The librarians at the Westbury Library make a point of selecting and purchasing sumptuous, beautiful books about the arts and design. These mostly oversized volumes are a delight to leaf through and dream over. This spring there is a generous array of books with gorgeous photographs of the world’s loveliest gardens, architecture and homes that delight the spirit and nurture the imagination.A History of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Dan Cruickshank (Firefly Books, 2015). If you have an eye for the art in architecture, you will enjoy this book. The author explores the most stunning and iconic structures in the world with beautiful photographs and accompanying text. Cruickshank is an architectural historian and has produced many programs for the BBC.
Garden Design: A Book of Ideas by Heidi Howcroft and Marianne Majerus (Firefly Books, 2015). This book of soothing, oversized photos makes the reader feel like they are in a garden. Browsing this volume may inspire floral and structural ideas for home. Or, perhaps, a visit to Old Westbury Gardens, using the free pass that is available at the Westbury Library.
Home Made Modern: Smart DIY Designs for a Stylish Home by Ben Uyeda (Running Press, 2015). The author sums up his philosophy as, “the best way to minimize waste is to make more projects from the things you already own.” Lots of great looking projects to make for every room in the house using accessible and inexpensive materials. Diagrams and instructions are clear, clean and simple.
Modern Retro by Caroline Clifton-Mogg (Jacqui Small, 2016). A look at 20th-century design and home interiors that explores the potential of combining old and new to make a completely unique and personal place to live. Retro styling can work well in all kinds of homes and create a harmony between the past and the present.
New Eco Homes: New Ideas for Sustainable Living by Manel Gutierrez (Harper Design, 2015). Intriguing, contemporary home designs that are ecologically safe and sound. Most readers won’t be building one of these dramatic houses anytime soon but the curious can still have a taste of the most innovative new homes worldwide. Using photographs and house plans, this is a mind-expanding look at the most environmentally friendly ideas for homes.
Cathleen Towey Merenda is the Director of the Westbury Memorial Public Library and served on the Carnegie Medal Committee for the American Library Association in 2014.