April 2010’s Featured Books

by bkrigbaum@solagroup.com

Feng Shui for Today’s Living

Mary Lambert
CICO Books
New York, NY

The Chinese have practiced the art of feng shui for centuries to bring positive energy and balance into their living spaces. In Feng Shui for Today’s Living, Mary Lambert shows how to implement it into modern living spaces.

This guide for designers, builders and architects explains the basic principles and how these principles influence a building’s space. Each element – fire, wood, water, earth and metal – is important in creating the proper ambience to produce a calm space. A detailed analysis of the home is given room by room with a specific checklist for each room. Helpful tips on accessories are also included. Plan drawings are included, with additional checklists to reduce clutter in the area.

Referring to the kitchen as the “heart of the home” comes from the concepts of feng shui. Like all rooms in a home, the kitchen has both yin and yang properties. The yang properties include hardwood units, ceramics and granite. The yin properties include softwood units, vinyl and curtains. The major elements playing an important part in this space are fire, wood, nourishment and health. The book discusses storage, lighting, countertops and flooring as kitchen fundamentals, both for feng shui and in general design.

The bath’s yang elements comprise stone, ceramic fixtures and glass tiles, while the yin are vinyl floors, towels and additional soft accessories. These elements create the feeling of relaxation and calm often found within baths. Issues of creating additional bath spaces and placement of bath fixtures, sinks, showers and colors are addressed here as well.

Living Retro

Andrew Weaving
Ryland, Peters & Small
New York, NY

Design changed dramatically throughout the 20th Century in every room of the home and especially in the kitchen and bath. Andrew Weaving celebrates these changes and aspects of style in Living Retro. The book features uniquely designed rooms by assorted designers in 250 color photographs. Covering many different decorative styles, colors and patterns, this book will guide designers in putting together a perfectly retro room.

One kitchen is from a Copenhagen country home. The kitchen consists of a wall of cabinets, a granite island and two sinks. The curved ceiling is made of birch plywood, with skylights to illuminate the space. The central core of this area contains a bathroom, creating a retro look for the European home.

Another kitchen found in Palm Springs, CA, is a fully open living area. This setup includes a breakfast bar surrounded by vintage steel stools. The tiled floor is covered with white epoxy paint, and ornate furnishings add to the retro feel.

An old building designed by Jean Pascal Levy-Trumet takes an old metal yard and workshop and creates a home full of contrast and style. The walls in the bathroom are paneled in steel and the floors are concrete, while the kitchen in the home is outfitted with wall-to-wall high-tech stainless steel, creating a look that is, at once, both warm and cool.

Great Kitchens

Oleta Neith
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Atglen, PA

Practically a visual encyclopedia, Great Kitchens by Oleta Neith provides many ideas for transforming existing kitchens. With examples of unusual surfaces and colors, storage solutions and creative ways to utilize space, this book offers several different styles for brainstorming possibilities. The book features 325 color photographs of award-winning kitchens across the nation.

One of the many kitchens featured includes a traditional room with a large black and gray granite island. Leather stools are incorporated at the island, creating an area for a casual meal. The stainless steel sinks and range come together with warm, beige cabinets complementing the beige and white ceiling, walls, columns and floors. The cabinets offer ample storage, while the open floor plan and high ceilings give the spatial sense of greater openness. Double wall ovens and a microwave are also included for cooking ease.

The book also showcases a contemporary-styled kitchen that incorporates high ceilings for a different look. With an angled ceiling of skylights and glass blocks forming a picture window, this light and bright kitchen also offers expansive storage space. Italian marble floor tiles in hues of chestnut, rust and chocolate brown meld well with the contemporary cabinets in cool gray and lavender. The kitchen triangle comes together seamlessly, offering a symmetrical view and incorporating a built-in television for the family to view during meal preparation.

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