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Book of the month: September 2018

The Alchemy of Things, by Karen McCartney, published by Murdoch, $70.
Former editor of Australia’s Inside Out and Marie Claire’s lifestyle pages, current architecture editor of Belle and author of several related books, with a weekly design column in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend, Karen McCartney’s definitely got the chops to chat about exceptional interiors. In her new tome, she interviews 18 international creatives who have pushed the boundaries of possibility to create dwellings like no other. No offence to the latest looks, but you won’t find them on these pages; the alchemy of the title refers to the unique ways in which these homeowners have pulled together their often eccentric ideas to form irregular scenes that defy definition. Karen’s key takeaway? “Your interior can be anything you want it to be.” And don’t you forget it.

TOP IMAGE The owner of this Sydney home says the knack of appearing effortless cannot be underestimated. ABOVE TOP A bedroom in Milan designed to clear the mind. ABOVE MIDDLE Gallerist Nina Yashar sought to make the ceiling and walls of her 1940s apartment more precious, not with the help of an architect but with a jeweller pal. ABOVE An unapologetic fusion of era, form, texture and colour.

Words Philippa Prentice