Becoming an author has always been a goal of mine. I admire and collect all kinds of books, and I envisioned doing my own one day, following in the footsteps of the vintage photography and design books that I use all the time in the studio. I’m drawn to these older books that are intimate and full of content; period and modern at the same time.
When it came time to finally put a first book together, I wanted it to be about something more than just a compilation of interiors. So, this book, American Modern, was born out of the idea of sharing what I do, in a more topical way. I wanted to illustrate the traditional-to-modern spectrum that I work in, in a related series of homes. And I wanted to focus on the American nature of my thinking as a designer.
To me, American Modern style means a willingness to recover history yet mix old and new, to be independent in one’s choices, and to be a good editor of those things so that the resulting surroundings have a kind of modern, pared-back order.
The seven residences I chose for this book span from a most traditional country house to modern city lofts and formal, classic New York apartments. I included my own house and city apartment, to show how I’ve used these spaces to develop ideas that later become part of other designs. Each project is explained as a personal walk-through, delving into the working details of design, architecture, and collecting that are normally not seen or discussed – – but which for me, are the soul of any project.
Each home is part of the larger story. That even with an old house or an early antique, there is a way of crafting a new idea. After all, everything was modern in its own time.