Snobbery manifests itself in funny ways. I had quite mistakenly written off Better Homes and Gardens as for the birds until I happened across this little gem of a book, which gives a lovely overview of furniture classics and their makers from the 18th century through the present, as well as fresh ideas for mixing the styles.
Overall, the book is a helpful introduction for design enthusiasts of both modern and traditional leanings who are looking for a clear overview of many commonly found decor classics. My favorite section of the book is one called "guide to classic shapes" devoted to various furniture items: sofas, chairs, storage units, etc. from the 18th century to the present. Each furniture icon is given a brief description which includes its history, uses, maker, and any other notable details.
While some of the homes featured in the book are a little stuffy for my liking, there are plenty of helpful ideas on every page especially when it comes to mixing styles. Each featured home is given a title: "romantic modern", "comfortable fusion," etc. that describes the type of style mix. My favorite the "modern country," home of Richard Martino in Sagaponack, New York (pictures 2, 3). Warm whites and laid back slipcovered furniture mix seamlessly with classic Eames chairs and modern farm style architecture for a delicious design experience. This home in particular spoke to me because I am currently wrestling with how to reconcile my love for clean modern lines and classic comfort in our own home. I've looked through a thousand design sites, magazines, and books for inspiration without much luck, However, thanks to the BHG team, I've found my muse...I guess that just goes to show that it pays to put aside your prejudices once in awhile.
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(Images: Better Homes and Gardens' New Classic Style)