If, to save space, I ever have to decrease my collection of design books, Dawn Jacobson’s Chinoiserie is one book I won't let go. For me it functions like a colorful, exquisitely illustrated encyclopedia of decorative arts. The glossy lacquered furniture, the delicate hand-painted wallpaper, the fanciful garden follies – it’s all here in Jacobson’s coverage of the West’s 600-year love affair with Chinese-inspired design.
Another book that has become a surprisingly good resource is Hollywood Style,by Diane Dorrans Saeks. For a long time I passed over this one because I assumed it focused on movie stars. Actually though, the emphasis is on L.A.'s top designers, with a few landmark residences such as Tony Duquette's Dawnridge and Frank Lloyd Wright's La Miniatura in the mix. Saeks highlights the full range of L.A. style, from layered classics to the sleekest modern houses, disproving the myth that L.A. has no design legacy.
Among the included designers are Tim Clarke, Peter Dunham, Michael Smith, Suzanne Rheinstein, Kate Stamps, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Patrick Dragonette, Rose Tarlow, and Kerry Joyce. Also featured are two Kelly Wearstler-designed hotels, Maison 140 and Viceroy Santa Monica. It's true that quite a few of the homes and commercial properties in Hollywood Style have also been featured in Elle Decor, and even in other books, but I love having all of the beautiful photographs from Tim Street-Porter and Grey Crawford together in one easy-to-access place.
Speaking of design books, Atlanta fans of high-voltage color king, Jamie Drake, author of Jamie Drake's New American Glamour,can meet the interior designer on Thursday, March 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Deadwyler Antiques, 49 Bennett St. Drake will discuss mixing contemporary art with antiques RSVP: 404-351-3941.