NONFICTION

The Beauty of Home: Redefining Traditional Interiors

Gibbs Smith. Jul. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9781423654667. $45. INTERIOR DESIGN
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Architect–turned–interior designer Flanigan is known for her holistic approach to timeless design informed by a home’s architecture. In her first book, she shares her creative process for uncovering and showcasing the beauty in our lives. Chapters are devoted to these nine building blocks of design: architecture, composition, character, palette, illumination, detail, simplicity, depth, and surprise. For more than a dozen projects, she presents principles and applications, all illustrated in large, captioned photos. She discusses evaluating form, light, and material and successfully uses repetition and layering to add both comfort and delight to a home. The style gravitates toward an uncluttered look with subtle contrasts and a limited color palette. Though harmony is the overall goal, Flanigan judicially uses juxtaposition to create additional interest. A resource list includes architects and builders for the projects featured.
VERDICT Anyone trying to emulate Flanigan’s refined, somewhat stark look will enjoy learning her methods and also poring over the inspiring photos. Those seeking a bolder, homier look should see James T. Farmer’s Arriving Home.

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