Living Well is a coffee table book with a 1980s vibe & a topical reminder. After you get the Best Revenge, stop and smell the roses.
This book by Carrie Donovan of The New York Times is a well-intentioned, interior design how-to-book for people, living 30 years ago, under all sorts of conditions – for example, with children, on the water, or “with total abandon.”
We’re not so much for the excesses of the 1980s, best expressed here in the Castles and Estates Donovan visited. But our interest was piqued by a photography collector’s bedroom. His framed photographs were nicely juxtaposed with a 1940s film poster and several oil paintings. No way to tell his room was from the ’80s. Collecting is a timeless affair, after all.
Then, there was the interior of an apartment just above “a shop” – the shop, in this case, a well-known, upscale caterer’s place. As you might expect from a private chef hired to serve hundreds of people at gala events, his two private kitchens were to die-for. One was awash in antique copper and cut glass, with weathered, antique pine tables, and a gleaming tiled floor. His other kitchen contained professional gear, the likes of which, you’ve probably seen on “Chopped.” This chapter made our mouths water.
There are some chapters here you might want to linger over – especially if you’re a fan of Art Deco (as seen in Paloma Picasso’s homes) or of Frank Lloyd Wright’s mission furniture. Those styles do not change over time. And, then, some chapters you might want to skip right past – like the space-gobbling teepee in a child’s bedroom.
In the end, lovely to look at; even better to live up to the title.