Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Summer Reading: Which Design Books are You Reading?


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As summer nears its end, I’m wondering, which design books are you reading? I’ve had a few out all summer; a few that watching Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo inspired me to buy, a few I picked up at the Borders going out of business sale, and a few that just sort of came across my desktop and I impulse-bought, so I thought I’d share. We’d love to know which design tomes are inspiring you this summer; please share them with us in the comments section!

Here are the eight that I’ve had out for easy reference this summer.

Mary McDonald Interiors: The Allure of Style:  I absolutely loved Mary’s personality on the show, though they were not able to show very many of her big projects. You’ll need this book to check them out.

Summers in France: I absolutely fell in love with Kathryn Ireland on the show as well, wishing she was someone I had a weekly margarita date with. Her personality shows through in this fantastic book, where she shares her farmhouse in the French countryside. She also includes information about how to be a good guest (bring something back from the market when you go, rent your own car, don’t ask to borrow Kathryn’s laptop, and don’t throw cigarette butts in potted plants).

Bunny Williams’ Scrapbook for Living: I admit, I just judged this one by the cover, the fact that it involved Ms. Williams, and the fact that it was deeply discounted in the almost-wiped out design section at my neighborhood soon-to-be-empty Borders store.

Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design: Founder of DwellStudio, Christiane Lemieux, has been a friend of this site for a long time, and it’s been a ball to watch her success. Here, she explains her approach to design (there is no specific approach) and features all kinds of comfortable and stylish spaces that break all the usual rules.

Decorate: 1,000 Professional Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home: We’ve also been following blogger Holly Becker since the very early days of her now extremely popular design blog, Decor8. It’s so much fun to hold a copy of her baby, this book, in your hands and wonder “how the hell did she come up with A THOUSAND ideas?!??!!” It’s also funny to have a book called “Decorate” right next to one called “Undecorate.”

The Happy Home Project: A Practical Guide to Adding Style and Substance to Your Home: I LOVE this book. It is one that truly inspires, not just through it’s beautiful images, but through the direct instructions and advice given by Jean Nayar. She also lives by example, having delved into all of the topics she discusses like the journalist she is, and applying their lessons to her own life.

50 Bauhaus Icons You Should Know: OK, another Borders bargain. I’m taking their word for it. One Bauhaus icon I’d like to forget? Those awful sweatbox Gropius dorms at Harvard. The worst! By the way, I just did a summer program at Harvard, I’m not trying to front like I am a Harvard grad. If you really must know, I applied there for grad school and was rejected. But I digress. This is just a good book to have to round out the serious design shelf.

The New Traditional: This book came out several years ago, but I am cheap and didn’t wind up getting it until I could score a used copy at a good price. It’s a nice one to have around because Darryl Carter’s work is a very good lesson in curating and editing. It makes me look at traditional items with fresh eyes.

Which design books are capturing your attention and inspiring you this summer? Please let us know in the comments section!


Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Decor8 Book is Now Available


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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I first got to know Holly Becker many years ago when I found her website, decor8 and shared it here. We got chatting in the comments section and I wound up taking her “Blogging Your Way Class” and even writing a little bit on her site here and there. So that’s my disclaimer before I recommend her book (co-written with Joanna Copestick), Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home.

You know how sometimes you order a design book online and when you get it, it’s, well, a little thin and disappointing? That is NOT the case here. This book is literally jam-packed with photographs, tips, pointers, floorplans and inspiring ideas. I don’t think I had seen at least 90% of the spaces photographed (this is rare when you look at design online all day), and they authors included spaces from L.A.’s Laurel Canyon to Paris; from Ohio to London. She’s included spaces from interior designers, bloggers, a fabric designer, photographers and even the world’s most fabulous potter. In a book this complete, nothing is missed.

Because the book is so thorough, one of the best things about it is using it one room at a time. Whether you’re planning a thrifting trip, re-arranging an art wall, doing a complete reno of your kitchen, or just want to make a few cheap moves to make your bathroom look a bit bigger, there’s a very complete section in it that you’ll find helpful. In addition, the book covers a wide variety of styles; there’s something for everyone here!

You may order the book here.

  • Cover Image by Debi Treloar