Hotel Russell by Tara Bernerd

The Sensuous Delight of Place

Like Katherine Mansfield’s enigmatic stories, the book Place by Tara Bernerd feels like “a thread with a subtly woven texture embracing ecstatic feeling, sensuous delight.” The quote is from an essay by Angela Smith in a remarkable book titled The Modernist Party. Edited by Kate McLoughlin, the collection of literary explorations surveys the dinner party through…Continue reading The Sensuous Delight of Place

Three children painted in the Elizabethan style.

Narratives That Illuminate Design

Narratives That Illuminate Design If you believe that design-centric coffee table books contain nothing more than visual surveys of portfolios, I am out to change your mind today by presenting my choices for narratives that illuminate design. What has prompted this quest? Two intelligently written books in Rizzoli’s holiday catalog—both of which were published earlier…Continue reading Narratives That Illuminate Design

The Queen's Drawing Room at Hampton Court Palace

Furnishing Pastimes of Henry VIII

As I mentioned in my last Improvateur article presenting a brief history of Hampton Court Palace, I launched into a furnishings fantasy when I heard the narrators and experts interviewed in the PBS documentary Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace reveal anecdotes illustrating life within the palace walls during the Tudor king’s reign, which included the…Continue reading Furnishing Pastimes of Henry VIII