I don’t know about you, but a bulk of my spare cash goes on books and magazines. I find so much inspiration from them and always have since I was a child. I purchase a slew of books in particular but not just any and all but only ones that truly resonate with me as I don’t want towering bookshelves filled with titles meant to impress my friends – my books are in my home to inspire me and my family.
I’m a book junkie and I’m not looking for a cure – cookbooks, craft books, vintage and and antique books, decorating, art, hotels, travel, design… I could go on and on and ON listing the topics of interest that catch my eye. A bunch of great titles recently released and since I’m short on time this week, I thought I’d review 10 of my favorites in a single post. There is a #11, by a special and dear friend of mine in London, but I’m saving herbook review as I want to connect with her for a special interview later on… look for that in early May. But for now, here are my top ten picks from my bookcase to yours…
1. First up, Creative Display by Geraldine James, published by Cico Books. This book is gorgeous throughout with wonderful arrangements of things. I love how Geraldine cleverly shows and tells throughout with pages packed with eye candy that inspires.
2. The next book is from my friend and lawyer-turned-sweets stylist, Amy Atlas and it’s called Sweet Designs, published by Hyperion. I’m so proud of you, Amy! We recently had dinner when I was in NYC for work and she told me her dream is to have this book be a best-seller and I’m all about dreams coming true so let’s help her to see her goal, internet! I don’t think she’ll have a problem though,her publisher and publicist ROCK, they book her on television and in the best magazines and newspapers ever so with her talent and the team backing her up there is nothing Amy can’t do. Working women with kids who opt for a mega career change is a pretty big thing, never mind going into something so completely different and taking a massive risk only to land on success after success. Amy is a very sweet and ambitious lady who knows what she wants and sets a course towards getting it. Amy, all the best on your new book – it’s lovely and I wish you much success! xo
3. Another title that caught my eye recently is called Homespun Style by Selina Lake and Joanna Simmons, published by Ryland Peters and Small. This book is very pink, very girly and loaded with white, floral prints and pastel colors. It’s total cotton candy sweetness that fans of Shabby Chic, Flea Market style and the handmade movement can really get behind. It’s filled with the homes of bloggers too, which makes it a very approachable book filled with ‘real’ interiors. This is the third decorating book by Selina, each one she authors is by theme – the first was Bazaar Style, then Romantic Style and now Homespun Style. Great job, Selina – congratulations!
4. Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine by René Redzepi isn’t a new book but it still feels like it despite that it was published in 2010. It is a breathtaking look at Nordic cooking like nothing you’ve ever seen before, authored by the very chef who runs a restaurant under the same name in Denmark. Foodies from all over the world visit Noma for the experience of it all – hence the incredibly difficult task of booking a table there. This book isn’t a cookbook, it’s mostly inspirational and filled with huge images of food and is effortlessly stylish and top notch.
5. Paris in Color by Nichole Robertson is another book authored by a personal friend. Published by Chronicle Books, Nichole is a first time author and her book just rolled out in good book stores everywhere along with shops like Anthropologie where it’s the perfect fit. I’m so proud of Nichole and love seeing her photos published so beautifully. Her journey began as simply blog content and an etsy shop and today, she’s authoring a book that no doubt will do extremely well and lead her to a million paths I love seeing dear friends find success through their blogs, it’s such an inspiration. My copy arrived this morning and I read the introduction immediately and went through the book page-by-page to take in the many beautiful photos. Great work Nichole and also a big thanks to her husband Evan because we all know that writing a book is a family affair!
6. I’m a new Sophie Dahl fan and fell in love with her latest cookbook, Very Fond of Food: A Year in Recipes. She is so likeable and brilliant, I find her take on food refreshing and her books charming and well designed. I think it’s so cool that this model-turned-author is the granddaughter of Roald Dahl, a famous short story writer who became one of the most successful and beloved children’s writers of all time – have you heard of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? That’s Roald Dahl’s work. Anyway, Sophie’s book is wonderful and inspirational and makes me want to cook, yum!
7. Ever since finding SY – LOVE FOR TEXTILES in my local IKEA, I’ve been telling everyone about it. It’s a gorgeously tactile book with some of the best styling and layouts ever, it’s breathtaking and gave me tons of ideas for drapes in my home – it even inspired me to make the linen curtains in my kitchen last week. This book takes a very visual, creative approach to textiles and making – there are few words and not a single do-it-yourself instruction but somehow I don’t feel those things were needed because the photos alone were worth a thousand words – what a wonderful book!
8. Bringing Nature Home by photographer Ngoc Minh Ngo is a heavenly book on floral arranging. My mother will love — I have to send her a copy because she has a background in floral design so it will really resonate with her and may inspire her to arrange flowers more often. Even if you don’t have a natural leaning towards decorating with flowers this book will convert you and make you a believer in sprucing up your space with gorgeous blooms in lush vases, baskets, jars and urns. I love how this book was styled and photographed – it’s my current favorite book on floral design and was really needed in the market as so many of them are quite old-fashioned and frumpy. This one is stunning, fresh, a must have!
9. The Natural Home by Hans Blomquist is the latest author from Ryland Peters and Small that seems to have a huge future ahead of him. The images inside are gorgeous and his styling is superb – I like how he intentional messes up things a bit to make them imperfectly perfect. I can’t wait to sit down and read it when I get some spare time – I’m interested in learning his take on natural interiors, too.
10. And last, but not least, is Interiors by Martyn Thompson. (Note: It’s already available in the UK here, but won’t be out in the US until May 1.) This amazing photographer has been commissioned by top publications all over the world for over 20 years and has decided to do his own book sharing his favorite homes. What a great idea for a photographer to author a book like this for interiors – congrats, Martyn on having the courage to take the leap and much success to you!
These are just the tip of the iceberg, there are so many more books out there that I love and find inspirational but for now, I’ve edited my picks down to ten. I hope you’ve enjoyed this round-up and stay tuned for my surprise author interview next month, a friend of mine just wrote a lovely book and I’ll be doing a special interview with her soon, too!
Books rock! What are YOU reading?
(image: holly becker)
I was so happy to learn that La Tartine Gourmade blogger Béatrice Peltre has a book out since February under the same name, La Tartine Gourmande, and though I don’t have a copy I’m sure it’s truly inspiring and delicious in every way. How could it not be? Béa is superfab. One look at her photos below and if you don’t already know her you will definitely want to…
If you’re not familiar with Béa, she works out of her home studio as a blogger and freelance food writer, food stylist and photographer in Boston. I wish I had known about her before I moved away from Boston in 2009 as I would have enjoyed meeting up with Béa. I’m always keen on meeting stylists as I find their creative perspectives rich and interesting. Her work has been covered in a slew of great publications including The New York Times Dining Journal, Food and Wine, the Washington Post, Saveur, The Chicago Tribune and the Boston Globe along with a bevy of blogs. Just look at her work — my goodness, no wonder she’s so well known.
What I admire about Béa is how organic and artistic her work looks and feels. It seems to come very naturally to arrange her handmade creations onto pretty plates set against floral textiles with a sprig tossed here, a cracked shell there, a piece of crusty bread off to the side… I love the perfect little imperfections in her styling as that is very close to my own work and heart and what I admire more than the perfectly perfect styling that I see in lots of magazines where nothing feels casual and you know a ton of work, conversations and equipment went into a single image – and the photo almost feels watered down and uptight as a result. This isn’t the case here with Béa. Her photos do not feel labored over (though I’m guessing they are!) and that is a beautiful, delicate art – and to me, what makes a good stylist amazing, inspiring and one to follow.
Again, this isn’t a book review as I don’t have the book (yet!) but if you are looking for gorgeous food, stories and recipes then visit La Tartine Gourmade, the book or the blog – and her blog just-so-happens to be the decor8 blog of the week so definitely check it out!
(images: Béatrice Peltre)
The new April issue of Matchbook mag just went live and I’m loving the bright bursts of color and the fashion spreads. They’ve totally energized me today – hope that they do the same for you. What colors are you into at the moment anyway? I was just thinking about how much I want to work with peach, copper, mint and neon orange so I think I’ll put something together around that palette. Any color crushes that you’ve having lately?
Beautiful spreads, Matchbook girls! Juicy fruity colors definitely work on this gray Spring day for me…
(images: matchbook mag)
Home really is where the heart is, but what does that really mean? What does home mean to you? I find myself thinking about this more and more as I am writing my next book and exploring the topic of decorating in a much more personal way than my first book. This is both exciting and scary because one can feel so vulnerable as an author but my wish is that you will really like it as much as I am liking the process of putting it together for you. But on the topic of home is where the heart is, while it is true that your home can be with a person in a place that you love most, I think it can also be in the physical environment in which you live whether it’s your temporary home or one you’ve lived in for years. I’ve moved a lot in my life but each home that I’ve lived in always felt like home to me. I also believe that your home can be inside of your own heart, not always reliant on a place or person.
Lovely palette in the dining room of stylist and blogger Marie Nichols.
As I break away from my text for a moment though to blog, I found myself feeling inspired today by the Spring issue of Heart Home because I think they really show what it means to have heart in the home – their focus on British interiors really captures life and style there so well and I enjoy seeing these impressions through their eyes. This season I’m inspired by several images and encourage you to click here to check them out in full.
The home of designer Catherine Hammerton. The dress is fun and unexpected!
A retro modern dining room that belongs to Chelsea Cefai. So clean and harmonious!
This credenza top makes me happy. H is for Happy right? This is from the home of Keith and Mark from Mini Moderns.
Another pretty peek into Catherine Hammerton’s apartment, the quirky bits give me little spine tingles. I love quirk.
A pretty spread of patterns curated by lovely Heart Home editors, Arianna and Carole.
A very decorated and smart living room belonging to Chelsea Cefai. The bookcase is great, so often I wish I had a bookcase that allowed me to show off the beautiful covers like this!
This is a view of Chelsea Cefai’s bedroom, gorgeous bed! I just realized I have three views of her home in this post – I think I am drawn to her very neat home though I don’t live like this at all!
I have to get back to my book right now, but I wanted to pop my head in to say hello and wish you a very happy Monday. I’ll see you again soon! :)
(images: heart home)