.
|Amy Lau, ph: Born Wallander|
Negative space is as important as the objects themselves. Designers are aware of every nuance in an artfully layered room. Great design moves us ~ like poetry, music, anything that touches our soul.
|Terry Hunziker, ph: Aaron Leitz|
Rooms often are a rich mosaic of what has come before. Whether you adhere to the rules or know them well enough to break them, a deep understanding of the past leads us into the future.
|Steven Sills, ph: Francois Halard|
This visual language requires designers to be part intuitive, part educator, part archeologist, part translator. In the end this gives a client the gift of an authentic space unique to them, helping inform their identity.
|White and Webb, ph: Antoine Bootz|
Any of us can achieve this to a certain degree. You must be open to life's adventures and have the passion, curiosity and courage to explore the possibilities. Function is never out of fashion. Always ask, "How am I best expressed in each room and how do I need it to function?"
|Jeffery Bilhuber, ph: William Waldron for AD|
"Many of us are oblivious to our surroundings. We spend our days multi-tasking or we're so absorbed by a virtual world that we overlook what's directly in front of us. Consciously recognizing how we are affected and influenced by everything we have around us enhances our lives."
~ Vincente Wolf
|Robert Couturier, ph: Tim Street Porter|
If a well designed home defines the homeowner, it then begs the question of the visitor, "If this is you, who am I?" I love that!
|Juan Montoya, ph: Eric Piasecki|
Balance is essencial in all facets of our life. Design or life by design, challenges us to find that balance and maintain it, shifting and making adjustments along the way. There is stability in a well balanced room (life). It helps us create order from chaos and calm from confusion.
|Miles Redd, ph: Thomas Loof for AD|
The meaning of home is changing in this fast paced, mass produced, globalized world with the expectation of instant gratification, but the meaning behind home, the importance of sanctuary, authenticity, refuge, remains the same.
Thank you Carl for bringing this magnificent book to life. Look for Carl's next book, Garden Design Master Class.