Lifting the Curtain on Design
By Vicente Wolf
(The Monacelli Press, Hardcover, 9781580932677, 224pp.)
Publication Date: October 19, 2010
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Simplify, Connect, Expand. These principles, each fundamental to the practice of design, provide the framework for interior designer Vicente Wolf’s engaging new book. Wolf is famous for his modern and elegant style, always guided by integrity and simplicity. Lifting the Curtain on Design delves into his selected themes from myriad viewpoints: through the prism of international travel, via the detailed focus on a single project, and finally by means of the sweeping perspective of a seasoned design mind.
Wolf, an inveterate voyager, leaves his New York studio once a year to immerse himself in the culture of a distant land. In this volume, illustrated entirely with his own photographs, he recounts a trip to Namibia: with its sand dunes and sunsets, this southern African country is “a landscape that has been reduced to its essence.” A journey to Papua New Guinea makes clear the connections between cultures, as well as the connections that may be fostered through skilled design. And Bhutan is a lesson in expanding horizons and experiences.
It is in Wolf’s design that the essence of his three principles, suggested in his travels, is fully illuminated. In a step-by-step account of two recent interiors—a traditional apartment and an open loft—Wolf describes his initial design process, the various phases of construction, the expert selection of color palettes and furniture, and the final installation of art and decorative objects. He also explains the development of the dramatic tablescapes for which he is so well known, which balance style, form, and color with humor and ease. Finally, a dazzling presentation of Wolf’s current projects touches on grand design gestures and minute yet indispensable details. Lifting the Curtain on Design offers a glimpse into the mind of the designer at work, from inspiration through implementation to unforgettable finished room.
Vicente Wolf founded Vicente Wolf Associates in New York City in 1988. He has been singled out as one of America’s most influential interior designers by Elle Decor, Interior Design, House Beautiful, and Veranda. In addition to a large number of private homes, Wolf has designed hotels, restaurants, and products including furniture, fabrics, carpets, and tableware. His previous books are Learning to See: Bringing the World Around You into Your Home and Crossing Boundaries: A Global Vision of Design.
"Vicente Wolf’s aesthetic is about serenity, elegance, and light. His impeccable eye is drawn to the diverse beauty of the worlds he travels. He knows that great design is something you can’t quite put your finger on; there is always an element of mystery."
— Wendy Goodman, New York magazine
"Vicente Wolf brings a unique vision of the world around us to every design project he touches. His work is ultimately a reflection of his clients’ tastes and desires melded with the vision of a true artist. To live in a space created by Vicente is a celebration of the great beauty of the surroundings."
— Matthew C. Blank, Showtime
"When I think of the interiors of Vicente Wolf, what comes to mind is the coolness and elegant precision of Chet Baker’s trumpet playing, the glamour and sophistication of Ella Fitzgerald’s voice, the syncopation of Miriam Makeba’s African rhythms. Uniquely and distinctively combining these elements, Vicente alone creates a timeless, livable still life."
— Ralph Pucci, Ralph Pucci International
"Lifting the Curtain on Design opens a window to vicente Wolf’s creative process, taking the reader on the journey from inspiration to stunning end results, all captured in the designer’s own striking photography. His facility with the camera rivals his gifts as a designer. Admirers of Vicente’s work and new fans alike will treasure this book."
— Dara Caponigro, Veranda