Ryland Peters and Small,
it at Amazon
Nonfiction / Coffee Table / Architecture / Design
Notes: Publishers Website: www.rylandpeters.com
Rating 5 of 5
Reviewer, Carolyn Howard-Johnson,
is the award-winning author of This is the Place and
Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered
Homes in the Heart of the City
Editors: Bo Niles
and Katherine Sorrell
Well-Designed Book Speaks Well of
case the news hasn’t reached you, people are moving from the
hinterland to the city. And when they do, more and more of them
want the real thing. They’re renting, leasing, and buying
loft space faster than it can be built.
OK. Built isn’t exactly the word for it. Refurbished? Old
ballet studios, UPS garages, toy warehouses and the like are being
converted to living quarters. Bo Niles, one of the editors of City
Living, reminds us that cities are synonymous with creativity.
That “Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco”
and we can’t think of Marcel Proust without thinking of Paris
or Henry James without conjuring New York.
own daughter, newly an anthropology student, has tossed her designer
duds and cleaned out her cupboards so that she can comfortably fit
her stuff from a five-bedroom house into 1200 feet of what my husband
considers an “unfinished apartment.” For her it is a
slice of heaven, windows that look over the city and walking distance
to L.A.’s new light rail, the cleaners, Rite-Aid and even
a nostalgic little pharmacy with a soda fountain on Route 66 that
runs through the downtown area of the L.A. satellite she lives in.
Living reflects her enthusiasm. A big book, not quite as big
as what we’ve come to think of as a coffee table book, it
is packed with pictures, inside and out, of lovely conversions to
fit every taste including that industrial look my daughter has taken
City Living is also a study in international living. It features
the Antwerp home-space of Eric De Queker, who is famous in Belgium
for his furniture and interior design company, as well as industrial
loft space in Los Angeles. Each section (chapter) is written by
one of the several Ryland Peters editors. Taken together, the chapter
names are a poem that strum at the heartstrings of anyone interested
in design: “Symphony in concrete, The whitest shade of pale,
Paris eyrie, Hollywood natural” and more. The photographs
are exquisite, the copy inspiring. This is a book that a reader
will come back to again and again and see something different every
time, a curve here, a detail there, a color or no color at all.
about that trend to city living. That’s the theme, but if
you prefer “nostalgic charm,” you’ll find a bit
of that, too. After all, the city embraces everyone, every taste.
That’s what makes them cities.