Friday, June 4, 2010

Italy of my Dreams

The Story of an American Designer’s Real Life Passion for Italian Style
By Matthew White


Italy of my Dreams is the expansive culmination of designer Matthew White’s adoration of the art and architecture of Italy. What began as the childhood pursuit of "tiny bits of Eden" in Amarillo, Texas and developed into a deep personal connection with the art and architecture of Italy. Full of theatrical, bold exteriors, and interiors adorned with classical flourishes, each featured project is a unique testament to the designer’s appreciation of Italian design. Worn reclaimed beams complement sweeping Venetian doors, lush rooftop gardens recall the Southern Italian countryside – these are modern spaces steeped in an historic sensibility, yet free of replication or pastiche. While the locations change – from California Villas to a Palazzo in New York City – the designer’s passion remains true, making Italy of My Dreams an intimate inspirational celebration of Italian style.

About the Author

Interior designer and author, Matthew White was selected as one of the “AD 100” (Architectural Digest’s list of the 100 best designers in the world). Rather than being known for a specific look, he creates something new with every project. His passion for history is clearly evident in his work, while his partnership with Frank Webb (a modernist) presents a refreshing blend of old and new. Although their projects are stylistically diverse, there is a consistent sensibility within the work – warmth, comfort, beauty, quality and a keen interest in lasting design.

Matthew White’s intrinsic fascination with a broad spectrum of periods and cultures was further enhanced by his own colorful, personal history. Unlike many of his designer peers, he was not raised among priceless antiques nor mentored by a world-famous designer. Instead, he got his start at Tumbleweed Trailer Park in Amarillo, Texas. It was in these early years that he showed an irrepressible passion for the arts and learned the value of hard work.

As a young adult, Matthew bucked tradition by pursuing a career in dance. In 1978 he was accepted into the prestigious School of American Ballet in New York City. During his training at the school, he worked in an antiques shop where he continued to cultivate his education in period styles. He went on to dance professionally for five years with the Los Angeles Ballet. Touring the world with the ballet company, he learned first-hand about a variety of European and Asian styles. After leaving the theatre he had a successful career in graphic design. But it was in 1989 that he returned to his first love and opened an antiques shop in Pasadena, California. The nearly ten years of owning Matthew White Antiques proved to be a period of great artistic growth, allowing for a deeper understanding of the world of decorative arts. It wasn’t long before the collectors who frequented his shop insisted that Matthew design the rooms in which his treasures would be placed.

Now, as an experienced practitioner, Matthew White gives lectures on design, historic styles and the use of antiques in the home. He has been featured in nearly every major shelter magazine. In 2004 he joined forces with Frank Webb to form White Webb, LLC, and in 2006 the design duo were named among the “New Tastemakers - 50 for the Future of Design” by House & Garden.

In addition to his interior design work, Matthew White is involved in various philanthropic causes. He is the President of Save Venice Inc. – an American non-profit that restores superb examples of Venetian art and architecture. He is also on the Historic Preservation Committee for the hamlet of Hillsdale, NY. Matthew recently completed his first book titled Italy of my Dreams – An American Designer’s Real Life Passion for Italian Style.

Design / Style
Published April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9823585-2-8
192 Pages / Over 200 Color Illustrations

$65 USD

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