A HOUSE OF ONE'S OWN

: AN ARCHITECT'S GUIDE TO DESIGNING THE HOUSE OF YOUR DREAMS

An architect and his writer wife (Blooming, 1981 and Ivy Days, 1984) collaborate on this lyrical, likeable tale of the creation of Wind Whistle, their Minnesota summer getaway—and of the joys of the house-building process in general. A modernist architect marries a clutter-addicted Victoriana buff and resolves to build her a perfect dream house. Sounds like the plot of a sit-com, but this was real life, frighteningly enough, for Stageberg and Toth in the early eighties. Surprisingly, the collaboration proved fruitful and the marriage survived intact as Stageberg managed, after the usual series of discarded drafts, to combine airy, open rooms with a mile or so of built-in bookcases and come up with a graceful, intergrated whole. The key lay in in knowing when to back off: Toth's decision to let her husband design the country house's exterior on his own while he gave in on staining the ceilings sky-blue resulted in a custom-designed retreat so charming and unique that both now find it difficult to leave. In this account, Toth's rhapsodies over the delights of home ownership alternate with Stageberg's informative comments on the architect's point of view ('Always remember that the architect needs you, the client, to realize his vision.'). Drawing on decades of experience custom- designing domeciles for his Minneapolis firm, Stageberg Partners, Inc., he also offers down-to-earth advice on hiring, working with and even firing an architect while simultaneously infecting the reader with his obvious enthusiasm for the craft. Dangerously seductive—those without the house-building bug will catch

Pub Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-517-58214-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1991

Categories:

NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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