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New Southwest Home

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    Arizona native Suzanne Pickett Martinson brings imagination and flair, a unique verve to The New Southwest Home. A master Gardener, she has a reverence for tradition and an eye for innovation. While many may think they know southwestern style, this generously illustrated volume holds many surprises. Of course, contemporary architects and designers in the southwest tend to use traditional resources but augmented by international ideas. Stone, wood, terra cotta, adobe are not seen as they once were. Stainless steel plays beautifully against flagstone, and leather complements adobe walls. Beginning with entryways, all important first impressions, Pickett leads readers into family & living rooms, kitchens, the heart of the home, sleeping rooms, very private, personal areas, and bathrooms. She also includes chapters covering special occasions - wining and dining, areas for rejuvenation and places for both work and play. Home, just the words connotes may impressions - security, safety, pleasure, refuge, passion. Pickett understands these emotions well and incorporates them into her decor. She uses warm color and varied textures to create feelings of comfort and peace. In the Southwest sun is a major factor in architecture and design, thus the colors often tend to be bold, invigorating, while deep porches and window overhangs offer protection from the strong sun. At the same time, large windows and sliding glass doors invite warm light into the homes. Readers will find many creative ideas in the book's 200 pages that they can incorporate into their own decorating schemes, whether it be a subtle use of textiles or the use of lights in family and living rooms. The New Southwest Home is a volume to be enjoyed over and over again whether one is building, remodeling or simply hoping. Enjoy! - Gail Cooke

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2005

    Beautiful Southwest Elegance

    In her previous work, especially Outdoor Style: The Essence of Southwest Living, Susan Pickett Martinson showed Americans how to create outdoor living spaces that were highly personal and distinctive. Now, with The New Southwest Home, the author accomplishes the same touch of personalizing one¿s living space by moving indoors and taking the reader from room to room in a collection of many of the most beautifully designed and decorated homes in the Southwest. She begins with entryways that she refers to as ¿first impressions¿ and moves on through family and living rooms (¿gathering together¿) to bright and cheerful kitchens, on to intimate bedrooms, functional yet beautiful bathrooms, and ends by urging readers to fashion their homes through balanced creation to be places of both work and play. At least five features make The New Southwest Home a beautiful book. First, the author¿s selections of multiple fashions and versatile use of materials make every room she has designed stand out as a unique living experience. Second, Martinson¿s ¿NEW¿ definitely means that branding irons, wagon wheels, and other formerly trendy Southwestern decorator icons such as chandeliers made from deer and elk antlers have been banished from elegant living surroundings. She definitely has her own style and it is best characterized by the word ¿elegant.¿ Third, myriad examples of every room in the home demonstrate that a great many options for design are shared. Fourth, the fine art work used in decorating is itself beautiful to observe, and fifth, the overall photographic superiority of the images of every room are stellar. This is a truly beautiful book to own. Jerry D. Flack

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