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Vermont architect Connell has long been interested in the relationships among homeowners, architects and builders; he started the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in 1980 precisely to bring these three groups together. So it�s no surprise that his second book (after Homing Instinct) aims to "devote�attention to the human drama that goes along with the making of a house." However, there are no accounts of irritable fights or disappointing compromises in this photo-rich volume. Instead, Connell focuses on the way that friendly collaboration and open-ended discussions can lead to the creation of beautiful, individualistic homes. "Personality, lifestyle and human values," he writes, "are essential fuel for good design," and these traits are best discovered when the chemistry between architect, owner and builder are just right. Certainly, the 21 "inspired" remodels and new constructions that he details are pretty impressive. One team transforms the dim interior of a 1960s tract house into a streamlined symphony of glass, light and color.
Another builds, then expands, a small country home that feels as cozy as a secret treehouse. Connell includes a few brief sections on such topics as "outdoor rooms" and "television and media centers." But, though his rich photos and careful explanations of design decisions make this a great place to troll for new design solutions, overall the book feels a little unfocused. The chemistry that Connell celebrates is an uncommon and intangible experience, and he gives no real practical tips on how readers can create it themselves. 300 color photos.
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Labels: Home Design