I am always excited when a new design book comes along....even more so when the book is all about a designer for whom I have the greatest admiration. Barry Dixon is a household name: listed in House Beautiful's Top 100 Designers, "A-list designer" by the Washington Post, and "2010 Hall of Fame Designer" by Home and Design magazine. The list does go on! You can imagine my excitement when I received a copy of Barry Dixon's newest book, Barry Dixon Inspirations from the kind publishers at Gibbs Smith.
Many of you may already have Mr. Dixon's first book, Barry Dixon Interiors. If you enjoyed it, get ready for his newest work in this beautiful book. It is full of ideas that are, as the title represents, nothing less than inspiring.Written by Brian D. Coleman with beautiful photographs provided by Erik Kvalsvik, it is as beautifully put together as are the designs on its pages.
One of the the things I most admire about Barry Dixon's work is that he mixes things up: modern and traditional, refined and rustic. And he seems to do so effortlessly. That is the mark of a master...the seeming effortlessness. In the kitchen above, Mr. Dixon mixes rustic finishes with clean modern cabinets, and then throws in bar stools that reference traditional style. It all works!
You can see Barry Dixon's attention to detail and, again, his ability to mix things up right on the front cover. At first glance, everything is of course lovely, leaning towards a tailored traditional look. But when I took a closer look, details such as the grommets on the curtains and modern drapery hardware, the contemporary lines of the sofa, and the modern accent table all combine to make the space much more interesting. And just take another look at that chandelier....fantastic!
The book is all about inspiration. It so happens, I have been working on a remodel of a house in the Sierra foothills where I am using metal panels on the face of the kitchen peninsula. My clients and I have been reviewing metal samples, and we finalized the choice today. I was inspired to include metal in the design since I had recently been looking at metal strapping that was holding together the wine barrels on a recent trip to the wine country. It is just a bit of positive reinforcement to see metal panels used in a kitchen design by Mr. Dixon pictured above.
I wanted to show you a few of the pages that inspired me. The whole book is beautiful and it was hard to narrow it down for you. These images just struck me, and all for different reasons.
This bath looks so serene and beautiful. The 18th century marble tub is decadent and set perfectly in the symmetrical space. The exotic touches of the Ming Dynasty carved teak window screen and the inlaid mother of pearl chair transports me to another place. I love the Kathryn Ireland toile fabric on the curtains and the Walker Zanger tile floor....all so very pretty.
Another favorite project of mine in the book is the converted brick building in Corinth Mississippi that Mr. Dixon turns into an Urban Loft. Again, Barry uses his design alchemy skills mixing up elements. He kept the walls as they were: brick with plaster worn away. He deliberately left the electrical conduit showing on the walls behind the painting...perhaps the detail I liked most in the space. He differentiates the Dining Room from other spaces by using horsehair and linen sheers keeping everything open and light. He used the open Plantation style caned back chairs with a nod to the warm Southern evenings. Southern Industrial style....a new trend?
The Master Bathroom in a home outside of Washington D.C. caught my attention because Barry used a 1930's Lucite English chair covered in zebra at the traditional vanity table. What a great way to shake things up! Just a "glass slipper" of a thrown for a lady's bathroom.
It is all in the details: the nailhead trim on the onion dome screen, the decorative tape at the bottom of the ottoman, the contrast welting on the custom designed chair and the metal chain link floor lamp....it all takes design to that next level.
At the beginning of the book, Barry Dixon describes where he finds inspiration:
"Inspiration is everywhere. It lives in the memory of our past, the vibrancy of our present and the possibility of our future. It hides in plain sight in the view outside our window and it sits on the shelf inside our home. It lurks in foreign ports of call and waits patiently in our own backyard. It whispers to us in our dreams and screams at us in our waking moments, urging that moment of glorious combustion when our thoughts collide to spark out imagination."
I am putting that up on my wall.
So.....have I whetted your appetites?
I think you will be happy to know that the generous folks at Gibbs Smith have saved a copy of
Barry Dixon Inspirations
for a lucky winner! To enter this GIVE AWAY all you need to do is:
1) become a follower by clicking the Google Followers button on my sidebar
2) Leave a comment with your contact information so I will be able to let you know if you are the winner.
3) Hop on over to the Gibbs Smith website and let me know the other books that inspire you! I am always on the lookout for great books!
I will be picking the winner Friday August 5th at 5:00 PM California time.
Good Luck to you all!