Tomorrow, Gil Schafer III’s The Great American House:Tradition for the Way We Live Now will be hitting shelves in bookstores across the nation. And let me tell you, if you have a love for traditional design — you have to go find this book. We at Design Happens received an advance copy weeks ago and this book has been viewed by most everyone — and the resounding response from the team has been “That’s a stunning book!”
Available for purchase Thursday, September 20.
Gil takes the best of traditional architecture — from the detailed craftsmanship to the elegant, balanced proportions — and translates it for the kind of connected spaces that fit today’s family. The book is full of gorgeous photos, alongside personable, informative tips that illustrate the entire process of restoring, renovating, and building classic homes.
The Great American House inspired me to ask designers from across the U.S. to speak on what they consider to be classic elements of traditional design within American homes. Here is what they had to say.
Tobi Fairley of Tobi Fairley Interior Design:
American is by its very nature all-inclusive and about choice, individual taste, and freedom. To me, American interiors are bold. They’re courageous and risk-taking without forsaking tradition — timeless pieces of furniture layered among stunning patterns and striking colors. They’re also versatile and dynamic, affording a family comfort and luxury as well as high-function for daily use. Above all, American interiors are welcoming, hospitable and inviting; guests feel natural yet pampered.
The family room features painted paneling, a rustic beamed ceiling and a fireplace surround made from granite.
More Designer Interviews & Photos From The Great American House
For those who believe Saturday mornings are meant for yard sales, not sleeping in…who re-sort their recyling for “upcycling” possibilities…who have a special place in their heart for old houses…and see rust marks as a sign of beauty, not deterioration…you’ll love our editors’ “What We’re Reading” design book picks for August.
“What We’re Reading” brings you our monthly pick of new design-related books with reviews from our HGTV.com editors.
“What We’re Reading” brings you our monthly pick of new design-related books, along with comments from our HGTV.com editors. For May, here’s a look into the world of French cottage decor, the grand apartment homes of 5th & Park Avenues and the retro-fantasy stylings of the Steampunk movement.
Design may not be the one true love of your friends and family. But that doesn’t mean you can’t improve their lives and look of their homes via a subtle infusion of style. So, what would be the snazziest Christmas present ever?
A coffee table made by you complete with coffee table design book. Here are instructions for the DIY coffee table pictured above. Below are our Top 20 design book picks sure to be a hit with someone on your holiday gift list.
- The Fashionista – Allegra Hicks: An Eye for Design by Allegra Hicks & American Fashion Designers at Home by Rima Suqi
Next Up: The Classic Movie Buff and The Politico
What do Barbra Streisand and Jonathan Adler have in common? Well…
- Streisand is star of stage and movie screen. Adler, star of the TV screen and design scene.
- Streisand and Adler both have adorable dogs in neutral hues (Samantha and Liberace).
- And they both love interior design and color.
Except orange. Barbra…not so keen on orange. Her favorite color? Burgundy. Adler…he LOVES orange, along side pink, turquoise, brown and navy. Something else they have in common? New books, available in stores now.
Buying books might not be the greenest things you can do (unless you’re reading them online or on that new handy Kindle), but sometimes a good design book can’t be passed up.
I received a few bookstore gift certificates this Christmas. Rather than load up on the latest fiction releases, which I can just get from the library or trade for from friends, I thought I’d look into some green design-minded books — ones that can both share new ideas but also dress up my coffee table. I love leafing through photo-filled books or design magazines on lazy Sundays. They help inspire visitors and help me subtly brag about my impeccable taste (if I may say so myself).
Some goods ones I’m looking into:
Sustainable Living: 25 International Examples
by Dominique Gauzin-Muller
This definitely looks like an aspirational collection. Full of photos, this book spotlights 25 eco-friendly homes from 18 countries around the world — some in rural settings, others in urban areas, which is a nice mix to show how green can apply to wherever you are.
ecoDesign: the Sourcebook
by Alastair Fuad-Luke
I’ve seen this one on lots of best-of green design lists. While it is a few years old now (published in 2006), it covers the basics for greening up the different parts of your home and choosing smarter design.
The Green House: New Directions in Sustainable Architecture
by Alanna Stang
Domino‘s review wins me over and sums it up well: “a well-designed book about well-designed homes.” Published in 2005, this book spotlights 35 homes in 15 countries with lush photos, drawings and info on their “greenness.”
And, of course, if you’re looking to see green dream homes regularly, Natural Home Magazine features unusual and more-typical eco-friendly homes in every issue. HGTV’s sister site Ecologue has a few of their favorites too.
Does anyone else have recommendations? What is your favorite design book?