Friday, May 18, 2012

Review of Good Bones, Great Pieces!

I got an early release copy of Suzanne and Lauren McGrath's new book "Good Bones, Great Pieces" and I read the whole thing in an evening.  It is a great book for new decorators, home owners and seasoned designers alike.  It highlights seven key pieces of furniture that everyone should acquire along the way - whether it's your first home or your dream home that you plan to spend the rest of your life in.

The kicker for me is that they are also a mother-daughter team, and have gained notoriety while building a fantastic business together.  It doesn't hurt that Suzanne, the mom, was a VP of Programming for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Senior Editor for Martha Stewart Living. Her education was from Parsons School of Design, NY, London School of Econ. and Poly Science, and Barnard College.  She has an Interior Design firm in NYC and used to take her daughter Lauren onsite with her occasionally when Lauren was a youngster.

Lauren, now a partner at Suzanne McGrath Design, went to college in Maine, where her mom visited frequently.  They talk of antiquing at Brimfield in western Massachusetts and other fabulous flea markets and fairs.  Joss and Main has an antique show featuring pieces from the Brimfield market currently and One Kings Lane has an article "Back from Brimfield".  I love their story.

The premise of their book is that there are seven basic furniture must-haves, and in looking around my home I was missing a few!  (I promptly ordered a demilune from Joss and Main, to soften all my mid century right angles in my home- and what an impact it made.)

Among my favorites of their key pieces are the loveseat, demilune table and slipper chair.
Here is a view of Suzanne's living room using a pair of these loveseats:

    A unique demilune table:

 A cozy slipper chair vignette:

Each chapter in the book features a Glossary of furniture telling of the historical and popular styles and what to look for.  There are tips on accessorizing, hanging gallery walls, reupholstering, coordinating patterns and color theory.  The McGraths refer to a host of designers that inspire them like Barrie Benson, Robert Couturier, Miles Redd, Lien Luu and Garrow Kedigan.  There are pages of resources at the back of the book that are most helpful.

You can follow Suzanne and Lauren on Pinterest and also on their Facebook page. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do, and pass it on to your daughters one day!



  1. This looks like a great reference book. I love looking over any type of design book. I'll check it out.

  2. I've been reading their blog for quite some time now. Definitely buying this one!

  3. Now this looks fantastic and off to check out their blog, thanks for the introduction. Janell

  4. Sounds like a good book to refer to. Are you redoing a room?

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  5. Just bought this for my mom! She really liked it, guess I need a copy, too!

  6. Ok, I seriously need to buy! Love every image!
    Happy Friday, Nancy and Bethany.

  7. I love their blog and can't wait to get the book too! Thanks for the review, this makes me know I won't be disappointed. :)

  8. Wow, Nancy! Thank you so much for your review of our book. We really appreciate your support! This book was a labor of love for both of us so it always puts a smile on our faces to see people enjoying and recommending it to others. All the best,


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