The New Hacienda , Bamboo Style and More...

The New Hacienda
Karen Witynski and Joe P. Carr
Gibbs Smith, Publisher, Salt Lake City, UT
Written by Karen Witynski and Joe P. Carr and available from Salt Lake City, UT-based Gibbs Smith, Publisher, The New Hacienda, offers designers a comprehensive look into this unique, Old Mexico-inspired design theme that is based on the use of natural materials combined with a pared-down approach to interiors.

The book begins with an introduction that discusses the history and evolution of this unique design style and the impact a style rooted in antiquity has had on contemporary design.

The book dissects the tools needed to accomplish a hacienda-inspired space (such as carved stone and adobe) as well as the distinct characteristics of hacienda design, such as vaulted ceilings and stucco textures enhanced by the use of cactus juice.

A variety of topics are covered, including “Hacienda Origins,” “Furnishings and Accents,” “Architectural Elements” and “The Hacienda Influence.”

Showcasing the importance of detail and accenting in the hacienda design, the chapter titled “Hacienda Kitchens” offers an intriguing look at the evolution of the space, covering its distinct sixteenth-century characteristics (such as two kitchen areas and open cupboards) to how its present-day incarnations reflect many of those sensibilities to enhance the cooking and entertaining experiences.

The chapter titled “Residential Haciendas” covers a variety of areas within residential haciendas, including the kitchen and bath, and discusses the unique application of natural elements, such as the use of an ancient stone vessel as a master bath sink.

Another key to hacienda design is the striking use of pastel colors, which helps bring to life the natural, earthy feel of a space.

To highlight these designs, the book features colorful and detailed photography that showcases both interior and exteriors of hacienda homes. Accenting these photographs are informative captions that quite often refer to the ancient antiques, sculptures and stone featured and how this approach – combined with contemporary design elements – serves to create a truly unique design statement.

The book concludes with a resources listing, including author contact information, notable Hacienda galleries and museums and architects, as well as a listing of noteworthy Hacienda-oriented travel destinations throughout Mexico. For those readers particularly taken by the Hacienda atmosphere and philosophy, the book even offers a few recipes to enjoy, as well.

Bamboo Style
Gale Beth Goldberg
Gibbs Smith, Publisher, Salt Lake City, UT
Designed to not only dispel the myths of bamboo as a strictly Pacific Rim design element, but to praise its design possibilities, Bamboo Style sets to prove that any room in the house – including the kitchen and bath – can be decorated or accented by this natural material.

Written by Gale Beth Goldberg and available from Salt Lake City, UT-based Gibbs Smith, Publisher, the book is set up into six different sections, ranging in topic from “Why Choose Bamboo,” and “The Ways of Bamboo,” to “Bamboo Outside” and “On Your Own.”

For designers considering using bamboo, the introductory chapter offers a wealth of useful information about this strong, yet flexible plant, providing some interesting (and somewhat surprising!) facts about its functional benefits and aesthetic advantages.

The section titled, “Bamboo Inside” looks at a variety of home uses for bamboo, some of which are quite innovative. The section features information on flooring, walls, windows and ceiling applications.

Perhaps the most intriguing chapters are “Bamboo in the Kitchen, Dining and Living Spaces,” and “Bamboo in the Bathroom and Bedroom,” which offer insight into multiple residential applications – both for remodels and new construction.

For instance, the kitchen applications featured include “green” designs that are complemented with concrete block walls and gypsum wallboard as well overall layout improvements that feature timber-bamboo supports and bamboo flooring.

The “Bamboo in the Bathroom and Bedroom,” chapter showcases the creative possibilities of bamboo as well, illustratng various ways designers have combined bamboo with other natural materials, such as sea shells, to create unique and warm spaces. The chapter even extols bamboo’s functional benefits, noting that bamboo matting not only texturizes walls, but absorbs moisture from one’s feet after a tub soak.

Detailed full-color photographs adorn almost every page of the book and showcase bamboo in multiple applications from Pacific Island bedrooms and naturally styled and colorful kitchens to warm, ambient baths.

For the truly ambitious, the book even offers a chapter devoted to growing bamboo and includes diagrams and troubleshooting tips for controlling growth and fastening it during construction. The book concludes with a comprehensive resource directory.

The Illustrated Guide to Cabinet Doors and Drawers
David Getts
Linden Publishing, Fresno, CA
Meant as a reference to aid design professionals in constructing and installing distinctive cabinetry, The Illustrated Guide to Cabinet Doors and Drawers offers a comprehensive look at a variety of door and drawer configurations.

Written by David Getts and available from Fresno, CA-based Linden Publishing, the book addresses a variety of topics, including safety, hardware, small-shop drawer fabrication and finishing, among others.

The book begins with “An Introduction to Doors and Drawers,” which focuses on the different aspects of door and drawer design as well as application possibilities. It also gives some history to help readers understand how each of these have evolved, and how they continue to evolve based on the needs of today’s homeowners.

The book continues by addressing safety concerns, offering explanations as to the proper usage of hand tools and power tools and suggestions for increasing field and installation safety as well as client safety during and after installation.

Among the more interesting aspects of the book is what is referred to as “The Nine Variables,” which is found in Chapter Three. This section offers a listing of miscellaneous variables that are crucial to the creation of highly functional and visually pleasing door and drawer designs. For example, the listing gives advice as to the best ways to break up flat space, vary styles and keep things simple.

The book also devotes an entire chapter (titled “Door Gallery”) to examples of doors for cabinetry and furniture. While not an all-inclusive compilation, the chapter allows the reader easy reference and inspiration when seeking frame-and-panel doors, glass door frames with mullions and square frame-and-panel doors, among others.

Scattered throughout The Illustrated Guide to Cabinet Doors and Drawers as well are boxed sidebars that feature additional insight into construction techniques (such as fabricating a wood knuckle hinge and grading plywood) as well as quick-tip boxes that touch on ways to determine lock quality and different clamp tactics, for instance.

Complementing the text are full-color photographs, as well as renderings and diagrams that provide greater insight into the approaches discussed. The book concludes with a “Sources of Supply” listing which offers contact information for suppliers and associations featured, including door, drawer, glass and hardware manufacturers.

New Kitchen Design
Encarna Castillo
Daab Publishing, New York, NY
Created to provide design inspiration for both design professionals and homemakers, New Kitchen Design, written by Encarna Castillo and available from New York, NY-based Daab Publishing, offers a collection of kitchen style possibilities.

Although the book emphasizes visual presentation, it also offers a bilingual introduction that touching on the history, evolution and present-day possibilities of kitchen design around the globe.

The book unfolds as a pictorial guide, offering over 40 diverse kitchen applications from around the world, including Spain, Italy, England and the U.S., showcasing some of the stark differences (and surprising similarities) in international design approaches.

Floor plan diagrams are featured throughout the book as well, so that the reader can easily reference and identify many of the design approaches used.

Accompanying the images are design credits, a brief description of the type of design featured along with the location of the project and year of completion.