Thursday, December 01, 2011

World's Oldest Interior Design Intern Strongly Recommends "Restoring A Home In Italy" by Elizabeth Helman Minchilli

I wrote about Elizabeth's book Italian Rustic.

RESTORING A HOME IN ITALY is one of her earlier books, written in 2001. I LOVED it and know I will be using it as a reference for a long time.

It's a gorgeous book. Very inspiring. It's a perfect gift for anyone who has an interest in home decor/design, Italy, or beautiful photography.

Twenty-two homes are featured from all over Italy. Elizabeth has divided the book in areas; Northwest, Northeast, Tuscany, Umbria, Rome, and the South.

There is a range of homes from restored farmhouses to apartments in Rome.

One of my favorites is the former candle factory in Trastevere that is now an incredible apartment with a courtyard.

The book is well-written and the project notes sections are useful and accessible. You don't need to be a contractor to understand the building methods Elizabeth writes about.

I read Elizabeth's book the same week I started an internship with a prominent Italian furniture/interior designer (a big fat thank you to a certain friend for the introduction).

The timing was not great as I was in the middle of finishing my novel. The last few weeks have been a little bananas. No, make that extremely bananas.

But it's been a great experience. I'm learning a lot. Also, my Italian is improving now that I'm in an office with Italians and not at home all day writing only in English.

In a bizarre way everything has come full circle. My first job of out college was in the Buyer Executive Trainee Program at Bloomingdales. I interned in the Buying offices at the flagship store during college. After I graduated, I was assigned to the Home Furnishings division.

I've been reading shelter magazines and books since the sixth grade. My friends here thought I was nuts to bring my copies of DOMINO (RIP) and Elle Decor magazines to Rome. I wondered about that too, now it all makes sense.

I'm still writing and will continue to do so. However, my post JUMPING THE BROOM experience has been a real eye-opener.

At some point I will start a separate blog that will focus on design/decor.

In the meantime, I'm very excited about this opportunity. To be able to work in this area in Italy is a plus as many of the top textile, kitchen/bathroom design, furniture, etc. companies in the world are Italian.

So while it's difficult at times to be the World's Oldest Intern (hello, a few years ago I had an assistant), hands-on experience is important. Everything I'm doing now is laying down the foundation for my future.


Elizabeth said...

Thank you Arlene, for the wonderful words about Restoring a Home. This is by far the book I'm most proud to have written, and so happy when others tell me they like it.
I'm very proud of your courage to change directions, and will look forward to hearing more from the world's oldest intern. :)

Viajera said...

Ooh, I'm so excited for you! And *are* you the world's oldest ID intern? Better late than never,eh? I can't wait to see the design blog, because I love beautiful things. :)

milanese masala said...

I may need that book in the near future (fingers crossed!!). In the meantime, I can ask the world's oldest design intern for some decorating advice :)

homebody at heart said...

Working is always good. One of my favorite quotes I read a long time ago is by Humphrey Bogart. When someone asked him how he became successful, he said he never turned down work. BTW, one of the premium channels (STARZ) on my satellite service has been advertising how they bring new blockbuster movies to show (on PPV) and JTB was one of the featured movies!

Sherry said...

Can't wait to read your design blog!

emerging urban[ism] said...

How exciting! Congratulations. I am skirting the idea of pursuing a [culinary] internship as this is a passion of mine...though i have yet to fully let go of my 'day job'. I take my 90's Martha Stewart and Gourmet magazines with me...even when I lived in Madrid :-) Looking forward to the design blog...maybe we see you at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Elizabeth - It's a fantastic book.

Thanks for the encouragement. There are days when I question my sanity.

Viajera - I think I am. ha

I love beautiful things as well.

milanese - do you have some news? Fingers crossed on my end for you.

homebody - Yay. Jumping The Broom is still playing on international flights. A friend returning to Rome just saw it.

sherry - thank you! I hope to get it up and running sooner rather than later.

emerging - I would love to attend the Salone. We'll see. Good luck with your culinary pursuits.

glamah16 said...

As someone who wears many hats, you are never to old and sometimes you just have to change the game up after accomplishing something . CS says I need to focus. I say it's just part of my journey as an artist.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

glamah - Amen. All your interests are connected. It may not appear so, but writing, cooking, both of them are creative endeavors. Yes, studying the craft is very important, but so is creativity.

It would be different if you were studying to be an astronaut or something.

Linda @ Ice Tea For Me said...

NYC ~ congrats on the new direction you're taking. Besides learning a lot you never know who you'll meet. It's a great networking opportunity not to mention improving your Italian.

Good luck, looking forward to reading your new blog.


nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Grazie Linda - My Italian is definitely improving.

IngridVC said...

Arlene - let me know if you are interested in taking a look at my place 'for practice' - I pretty much know what I want to do but the space is small. I hope 2012 is going great for you!!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Ingrid - I'm going to shoot you an email.