The inspired life of Stephanie-meets-Rizzoli – Manila Bulletin

In the 1990s, each of my trips to New York included a visit to a hallowed bookstore on 57th and 5th, the Rizzoli Bookstore. For me, it was like stepping into an art installation or the living pages of an exquisite book centered on refined living. The view of the bookstore from the street, the lush interiors, the array of beautiful collectible books all formed aspects of the rarefied Rizzoli experience. While the store moved to Broadway, the NoMad neighborhood, in 2015, that atmosphere is still very much intact, so it was with great pleasure that I read that Stephanie Kienle-Gonzales will soon see her very first book published by Rizzoli New York.

Embracing Natural Design: Inspired Living by Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez, with a foreword by India Hicks, will be published by Rizzoli New York later this month. It’s a beautiful hardcover coffee table book with 224 pages filled with 250 full-color photographs that vividly showcase Stephanie’s eco-friendly lifestyle. They are elegant homes that blend the craftsmanship that Stephanie champions personally and through the family business Philux, with her fresh, naturalistic design approach.
Stephanie has her own Rizzoli story, a story that makes this trip so special: “Growing up, I visited homes and pored over large coffee table books overflowing with beautiful images. I remember seeing the foiled Rizzoli “R” on book spines and have since associated it with an evocative design. »

“It was an incredible learning experience for me to work on this book with Rizzoli. I was so honored that a publishing house of this prestige showed interest in my work, and I decided to take up opportunity and to absorb whatever I could. My editor was based in New York, my book designer in Cape Town, and I was in Manila throughout the pandemic. We persevered with a good pace of work despite the jet lag – a true transcontinental collaboration that I am grateful for and proud of.
As for Stephanie’s design philosophy, she has this to say: “My design philosophy for inspired living is that a warm and beautiful home is an extension of your identity – your life’s experiences and memories. Thoughtful layering in interiors that blend form, function and feeling, giving meaning to a space.

In Manila

The book sheds light on Stephanie and Chris’ apartment in Manila and their family retreat in Lapalapa Game Reserve, South Africa. There’s a chapter on having fun and sharing your home with family and friends, followed by a section on designers and tastemakers who moved Stephanie. There is a design guide and a chapter on Stephanie At Work, which is the story of the Kienle family of Philux. Philux is one of our nation’s leading home furnishing manufacturers and retailers, and she currently heads up the business.

In South Africa.

I ask Stéphanie about the dichotomy between the perfect look of a house versus the lived-in aspect and how she marries the two to create authenticity. And I loved her response: “Every decision regarding the design of our family home was made with my daughters in mind. My husband Chris and I may have sworn not to change our lifestyle when they came into our lives, but our home reflects their presence. The pen marks on the furniture, the tiny handprints on our windows, and the strange stuffed animal buried under our cushions. This makes our house all the more special for me, because their playfulness inspires me every day.

Asking her how she hopes the book will resonate with her readers, she says, “I hope Embracing Natural Design inspires its readers to create their own authentic spaces that bring them joy and discover a passion for living more consciously. And I’m sure giving you pictures of the book will say a lot more than adding paragraphs of text.

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