Fortunate design

Paul Fortune combines noteworthy advice, photos of his sophisticated restrained design work, and witty commentary to make his book, Notes on Decor, etc. worth buying.

 

Fortune's former Laurel Canyon living room. (Photo: Oberto Gili)

Fortune’s former Laurel Canyon living room. (Photo: Oberto Gili)

Before buying a design book these days a peek inside is a must. There are too many books out there with few worth the monetary investment or an earned spot on the bookshelf. Despite that self-imposed requirement, I bought this book sight unseen based on a recommendation from Amy Astley’s Instagram account. The gamble paid off.

Reading the following excerpt assured I was going to like this book. Humor always appeals.

The truly authentic has all but disappeared. Lifestyle catalogues abound and we seem to be in their thrall. I call it Nightmare-on-West-Elm-Street disease.

Paul Fortune’s former Laurel Canyon home was familiar to me through numerous photos. The rest of his work though was not. The book begins with a brief autobiography describing his background as well as the many professional occupations in which he has dabbled. The truly creative are talented across a spectrum of fields. Fortune is one such creative. After the introduction about his early years, he moves on to discussing features within the home such as living areas, ablutions, rugs, beside the bed, etc.

Ablutions is my favorite chapter for the photos and the humorous devotion to beautiful packaging.

His bathrooms are at once luxurious yet understated. The rooms are carefully considered and beautifully decorated as any other room might be. They lack however the sterility that intense lighting and overly white sleekness brings to many of today’s baths.

A bathroom in the Berkshires. (Photo: William Abramowicz)

A bathroom in the Berkshires. (Photo: William Abramowicz)

Another bathroom in the Berkshires. (Photo: William Abramowicz)

Another bathroom in the Berkshires. (Photo: William Abramowicz)

Fortune's own in his former Laurel Canyon home. (Photo: Tim Street-Porter)

Fortune’s own in his former Laurel Canyon home. (Photo: Tim Street-Porter)

A standout bath on Mulholland Drive. (Photo: Tim Street-Porter)

A standout bath on Mulholland Drive. (Photo: Tim Street-Porter)

Close up view of Mulholland Drive. (Photo: Paul Fortune)

Close up view of Mulholland Drive. (Photo: Paul Fortune)

A standout bath on Mulholland Drive. (Photo: Tim Street-Porter)

A standout bath on Mulholland Drive. (Photo: Tim Street-Porter)

Another view of Mulholland Drive. (Photo: Tim Street-Porter)

Another view of Mulholland Drive. (Photo: Tim Street-Porter)

“And I’m repelled by an ugly package and always will be. Heaven is shopping the elegant parfumeries and salons of Paris or Milan. Hell is to be trapped in a CVS Pharmacy slogging through aisle after hideous aisle filled to the roof with the most grotesque packaging and graphics. I’ve literally run screaming from such an assault. What happened to graphic design? It used to be so good and now it’s been reduced to glib, slovenly hieroglyphics.”

He creates artful while practical arrangements on bedside tables.

Fortune's Laurel Canyon home. (Photo: Oberto Gili)

Fortune’s Laurel Canyon home. (Photo: Oberto Gili)

Desk in the same Laurel Canyon home. (Photo: unknown)

Desk in the same Laurel Canyon home. (Photo: unknown)

The now closed Les Deux Cafes, Hollywood. (Photo: Paul Fortune)

The now closed Les Deux Cafes, Hollywood. (Photo: Paul Fortune)

There are strong opinions on dining as well. He has devoted one chapter to dining out and another to dining in. Of dining out, Fortune writes:

For the most part I prefer to dine at home and eschew the humiliations of today’s restaurant experience…I’m paying the bill and I want it the way I like it or I don’t go, which means invariably I don’t go.

Berkshires living room. (Photo: William Abramowicz)

Berkshires living room. (Photo: William Abramowicz)

Fortune worked around the US and abroad. He adeptly creates that relaxed California look despite the location. He is particularly drawn to Big Sur but mostly nature in general as “(i)t always inspires and never disappoints in the end.” Likewise, Notes on Decor etc. inspires and doesn’t disappoint.

To learn more of Paul Fortune see here and here.

Casa V Interiors can help you create a beautiful home to live your inspired life.