Monday, May 22, 2017

Juicy Reading, Delicious Images: My Picks of the Best New Style Books for Spring 2017, Part 2

This week, I’m celebrating ideas, inspiration, pretty pictures (always) and some great reading and book collecting.

Included in my favorite picks are a vivid new book on Alberto Pinto and his firm’s extraordinary interiors.

Then there’s Peter Marino on gardens, and my dear friend Patricia Gaye Tapp and her wonderful new book, ‘How They Decorated’.

Stay tuned and scroll down for more books including Alain Ducasse’s chic new cookbook, along with a beautifully presented ‘Claude Monet in Giverny’, and my friend Pam’s tip, a book on American logos and typefaces, ‘Junk Type’.

Read on for inspiration and ideas, rooms to copy, simple dishes to cook, hydrangeas in Peter’s gardens, and everything to make you love Monet even more.

| 1.  Alberto Pinto Signature Interiors  |

Alberto Pinto Signature Interiors, by Ann Bony, with a foreword by Hubert de Givenchy, published by Flammarion

With lavish interiors, and extremely lavish and luxurious interiors, this is a book to enjoy without ever a thought of cost of the tons of marble and acres of silks and beautiful craftsmanship.

Instead look at it this way: In just one corner of a room there are ideas to be gathered on furniture placement, color, decorative painting, materials, architecture, materials, table décor and lighting. See beyond the gilding and golden tassels to ideas for carpets, upholstery, collections and wall paneling.

Alberto Pinto, a longtime friend of M. Givenchy, departed for decorator heaven recently, and the company is now directed by his beloved sister, Linda.

The interiors—in London, Paris, Marrakech, Monaco, the Middle East, for example—are often for royal families of various nationalities, and reveal the finest craftsmanship, balance, and sometimes a little ostentation it must be admitted. I admire Pinto’s perfectionism—and his ability to create historic styles with spirit and panache.

| 2. The Garden of Peter Marino  |

The Garden of Peter Marino by Peter Marino, Principal Photography by Jason Schmidt and Manolo Yllera (Rizzoli)

Internationally acclaimed architect and interior designer Peter Marino offers an unprecedented look at the gardens of his Hamptons residence on New York’s Long Island. Over two decades he and his team have transformed a rather undistinguished property into a private paradise. 

The quintessentially American landscape deftly juxtaposes formal aspects such as a carefully art directed rose garden and curated plants, trees, and evergreens. His trees are magnificent. There’s an apple orchard, and forty sculptures by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne interspersed throughout. Seasonal floral highlights include the bold blooms of azaleas in spring, vibrant roses in June, and a bounty of hydrangeas in summer. There’s a purple garden, a red garden, a pink garden, a great lawn, even a forest. Those looking for plant or garden tips will not find it here. But I’ll tell you a secret: Marino lavishly thanks Marder’s nursery In Bridgehampton ‘for twenty years of Saturdays’, so perhaps you can call Marder’s for any plant information. Good luck.

Perhaps, really, this book is mostly intended as a tribute to the Lalannes and their sculptures—which are lavishly shown and credited here.

| 3. How They Decorated  |
Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century

How They Decorated, Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century by P. Gaye Tapp, with a forward by Charlotte Moss (Rizzoli)

Patricia Gaye Tapp, founder and creator of the wonderfully eccentric style and design blog, Little Augury, has been a great friend for nine years, since I first had the idea of launching THE STYLE SALONISTE. Gaye inspired me to ‘just do it’ when I was about to launch, and I consulted her often at the start.

I always admired her erudition on style matters, her passion for English talents like Cecil Beaton and the Sitwells, and her encyclopedia knowledge of women of style.

Now her great knowledge has created a wonderfully original new style book, and It’s love at first sight, with a dramatic and chic cover painted by Cecil himself.

Over 223 pages, Gaye zooms in on chapters on Legacy Style (with the likes of Louise de Villmorin and Lady Diana Cooper), along with In the Grand Manner (with Mona von Bismarck, and Pauline de Rothschild.) She shows examples of confident style in chapters on Fashionably Chic (Babe Paley and Fleur Cowles), as well as the Unconventional Eye (with Dominique de Menil and Lesley Blanch).

Covering these sixteen elegant women, she shows how they (most of course worked with decorators, architects and designers) orchestrated rooms of great charm, individuality and style. Tables are lavishly set, bedrooms invite lingering, fashions are paraded. And then, just when the lavish interiors are feeling rather intense, she introduces Georgia O’Keeffe (bold simplicity) and then Lesley Blanche, the ultimate romantic. It’s a book to treasure. I love it.

| 4. A Day with Claude Monet in Giverny  |

A Day with Claude Monet in Giverny by Adrien Goetz, photography by Francis Hammond (published by Flammarion)

I’ve been fortunate to visit Giverny several times, including my favorite when we arranged to arrive at 7am one summer, with birds twittering, gardeners tending the dew-shimmering gardens, and all was silent and pristine before the gates opened at 9am. Bliss gazing at the ponds in silence.

With exquisite drawings, photography, and Monet paintings, this lovedly book, presented in a slipcovered edition, speaks of a love of Monet, the appeal of the French countryside, and Monet’s dreamy sanctuary.

There are the Japanese garden, the interiors of his house, and scenes of village and country life, and the Monet family.

This is an exquisite homage to Monet, and if you have not yet been there, this book can take you to Giverny on a magic carpet. Lovely, calm still-life images, sketches and strolls through the garden make this book very special.

| 5. Simple Nature  |

Simple Nature by Alain Ducasse (Rizzoli)

Alain Ducasse is my favorite French chef, for his modern cuisine, his love of vegetables and fruit and fresh fish, and for his constant attempts to stay modern, to stay current and fresh.

Ducasse worked closely with chef Christophe Saintagne and nutritionist to create healthy and nutritious dishes to enjoy year-round. Some of the ideas are simple and delicious ‘Hedgehog Mushrooms and Fried Eggs’, or ‘Crispy Polenta with Parmesan and Sage’ or ‘Pumpkin Soup with Chestnuts’. He is crazy about classic Pot-au-Feu and it appears in many styles. His salads are simple and chic—and there’s even a majestic ‘Veggie Burger’ Ducasse-style.

| 6. Junk Type  |
Typography Lettering Badges Logos

Junk Type Typography Lettering Badges Logos by Bill Rose (Universe Publishing)

Photographer Bill Rose, aka Recapturist, has created a vivid and quirky homage to vintage American typography and design in 300 fascinating images.

Criss-crossing the country, Rose has captured graphic design for products and places that are lost forever. He’s based in Minneapolis, and loves old neon signs, typography, and icons, an advertising slogan, Art Deco-inspired fonts, handmade cursive, and illustrated insignia, and modern graphic logos of the sixties. For type fans, this is a charming, quirky and engrossing encyclopedia of creative typefaces, marketing, and graphic styles the capture the optimism and enterprise of the last century. A wonderful reference and inspiration.

What I love: JunkType is a labor of love by photographer and preservationist Bill Rose, who has captures rapidly disappearing examples of American typography, and our industrial design heritage. An inspiration to any designer who appreciates the history of their field, but also a joy to the visually-oriented “civilian” who is drawn to vintage packaging in a flea market or forgotten corners of their own town as well.

Beautiful Reading: Cabana, the Cult Privately Published Design Magazine

My new issue of CABANA has arrived. It’s fantastic, eccentric, nostalgic, original, and rich in interiors and time travel and beautiful objects.

Issue 7 was sponsored by Burberry, and the custom covers offered are a mixed bag—some are quirky, some are wonderfully abstract, and others are rather contrary.

If you can find the blue abstract cover (like the one I photographed above, in my library), you will be happier than with the Henry Moore sculpture drawings, I think.

Christopher Bailey admires Henry Moore, and notes his major influence on modern British sculpture, art and design.

Cabana also has two riveting house stories—one in the Cotswolds, and the other in La France Profonde, that magical and undiscovered idea of ‘deepest France’ that send chills down your spine.

And a favorite is Erdem’s visual essay on obsession…with obsessively collected images that recall the earl days of The World of Interiors.

You might call Cabana the extreme version of The World of Interiors. You’ll recall when WOL published a fixed-up stable, complete with dust and straw in one of the most stylish interiors stories ever. Cabana is in that territory.

Where to buy: You can buy it direct from Cabana in London, or check here.

Or you can dash over to 1stDibs and find it in an obscure corner.

Or if you are lucky to be in San Francisco, you could leap over to Smoke Signals, the unmatched magazine shop owned by my friend, Fadi Berbery. It’s on Polk Street between Green and Vallejo Streets. He just received 50 copies…it is his best-seller, so jump in there fast.

My friend Mo at Juicy News on Union Street between Fillmore and Webster Streets, also has a fantastic selection of design and style magazines and books, and he is a reliable stockist of Cabana.


Cabana magazine images by Diane Dorrans Saeks.

Images from Rizzoli books above used with express permission from Rizzoli USA.

Order these books from your local privately owned bookshop, or at

For more information about Rizzoli, and new books, check on

1 comment:

  1. Hi Diane, honored to be in such a group. Thank goodness we continue on with this endeavor- more important than ever in a world of instant everything. Gaye