‘City of Dreams’ by Annie Kelly and Tim Street-Porter

Rizzoli has a new book out called City of Dreams: Los Angeles Interiors. It’s written by Annie Kelly, with images by longtime Angeleno and celebrated photographer Tim Street-Porter. It’s a survey of historic and contemporary Los Angeles homes and their interiors. A+A recently interviewed its author via email:

Your background and education?
I studied fine art painting at art school in Australia and then exhibited in various art galleries in Los Angeles as part of the 1980s Functional Art movement. This led to several decorating commissions, including a prize-winning renovation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “La Miniatura” in Pasadena. From there I began to write for magazines and then books on design and decoration

I am the author of eleven books on design, principally published by Rizzoli. These include my four-book series, Rooms to Inspire and the award-winning Litchfield Style, as well as three books on Mexico, including the recent Casa Mexico: At Home in Merida and the Yucatan. Following these are Splash: The Art of the Swimming Pool, then Living in Paradise: At Home in the Tropics: Bali, Java, Thailand and then as editor of City of Dreams: Architecture and Design by Tim Street-Porter.

Who’s the target audience for the book?
It’s for anyone interested in design, decorating and architecture, and to some extent Los Angeles Mid-Century Modernism, as it was a golden age of design for the city

What did you set out to do?
I set out to cover a selection of interiors that represented a cross section of the design community that also includes artists who have been big part of the look of Los Angeles interiors.

I also give a brief history in the introduction of interior decorating especially as it also relates to the film industry.

The intent of the book, in terms of design?
The book is divided into three parts, firstly a short history of interior decorating over the last 100 years, then a chapter on people living with art and design that includes artists
and collectors. I finish with a chapter on Mid-Century Modern renovated interiors, a nationwide trend.

What makes these interiors timeless?
The architecture of these projects has mainly stood the test of time. The most recent completed home belongs to artist Clare Graham, that adjoins his large studio. However artist Charles Arnoldi’s coastal Malibu house comes next, built over 30 years ago with advice from his close friend architect Frank Gehry. Otherwise the book contains a wide range of timeless home, many designate Historic Cultural Monuments by the City of Los Angeles.

Your favorite projects in the book?
I appreciate each of the interiors on their own merits. It’s more important to show a widerange for an audience than to pick favourites.

How are scale and proportion important in interior design?
The main rule for scale and proportion is to comfortably fill the space. Occasionally over-large elements can also add drama.

And what about context?
The interiors in this book generally relate to the architecture of the building – even the apartments. For example, Mid-Century Modern interiors benefit from furniture of the same period. Context is important because it ca really improve the experience of a building.

For more, go here.