Book Review

New Favorite Design Books

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Happy Monday everyone! I spent most of my weekend running around with various obligations but took a few hours of downtime all by myself to pour over favorite design books I’ve recently added to my collection. Two were sent to me by the authors, two I purchased myself but I love each of them for varied reasons.

design books on bookshelf

The first among the group was written by Melissa of The Inspired Room, we’ve been good friends for years, traveling to NYC together, meeting up at different events, and she and I always share encouraging words behind the scenes. She’s a kindred soul and like me a west coast gal. 

love the home you have

Melissa has written the most marvelous book to inspire you called Love the Home You Have. Truly that’s the most important thing to feel when you look at your home and where you reside right now, having a positive emotional connection is so very important to daily happiness and it’s all about your frame of mind.

love the home you have melissa michaels

Melissa walks you through the steps of falling in love with the house you live in now. Just like in her thoughtful blog posts, Melissa provides tips and ideas for looking at your home with fresh eyes and releasing yourself from unrealistic expectations and why authenticity in your home is key to contentment.

Melissa offers inspiration for refreshing your home with simple seasonal decorating and has started a new website Home Love Stories where you can share why you love your humble abode too. I was inspired by the chapter to say goodbye to the things I don’t need anymore and spent several hours purging with that mindset. At the end Melissa offers her readers a 31 day Love Your Home challenge with meaningful steps to take each day for a month so that you can look at your spaces with new gratitude. Find Melissa’s inspiring book on Amazon. 

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Next up is The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes by Justina Blakeney, the designer behind The Jungalow blog. I’ve always loved the word “bohemian” especially in decorating because it imparts a devil may care I do what I please attitude.

the new bohemians book

Justina’s book like her blog is such a visual treat ! Twenty luscious and free spirited homes are captured on the pages showcasing a collection of modern bohemian spaces from earthy to maximalist. Each home’s feature includes the “Adopt an Idea” summary with many creative ideas for unique storage or display.

new bohemian 1

To quote Justina, “Decorating is about feeling free, having fun, rejecting traditional notion of what goes with what (especially that everything in a room has to match) and getting a little bit wild.” Ditto that!

new bohemian 2

You’ll also find a few DIY projects inside the pages plus a “Plant-O-Pedia” with tips on caring for the interior plants and terrariums featured within the homes. You can preorder Justina’s beautiful book The New Bohemians on Amazon.

 

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Gift Ideas: Books + Mugs

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

I had the luxury of two uninterrupted hours in a bookstore yesterday, coffee in hand, holiday music playing throughout the store. Bliss! Browsing the bookstore is one of my favorite ways to relax and seek out inspiration. This trip was also for gifts since books make wonderful presents. Here are my latest favorites.*

holiday book recommendations 2014

Sarah Style, by Sarah Richardson. Everything she touches turns to gold, Sarah is flawless in her combination of color, pattern, and style. A great resource for all who seek a stylish home!

What I Know For Sure, Oprah Winfrey. An inspirational linen bound text filled with edited, revised, and condensed pearls of wisdom from the experiences and mind of one amazing entrepreneur.

The Day the Crayons Quit, Drew Daywalt. Charming and cheeky, the crayons have penned letters suggesting why their owner should use them less, more, or differently. Blue and green are exhausted, and yellow and orange are in an argument over who is the better color for the sun. A children’s book you won’t tire of reading over and over again.

The Encyclopedia of Animals, David Alderton. A detailed profile of all the animals in the kingdom from big cats to reptiles, including beautiful illustrations and photographs, this is a fascinating and informative resource for both children and adults.

Smithsonian: Great Design, Philip Wilkinson. A wonderful coffee table book and resource for anyone who appreciates good design from the Ericsson telephone to the Cadillac to the Eames chair. Beautiful images paired with text that explains the history of the design and bio of the designer. 

The Body Book, by Cameron Diaz.  A lifestyle approach to nutrition, fitness, and caring for your body, it’s down to earth and motivating from a gal who walks the walk and has a beautiful physique to show for it. Surprisingly informative too.

Animal Architecture, Ingo Arndt. An up close look at the shelters, nests, shells, and habitats created by creatures in the living world. Beautiful!

The Medal of Honor: A History of Service Above and Beyond.  A history of the military’s highest honor with stories of the bravest acts of heroism, given context with the history of wars and battles of our nation.

The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, J W Ritnzler. For the Star Wars fan, this in depth tribute (and its companions for Star Wars and Return of the Jedi) are a detailed look at the making of the films, filled with rare photos, edited scripts, anecdotes, and challenges on the set. Nostalgic for all of us who grew up with these films.

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand. A World War II story of survival, this was Matt’s favorite book he read this year. The hero survives brutality and the trials of being a prisoner of war to surviving in a raft on the open ocean, starvation, and much more.

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I can’t think of anything better than a good read coupled with a hot beverage on a cold winter day, I love all of these mugs! I’ll take one of each please. :)

winter mugs

mr & mrs mugs / golden swirls / black and white stripes / 2 carat diamond ring / classic plaid / monogrammed mugs / snow leopard / somecards humor / winter birds set / ceramic sketch mugs

 

What books have you discovered this year that would make a great gift?

 

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