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New Decor by Elizabeth Wilhide

While the thrill of the hunt is invigorating, the thrill of the blindly stumbled upon can sometimes delight even more. Over the winter while browsing the local Barnes & Noble, I found a $13 book that spoke to me on every level in the most unexpected place – the nobody-loves-me-anymore bargain section. How a new release ended up there, I’ll never know. Call it fate. New Decor, written by London-based designer and writer Elizabeth Wilhide and photographed by Lisbett Wedendahl, is packed with gorgeous imagery and decorating tips.

It embraces that European urban bohemian style we love, referred to as Modern Euro Country in some magazines, but I’m beginning to think I should call it Bohemian Euro and leave it at that, it’s quicker to say and gets to the core of this most appealing look.

As a side point, New Decor appears to have different covers and titles in other parts of the world, so it’s easy to get confused. The ISBN is 978-076078-944-5 in case you want to find it in a store where you live. In Germany, it’s titled Inspiration, and in the UK, it has a totally different cover look altogether.

I have to admit that upon first glance, I wasn’t impressed by the colors on the cover (something about violet and beige combined, but that’s just me), so I walked by it a few times. But the more I looked over at it, it kept calling to me — almost batting it’s eyelashes with the giant discount sticker slapped on the front. One cannot at least look into a bargain, right? But the bait that really lured me in was the border shown on the cover, something about it felt familiar and I had to investigate further, so I satisfied my curiosity and read that it’s wallpaper designed by none other than Ms. Orla Kiely herself for Habitat’s VIP collection in London. Ah-ha! The second I saw her name this rush of excitement ripped through me, for anything involving Orla Kiely must be good. And this book is very good. Drool-inducing pages of gorgeousness, one after another. I felt as though I’d discovered gold that day in the middle of big box bargainville.

I refer to New Decor regularly for ideas and inspiration. It has opened my eyes to color and pattern, and I was already confident (or so I thought) in using both and thought I was pretty open-minded about design until New Decor entered my life. It’s a great reminder that when it comes to design, I’ve only just begun! I need to continue to develop my eye by experimenting more, leaning less on what I know to guide me (comfort) and more on what I do not know to steer me in exciting new directions (exploration, going beyond what’s comfortable). Yes, a mere design book with pretty picture can do that.

Beyond imagery though, it’s packed with topics spanning everything from monochromatic color schemes to brightly-colored wallpaper, there’s truly something for everyone including display techniques, window treatments, how to mix a variety of patterns in a space, and tips on paint selection. There’s even a how-to guide in the back and a stocklist. I’ll try to look through that later today and share some of those with you here, as a few of the resources cited do not sound familiar to me. I need to comb the stocklist to locate these curtains below because I want to buy them for an upcoming project I’m involved in. It’s called decorating my new city apartment. More on that in months to come. :)

I seriously suggest that you purchase a copy and find a cozy chair immediately, it may open your eyes to a few non-traditional approaches to design too.

(images from new decor and holly becker)

Posted by decor8 in Books + Magazines, Inspiration on August 08, 2007

Your comments...

  1. s*DD commented
    August 8th, 2007 at 5:55pm

    Is that an Eames chair I spy?

  2. Victoria E commented
    August 8th, 2007 at 6:21pm

    Swank – you just never know what you will find sitting in the bargain bin!

  3. Felicia commented
    August 8th, 2007 at 7:37pm

    Beautiful. I’ll look for it.

  4. elizabeth@shoptwig commented
    August 8th, 2007 at 8:37pm

    This book looks great. I’ll have to put an order in for it too! How fun that you spotted Orla Kiely – she is one of my favorites too.

  5. sfgirlbybay commented
    August 8th, 2007 at 8:50pm

    You’re rapidly deleting my income when you list these great books! :)

  6. kellyloveswhales commented
    August 8th, 2007 at 9:37pm

    Thanks for these great recommendations! I really enjoy reading your blog. Oh, and I just listened to the Creative Thursday podcast on color and really adored it. Gracias!

  7. Carlene commented
    August 9th, 2007 at 1:54am

    Lordy, I need that book.

  8. melissa commented
    August 9th, 2007 at 3:04am

    those Brits tend to get it so right when it comes to home design and lovely photos in books like this! thanks for the great find.

  9. sus commented
    August 9th, 2007 at 4:17am

    I’ve always hesitated to buy books about things like decor because they seem to date so quickly. What’s the lifespan of a book like this, do you think?

  10. Kristina commented
    August 9th, 2007 at 9:22am

    Thanks for the tip! Loving the colors and patterns, just gorgeous.
    Oh and BTW Lisbett Wedendahl is Danish ;o) She has made this book:
    Which Emma posted about:

  11. IMEDAGOZE commented
    August 9th, 2007 at 11:07am

    it’s going into my shopping list, Holly. I can’t possibly resist a pretty book. :)

  12. decor8 commented
    August 9th, 2007 at 12:11pm

    s*dd – Yes, good spot!

    sfgirl – Oh well. We could have far worse addictions, eh?

    kellyloveswhales – I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for saying so!

    sus – GREAT question about lifespan of design books. My philosophy is that nothing that goes out of style stays out of style, everything seems to resurface at some point in your lifetime, so you can’t really go wrong. If you like the book, for $13 buy it. You can always ebay it or list it on if you tire of it. However I think that if you find some decor books that speak to you, you will keep them forever because you will refer to them often. Go for it.

  13. beki commented
    August 9th, 2007 at 1:44pm

    THat looks like a fabulous book!

  14. Tallulah commented
    August 10th, 2007 at 7:28pm

    I love the blown-up pink flower on the side of that counter. Does anyone know where I can get something similar to hang on a wall or elsewhere?

  15. jyax commented
    August 11th, 2007 at 3:10pm

    Oooh … if you find those curtains please let me know where. I need them for my home office!!

  16. Anonymous commented
    August 13th, 2007 at 2:12pm

    wouldn’t “euro boho” be the obvious style tag/soundbite?

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