Friday, October 25, 2013

Fifth Avenue Style: Book review

If God is in the details Howard Slatkin, interior designer and author of Fifth Avenue Style, is surely a saint. Reading his book is a glimpse into a wonderful fantasy achieved in only 3 years in his New York Pied-a-terre. At first glance I assumed the renovation took place over 20 years.
Approach-ably written the interior photography by Tria Giovan is also breathtaking beautiful. In each scene the room is set as if for a party to which you were lucky enough to be invited. While this over the top maximalism isn't for everyone granted, even the most ardent minimalist can learn something from Slatkin's approach to detail.
No detail is overlooked, both in the apartment and in his daily life it would seem. My favorite image is a lunch for two at a small table set up overlooking the park, similar to the lunch HabituallyChic was lucky enough to have in this same spot! Don't miss her post on her visit. Also don't miss the video tour of Slatkin's apartment at Quintessence.
Slatkin charmingly walks you through the process of finding the apartment and the entire gut renovation and planning stage. I always appreciate a floorplan and the book includes them at different stages of work.
Notice above the wallpaper wrapping the door and even the interesting but different door knobs on each side. Nothing was left to chance. Really, isn't that how the best interiors succeed?
The most talked about space in the whole apartment, oddly enough, is Slatkin's closet. I suppose one might call it a dressing room given its grandness. Custom designed door pulls,  marquetry paneling, antiques - would you even want to leave after getting dressed?
Don't miss Fifth Avenue Style printed by Vendome Press no matter your stylistic leanings. And be sure to remove the dust jacket to see the beautiful cover (first image).
All images courtesy of Vendome Press and Tria Giovan


Paisley Curtain said...


Stephilius said...

Wow! And, again, wow. I'm someone who loves over-the-top and "too much of good thing", but this might even be one step beyond what I could manage. Every surface is exquisite but, even though everything is placed so perfectly, with such thought, there's so little room to breathe; I think some "blank" is necessary, to be able to ponder and appreciate the beautiful things all around. The only way I could exist in a space like this is if I had a totally Zen country house I could escape to now and then.

So many amazing, exquisite things, here. The Maison Jansen doors - beautiful! And I love all the jib doors; something I know you must love, too, Stefan. The - only - criticism I can produce is that I don't like the parquet de Versailles in the living room being grey. It makes the room too cold.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Stephilius - if this was a full time residence I would agree! But Slatkins states in the book he only spends a few days per month in this apartment. It's a true fantasy - a weekend pied a terre in NYC! Where else could you go so over the top?!

Karena Albert said...

Stefan I have just finished this book and love it! Howard is a true gentleman. His attention to each and every exquisite detail is uncanny!
Fabulous beyond!

2013 Designer Series

Stephilius said...

Ah, a few days a month sounds quite doable! : )

The Devoted Classicist said...

I like the little curtain that draws to protect the watercolor rendering.

deana sidney said...

I'm with you, classicist, love the curtain -- remember the efforts that went into protecting original Fox-Talbot photos with little peekaboo curtains... gives it a magic-show feel.
As for Slatkin, I have a few old mags with his work in it from the 90's... really mad stuff for people with way too much money. I think I would go mad living there but love the craftsmanship and detail like the grisaille door... ooh la la.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

That's a pretty amazing closet! This might Howard Slatkin's book might well become my Christmas gift to myself.

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Absolutely sumptuous!!! I'm blown away by the level of detail here. And 3 years?? Very impressive!

Karena Albert said...

Stefan, when I took the book jacket off, my eyes lit up. The embroidery and detail stood out and it is truly gorgeous to sit out without the cover. Howard leaves no detail unattended.

2013 Designer Series

Windlost said...

Yes, adding this to my Christmas list. 3 years!? I haven't even got this whole house painted in 3 years.

xo Terri