|Howard Slatkin took the time to do this!|
I was very touched and impressed, and thought what a great PR team to put this all together, so I dropped a line to thank them, and was told that this was "all Howard", that he did this personally. This would be Howard Slatkin, the author of an incredible book called "Fifth Avenue Style", published by Vendome Press, with photographs by one of my favorite photographers Tria Giovan.
|Tria Giovan at the photo shoot for Fifth Avenue Style - I can only imagine the fun she had - and the lighting issues to solve! - photo via Howard Slaktin on Pinterest|
|What a gentleman, or as we say in New York, what a mensch! - photo by Tria Giovan|
Fifth Avenue Style is a book destined to become a collector's item. It's all about one very personal residence, and the lovingly detailed thought process of Howard Slatkin. True it is very fancy. True it is the stuff dreams are made of. But also true are the lessons to be learned in terms of organizing an interior design project that we can all find useful. And Howard shows it all - bathrooms (with a urinal shown on page 142), storage, and no hidden TVs (page 142 and page 178).
|The entry hall - Everything was created - You have to read about it in the book! I always look for one idea I could takeaway, and I like the brackets with the blanc de chine figures - These are extra special because Howard had his electrician put a teeny dollhouse size light bulb on each bracket hidden by a little gilded "tent" - The lighting throughout the apartment is masterful - The takeaway? Suzanne Kasler has brackets at Ballard, and I would use a battery operated tea light hidden by a little tent made of card stock, but painted to match the bracket - photo by Tria Giovan|
Howard says, "Clearly, as a single guy who doesn't spend much time in Manhattan, I did not need a large apartment like this. But I had long dreamed of having a canvas on which I could express myself fully and also give full rein to the hugely gifted artisans I was fortunate to have work with me. These two factors were the motivation for the move. And let's face it, a lot of what we have is not simply based on need."
When you read the book, and delve into the images, you see that Howard really makes this grand home relatable to anyone who loves to decorate - I love his explanation of his process called POD - point of departure - the one thing that can snowball an entire design of a room - The process is the same at any level and on any budget - Only with Howard, it's more fun!
The dedication is at the back of the book, is in the form of a handwritten note on writing paper styled on a desktop surrounded by family photos and a dish of emeralds. The line I love the most is: "In memory if my beloved late mother Corine who asked me do this book when she was ill, and who gave me the wings - and love - to soar, and so much more."
|The living room - Howard says, "Welcome to my bowling alley." He combined a couple of rooms to make a large living room, albeit a long and awkward space, into something cozy- photo by Tria Giovan|
|Coffee table detail - You can style a coffee table in your own way with your own stuff - The sofa was designed by Howard and upholstered in cashmere! - photo by Tria Giovan|
|To deal with the bowling alley issue in the living room several seating arrangements were used, including this banquette built into an odd niche - Note the double coffee tables - photo by Tria Giovan|
|This is the entrance to the screening room - I die! - The draped curtain is from the Ballet Russes - photo by Tria Giovan|
|The screening room - Howard likes to talk in here and hardly ever uses the concealed screen recessed into the ceiling - photo by Tria Giovan|
|Bookshelves ended up in the dining room instead of the library- Howard uses the dining table to spread out large books when not in use for dining - photo by Tria Giovan|
|Howard loves to lunch with one guest at this small table in the corner of the dining room - photo by Tria Giovan|
|Here we go into the master suite - photo by Tria Giovan|
|Howard says, "My bedroom is the most important room in the apartment for me. During a busy day, just the thought of a handsome, welcoming sanctuary to return to is a comfort."- photo by Tria Giovan|
|A 19th century steel dog bed in the master suite - Howard tells us, "...never been used by any of my pups. Winnie my Norfolk Terrier, won't even look at it."- photo by Tria Giovan|
|One section of storage in the master suite closet - So Gatsby!!! photo via Howard Slatkin on Pinterest|
|Don't you just want to do this is Howard's closet!!!- from the movie The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio|
|These could be Howard's shirts! - from the original movie (and my favorite) The Great Gatsby with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow|
|The back hall leads to the guest suite - The takeaway? Make hidden spaces pretty|
|The guest suite - Howard explains, "I think of a guest room as a sanctuary that can -- and should -- be a bit of fantasy."- photo by Tria Giovan|
|Howard says, "I like guests to be greeted by flowers from my garden, a scented candle (VV note: there is a candle storage room in the apartment!), and a panoply of personal care products." You can do this in your guest room too - photo by Tria Giovan|
|This is a partial view of the kitchen which is to die for! You have to get the book to see all the elegant storage for dishes, glassware, linens, silver, pots and pans - it is awesome - photo by Tria Giovan|
|Fifth Avenue Style - buy it HERE|
There is a great video tour of Howard's apartment done by Susanna Salk. You can find it on the terrific blog Quintessence.
|Susanna Salk and Howard Slatkin - photo via Karina Gentinetta on Facebook|
The best thing to takeaway from this book is the joie de vivre of Howard Slatkin.
- Make your rooms personal
- Make your rooms comfortable - if you are comfortable others will be too
- Take your time
- Appreciate your craftspeople - you are only as good as the team you surround yourself with
- Acquire things you love even if you don't know where you will use them- you will always find the space for things you love
- Document your work
Howard has a ton more of photos on his Fifth Avenue Style Pinterest board HERE
Photos by Tria Giovan courtesy of Vendome Press
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