Friday, August 19, 2011

Patina Style

Brooke and Steve Giannetti have a beautiful book out called Patina Style. It is a direct descendant of one of the most influential decorating styles that affected a huge swath of the general public.

Buy Patina Style HERE

That style is what became known as Shabby Chic, pioneered by Rachel Ashwell in the 1990's.  It was her style that launched a brand, and introduced the term into the vernacular of interior design.

Wikipedia says:"The term was coined by The World of Interiors magazine in the 1980s and became extremely popular in the US in the '90s with a certain eclectic surge of decorating styles with paints and effects, notably in metropolitan cultural centres on the West Coast of America, such as LA and San Francisco, with heavy influences from Mediterranean cultures such as Provence, Tuscany and Greece."

If you look at Rachel's work, you see a level of sophistication and an edited style that perhaps has been taken for granted. The beauty of Shabby Chic is its accessibility. Who among us has not felt empowered to paint it all white? The downfall of Shabby Chic was the perhaps corrupt interpretation of it by the very masses who loved it. It morphed into a busy cutesy style of the constant shopper who loved to do up rooms in a very forgiving fussy cottage style.

I first saw and fell in love with Shabby Chic in the 1990's in Los Angeles. Rachel Ashwell was there, and Lynn Von Kersting, and shops like Pom Pom and Le Maison. At the same time my friends Sharonne Einhorn and Honey Wolters opened the first Ruby Beets in the Hamptons (in New York), and everyone from Donna Karan to Barbra Streisand plundered their shop to create the romantic shabby chic interiors seen at Ruby Beets. I still have pieces I bought from that first Ruby Beets shop located on The Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton.

So now we have Patina Style. The images in the book are familiar if you are like me, a regular reader and fan of the blog Velvet and Linen. I don't mind seeing familiar favorite images over and over again. The publishing world has a weird aversion for re-showcasing things seen on blogs or in other publications. I think if something is good, we all love to look at it countless times. And every photographer and stylist interprets things differently.

You might recall a photo on the Giannetti blog of the living room Brooke decorated for their home before it looks the way it does today. It was classic shabby chic, ruffled white slip covers, and accents of chintz, and lots of white furniture. It was lovely.

A look inside at the pages from the book Patina Style

But all artistic types evolve, and so it goes with Brooke. She has developed her talent for interior design to the in demand status that it is today. Her partner in all of this, is of course her husband Steve, who is a talented and respected architect. He and Brooke have formed a perfect meeting of the minds in their aesthetic they call Patina Style.

Brooke Giannetti has made Patina Style the interior design du jour

Their Patina Style is evolved and getting more and more refined as they work on new projects. Touchstones of using the faded, chipped, tarnished, and tattered, along with the best of the most current building materials, and fabrics and furnishings available in interior design, combine to define the Giannetti Patina Style.

The book is lovely. Most of the photographs are done by Steve, truly a Renaissance man (architect, designer, painter, photographer, writer). Brooke and Steve write beautifully, and the book is organized with chapters that are both inspirational and useful. They share many decorating tips that they use, and that they make you feel you can try yourself.

From inside the pages of Patina Style

Most important, is that when you read the book or the blog, you like the Giannetti family. They live in  a golden place, and do work they love. They have a beautiful home, and a beautiful family. As a couple they seem very much in love and in like with one another. It is a story and a style and a success we would all very much love to be a part of, and of which they actually make us a part of via their blog Velvet and Linen.

From inside the pages of Patina Style

I cast a resounding vote that Patina Style will have the defining success that Shabby Chic had. It is time for the update of this interior design style for a new generation, and for those of us who loved it back in the day to revisit it again with the eye of experience. We don't get old, we acquire patina.

From inside the pages of Patina Style

Stop by and congratulate them!

Stay tuned for another post with a photo essay inspired by the Giannettis of my personal patina style.

The Visual Vamp Hearts Patina Style - photo by Valorie Hart


  1. Thank you Valorie for telling you readers about Patina Style. This book was truly a labor of love for me and Steve. It's such a gift to be able to share it with the people whom we love and who share our passion for design, like you!


  2. So beautiful...I am looking forward to seeing them both next month, right after I get to see you and the Tango Man!

  3. wow wee
    she is something else!!!

    congratz xxx


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