If you thought Alpine style was all cow shed and ski lodge, think again. Beate Wedekind, who assembled this huge addition to Taschen's Interiors series, would have you remember that Europe's most aesthetically inclined nations rub shoulders in these awe-inspiring surroundings. Adapting to each other and to the often harsh demands of the climate, Alpine style is a strange mixture of the primitive and the sophisticated.
The stunning photographs by the likes of Gert von Bassewitz and Peter Moody Meyer are the ultimate in good-taste escapism. We get to peek into the kitchen of Thaddeus Ropac's baroque manor house, in which he "has installed sophisticated technology which remains invisible," and eye the 18th-century chalet of the magic realist painter Balthus.
Some may think this is really a resource for ambitious Russian millionaires, fantasists with degrees in art history, and--let's face it--burglars, but there's a little more to it than that. For covetous readers keen to press their snow-blinded faces ever harder up against the windows of the glitterati, a list of recommended museums points deeper into this incredible territory. --Simon Ings, Amazon.co.uk
Featuring 39 interiors from farmhouses, summer houses, chalets and castles in France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Austria, this illustrated text explores the work of a number of architects and interior designers including: Willy Bogner, Enoch Freiherr zu Guttenberg and Reinhold Messner.