Hard-Working House: The Art of Living Design by Johnny Grey
As the twentieth centry draws to a close, the discussion begins as to the future of house architecture and interior design. The 1990s as imagined mid-century was to be a functional space-age utopia of polished surfaces, minimalist furniture and fitted technology. Now, living in that future, we know it isn't so: Victorian values, period features, Georgian simplicity are as relevant to contemporry tastes as they were forty years or more ago. Yet retro styles do not confront the true realities of our future -- the need on the one hand for energy efficiency, non-exploitative materials, technology that is an organic part of the design rather than piped in or bolted on, while on the other (and just as importantly) for a social space which reflects and supports contemporary living patterns. A Victorian family might gather round the piano in the parlour while the cook prepared dinner in a cramped and cheerless kitchen. Today a family gathers in a kitchen, conversing with whomever is preparing the meal, against a background of television, radio or music.
In The Hardworking House, leading domestic designer Johnny Grey continues the theme he began with his The Art of Kitchen Design - the harmonious blending of functional requirements with fine craftsmanship and humane values -- extending it to the whole house and its great rooms. He looks back into the past for solutions that worked, as well as at recent developments in Europe, the USA and Australia, showing that contemporary solutions can find roots in sources as diverse as the traditional Japanese house or a Shaker workroom, while the values of the Arts and Crafts movement can be seen to be as relevant today as a century ago.
Lavishly illustrated and beautifully produced, The Hardworking House is at once a showcase for the best in international contemporary domestic architecture and wide-ranging, thoughtful exploration of living and lifestyle on the threshold of the twenty-first century.