Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax, of Cabbages and Kings.....

The loft of John Cheim in New York City, 1989. I love the simplicity, white walls the surprise of blue on the ceiling.
 Home Sweet Home by Oberto is a book that captures that sort of imagination....the one where cabbages can sit next to kings, ad shoes and ships may be sitting comfortably with each other on a table....the sort where one can imagine that time is in our perception alone and that spaces are created for and from memories.

Home of Alvaro Bravo, Medina House, Marrakech, 2005. I cannot tell is the art on the wall is a photograph or a painting. The beauty is that I want to find out....for me it makes the room.

Oberto Gili is a photographer who captures images and presents them to us as lush descriptions of the people who inhabit a space. We have seen them in the pages of House and Garden (oh how I miss you so!), Town and Country and Vogue. This book is a collection of Gili's extravagant brush strokes of those places where his memories were made.

Home of Alvaro Bravo, Marrakech 2005. Again, it seems to be the art that has captured me here. The whole room is so lovely, the placement of the art and the image of the eggs in blue bowls on the dark wood table is so beautiful.
In his preface to the book, Gili says," Every image in this book is the memory of a great experience. The pictures are about seeing. learning, admiring, guessing, enjoying,and digesting. Their significance is not about decor as interior decoration. Nor are they about trendy or untrendy, modern or passe, rich or poor, famous or unknown. Instead, decor serves as an expression of personality, fantasy, personal taste, culture and history. Whether the photographs were taken in the Seventies or today is irrelevant. In my vision they all belong to the present, and I expect them to be there forever."
Country Home of Gian Enzo Sperone, Filacciano, Rome 1990.
 When someone expresses a thought like this that I connect to so thoroughly, the feeling is indescribable. My mind just screams "Yes! That's it!" The spaces that feel the best are the ones that are so personal they tell a story. Lives are lived fully are are captured in one's environment, and that space has meaning for the owner.
Home of Charlotte Horton, Castello Di Potentino, Seggiano, Tuscany 2005
 This is why Gili's photographs are so poignant, and so timeless. 

He has assembled photos from thirty five homes and artist's studios including those of Isabella Rosselini, Richard Meier, Muriel Brandolini, Jacques Garcia, Paul Fortune, as well as his own studio and home in Italy.
Home of Oberto Gili, Il Pico, Bra, Piedmont, 2010. Personal and beautifully imperfect.
When I received an advance copy of this book from the very generous folks at Rizzoli, I almost felt guilty. It is one of the most beautiful books I have ever received. It is a book that should be out in the most convenient of places so that one might flip though it whenever one needs a bit of inspiration....not for a design project (although it would be very helpful in that regard), but just in daily life. There are photos that are beautifully serene in their simplicity and those that are cozily complex. there are bookshelves that are spilling over, beds that are mussed and dogs that are sleeping. It is helping me to rethink my own design process for others and what is important in their spaces.

Studio of Ellsworth Kelly, Spencertown, New York 1996. Again the art is so very important here.

I have picked a few of my favorite images to whet your appetites. 

The book is organized by each individual home of the owner. In some instances, the owner has written a briefly about their home, but many times, there is no description at all....the photos speak for themselves. It is largely a book of images. The images tell the stories and words are left to their own devices to skip along the pages of other books. The photographs are, of course, brilliant, and large. Large photos in a large book! It measures approximately 11" x 14"....big and beautiful. I also very much enjoyed the unique layout of the pages. The page numbers are boldly placed at the top center of the pages that are not covered top to bottom with photos. The graphic design is quite clearly as important here.

Home of Oberto Gili, Il Picot, Bra, Piedmont, 2010, He seems to love references to the flag of his citizenship even in his home in Italy.
 If ever there was a book to place on your holiday gift giving list, for others or for yourself, this is certainly one to place in the top ten, right after that trip to Sienna or Capri.

Home of Oberto you can see, his dog on the mussed red and white striped bed cover as art in a place of prominence tells us his story.
My Life Until Yesterday: my furniture, paintings, and photographs .....Although these create a portrait of my past, the house does not look like a museum; on the contrary, it is a very lively place that changes constantly to accommodate what in the imagination, for a split second, is the future.

May all of your futures be filled with beautiful inspiration.