I saved this one for today, because of its New York City roots. You see, Scott, my partner and friend for almost 8-years, is turning 50! Yeah, in addition to being a cradle robber, he's got a similar love for houses and an increasingly more tolerant understanding of my interior design whims. I know that these posts are really set up for the review of books - but I had to interject that little Happy Birthday to him. We're spending the weekend in New York City, and thus - my choice to share with all of you the beautiful book Fifth Avenue Style by Howard Slatkin, photos by Tria Giovan, published by Vendome Press.
Based totally on the renovation and decoration of his personal Manhattan apartment, the book catalogs room by room of the incredibly impressive home that Slatkin has made for himself.
The book starts off with a little blue print, hand drawn of course, of the whole apartment. I can't tell you how amazing I think this is! Why don't more designers showcase their work like this? As you flip through the pages of the book, room by room and vignette by vignette, all beautifully captured by Tria Giovan, quite possibly the best interior design photographer out there, you can flip back to the blue print and see the way all the rooms work together. It's brilliant! Especially for those of us who like books that cover a whole house.
The spaces are impressively arranged and furnished, and all of the vignettes are perfectly styled. I know I've said this of many books I've reviewed and suggested you buy, but if you like complexly layered vignettes, that are all-together gorgeous and sophisticated, you won't want to pass up Fifth Avenue Style.
On the opposite side of the living room you see the gorgeous painted floors, along with the paneled walls. Washed in a variety of colors to absorb all the right shadows and reflect the most light, Howard spent months with artists to get the exact right look - painting everything the same color was just not going to work. Once it was all perfect, the floors and walls were waxed. Here Howard also used mirrored doors to the dining room, helping to create symmetry to the windows on the opposite side. Gorgeous!
Off of the back hall is the Guest Suite, complete with a gorgeously dressed canopy bed and custom wallpaper hand-painted by an artist to match some Chinese wallpaper that Howard found but didn't have enough panels to do a whole room in. Can you imagine being a guest in Howard's apartment? Ah - a dream!
Here, in the banquette niche of the living room, Slatkin used gilt wood brackets with built in recessed lighting to showcase his collection of Chinese export porcelain birds. The silk velvet on the banquette is accented by the finest passementerie and was chosen by Howard as a place comfortable for several people to lounge for parties, but long enough to be a rather luxurious place to nap for Howard and his dog, Winnie.
A bar in the living room, ready for any cocktail at a moments notice. A combination of tables makes up the vignette, and a gilt Louis XVI wall clock is from Hubert de Givenchy's personal collection. I find this so inspiring, as all the other vignettes created by Slatkin. He's so good!
Definitely obsessed with the details, Slatkin's apartment is unlike any other designer home I've seen, and his poetic accounts of how he came to his final decisions in decor and design, the trips he has taken, and the collection that he has amassed on those trips, all brought together here, in a home that is filled with such glamour and sophistication - well it's inspiring. Exactly what a book on interior design should be. So, if you're looking for the next great design book to add to your collection - look no further. I can assure you, this one will take you days to pour over, and give you years and years of inspiration for every room in your house ... even if you don't have a candle or silver room! Purchase available via amazon below.