Chris Mitchell and Pilar Guzmán are design obsessives who both want the same thing: rooms that are spare yet warm, layered yet clean, current yet timeless. Rooms that never forget the real humans—with all their needs, hopes, emotions, aspirations, and even spills—who live in these spaces. Over the course of six ever more ambitious home renovations, they’ve cracked the code on how to achieve this.
It’s a simple formula, one that lies in mixing modern design with timeworn materials—in particular, white oak, brass, and bridle leather, all three of which become richer, mellower, and burnished with patina as they age. Add a few essential lessons (Decorating by Mood, Borrowing from the Best) and a nine-point manifesto that covers everything from lighting (rooms should feel like lanterns at night), to the use of black as an accent, to the intention that every space should serve multiple purposes, and the result is Patina Modern, a uniquely inspiring and practical design guide.
The book leads by example, as the authors reveal in room-by-room detail the full evolution of their homes, including a Brooklyn brownstone and two classic Hamptons “cottages.” Along the way, we come to not only understand just how they see and think but also learn what they’ve learned, getting an education in color, proportion, paint, and the world of modern furniture design, for which the authors have a special passion.
Tools, principles, and the power of designing around the things you love—this is the gift of Patina Modern, showing just how to put it all together to create your own beautiful spaces.
Chris Mitchell and Pilar Guzmán are media heavyweights. Mitchell is a former media executive and publisher of Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, Wired, and other publications. He is now designing and developing house projects full-time. Guzmán is the former editor in chief of Condé Nast Traveler and Martha Stewart Living, and founding editor of the beloved parenting magazine Cookie. In 2020, the New York Times named her cookbook, Time for Dinner, as one of the top cookbooks that food reporters and editors love. Mitchell and Guzmán’s homes have been featured in Architectural Digest, the New York Times, and Martha Stewart Living, and featured in the books Brooklyn Modern and Restoring a House in the City.