on August 27, 2000
This is an excellent look at the best examples of tropical Asian luxury living.
It is not a detailed exploration of regional design elements (look to Bali Style, Thai Style, Tropical Garden Design, et al, for the next degree of depth). It is, however, a rich overview of the best of SEAsian luxury architecture and furnishings.
Every page is simply gorgeous, with photos "bleeding" out past the paper, one trait of a good coffee table or style book. There is little or no image repetition in the coverage of the homes or boutique hotels featured, and each photo is perfectly focused, every composition seen in its best light.
In all the shuffle of Thai grandeur, Balinese earthiness, and Malaysian simplicity, the book might at first glance seem to be presenting a kind of fusion. I think it's fair to say that there is plenty of contemporary blurring of the distinctions between regions, but the reader can also look for regional elements and quickly learn them. Each property is given its own mini-chapter, which helps a lot. And the regional details and sensibilities really come alive when you read the accompanying texts, which are the work of expert style writers.
In fact, the contributors list reads like a who's who of style gurus. There is the clever and quippy Made Wijaya, descriptive Diana Darling, the meticulous William Warren, and details-minded Robert Powell. It's a great read!
on May 18, 2000
I am a collector of Luca Invernizzi Tettoni's work because ALL of them is a visual feast for the eyes. This talented man has a knack for details and never fails to capture the vivid and glowing nuances that represents the best of Southest Asia's style. Take it from me, living in the same environment, I sometimes take it for granted. This book is more than just a coffee-table piece, to complement the gorgeous photography , the text , written by various specialists, will enlighten you with well researched information on local crafts and traditions. It also shows the transformation that SEA architecture and interior designs have undergone; overall a fascinating mix 'n' match of vernacular designs and contemporary style.
on April 2, 1999
I bought this book just to reminisce about my childhood journeys all-over Asia and to bring inspiration to my "East meets West" Style, as an Interior Designer. Well, after reading the book I was compelled to go an another journey, a well deserved vacation, perhaps... I just came back from 3-month Antique buying trip in Asia. I visited China, Philippines, Hongkong, Thailand, Indonesia,Myanmar, and Singapore. This book will take you to the same places and show you more than what I covered in three months. Tettoni is truly great...! Check out his other books on Asia, and you'll sure save a lot on airfare...!
on July 27, 2001
After reading it, I wanted to knock down every wall in my house. Or at least remove the window glass. My next house will definitely be designed based on the rooms in this book.
I didn't read much of the text because the pictures were so captivating. They show every aspect of the tropical Asian house, except perhaps kitchens, which seem to be nothing more than a stove-type device near the dining area. The predominant theme is living among nature and even inviting it to share the living space with you (or is it the other way around?). Instead of windows and doors, you see slatted screens and netting. Very romantic. And a far cry from most of America's obsession with locks and glass. I need to move......
on March 28, 2001
My dream is to be surrounded by teak and orchids, eating curry and sipping lime juice, and not owning any sort of time piece. Since that isn't going to happen for several more years I bought this book. I am neither a designer nor a photographer so my only input is how this book makes me feel. I have come to love Southeast Asia after several all too brief trips to the region and Tropical Asian Style, specifically Tettoni's photos, has brought some life to my dull suburban living room. And, while I realize that this book comprises several distinct cultures, it is the overall effect, not any particular region, that is so overwhelmingly beautiful. If you feel trapped in your American workaholic routine, this book is a wonderful diversion.