Feeling Bookish: Luminous Interiors...

Through the years I've come to acknowledge that there are designers whose style I can learn to emulate, and those who can only be described as "the chosen ones" blessed beyond measure with "an eye" and a certain "way" with design. Theirs is a style that is the antithesis of formulaic, impossible to reproduce and the subject of many hours of studying glossy magazine pages. Brian J. McCarthy is such a designer.

If there are characteristics that all designers at this caliber seem to possess (and I would argue that they are a rare breed) it is that they are endlessly curious about the world, avid collectors of art, uncommonly well-traveled and committed to continually educating themselves about history, the world and design. Brian, an AD100 member, is a graduate of the esteemed Pratt Institute of New York as well as a former partner of the legendary design firm Parish-Hadley. All major accomplishments for any professional. But Brian's incredible body of work overshadows his high gloss dossier.

As the title of his new book implies, these are indeed luminous interiors. Each room dripping in exquisite taste, fine furnishings, coveted art and glorious sunshine. Brian's work is upper crust quality with down home comfort. By the looks of it, he never met a color he didn't love - yet there's not a hint of garishness to any of his rooms. This is livable glamour done right.

I adore his love of zebra (as a nice counterpoint to the chetah & leopard we see everywhere else) and his ability to make traditional pieces seem fresh and fun. These aren't modern spaces, but high gloss and high drama make each completed project look young and exciting for clients of any age. 

By his own admission, he is all about the details. He and his clients commit to seeing an idea through to completion, down to the granular elements they envisioned at the start. This certainly reveals itself in his work. Not one tiny detail is "undone" or overlooked. Everything is finished to perfection - yet nothing (anywhere) looks showroom fresh. It is as though these incredible elements have assembled themselves to support the grand lives of the owners. His work is remarkable and his ability to make his clients' magnificent art collections take center stage without bowing to a spartan gallery aesthetic is impressive. 

If you're looking for a gorgeous book (gold spine, anyone) dripping with style, Luminous Interiors: The Houses of Brian J. McCarthy {Stewart, Tabori and Chang} is a must for your collection! 

I leave you with one last bit about the designer... a quote form Brian's in the introduction to his book:  "I don't mind doing less properly rather than more poorly." 

This is a motto I strive to adhere to in my own life. I am committed to excellence in those things which deserve my focus. Otherwise - why bother? Why do anything if you don't plan to do it well? With belief systems based upon a commitment to quality and excellence, you too can produce award-winning results. 

Now go out and be inspired! 

{all images property of Brian J. McCarthy}