Cottage Book: Living Simple and Easy

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Overview

Simplicity, comfort, and intimacy define the cottage—and they are the hottest ideas in domestic design today, as seen in a host of new books and magazines celebrating the not-so-big house. The personal, easy-living style of the cottage has formed a compelling counter-trend to the overblown, oversize McMansions of the 1990s. Today, quality of place is more important than quantity of space, and no home style demonstrates that value more appealingly than the cottage.

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Overview

Simplicity, comfort, and intimacy define the cottage—and they are the hottest ideas in domestic design today, as seen in a host of new books and magazines celebrating the not-so-big house. The personal, easy-living style of the cottage has formed a compelling counter-trend to the overblown, oversize McMansions of the 1990s. Today, quality of place is more important than quantity of space, and no home style demonstrates that value more appealingly than the cottage.

Presenting charming retreats perched on rocky coasts, hidden in leafy woods, and nestled on rolling farmland, The Cottage Book explores the roots of this iconic and beloved style. Century-old examples of simple, beautiful getaways from Maine to California—along with delightful variations on the theme—are captured in richly detailed, atmospheric photographs.

In this gorgeous paean to the cottage tradition—now available in paperback—artist, designer, and cottage expert Carol Bass showcases a group of classic early cottages (all still in happy and active use), leads us through a collection of updated and new cottages, and delineates those stylistic elements that define cottage life. Primary residence or weekend haven, The Cottage Book inspires an irresistible fantasy of a home of our own.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Celebrating what Bass refers to as "the cottage sensibility," the pages of this book are filled with photographs that conjure late-summer melancholy and lazy afternoons on the porch. More evocative than instructive, the book is divided into two sections. The first section, which comprises more than two-thirds of the volume, is a nostalgic presentation of "Old Favorites": an early 1900s farm, a late Victorian waterfront inn and a classic shingled retreat are among the nine cottages featured. The second section, called "Fresh Ideas," is less striking if only because the thread-which, in theory, is the approach to decorating-is not convincingly present. The art is a little bolder in this section, and the wall colors are brilliant, but a good number of the cottages are of the same period as those presented in the "Old Favorites" and in the end, the decor-based distinction comes across as arbitrary. The real strength of this volume is its photographs. Unlike the text, which is forced, sentimental and only marginally informative, the images manage to capture the nuances of summer light and cottage life in a way that is entirely inviting. The rooms, though styled and uncluttered, appear natural and lived in-plain, but not pretentiously austere. This is a gentle and beautiful book, ideal for a coffee table, and quietly inspiring for anyone looking for decorating ideas. But it reaches in too many directions, and the result is a diluted presentation of what could have been a stunning show. (June) Forecast: Readers who have spent lazy summers at their own cottages will be drawn to the photographs in this book, which capture perfectly the most sensuous of seasons. This will most likely make for a better gift book than decorating guide. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584792758
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 9.37 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Bass is an artist, sculptor, writer, and furniture and textile designer who is the co-founder of Maine Cottage Furniture, an award-winning company that manufactures cottage-inspired furnishings. Bass lives in her own cottage in Yarmouth, Maine.

Dennis Welsh is a photographer based in Maine who specializes in lifestyle photography. His work has been published in national magazines, advertisements, and catalogs.

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