Learn How To Live Beautifully With This Designer’s New Book
It’s fair to say that designer Athena Calderone is winning, on every domestic front. The bestselling cookbook author is releasing her first decor book, Live Beautiful, this spring, and it includes the stunning renovation of her Cobble Hill townhouse in Brooklyn, which launched a thousand Pinterest boards. In her new tome, she was granted access to the homes of some pretty stylish peers, such as fashion designer Jenna Lyons, designer Pam Shamshiri and Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent.
Athena explores the inspiration behind their design journey and breaks down the details of each room to show why a space works. She offers practical tips on how to bring these elevated elements into your own home, and opens the doors to two of her own residences to give readers insight into her personal design process. Let’s take a look!
In the living room of Athena’s Amagansett, Long Island, weekend home, the rope ceiling is a nod to the maritime location. “Over the past 20 years, I have owned and renovated eight homes,” she says. “Yes, I am the rare bird who moves every two to three years and thoroughly enjoys every bit of it!”
Jenna Lyons, former J. Crew creative director and president, transformed a proper SoHo floor-through loft according to her penchants: French architecture, oversized crown moldings and unfinished herringbone floors. In her living room, Jenna’s pink Milo Baughman sectional is the focal point. She demonstrates that paintings don’t need to be predictably centered over a fireplace mantel or hung gallery style on a wall. Artwork clustered on the floor and lined along the windowsills feels effortless.
Jenna bought the grand Venini chandelier for her kitchen before construction, which dictated the central location for the electrical box over the kitchen island. By sorting out lighting and electric placement first, she prevented the costly headache of rewiring and patching walls.
Architect and designer Signe Bindslev Henriksen highlighted the loft-like airiness of her Copenhagen living room with an ethereal, soft and romantic light fixture. She pulled focus from the monolithic coffee table by deploying a sparse, leggy and sculptural light fixture to center the space.
Los Angeles designer Vanessa Alexander opened the floor plan of her client’s home in Point Dume, Malibu, while highlighting some original Spanish details. An oversized table with a built-in banquette offers a casual spot for dining.
Designer Pam Shamshiri’s swoon-worthy mid-century modern home in the Studio City Hills, California, is what dreams are made of for design purists. It took Pam seven years to renovate the space, designed by the iconic architect Rudolph M. Schindler, who believed that an interior should offer a sense of calm security — like the cave did for our ancestors. While Pamela’s home feels a like a bright treehouse, her bedroom walls and ceiling are saturated in a dark teal, evoking a cozy den.
In the Lyon home of Stéphane Garotin and Pierre-Emmanuel Martin, the founders of the Parisian home furnishings boutique Maison Hand, decorative lighting sets the mood and ambience. Floor lamps, table lamps and sconces illuminate and offer character and sculpture to a room.
Not surprisingly, the Copenhagen home of antique collector Oliver Gustav in the city’s Østerbro neighborhood is full of fantastic finds. Oliver gives objects and art tension by contrasting the diminutive and the oversized, while intersecting vertical lines whenever possible. Placing objects that typically belong on the floor are elevated to eye level, while overlapping objects amplify and play off one another.