Mary Gilliatt's Great Renovations and Restorations: A New Life for Older Homes

Mary Gilliatt's Great Renovations and Restorations: A New Life for Older Homes

By Mary Gilliatt Watson-Guptill, $35 The roll-up-your-shirtsleeves title of Gilliatt’s book may be a bit misleading—if you expect to see the beast before the beauty, you will be disappointed, since there isn’t an ugly “before” image to be seen—but it does little to detract from the well-researched, handsomely photographed and logically organized contents of this recent title from the acclaimed international interior designer and writer. With more than 30 books to her credit, Gilliatt knows how to tell a design and decoration story in both words and pictures; on the subject of replacing the original features of a house or sensitively updating them, she’s covered expansive territory. Town houses, apartments, suburban homes, farmhouses, cottages, converted warehouses, churches, industrial buildings, barns, schools and lighthouses are all considered here. Chapters to help understand the period and historical context of buildings, as well as pages on their bones—the doors, windows and floors—start would-be renovators on the right track. A comprehensive architectural, building and style glossary promises that a porte-cochere will never be confused with a portico.