Feeling Bookish: The Meaning of Home...

They say when it rains, it pours. Certainly in the arena of interior design books this is true. Fall 2013 is bringing out fresh books from the best and the brightest. The lineup alone is enough to make me giddy!

My copy of Jeffrey Alan Marks's "The Meaning of Home" just landed on my desk. Not only is it handsome and heavy (bonus points), it is filled with detailed photos of projects that will expand your vision of the signature JAM "look" we've come to know. I find myself truly impressed not just with his range (which is vast), but his mastery of mixing periods and styles.

Jeffrey's homes never look decorated or designed. They read as authentic expressions - unique expressions - of the homeowners' lives and loves. True to his relaxed Southern California vibe, he turns the act of interior design into a form of high art and manages to make it look effortless and natural. Impressive to say the least.

If you are looking for a design book loaded with looks you can mimic, Jeffrey's will certainly disappoint. Yes, there are hundreds of glossy images celebrating his work. There are closeups. There are descriptions. And yet the resulting look would be impossible to replicate. He is in many ways like a Renaissance painter who leaves to traces of his brushstrokes. You can study his work and learn of the needs of the client and the uniqueness of the project, but you could never master quite recreate the results.

You see, Jeffrey's projects are somehow mysteriously infused with a lived-in look that seems to have been created over generations. He offers patina, pedigree and depth that I rarely see delivered so beautifully. I have gone through the book several times with wide-eyed wonder and appreciation. JAM is playing at a level that most of us can only admire from a distance. And we'll happily do so, so long as the view is this fantastic.