Most books that seek to laud a style or a region, let alone both, fall prey to overstatement and sweeping generalizations, prose that while lovely on the ear doe not give the reader that much needed "take away." Italian Rustic is a veritable primer on how to mount your own Tuscan-charm offensive in your home, whether it is a studio apartment, a California ranch-style home or a country house in the Adirondacks.
Literally no home is left behind as Minchilli and her husband, architect Domenico Minchilli, uncover every scintilla of Tuscan-izable charm in the "rural Italian regions of Umbria and Tuscany." Having left the US for Italy following her studies n architectural history, Minchilli has brought Italian home and Italian design into the forefront of our national consciousness and with her we have become Italy-obsessed.
Broken down into 13 chapters, including Floors, Windows, Ceiilngs and Gardens, the Minchillis offer u p an entire house of information along with all the resources to re-create the beauty and details of Italian Rustic design. She rightly claims that we have a fascination with living "la bella vita," but at last we can discover that terra-cotta tiles, pergolas and stone walls are easily available outside of west central Italy and far from the Ligurian Sea.
We learn that the traditional Italian farmhouse had its entire ground floor devoted to housing animals and, therefore, the windows and exterior staircases and the very stonework that characterize Italian Rustic arose out of that immediacy with the land.
The design of these homes has its hallmark stone walls with bricks seemingly thrown in higgledy-piggledy, but really as essential reinforcements and levelers for other floors; mortar and tile are added out of utility but without the pretense of order and strict architectural demands, unlike classical architecture. This is a lifestyle that arose out of need and answers a demand for very practical needs.
It just so happens that we fell in love with this half barn/half house and its unplanned beauty. As Minchilli says "Nothing matched, things were added as they were needed, and everything had a use."
Minchilli gives all the history, instructions and even the companies that can bring home Italian Rustic. For stone working we can ring up UK-based Dry Stone Walling Association, for handcrafted doors we can go to Porte del Passato and for terra-cotta we can contact Fratelli Berti. The resources are encyclopedic.
Minchilli delivers this treasure trove of info with ardor and humor, saying, "A funny thing happened on the way to creating the modern Italian bathroom. At a certain point, Italians went tile crazy." We'd like to go Italian Rustic crazy.
Reviewed by Marcia Sherrill --1st Dibs Introspective, April 22, 2010
This book will be a Christmas gift to grandson who has a great interest in architecture.Published 1 month ago by J LaRae
If you are into design, especially rustic Italian or even French, you will find this book to be a gem. Gorgeous photographs and wonderful resources. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Pablo Neruda
Very nice book. Will save and go through this one during the winter months.Published 11 months ago by sharon Johnson
I like this book because it not only gives decorating ideas, but shows you how to acheive the look.
It is not as big and glossy as I'd hoped - but it is still a nice book.
Great book. I am only deducting 2 stars because it came a bit beat up. Not enough to return it, but I would have wished it was in perfect condition since its a coffee-table book... Read morePublished 18 months ago by TheColorFred