STARRED REVIEW
December 2018

Lifestyles: Become a ‘Gram master

Feature by
Go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the homes of artists and tastemakers in this month's Lifestyles column.
STARRED REVIEW
December 2018

Lifestyles: Become a ‘Gram master

Feature by
Go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the homes of artists and tastemakers in this month's Lifestyles column.
December 2018

Lifestyles: Become a ‘Gram master

Feature by
Go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the homes of artists and tastemakers in this month's Lifestyles column.
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If you have an Instagram account, it’s almost certain you’ve wondered about the ways of Instagram “influencers,” people who make a living by mastering this photo-sharing social media service. Tezza (née Tessa Barton) demystifies it all in Instastyle. Total newb to Instagram? Tezza is here with the absolute basics on setting up an account and photography 101 tips. But she also digs deep into concepts like weekly workflow, creating grid layouts, the art of the “flat lay,” writing captions, running contests, editing tools, styling food for photos and more. (Sample tip: Odd numbers appeal to the eye.) It might all seem, humorously, a little much to those of us who casually document our pets, babies and the occasional vacation. But I found this peek into the high-stakes influencer game fairly fascinating—and I can’t help but imagine that a few decades from now, after technology has marched on, this book will surely be a wonderful “how we lived then” relic. Right now, it’ll make a great holiday gift for the budding ’Grammer in your life.

THE ARTISTS’ WAY
In Artists’ Homes: Live/Work Spaces for Modern Makers, photographer and author Tom Harford Thompson lets the smallest details in the homes and workspaces of U.K.-based artists do the work of telling their stories. For this project, Thompson insisted on no styling, staging or “tidying up,” and the resulting images hum with quiet authenticity. “Some may dismiss these details as just so much clutter,” he writes, “but they often tell us more about the people who live there than their choice of sofa or new car.” The artists and makers include a potter, a sculptor, a classic-car dealer, a journalist and many more. Tidbits of backstory are tucked into thoughtful captions surrounding photos, so people, rather than places, are the real subjects here. This book feels less intended as design inspiration and more as an unfiltered peek into creative lives.

TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
A similar approach can be found in famed stylist Wendy Goodman’s May I Come In?: Discovering the World in Other People’s Houses. Like Thompson, Goodman, driven by curiosity, makes a study of the interiors of artistic individuals. “[T]he most captivating rooms exist where decoration is a by-product of a person’s passions in life,” she writes. But Goodman’s quest is fueled by A-list access, and the spaces she explores belong to figures like Richard Avedon, Donatella and Gianni Versace and Todd Oldham. The homes on display here are sometimes quite posh and ornate, and other times more modest but rip-roaringly colorful, bursting with aesthetic whimsy. Goodman’s introductory essays are wonderful soupçons of observation; of Gloria Vanderbilt, she writes, “Nothing better illustrates her originality, or instinct for design, than the bedroom she created on East Sixty-Seventh Street, where she covered every inch of the room—walls, floor, and ceiling—with a collage of cut-up quilts.” Come, settle in for a look at the living quarters of the cultural elite.

 

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Get the Books

Instastyle

Instastyle

By Tessa Barton
Alpha
ISBN 9781465476685
Artists’ Homes

Artists’ Homes

By Tom Harford Thompson
Thames & Hudson
ISBN 9780500021323
May I Come In?

May I Come In?

By Wendy Goodman
Abrams
ISBN 9781419732461

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