in the spirit of all of our new year’s resolutions, i thought this would be a great book to kick off our 2009 reviews. when i first received moderne: fashioning the french interior in the mail, i wasn’t sure quite what to think. i had expected a book packed with photographs of sumptuous french homes, guaranteed to make me green with envy. what i saw instead was a massive collection of drawings (specifically, reproductions of a complicated drawing process used by designers in the 1920s to portray design plans for a home) – not quite what i was expecting. but once i looked through the book, i was smitten.
for those of you who are planning some dramatic changes to your home in 2009, this is a fantastic resource. what i love about the book is that, because it uses drawings instead of photographs, it gives you ideas on how to decorate, not what pieces to buy. it avoids the general feeling of inferiority and unattainability i get when perusing my favorite design books (kelly wearstler, i’m talking to you). you see the designs as concepts, and it’s very easy to think about how to incorporate the design elements without needing each specific piece in the room. there’s no way to tell whether that chair is from ikea or design within reach, no way to tell whether the yellow is meant to be paint or a light wood veneer. so, it forces you to think creatively…something i think we can all use when we’re designing a room.
plus, it is full of creative ideas (like using the area underneath a staircase as a bar), and frequently shows several variations on the same room…so you can get a great idea of your options. overall, it’s one of the best design books i’ve seen in a very long time. grab a copy at chronicle books…if nothing else, it makes for a seriously chic addition to your coffee table.