The Way We Live: An Ultimate Treasury for Global Design Inspiration

ISBN 10: 1400051347 / ISBN 13: 9781400051342
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Synopsis: Spectacular in scope yet intimate in detail, The Way We Live transcends the archetypal style book to reveal global connections and patterns in home decoration. This unique body of detailed design inspiration encompasses the full range of options, from climate, location, and size to surfaces, arrangements, and colors. Whether you’re decorating a beach house in Chile or a loft space in Paris, you’re sure to be inspired by hundreds of images from around the world—a Moroccan house that coolly mixes the modern and traditional in elegant interiors; a dramatic arrangement of shells decorating a tabletop in Mauritius; flowers strewn across bare floorboards for a Christmas feast in Sweden. The enormous range of places here highlight connections and parallels of very different habitats in a way both striking and reassuring. The same attention to detail can clearly inform the layout of a dining room in a modest Mexican home as it does an exclusive club in Buenos Aires. This encyclopedic tome, a sublime visual record of how we construct and adorn our living spaces, celebrates our communal experience of the home.

From coastal hamlet to urban center, design expert Stafford Cliff compares architectural styles and decorating details from every corner of the world, whether it is a modest adobe dwelling whose contours complement those of the earth or a skyscraper of glass and steel that contrasts the natural terrain. The ingenuity of each culture shines through in the instinctive use of colors and materials, and in the way the spaces are inhabited.

The world tour of interior design elements and accents is lavishly presented in more than 1,000 glorious color photographs by famed lifestyle photographer Gilles de Chabaneix. Humble yet interesting structures, objects, and settings are all viewed with the same eye as the grandest homes, the rarest antiques, or the most exclusive addresses. From an unadorned Vietnamese sitting room to a bustling Neapolitan street market; a modern London flat to a baroque drawing room in Versailles; an Indian palace to a Chilean café, here is a world where old and new, organic and synthetic, happily coexist. And within these interiors, a myriad of choices and inspirations are seen in the contrasts between stark simplicity and sumptuous embellishment, minimal modernism and rococo splendor, the self-consciously urbane and the authentically rustic, the uniform and the eclectic. Fabrics, textures, and ornamental details reflect the complexity of different spaces and lifestyles, spurring countless ideas for personal self-expression. It seems that the way we live is not always defined by where we live.

Commentary on communal open space, which connects us to one another, and a meticulous guide to sources and materials round out this ultimate treasury. Both beautiful and practical, The Way We Live is much more than a decorating guide—it is a design for living.

About the Author: STAFFORD CLIFF has both written and designed numerous style books, including Greek Style and Caribbean Style, and was a contributor to Terence Conran’s definitive home design guide, The House Book. Formerly the creative director of London’s Conran Design Group, one of the world’s first multidisciplinary design companies, he currently works as a freelance consultant and author. Stafford Cliff lives in London.

GILLES DE CHABANEIX has been one of France’s most prominent photographers of design and lifestyle for many years. His work has appeared in many books and in all of the leading style magazines, including Elle Decoration and Marie-Claire.

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