Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Photos Courtesy of Stewart, Tabori and Chang
I adore the color red. So does Chicago-based interior designer Alessandra Branca. In her gorgeous new book, New Classic Interiors from Stewart, Tabori and Chang, she envelops rooms in vivid color and her luxuriously dramatic interiors come to life. Growing up in Rome with a grandfather that was a Vatican Museum art historian, she was surrounded by the finest classical design and antiquities. She frequently returns to her apartment there, where she is inspired by the light, the energy of the Roman lifestyle, and the arts. This book showcases her strength in creating comfort, meaningful moments, and powerful statements in the home. I wish I could show it all--her kids rooms are so inventive and punchy they could be their own book! Writer Christine Pittel (a House Beautiful editor) makes it feel as though you are sitting with Alessandra, and she is taking you through her work, room by room-- not sparing any important details. I would say this book makes a worthy addition to your bookshelf, it is just chock- a- block with great tips and ideas.
In her New York pied a terre, she uses built in banquettes to make the most of the space. Alessandra's mother, an accomplished artist and decorative painter does gorgeous painted porcelain. She painted the blooming dogwood branches separately and they come together in their frames, hung in a graphic grid.

Alessandra's bulletin boards are a snapshot of her life. An office article in Marian McEvoy's House Beautiful was where I first saw her black and red palette and her use of black trim with nailheads. The effect is sharp.

From a tented ceiling hangs a crystal chandelier in this grand entryway. Double height ceilings and grand ebony doors make this a perfect place for an elongating stripe. This narrow red stripe has become a Branca trademark.

This room was planned around the hot pink and chocolate brown toile. The color saturates the setting and makes it lively and fresh.

This has always been one of my favorite rooms of hers. The delicately scalloped linen tableskirt is such a charming detail. Using Scalamandre's classic Pillemont Toile everywhere makes the room feel like a small left bank hotel in Paris.

Billowing yellow silk panels and a variety of seating areas in the living room make this large space more intimate.

No comments: