Book Review: “The Art of Space” by Mary Cook

Seven Fundamentals of Design to Help with Your Interior Design Projects

Book Review: The Art of Space by Mary Cook — Interior design is a subject that we here at Nazmiyal Collection think of as an art form. Each client that comes to us looking for the perfect antique rug or carpet has a unique vision for how they’d like their home to look and feel, and it takes that personal touch to make a room seem just right.

Sometimes, however, choosing what elements are right for your home can feel like an incredibly daunting task. With so many options available to shoppers, the possibilities are endless.

While more available choices free one up to be creative, they can also make picking complementary elements feel as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. Without guidance, it can be hard to choose the decorative elements that will make your home feel not only like a personalized space, but a cohesive one as well.

The Art of Space by Mary Cook
“The Art of Space” by Mary Cook

That’s where interior designer Mary Cook’s recent book, The Art of Space, comes in. Cook’s is a straightforward and sensible approach to interior design, but one that leaves room for plenty of personalization and creativity.

With over 25 years of experience and over 2,000 interior design projects under her belt, Cook knows that although tastes and styles of living differ greatly, there is always a way to pull together a cohesive and relaxing space using seven tried and true approaches; She calls these approaches her “Seven Fundamentals,” and rather than prescribing her preferred design style or giving tips too specific to be widely applicable, her seven fundamentals are basic pillars of design that can be easily applied to any project to guide the design process. As Cook states, when one takes the time to consider these seven elements during their designing, “a wonderful harmony happens”.

Cook’s seven design fundamentals, which include broad topics like color, scale, and texture, act more as a way to organize one’s thoughts about a space, rather than a one-size-fits-all design solution. Cook is very aware that different people use spaces differently — while a strict formal dining room might work for one client, for another client, the space might need to have multiple uses, such as home office or play area — and Cook takes this consideration very much to heart.

This consideration paid to the use of a space as much as the aesthetic of the space is important to Cook’s ideology.  As the author states about her previous design projects, “in every case, my clients are looking for interiors and spaces that would do more than look good. They want them to perform”.

The strong emphasis placed by Cook on outlining an objective and thinking critically about the use of a space in its design means that whether your tastes run more traditional or contemporary, her tips remain incredibly useful.

Throughout the book, Cook gives great tips on every aspect of the design process, from choosing the “feel” of a room, to creating mood boards, all the way to choosing paint colors and shopping for the perfect home accessories. Cook breaks down the process into parts that feel manageable, clear, and fun.

The Nazmiyal Collection would suggest this book to any homeowner or designer who would like to give their project a sense of clarity. “The Art of Space” would make the perfect gift for any home design maven on your list this year!