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B Y P arRrcra Sxacxsrrono

achyearI sort throughthe offeringsof

new desisnbooks to see which ones
shouldioinmy library.Onceyou haveestab-
lisheda bit of a collection,it becomeseasier
to turn a discerningeye to the new selec-
tions.In orderto find a spot on my shelves,
a bookneedsto havea timelessquality.I
canadmiretrends in magazines, but they
won'tfind a permanenthome in hardcover.
So how to determinewhich spine I will
reachfor againand again?Look back,not
Vintagedesignbooksare the cor-
of any designlibrary,and every
nerstones Leftt Kathg Kel/g disp/ogsher co/lectionof design books in her oronge-locquered
hashis or her favorites.
aficionado librarg. Above:A folio t'rom Decorotion, Kel/gs most-prized design book.
Like all good things, vintagedesign
bookscan cometo you in three ways:You Kelly, a partner at Helix Architecture+ my grandmother,Mary Kelly,a self-taught
caninherit,you can hunt,or you can buy Design,was lucky enoughto havea gen- interiordesignerin Fort Lauderdale,from
themnewand find 20 yearsfrom now that erous grandmotherwith a good eye. "My her own collectionwhen I went into design
youhavea treasureon your hands.Kathy favoritevintagebook was given to me by school,"Kellysays."lt is titled Decoration
it was publishedby French and European
Inc. for the American design

insteadof designbooks,so I've had to build
m y collectionsth rou gh th e h unt . I bought
my first vintage design book at Spivey's
manyyearsago.There,the architectureand
books are right as you walk in
t h e door. Colle ctin gis in the bac k c or ner .
T h enup the crea kystairs,pa s t t he m ap and
militaryrooms,lust next door to historyand
presidents,you'll find a small room devoted
t o u rbanpla nn ing An d in a lig ht edc los et ,a
secretnook Iikethe wardrobeto Narnia,are
the designbooks.
I haveunearthedcopies of severaledi-
tions of HouseO Carden'sComplete
lnterior by Roger
BanksPye,severalvolumes of Architectural
compilations,and one of my favor-
in this closet.But
my first find, Mark Hamptlnon Decoratinq,
happenedon in a stack right outside the
door.Firstedition Signed.A very good day
Thisvisitthere werea coupleof volumes
Diqestseries, Colefaxand
of the Architectural
FowlertoyChesterJonesand a copy of TheArt
by I D Cracepublishedin
of ColourDecoration
I wantedit even more becauseit bore
the librarymark of JackRees,a pillar of the
Ka n sasCit y d esign co mmun it y who died
recentlyFor me, the mark made the book
better,but that is not alwaysso.

Sre'sRsallv SHowrNG
W hichhrin ps u s to co nd it ion.You need
to be awareas you are collectingbooks that
c o n dit ionwill h avea n imp act on t he v alue
Damageto the spine, the looseningof the
b i n ding,fading ,te arin g a nd m is s ing pages
all decreasethe value of the book. A first
e d it ion,aut ho r'ssig na turean d pr is t r nedus t
;acketincreaseits value. lf you see several
copiesof a particularbook hereand lection,havingpickedup a volume or two

there,be more discriminatingabout everyyear until her shelvesgroanedwith

the condition.If you stumbleacross most-wanted volumes. "l bought a lot

something more rare, like Yogue'sBook of books becauseI adore the designer's

of Houses,
Gardens, 1968with pho-
People, Di4est and a good selectionof
compilations style, but my favoritesare the ones where

tographs by Horst and a foreword by Diana books.

MarthaStewart Not just shelfupon you can replicate the look. Let's face it: Not

Vreeland,be much more forgiving. shelfof overruns,but casesof rare books, everyonehas l2-foot ceilings,"she says.
Otherinteresting safelybehindglass,aswell. So what books would I recommend
Conran's and 100oftheMost Speaking booksshouldnot be
of storage, buying now? Like my children, all mY
BeautifulRoomsin Americaat Prospero'sin keptin directsunlight environments
or that design books have special characteristics
Westport.Prospero'sowner,Will Latham, have significanttemperaturefluctuations, that make me adore them, but recent
sayshis designbooksturn overrelatively Also,acidsfrom
like atticsand basements. favorites include House€' Garden'sBook of
quickly.He creditsthe neighborhoodwith newspaper and cardboardcan harm books, Stgle,SouthernAccentson Color,Farrow€" Ball:
someof that interest. areverywork- and plasticpromotesmoldand mildew. The Art of Color,Michael S Smith's Elements

able older homesaroundherewith good of StUIeand Lynn von Kersting's La Strada

architecture.Peopleare looking for ways THINKING AHEA D dellaDolceVita.This year's Michael Smith's

to makethose housesworkfor today,"says Sometimesyou end up with classic Housesand RegencqRedux top my list of

Latham.Vintagedesignbooksare full of booksin your collectionbecauseyou were future classics.Check back in 20 years to

inspirationfor renovators. wiseenoughto buy them whenthey were s e e i f I w a s a s d i s c r i m i n a t i n ga s Su za n n e

HalfPriceBookshadquiteof fewcopies published.LocalantiquesdealerSuzanne Cooper in building my collection. One can

series,a fewArchitectural Cooperhas amassedan outstandingcol-
of the House o n l y h o p e .I