Thursday, December 19

Nest by Tamara's Holiday Design Book Review Series: Part 3, THE INSPIRED HOME Interiors of Deep Beauty by Karen Lehrman Bloch

 The Inspired Home 
may be the perfect holiday gift for someone you love!
photograph courtesy pennypapperco on my Holly Bough collage 
 With six days until Christmas, 
let's talk about today's 
Holiday Book Review,
exploring the subject of beauty
in the home on a deep, soulful level.
THE INSPIRED HOME: 
 Interiors of Deep Beauty 
(Harper Design) 
by Karen Lehrman Bloch
Profiling 25 high profile homes sounds like a "tall order" but in addition to showing the designs, cultural critic and curator, Karen Lehrman Bloch also reads the "soul" of these beautiful, edited spaces and tells her readers their back-story.  The author looks to proportions, symmetry and order found in nature to advise us on how to curate a home that embodies deep beauty.  At first glance this seems a very different book from yesterday's review, Fifth Avenue Style, but however different the aesthetic, there is a similar commitment in both books to placing special value on quality, craftsmanship and a passion for incorporating what you love into your home.  I am very happy to include this book in my holiday decorating book review. 

With a forward from the fashion icon, Donna Karan the tone is set from the onset of the read.  Simplicity reigns here, and makes me think with all the  inundations we receive in today’s world, this book is a welcome study in editing and simplicity.  Karen does not hail from the design industry and instead infuses her philosophical point of view into a refreshing light, breaking down the idea of home and design into concepts such as balance, spirituality, symmetry, simplicity, reduction, restraint, and more. Some of the biggie’s featured in the pages of the book include, fashion designer Donna Karan, interior designer Vincente Wolf,  Marni founder Consuelo Castiglioni, fashion designer Albert Ferretti, interior designer Juan Montoya and others.  

Although she takes us inside 25 homes of famous people bringing us their viewpoints and designs, she primarily espouses the idea of placing items in your home that you love.  She also references tapping into the order and elements of nature as a guiding point to touch us emotionally and spiritually.  I agree with much of what she teaches, and although my aesthetic may differ, I feel a kinship with her philosophy.  I write about that idealogy often here on the blog and even named this place Nest by Tamara because of the desire to create our homes, a nest, our safe haven, a respite, in a way that makes us happy and content. 
Donna Karan's home on Central Park West is prominently featured in the book and showcases many of the author's design philosophies working together.
"Our homes can have a profound effect on our minds, bodies, and spirits.  They can calm us, embolden us, and inspire us every time we enter.  The question is: how do we make this happen?  What is the best route to an inspired home? Forwarded by Donna Karan 
project designed by Vincente Wolf in Taos, New Mexico
  Karen writes about the "non decorating" ideology that fascinates me.  Elements in nature feel unified not decorated and she uses this premise to help her readers create authentic spaces that feel "collected" rather than decorated.
Karen looks to Wolf's work and words:
"To create harmony, you have to learn to listen to the silent voice, the voice that most people never hear but feel, the voice that says order, calm, and sense of balance."   
Vincente Wolf 
Karen advises to avoid decorating in a matching way and with the approach of simply for aesthetics or to create a home as a show piece, and instead suggests we should curate items from our passions, travels or our history, and by doing so we will ultimately create a more fulfilling environment.  She also writes about the importance of adding "whimsy" into your home and suggests the more whimsical your finds, the closer to your heart and more authentic your home will become. 
 Check out some more 
of my favorite features in the book:
On page 23, 
photographer Don Freeman's loft in Manhattan's Meatpacking District.
Photo courtesy of Don Freeman
On page 62, 
designer Juan Montoya’s home in South Beach. 
Photo courtesy of Ken Hayden.
On page 191, 
fashion designer Alberta Ferretti’s home on a 147-foot Russian icebreaker. 
Photo courtesy of Simon Upton/The Interior Archive.

Please read
which rings the book's praise.  In time for the holidays, pick up a copy of The Inspired Home on Amazon.

more about Karen Lehrman Bloch -- 
Karen is a cultural critic, curator, and the director of Grafia Books. She has written for and edited numerous notable books, such as La Formentera: The Woodland Refuge of Juan Montoya; De Vera Objects, by Federico de Vera; Portraits of the New Architecture, by Paul Goldberger and Richard Schulman; and Carolina Herrera: Portrait of a Fashion Icon, by Hamish Bowles and Alexandra Kotur. Her criticism has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Metropolis, and Vogue.

Happy Holidays
Happy Nesting 
XO Tamara