On the heels of Historic San Francisco, I chose one of my California-themed books from the TBP list in January with California Interiors by Diane Dorrans Saeks. (I did read it in January -- just haven't had time to post til now.) I bought this book not long after I moved here and I glanced through it then, but have not looked at it much since.
I spent hours poring over this book one evening last month and I am SO happy I did! I read quite a few design blogs, but sitting down with a book... really staring at the photos... it's a different experience -- immersion! Ever since reading this book, the images from it keep popping into my head. I'm super excited about my next house which will be decidedly non-Californian (as, of course, it will be in Michigan) and have been thinking about ways to incorporate some "California" into it.
The book is divided into sections -- Los Angeles and SoCal, exploring those glam and crazy glass houses; SF and Northern CA, touching more on that arty/bohemian look; Coastal homes that are rustic, understated and nautical, including some floating homes; country/interior properties, sprawling and refined; and "California classics" -- homes of famous folks like Ray and Charles Eames and Diane Keaton that you see and immediately think, "California!"
For the most part, the Northern California styles were more in line with my personal preferences (not surprisingly), but I also loved looking at some of the outrageous things going on in SoCal.
Amazingly, although the book is over a decade old, none of these homes looked "dated" (except, of course, for the ones that were intentionally "retro") -- that's a true test of design. Stay away from the trendy stuff and decorate with what you love and your design will be timeless.
As great as this book was, the best part of my experience was the next day, finding my mind wandering to thoughts of homes I had seen in the book. I am such a visual person so I loved having so many images crammed in my head when I finished. I have a few more interior design books coming up this year -- perhaps I should save them for inspiration when we make the Big Move.
I feel like I can't post about a book of photos without showing you some... this is going to make this post huge, but I don't have the energy to make some fancy picture widget right now.
Here are my favorite book-ish photos (click to see them larger)...
I love this combo bookshelf/desk -- the books under the desk are great:
LA home of Katharina Ehrhardt and Karl Dietz. Photo by John Reed Forsman.
This library actually seems pretty do-able:
LA home of Merri Howard and Merrill Shindler. Photo by Grey Crawford/Beate Works.
And this one is a sort of pie-in-the sky -- leave it to the Eameses to outdo everyone else:
Pacific Palisades home of Ray and Charles Eames. Photo by Tim Street-Porter/Elizabeth Whiting and Associates.
Here are some fantastic bedrooms...
I love how this one feels like camp:
Lookout Mountain home of Jeffrey Harlacker. Photo by John Ellis and Tim Street-Porter.
And here's one I'd have if I lived alone, cause it's pretty girly. What I really like, though, is the molding piece attached to the ceiling -- I think I could do that even with a man around the house. ;)
SF home of Elsa Cameron. Photo by David Duncan Livingston.
This one is just crazy straight-up hilarious retro. I actually said "Wow" out loud when I saw it. I can't see having this in my house, but I have total respect for it:
LA home of Stephen Chin. Photo by Michael Mundy.
And this one? Well, I'd love to just move straight into this picture. I loooove this one:
Sonoma home of Louise and Ron Mann. Photo by Tim Street-Porter and Grey Crawford/Beate Works.
Here are a couple of dining rooms that caught my eye...
Don't really need the religious theme in this one, but I love this packed-to-the-gills look:
LA canyon home of Joel Schumacher. Photo by Thibault Jeanson/Inside.
And I am totally in love with the fireplace, built-in bookcases, and skylight in this:
SF home of Patty Brunn and Fred Womack. Photo by Grey Crawford/Beate Works.
Here's a really awesome super-cozy living room. Generally, I might find it a little dark, but with those huge windows and fantastic ocean views, it works:
Mendocino coast home of Greg Gorman. Photo by Grey Crawford/Beate Works.
I cannot get over the gorgeous stained glass in this one -- it's a visual feast (this one is definitely worth viewing at a larger size, as the details are amazing...):
SF home of Tony Duquette. Photo by Tim Street-Porter.
And, finally, here is a perfect little writing nook -- I love the sloped attic ceiling, the messy-but-tidy look about it, the art crammed in above the windows, the white shutters, the basket of rolls of paper... everything. I would love to sit here and write letters:
Sausalito home of Stephen Shubel and Woody Biggs. Photo by Cesar Rubio & Dominique Vorillon.
As I was just flipping through this book again, verifying credits, I saw about a dozen more photos that made me think, "Oh, I should have included this one and this one and this one!" So this post is really just a small sampling of the good stuff in this book!
Next up, I think I'll read Alameda -- the entire book is scans of old postcards and I'm excited to drive around town and compare the current state of things to what is shown in the old cards. (Plus, I'm hoping to catch a glance of our house!)