Cicero said it best, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” Books can provide a little glimpse of their owner’s personality, so of course we recommend curating your collection carefully and then displaying them proudly. Here is a little peek at some of our favorites…
For the Shoe Lover this signed book about Manolo Blahnik is about as great as it gets.
Have a sense of humor with this vintage cheeky number. Mister & Mistress is sure to make you (and your guests!) chuckle.
Calling all beauty gurus! In an industry with many imitators and few originators, visionary makeup artist Alex Box and prolific photographer Rankin have collaborated to produce a truly unique oeuvre.
Know anyone with a big birthday coming up? We recommend Farewell to Youth!
When designer Bunny Williams approached me about writing the text of a book on Furlow Gatewood and the compound of remarkable dwellings he’s assembled in his hometown of Americus, Georgia, I had no idea of what an enormous gift she was giving me. Bunny’s great friend Furlow, a partner in the antiques business of her husband John Rosselli, has long been known to design world insiders and a handful of lucky visitors to Americus. But I was not prepared for this man’s extraordinary eye, the scope of his remarkable collections, his uncanny sense of proportion and skill as a “hip-pocket draftsman.” Nor was I prepared to fall utterly in love. Furlow is, above all, a great gentleman, funny and charming and possessed of a mean cheese straw recipe as well as a menagerie of seductive creatures. As I said in the book, visiting Furlow is not unlike being set down on another planet, but “one where only things of the utmost beauty or interest or soul are allowed.” Tour the magical compound for yourself in One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.
Insert from One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.: The main room in The Peacock House boasts a mantel Furlow found years ago in New Jersey.
Below, I shopped Taigan for things inspired by Furlow’s many treasures.
Furlow is very big on pagodas. This lamp from Found makes good use of a lovely porcelain version.
Bunny Williams jokes that fabric houses will never get rich off of Furlow. He much prefers Indian tablecloths and vintage textiles like this stunning suzani from Iris & Co.
Furlow’s kitchen alone has more blue-and-white china than most people can amass in a lifetime. Start your own instant collection with these great 19th century ginger jars from Found.
Furlow is famous for his yummy cheese straws. This silver basket from Corzine & Co. is perfect for serving them.
In Furlow’s gardens, all the sheds are decidedly chic. For your own inspiration, grab a copy of Shed Chic, Outdoor Buildings for Work, Rest, or Play from Absolution.
Furlow has some of the finest Chinese Export porcelain pieces I’ve ever seen. This plate from Corzine & Co. is worthy of his collection.
When I last visited Furlow, I brought yummy pork chops from Donald Link’s Butcher in New Orleans, and we did a lot of cooking out of my first food book, Ham Biscuits.
Before moving to New York and joining John Rosselli in his antiques business, Furlow had a flower shop in Americus, GA. I think he’d like this pair of turn-of-the-century French florist displays from Found.
Furlow first spotted two of his dogs in a book of French dog paintings given to him by Bunny Williams and John Rosselli. No telling what he might discover in The English Dog at Home from Nick Harvill.
In three of his houses, the predominate paint palette is gray and white. This painted French armoire from And George would fit right in.
This pair of Swedish chairs (with the original paint) from Maison & Co. would be particularly at home in one of the two houses Furlow moved onto his property.
Tour the magical compound for yourself in One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood, which I’ll be signing tomorrow (Wednesday, April 30th) from 4PM until 7PM at the Taigan’s Pop-Up Shop. Hope to see you there!
On the hunt for a gift your loved ones will cherish long after the tinsel and baubles have been taken down? These coffee table books will furnish their living room and occupy their languid afternoons for years to come…
For the Fashion-Obsessed
There’s never a shortage of new hardbacks for fashion fans. This winter’s hottest picture-laden options include Vogue: The Editor’s Eye – a look at the work of eight of the publication’s most renowned editors; Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited – Lagerfeld’s ode to one of Coco’s most iconic and versatile designs; and American Beauty – portraits of 100 of the country’s most interesting and striking women including Lily Aldridge, Solange Knowles, and Jenna Lyons.
For the Design Obsessed
Help hone their eye for immaculate design with these three innovative interiors books. Charismatic TV personality and star designer Thom Filicia takes readers inside his long-term renovation project and beloved country home in American Beauty; classic purveyors of fine fabrics Fortuny Interiors are the focus of a tome by the same name; and the work of one of the most influential US designers of the last 25 years is celebrated in Victoria Hagan: Interior Portraits.
For the Society Obsessed
Know a bona fide social butterfly? When they’re not out painting the town red they’ll be poring over these three: High Society provides a flash of insight into one of the most notoriously exclusive social circles in history – New York’s upper-classes; Rivera Cocktail offers a vicarious glimpse of the celebrity scene in the 50s and 60s on the Rivera coast; and The World of Gloria Vanderbilt chronicles the life of an iconic heiress, painter, muse, designer, model, writer, entrepreneur, actor and irrepressible socialite.
Top row, from left:
For the Theater Buff and Music Lover: Look, I Made a Hat, by Stephen Sondheim
For the Soft-Hearted Dog Lover: Mutts, by Sharon Montrose
For the Fabulous Fashionista: Vogue: The Editor’s Eye
For the Tennis Buff: The Centre Court Story- Wimbledon, by Maurice Brady
Second Row, from left:
For the Perfect Host or Hostess: The Modern Mixologist, by Tony Abou-Ganim
For the House Obsessed: Rooms, by Katie Ridder
For the Incurable Sweet Tooth: Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe, by Alisa Huntsman
For the Party Animal: Hair of the Dog and Other Hangover Cures, by Dominic Bliss