Sunday, January 12, 2014

Defining Luxury: Jeffrey Bilhuber

If you're reading my reviews - you know that Mary McDonald's book is in my top 5, all-time favorite books in the collection. Another on that list, Jeffrey Bilhuber's Defining Luxury. They have a lot in common as designers; both are innovative, both use exhilarating colors and patterns in fabric and wallpapers and painted rugs and floors - but they each have unique exceptions to their work, that thing that makes the instantly recognizable as a "Bilhuber Room" or "Mary McDonald Space". 

Jeffrey has penned three books, and has had his work featured in several others - including numerous magazines. Defining Luxury, his second book, includes interiors that are impeccably styled and have vignettes that are beyond amazing. When I'm stuck, or need inspiration for vignettes or furniture placement, I grab THIS book, with pages that are well worn, and let Bilhuber inspire. 

A common thread in all of Bilhuber's interiors is luxury. From the finest fabrics and trims, to antiques and furniture at the very top of the line, his rooms convey - through the page - the very definition of a life well lived. They're opulent without being stuffy, rich without being pompous, and sophisticated without a shadow of arrogance. They are ... Perfect. 

Like other books that I prefer, Defining Luxury features Bilhuber's personal home in Manhattan (above). The layers of his designs, the textures and color - what's not to love. And apart from being absolutely perfect, they're livable, inviting. You could curl right up with a book and a glass of wine and live happily ever after, don't you think? 

Jeffrey can fit more furniture in a room than any other decorator I've ever seen. Well, maybe that's not true - Mary and Charlotte, and the late Charles Faudree, oh and David Easton - they can turn a 10x10 living room into a concert hall. But each of them, including Jeffrey, do it with ease and grace - and the rooms always feel perfectly placed, like any fewer chairs would be wrong. 

Defining Luxury is an older publication, so the price is fantastic via the Amazon link below - and trust me, if you're ever stuck on your home or a clients ... this book will get you out of the jam, and inspire you for the next step.

Click Image to Buy! 
Happy Reading!


  1. Tooooo much pattern for me. I appreciate it, of course, for the beautiful work that it is. But too much for me, Mr. All White and Ivory. I'm working on it though :) one of my resolutions is to not give up on color-keep trying it until I like it. That's why I need Mary!

  2. I love all his books and have spent countless hours pouring over them! His first one has so many wonderful, practical tips in it too. Got the paint chips - bought a quart of it made in SW, hoping to test it out soon. Thank you!!

  3. What a beautiful book. Just love his fresh, sophisticated style. I just love the entrance with the leopard rug!!