I want to tell you guys about this new coffee table book I got recently which I am truly obsessed with. I have a decently large collection of design books and this has quickly become one of my absolute favorites in my collection! The book is called Summer to Summer by Jennifer Ash Rudick, with beautiful photos by Tria Giovan. A few things that make me absolutely love this book:
- The mix of styles: More than any design book I’ve read before, Summer to Summer really features a wide range of styles. There are homes that traditional, ultra modern, beachy, rustic, and everything in between. It’s really great to see such an eclectic mix. The book is all about summer houses (obviously!), but they’re not one note at all – and nothing cliche! No anchors, buoys, etc, that we’ve seen a million times before – not that there’s anything wrong with those types of elements, and they’re certainly present in a way – it’s just that these homes really take the coastal idea to a different, more subtle and interesting place.
- The mix of locales: I love that Jennifer included homes in all different places – Nantucket, Maine, the Hamptons, Fire Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and way more…which also relates to the plethora of different styles represented. The Nantucket home is an all-American family compound, Martha’s Vineyard is where we find a cozy writer’s cottage, and in Newport we’re introduced to a historic colonial summer home. I loved seeing how the different coastal regions influence the style of the home!
- It’s all good: That’s the best thing – truly ever interior in this book is just damn good. No filler, no clunkers. Of course everyone’s taste varies and I’m more drawn to the traditional interiors versus the ultra modern ones, but there’s none where I’m like, yikes, why is that in here. The spaces featured just have such richness, texture, and character…many are historic and filled with a treasure trove of well-worn antiques, which I just love so much.
- The last thing I love is the sense of comfort and ease that exists in all of the homes featured in the book. While some of the houses are slightly more formal, they all do project that laidback, relaxed breeziness of summer vacations and warm weather, where you’re constantly coming and going between the indoors and outdoors. Jennifer writes about summering on the Cape as a kid, where “every house boasted an exuberant and offhanded mix of armchairs covered in faded chintz, blue-and-white ticking, and loads of wicker.” It’s all about nothing too fussy, nothing too perfect, being able to breeze in and out and not worry about your wet towel on the rail or tracking a bit of sand around. For a summer home, that sounds just about perfect to me!
It was great to see into homes of people I’m not familiar with as well as work from a few designers and people I do know of. Above is a peek into Aerin Lauder’s East Hampton home, and I loved the all-American style of a Nantucket home designed by Tom Scheerer. Ken Fulk’s 1800’s-era Provincetown home (below) was another favorite – a beautifully weathered shingled charmer.
What with the weather heating up and the reality of being trapped in the city for the past few months because of Covid, this book simply couldn’t have been released at a better time. I’ve literally never been more in the mood for summer homes, or spent more time fantasizing about vacationing by the water! Increasingly it’s looking like books are going to be our only means of “traveling” for the foreseeable future, so if you’re also in the mood for blue seas and coastal designs I hope you’ll check out Summer to Summer!
PS – for all books I’m linking to bookshop.org, a great alternative to Amazon that instead of benefiting Jeff Bezos, richest man in the world, benefits small independent bookstores that are the heart and soul of our towns and cities. I hope you’ll consider ordering from them! I was gifted a review copy of Summer to Summer by Vendome Press (with no obligation to post about it) and am super grateful to them!