I am thrilled to announce to our readers that I have a book coming out in the Spring of 2013.

Book Cover of our Proposal

Abby Westlake, a writer, and myself collaborated on an idea that had been percolating with me for years and now it has finally come to fruition.

I am so fortunate, through my work, to meet so many interesting and incredible people. Friendships evolve and over the years I have been a guest in so many beautiful homes.  As I thought about it, I wondered what is it about these places I respond to?  What are the things that inspire me to make Hammertown and my own home better designed places to work and live. I finally realized that what I respond to is the authenticity and interests of the people in their homes and the translation of that into where they live. Their loves, interests and passions are reflected in the way they live; they truly love where they live.  I love where I live.  I love where I work.  And, I love that Abby and I were able to plan a book around this simple but profound concept.

After formulating our concept, we were fortunate to connect with a wonderful literary agent, Farley Chase (who just happens to be the son of my best friend).   We pitched our concept to Farley.  He thought it was great idea and gave us some great advice, and then Abby and I began to make our plan. We met and started to get our ideas together and curate a list of homes to be in our book. And, Abby, being the incredible professional writer that she is, took this information and began to put these ideas in to the form of a book and our proposed Table of Contents.

After over a year of development, we began to have our pieces in place. We had over 20 homes picked for our project, the Table of Contents was complete, we took scouting shots, etc.  Luckily, also on our team was John Gruen, a professional photographer from Lakeville, CT.  He agreed to photograph the book and Wanda Furman, a professional stylist and the “interior stylist” for Hammertown and our clients, also came on board.  The last team member we needed was a book designer and boy, did we luck out.  Doug Turschen, a book designer for the best design books that are on the market, (Bunny Williams, Mathew Smyth, Barbra Streisland, Carolyn Roehm, and others) believed in our project, and came aboard to design our proposal.

In January of 2011 we were ready to send our proposal out. Farley reached out to editors at the best publishing houses. In the midst of the book business collapsing (Borders declared bankruptcy , independent stores all struggling) off our book went.  Perhaps it was a miracle or perhaps it was a testament to the passion, professionalism and authenticity that our whole team brought to the project but after a few weeks it happened:  Our top three wish-list publishers were all interested in our book! We were excited and yes, even surprised, beyond belief.  After some initial meetings and discussions, Farley had negotiating our book deal with Rizzoli (one of my most favorite design book publishers!)

So now, we’re inviting you to follow us on our “Love Where You Live” team’s  journey. Our photography and text has to be handed in next April.  We’ll be photographing 3 homes a month over the next several months.  We won’t be able to show you the photographs they’ll be using in the book but I’ve been and will continue to take “behind the scenes” photos so you can experience the process with us.

I just know the homes in our book will inspire you. You will see how all of these homes speak to us.  Each tells a story, a beautiful story, about the people that live there and “love where they live”.  Each reflects the unique bond each of us has with the place we live and ourselves.  It is that common thread, a passion so speak, that makes all these homes so interesting and special.

Love Where you Live–Coming to a bookstore near you in Spring 2013!






  • Dear Joan,

    We are so excited for the book. Just the sneak peek looks amazing. You can count on us to promote the book on Food Wine and Design. Best of luck!

  • Cindy McMahon says:

    Such exciting news! Please share the “pre-order” link when it becomes available!

  • Joan & Abby,
    Congratulations to you and your talented team! Can’t wait for the book to come out and I’ll be sure to mention it in one of my upcoming blog posts. Looking forward to it.
    All the best,
    Ceil Petrucelli
    Ceil Petrucelli Interiors
    home of The House Therapist
    Bennington, VT 05201

  • This will be a beautiful and inspiring book. What could be better — a capturing of a collection of beautiful still lifes brought to life in life size. Enjoy the amazing work that will go into this process.
    Best wishes,

  • Joan, We are thrilled for you! What a great achievement this is. Looking forward to the book tour’s stop(s) in Rhinebeck! Maureen & Serine

  • Kaja Gam says:

    Your store was introduced to me by a friend in Pine Plains a few years ago, and since then I have convinced several clients to take the lengthy trip from Westchester with me to help them get inspired and eventually -to shop.
    I look forward to reading your book and to have it ready in my design studio, to display and use during those first inspiriration driven meetings where a house takes it’s firts babysteps towards being a home.

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