Creative interiors and all you need to know about sustainable homes
By Robyn Lea, Thames & Hudson, $70,
288 pages, hardback
Don’t expect the usual house porn from this one. Australian photographer/writer Robyn Lea rejects any notion of “prestige purchases” or “how-to”. These intensely personal interiors are expressions of their owners’ inner lives, she says, and would be impossible to replicate. Instead she encourages readers to ditch the rules, become non-conformists and “trust every quirky idea you have ever had”. The 20 featured homes, owned by artists and collectors in the US, Europe and Australia (among them art and design luminaries Francesco Clemente and Barnaba Fornasetti) range from folksy and funky to downright cerebral. They were designed “to nourish and inspire” their creative owners. They may well do the same for you. Jan Chilwell is an Auckland writer
By Melinda Williams, Penguin, $45,
240 pages, paperback
The way our homes are built and landscaped has a dramatic impact on the environment, says Williams, so the decisions you make when building or renovating are farreaching. Her book is written for the Kiwi market and is a comprehensive resource for anyone wanting to build or renovate sustainably. She thoroughly covers everything from the basic principles of ecohome design to the best materials (the pros and cons of concrete and different benchtop materials for example) and the most efficient lighting and heating. It’s an impressively researched book with lots of detail. I particularly liked the hard-nosed hints on working out whether environmental claims are credible or “greenwashing”.
Rosemary Barraclough is NZ House & Garden’s associate editor