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Designing books

These four must-reads offer insight into great design minds

Selections By Denise Friday

Loving Frank

By Nancy Horan

This historical fiction and first novel by Nancy Horan dives into the personal life and brilliance of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Set in the years before World War I, a married Wright is hired to build a house for Mamah and Edwin Cheney in Chicago. Scandal ensues when Mamah and Frank fall in love and flee to Europe, both leaving their spouses and children behind. While Wright remains an interest to the press due to his talent, Mamah is persecuted publicly for abandoning her two small children, even though her husband granted her a divorce and allowed her to spend time with them. Horan explores the decision of an early 20th-Century woman who chooses love over marriage and motherhood. The couple returned to the US where Wright built his famous “Taliesin” house in Wisconsin, where they lived happily until a shocking and tragic event ended their life together.


Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House

By James Lowell Strickland, Susan Sully and Historical Concepts

This photograph-filled book displays the various designs of Southern architecture. Historical Concepts is an architecture firm that has been involved in local communities such as Palmetto Bluff, Oldfield, Spring Island and the Ford Plantation. Featured is a Greek Revival-style plantation house in Riceboro, Ga., various homes on Spring Island that incorporate Federal, Caribbean or rural-farm styles to produce spectacular homes built from new and reclaimed materials, and a beautiful Nantucket-inspired cottage in Bridgehampton, N.Y. Another highlight is a 1914 farmhouse that was moved to a property in Ridgeland to create the centerpiece of a stunning plantation-style property. Coming Home also features local talent Joe Doolan murals, Ruth Edwards Antiques, J Banks Design, Southern Stair Builders, Cambridge Homes and Pinckney Brothers, all located on Hilton Head Island.


Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend

By Kathryn Livingston

A must read for fans of Lilly Pulitzer to glance inside the private life of this iconic designer and the famous Pulitzer and Phipps families. This book offers an intimate look at Palm Beach life and tales of high society shenanigans fit for the tabloids. Lilly includes rare photos that allow a visual of her rise in the fashion world. Also portrayed are the growth, decline and resurgence of the Lilly Pulitzer brand, as well as her marriages. Lilly Pulitzer died in Palm Beach in 2013 at age 81. She lived a life as vibrant and colorful as her famous shift dresses.


In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir

By Patricia Gucci

Gucci, the Italian leather goods store, was founded in 1920 by Guccio Gucci. His oldest son, Aldo Gucci, learned the family business at a young age and, with his brothers, grew it into the legendary fashion house we know today. Despite his marriage and three sons, Aldo Gucci met and fell in love with one of his employees, Bruna Palombo, who was more than 30 years his junior. Patricia Gucci is the illegitimate child of her parents who remained in love till her father’s death in 1990. Gucci’s memoir recounts from memory, interviews with her mother and a collection of love letters, her hidden life from the public and her relationship with her father as she grew to represent the Gucci brand as its spokesperson and board member. An expose of sorts that can’t be told without airing family secrets, a child out of wedlock was one of the lesser scandals that plagued the House of Gucci.


New releases with local connections

Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge (1861-1956)

By Thomas C. Barnwell Jr., Emory Shaw Campbell and Carolyn Grant

The Gullah culture, though born of isolation and slavery, thrived on the East Coast sea islands from pre-Civil War times until today, and nowhere more prominently than on Hilton Head Island. On this small barrier island, descendants of the first generations of Gullah people continue to preserve Gullah language, customs, arts, and cuisine. The three authors are among those descendants, and in this book, they chronicle the history of their secluded community from the Civil War through the 1950s, when real estate development connected Hilton Head Island to the mainland with a bridge.


Gratitude and Pasta: The Secret Sauce for Human Connection

By Chris Schembra

The epidemic of loneliness and depression among CEOs, executives, and founders is rampant, and yet, we continue to create and foster relationships in the same way we always have – with boring networking events that leave us more disconnected than ever. Born of Hilton Head Island native Chris Schembra’s own disillusionment with success and his increasing sense of isolation, this book shares the journey of 7:47 Club dinners and how he used them to foster gratitude, empathy, and human connection in his life and in the lives of thousands of friends and colleagues. This book will teach you to create and structure your own intimate dining events so that your guests will have an experience that will bring them closer together, and closer to you.


Southern Coastal Living: Stylish Lowcountry Homes

By Joni Vanderslice

For over three decades, Joni Vanderslice has led her firm, J. Banks Design Group, to international renown in both hospitality and residential design. In her first monograph, Joni tells her story and showcases her team’s design philosophy of attention to detail, luxury without pretense, lifestyle design and casual elegance. Luxury also goes outside to the veranda and dock with a lunch at Joni’s and a Lowcountry boil. With over 200 inspiring images, this monograph includes a variety of welcoming and comfortable homes that express the distinctive personality of each owner while radiating the relaxed elegance of the Southern Coastal lifestyle.