Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Textbook Tuesday | Renewing Tradition

Architecture is truly an artform I am infatuated with. I've often daydreamed what it would have been like should I have gone into that field. The understanding of scale, proportions, layout, and of course varying architectural styles over history interests me so much, I wish I had time to read and understand more! Today's book review focuses on something I'm pretty passionate about, tradition architecture and design, perfectly showcased in 'Renewing Tradition: The Architecture of Eric J. Smith.' Published by Rizzoli, this large-format and impressive tome is a collection of the high-end and detailed projects of Smith's New York-based firm.

I always love to include an image with the dust jacket off, because so often there is a treasure lying beneath. This rich saturated green with gold foil lettering did not disappoint, it's stunning and substantial. Eric has worked with numerous high-caliber designers, hence the lovely foreword by one of his collaborators (and one of my personal favorites), Alexa Hampton.

Below you can see that the chapters are divided by project, so you truly get a sense of the 'story' behind each home. From sketches, to blueprints, the exterior and the interior; it's all encapsulated in the individual project chapters.

It's such a privilege to see the blueprints of these fine homes! I love getting the chance to have this specific insight into the design and layout of such large-scale custom projects:

Some of my favorite exteriors in the book where of the shingled variety, complete with oval windows and chippendale railing. And you know that interiors-wise I was happy to see entertaining enfilades (see the blueprint above) present as well! All on my dream house wish list!!

Another dream-house detail, a front door that perfectly aligns with the back door so you can see straight through to the backyard:

This book is not only sharing the exterior details of Eric's incredible projects but also the interiors! Like this fantastic dining room from sketch to reality, all clad in Gracie wallpaper of course:

If you or someone on your holiday gift list is a lover of traditional style, classic architectural details, and custom residential projects such as these, be sure to put Renewing Tradition on your wish list. It's a gorgeous book that won't be a one-time flip though; this is one I know I will keep pulling back off the bookshelf for constant inspiration time and time again. You can purchase your copy here, and see more of Eric J. Smith Architects here.


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Textbook Tuesday | A Wandering Eye: Travels with My Phone

Renowned Argentine photographer and bibliophile Miguel Flores-Vianna has followed up his wildly successful first book, ‘Haute Bohemians’ with a stunning second tome. This time around, in A WanderingEye: Travels with my Phone,’ published by Vendome Press, Miguel has expertly compiled some 250 of his most stunning images from his travels to 14 countries over 5 continents. But the really impressive part? All of these sharp, saturated, and stunning photos have been taken with an iPhone. There is no way you would guess that upon inspection of the delightfully colorful and crisp pages; it’s honestly incredibly inspiring and makes me want to do better with my own smart-phone photography.

The images are not categorized or broken up into divisive chapters, which I think perfectly creates the flow of one image to the next. And somehow Miguel perfectly pairs images on the opposing pages as well; hand-crafted intaglios are set next to a page of rounded stones (uncarved, touched only by natural forces), for example:

I had the honor to ask the author how he came to choose the brilliant order and pairings of these images, and he replied "I chose mostly guided by instinct. At times I wanted a photo to be followed by something completely different as the reader/viewer turned the page. I think that by doing so I had a good chance of keeping him/her engaged. As for the pages facing each other sometimes I chose contrast and at times I wanted the photos to complement each other." 

The full-bleed pictures are interrupted only a few times by small anecdotal notes or memories written by Miguel himself; somehow in a matter of two to three sentences he manages to transport you to the location of the image and give you a sense of the feeling he had when he was travelling there. After first thumbing through the book and viewing beautiful image after beautiful image, I thought to myself, ‘oh I wish I knew where each of these was taken!’ Well, of course he thought of that, and included is an extensive index of each image in the back of the book. 

If you are a design, photography, or travel lover, this book checks all the boxes. It is so inspiring and something guests will be guaranteed to pick up off of your coffee table and be captivated by. Put this one on your holiday list for all of your design & travel savvy friends as well! As you would expect from such a sought after photographer, Miguel’s Instagram is superior to the rest, so be sure to find him here. You can purchase your copy of ‘A Wandering Eye: Travels with my Phone,’ here

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