cover image Elements of Family Style: Elegant Spaces for Everyday Life

Elements of Family Style: Elegant Spaces for Everyday Life

Erin Gates. Atria, $35 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5011-3730-3

Interior designer Gates offers a helpful guide to creating living spaces for families that balance child management with elegance. Her concept of home family design incorporates special spaces for kids as well as kid-free zones for exhausted parents. She opens on a personal note, by describing her struggles with infertility and the pain she felt at the possibility of going through life without children. When at last she gave birth to a baby boy, she recalls, a whole new landscape of design ideas opened up for her, the results of which are captured in this beautifully produced volume. It’s divided into “zones”—Family Spaces, Kid Spaces, and Parent Retreats—which are then broken up further into specific rooms: from the nursery to the mudroom; from the master suite to the den. For Family Space, for example, Gates adds highly functional elements such as durable upholstery and high-traffic rugs, while the Parent Retreat space includes tips for choosing “statement art,” arranging a “butler’s pantry/bar area,” and creating an elegant dining table. Her in-depth manual to planning for every corner of the home—which admittedly does assume a healthy budget—integrates utility, functionality, and style, while addressing the day-to-day needs of families. Agent: Brettne Bloom, the Book Group. (Apr.)