Named one of Elle Decor’s Best Coffee Table Books to Gift in 2022
A tastemaking couple shares their playbook for creating a home that’s both beautiful and comfortable
Chris Mitchell and Pilar Guzmán are design obsessives who both want the same thing: rooms that are spare yet warm, layered yet clean, current yet timeless. Rooms that never forget the real humans—with all their needs, hopes, emotions, aspirations, and even spills—who live in these spaces. Over the course of six ever more ambitious home renovations, they’ve cracked the code on how to achieve this.
It’s a simple formula, one that lies in mixing modern design with timeworn materials—in particular, white oak, brass, and bridle leather, all three of which become richer, mellower, and burnished with patina as they age. Add a few essential lessons (Decorating by Mood, Borrowing from the Best) and a nine-point manifesto that covers everything from lighting (rooms should feel like lanterns at night), to the use of black as an accent, to the intention that every space should serve multiple purposes, and the result is Patina Modern, a uniquely inspiring and practical design guide.
The book leads by example, as the authors reveal in room-by-room detail the full evolution of their homes, including a Brooklyn brownstone and two classic Hamptons “cottages.” Along the way, we come to not only understand just how they see and think but also learn what they’ve learned, getting an education in color, proportion, paint, and the world of modern furniture design, for which the authors have a special passion.
Tools, principles, and the power of designing around the things you love—this is the gift of Patina Modern, showing just how to put it all together to create your own beautiful spaces.
About the Author
Chris Mitchell and Pilar Guzmán are media heavyweights. Mitchell is a former media executive and publisher of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, Wired, and other publications. He is now designing and developing house projects full-time. Guzmán Guzmán is the editorial director of Oprah Daily, former editor in chief of Condé Nast Traveler and Martha Stewart Living, and founding editor of the beloved parenting magazine Cookie. In 2020, the New York Times named her cookbook, Time for Dinner, as one of the top cookbooks that food reporters and editors love. Mitchell and Guzmán’s homes have been featured in Architectural Digest, the New York Times, and Martha Stewart Living, and featured in the books Brooklyn Modern and Restoring a House in the City. Follow them on Instagram at @patina.modern, @pilar_guzman, and @chrismitchellofficial.
“Simple and memorable.”
—Elle Decor, Best Coffee Table Books to Gift in 2022
“A sumptuous and user-friendly volume that aims to demystify the interior design process and empower readers to—object by object, room by room—identify and execute their own style sensibilities. . . . [A] luxurious-feeling book that also features many practical tips about lighting (‘Rooms should feel like lanterns at night’), color, proportion, texture, and more. If HGTV is your comfort food, let this be your bible.”
—Oprah Daily, 16 Books to Gift Your Favorite Bibliophiles
“Pilar Guzmán and Chris Mitchell are not professional interior designers. But if taste can be taught, you might want them as your teachers.”
—The New York Times
"Like a recipe book for designing your home... Patina Modern, is a how-to book on creating timeless interiors."
“Demystifies interior design. . . . Patina Modern gives everyone the tools and rules to pull their ambitions together and to create spaces that can be both modern and warm, current yet timeless, layered but clean. For many readers, this book may become something like the home-design equivalent of Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking—a resource of recipes and inspiration that readers will turn to often.”
“[Mitchell and Guzmán] know their way around houses — and the wonderful vintage and antique furniture and objects that give those houses style, substance and soul.”
“Practical, actionable help. . . . [Mitchell and Guzmán] explain how furniture and furnishings come together to make a room people want to live in instead of pass through.”
“Mitchell and Guzmán offer a fresh approach to modern style in this clever guide. . . . These practical, stylish tips go a long way in taking the intimidation out of the design process.”
“This is the design book of my dreams; it features not just the most inspiring home design I’ve ever seen but also shows how to do it yourself! I love this book!”
“At the core of Chris and Pilar’s unique sensibility is a deep consideration for the life that happens in a home. This book shares their brilliant tools for creating spaces that get more beautiful with age and wear.”