Thursday, December 01, 2011
World's Oldest Interior Design Intern Strongly Recommends "Restoring A Home In Italy" by Elizabeth Helman Minchilli
I wrote about Elizabeth's book Italian Rustic.
RESTORING A HOME IN ITALY is one of her earlier books, written in 2001. I LOVED it and know I will be using it as a reference for a long time.
It's a gorgeous book. Very inspiring. It's a perfect gift for anyone who has an interest in home decor/design, Italy, or beautiful photography.
Twenty-two homes are featured from all over Italy. Elizabeth has divided the book in areas; Northwest, Northeast, Tuscany, Umbria, Rome, and the South.
There is a range of homes from restored farmhouses to apartments in Rome.
One of my favorites is the former candle factory in Trastevere that is now an incredible apartment with a courtyard.
The book is well-written and the project notes sections are useful and accessible. You don't need to be a contractor to understand the building methods Elizabeth writes about.
I read Elizabeth's book the same week I started an internship with a prominent Italian furniture/interior designer (a big fat thank you to a certain friend for the introduction).
The timing was not great as I was in the middle of finishing my novel. The last few weeks have been a little bananas. No, make that extremely bananas.
But it's been a great experience. I'm learning a lot. Also, my Italian is improving now that I'm in an office with Italians and not at home all day writing only in English.
In a bizarre way everything has come full circle. My first job of out college was in the Buyer Executive Trainee Program at Bloomingdales. I interned in the Buying offices at the flagship store during college. After I graduated, I was assigned to the Home Furnishings division.
I've been reading shelter magazines and books since the sixth grade. My friends here thought I was nuts to bring my copies of DOMINO (RIP) and Elle Decor magazines to Rome. I wondered about that too, now it all makes sense.
I'm still writing and will continue to do so. However, my post JUMPING THE BROOM experience has been a real eye-opener.
At some point I will start a separate blog that will focus on design/decor.
In the meantime, I'm very excited about this opportunity. To be able to work in this area in Italy is a plus as many of the top textile, kitchen/bathroom design, furniture, etc. companies in the world are Italian.
So while it's difficult at times to be the World's Oldest Intern (hello, a few years ago I had an assistant), hands-on experience is important. Everything I'm doing now is laying down the foundation for my future.