As for clients thinking of hiring a brand-name designer, or for that matter any designer, to have a house built, expanded or renovated: "The Well-Built House" by Jim Locke (Houghton-Mifflin), is a down-to-earth, easy-to-follow guide that asks the right questions of the client, the architect and the contractor.
To Jay Rounds, Claire Bogaard and other indefatigable preservationists: "Picture Palaces," "Ducks & Diners" and "Mostly Moderne," (Preservation Press), collections of postcards featuring views of assorted landmarks, ready to be mailed to whatever public official or agency happens at the moment to be thwarting preservation through their actions or inactions.
To Mitzi Mogul of Heritage Square, and the stalwarts of Carroll Avenue and environs: "The Victo
rian House Book," by Robin Guild (Rizzoli), a sumptuous guide to the varied styles and designs of the period, plus some sage, if pricey, renovating and decorating ideas.
To Kurt Meyer, who because of the time he donates to various urban design concerns here deserves a diversion elsewhere: "Andrea Palladio: The Complete Works," by Lionello Puppi, (Rizzoli), a detailed review of the works of the Italian master architect.
Also, because of their public service on behalf of the design profession, to Barton Myers, Bill Fain, Fernando Juarez, Ray Gaio, Chet Widom and Edward Friedrichs go copies of "Architectural Practice: A Critical View," by Robert Gutman, (Princeton).
And to all my readers, on this the day before Christmas and the second day of Hanukkah, happy holidays.