Spring cleaning includes your coffee table. To stay au currant, you’ll want to check out the slew of new oversize design books hitting the shelves this spring.
From joyful maximalism to dreamy seaside and pastoral homes as nearby as Long Island’s South Shore and as far flung as Provence, France, these dreamy tomes will sweep you away.
“From the time I was a child, I’ve seen the world in color and geometry,” writes designer Corey Damen Jenkins in the introduction of “Design Remix: A New Spin on Traditional Rooms” (Rizzoli New York, March 2021).
With a peacock-like flair for elegant maximalist interiors, Jenkins guides his readers through the finer points of decorating with bold colors and patterns, plush furnishings and classical architectural detailing.
The book is also a love letter to his native Detroit where Jenkins started out in the auto industry before chasing his designer dreams.
“I didn’t look like the interior designers they had seen in magazines and on TV,” he said of his early days knocking on doors in search of clients.
After a star turn on HGTV and numerous design awards, Jenkins is a trailblazer for broader representation in the industry.
Escape New York
Weekender alert. Designer Tricia Foley’s “A Summer Place: Living by the Sea” (Rizzoli New York, April 2021) is like an invitation to Bellport on a hot day.
The idyllic seaside village on Long Island’s South Shore, long favored by artists and creative types shows off with white-shingled Colonial Revival homes, a copper-clad modernist tree house and Foley’s own all-white “modern barn-like dwelling.” The pages are awash in dreamy seascapes, manicured lawns, bright-blue swimming pools and interiors that range from rustic to contemporary, all peppered with Foley’s tips for summer entertaining.
“We’ve captured … inspirational design ideas for casual summer living,” said Foley, “ideas that translate to homes across the country.”
When Shauna Varvel and her family bought an 18th-century estate on a 65-acre pear farm on the Rhône River, their lives turned into a romantic fantasy fit for a Hollywood movie.
“The first time I visited Provence it was clear it was going to be a life-long love affair,” writes Varvel in “Provence Style: Decorating with French Country Flair” (Vendome Press, May 2021).
Charting her experience restoring the home with architect Alexandre Lafourcade and other local craftspeople, Varvel walks readers through her formal gardens with ancient plane trees and chalky limestone fountains for a dreamy pastoral escape. She also visits quintessential Provençal homes filled with crystal chandeliers, chinoiserie, canopy beds and sun-drenched rustic kitchens — it’s as if the book’s pages are perfumed with lavender.
Searching for a slice of New England life, photographer Maura McEvoy and art director Basha Bruwell traveled across Maine to capture the distinctive homes of real people, from artists to writers, farmers and fishermen.
The result is “The Maine House” (Vendome, June 2021), a visual journey through delightfully ramshackle saltwater farms and fish shacks to stately stone houses and cozy coastal cottages, all in an effort to preserve the Maine that McEvoy and Bruwell grew up adoring.
“The guiding design principle more than a century ago focused on being outdoors,” observed McEvoy while restoring a beach cottage in southern Maine.
The book is a tantalizing peak into what makes these singular homes and the landscapes surrounding them so special.