KaSaBooks's Reviews > Artfully Modern: Interiors by Richard Mishaan

Artfully Modern by Richard Mishaan
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really liked it
bookshelves: coffee-table-book, designer, interior-design, styles

I received this wonderful book recently from my good friend and co-blogger Katherine. Clearly, it was written to inspire the reader's thoughts, and it certainly does so. Mishaan shows you how versatile interior design can be, even within the scope of a single designer's portfolio. In other words, this book is an antithesis to the “one designer - one style” match and constantly surprises you with new ideas and fresh styles in every chapter.

He himself notes that he never thought of working in one particular style, as he loves mixing up things too much! How liberating is that? Finally, we encounter the work of a great designer who does not feel obliged to follow the stringent dictates of “mid-century”-modern design, minimalism or “classical style”. Finally, there is somebody who answers the important question of “what to do with a client’s “old stuff”? How to design “around” (or better: with) a client’s antiques, art works or ubiquitous travel souvenir collection without having to end up at the eclectic spectrum of the design universe?

Needless to say, I found myself very much at home flipping through the many stunningly beautiful pages while absorbing Mishaan's accompanying inspiring comments and credos. For him, design is not about choosing a style and sticking to it. In fact he often designs without any particular style in mind, simply trying to put artfully together what people love, so that they will feel comfortable. Apart from location, Mishaan's designs are influenced by “time of life” (as in young family vs. retirement home) and taste. If the client is a collector, the collection needs to be embraced by the design. If the client is an artist, his or her level of visual sophistication needs to be taken into account and - learnt from. If a design brief will drag Mishaan out of his “comfort zone”, he will gleefully take up the challenge. The range of the different designs presented in this book are a clear testament to his attitude.


We are introduced to examples of show house rooms (a la Hollywood), an apartment for a young family in Carnegie Hill, a show home design following the theme “festivals”, the renovation of a home of two artists with different tastes and preferences, the mid-century style apartment of a design-savvy and well-travelled fashion executive, the rich designs of the presidential suite of the St. Regis New York, Mishaan’s own 15th century place in Cartagena (Columbia), the truly “over the top” design of two combined penthouses in one of Lower Manhattan’s most prestigious buildings and last but not least the designer’s family country home.

In short, a very enjoyable read, a treasure trove of ideas, and a feast for the eyes.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 9, 2015 – Shelved
November 9, 2015 – Shelved as: coffee-table-book
November 9, 2015 – Shelved as: designer
November 9, 2015 – Shelved as: interior-design
November 9, 2015 – Shelved as: styles
November 9, 2015 – Finished Reading

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