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The Well-Dressed Home {Book}

Fashion and interiors definitely go hand in hand, especially since fashion often finds its way into interior design trends within a year or two after walking down the runway… sometimes even sooner. I love watching the master minds out there translate what they’re seeing on the runway into a cohesive collection for the home, whether it’s West Elm, Zara Home, or your local boutique – fashion does seem to inspire many a home collection. Yesterday over at Real Simple, I reviewed a newly published book called The Well-Dressed Home by Annette Tatum, which not only shows examples of fashion and mood boards but how all that inspiration is collection and translated into a room. It’s a rather interesting book, you can read more about it here in case you’ve been wondering about this title since it seems to be popping up on lots of blogs lately.

The Well-Dressed Home

Also, The Well-Dressed Home is the decor8 book of the week. This means that if you purchase it after clicking this link that I will earn 6% from the sale.

Have you read this book? Or flipped through it? What are your impressions?

(images: the well-dressed home)

Posted in Books + Magazines on October 20, 2009

Jonathan Alder Dachshund Bookends

Barnes & Noble has these delicious little dachshund bookends designed by Jonathan Adler and I’m dying here because I cannot order them as they don’t ship outside of the U.S. – wahhhh! (update: Wait! I take that back! They will ship other things outside of books and videos. YAY!) I want these so badly for my books. Well those of you who are in America, you are the lucky ones… You can have this set of precious white resin bookends for under $40. Oh, I’m positively dying here. Want. These. Badly.

Want. These. Badly.

Look at the little tongue. Cute. Ness. And let me tell ya, I just know that pup is sticking his tongue as if to say, “nah nah nah nah you can’t have me!”. Little jerk! Rrrrrr.

(image: barnes & noble)

Posted in Books + Magazines on October 06, 2009

Joy of Cookbooks!

How is your day going? If you’re looking for inspiration (as I was), spend some time in your local bookstore in the cooking section. Oh my! There are so many great titles releasing right now as the holidays roll in. I found a few that I scooped up immediately, one is called La vie en rose by Murielle Rousseau (heavenly French recipes!) with illustrations by Berlin-based artist Stefanie Roth and the other is Gemüse and Gemüse by Delphine de Montalier (a vegetarian cookbook, gemüse means vegetable in German). With food photos to die for, styling to learn from and even some personal references to family along with pretty illustrations, they are both such inspiring cookbooks. It’s dark here now and well, I just removed my precious new books from their bag in my somewhat dark living room so excuse the poor lighting. But I couldn’t wait until tomorrow to share — the ‘feeling’ may be lost and no doubt I’ll be onto other things! :) So here’s a few snaps of what inspired me today…

Joy of Cookbooks

I can’t wait to crack them both open and start preparing meals for Fall. But this post isn’t a book review for either of these titles, it’s merely to say that the cookbooks in your local bookstore may be a great place to look for inspiration. The presentation of food in newer books seems to be stronger than ever — styled beautifully with food so enticing that you wish each page had a scratch ‘n sniff sticker so you could experience the smell of each recipe to go along with the visuals.  ha ha. :) No seriously, the photos really draw you in and make you want to cook but even more… they give you ideas for color palettes and even styling ideas for the home. I was looking at one and noticed how beautifully olives looked with turquoise dinnerware and hadn’t given it much thought before today… now I’m thinking of how nice it would be for presenting a meal or setting a table. So, need some inspiration and unable to find a decorating book you really click with lately? Try a cookbook, you never know what could come out of it — in addition to a great meal of course!

Joy of Cookbooks

Joy of Cookbooks

Joy of Cookbooks

Joy of Cookbooks

And a BIG P.S. on this post because I hope major booksellers everywhere read these words and put this into practice immediately… it’s popular here, at least in the bookstores I’ve visited, that books that have photographs in them — like coffee table books, cookbooks, art and design books, etc. have a “customer” copy on top a stack of shrink-wrapped copies. I LOVE THIS. I have been telling my husband for YEARS when we were living in the states that bookstores should have a customer copy and then all the others should be in shrink wrap. Why? It made me feel annoyed with people would take books into the restroom, cafe, or even just sit in those chairs at large booksellers for hours, breaking the spines, bending pages, etc. and then not buying them. It was getting so bad in our local Barnes & Noble that I would only go to flip through a book that I was interested in and then I’d go home and buy it on Amazon because at least that way I knew the book was new – it would arrive unused and in shrink wrap. I once bought a book for $50 and it had a coffee stain on a few of the pages! Now that I’m in Germany, I go to the bookstore and find my idea in practice and let me tell you, it’s a great idea and not just because I had it. he he. It truly makes buying a book a wonderful experience again because well, I want to be the first to crack it open and smell that fresh book smell. :) Does this sort of thing matter to you?

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on September 29, 2009

Book Review: Perfect English Cottage

Time for a little book review of a most glorious decorating book that would do any coffee table proud: Perfect English Cottage by best selling author Ros Byam Shaw with photos by one of England’s most sought-after photographers, Jan Baldwin. Ros Byam Shaw is a freelance journalist and writes for design magazines in addition to being the author of a bestseller. A former Features Editor at The World of Interiors and Deputy Editor of the British edition of W magazine, she lives in a restored Elizabethan manor in Devon, England where she penned this inviting and informative book. Care to sit next to me on the sofa and flip through with me today? Oh good! Because you have no choice. :)

Perfect English Cottage

The publisher of this title, Ryland Peters & Small sent me a copy and not only did I fall in love instantly, I was so hungry for English that I read most of it too! I don’t review all the books sent in because I will not review just any title — if something doesn’t fit my taste or interest (no matter if it is free or not), I don’t bother. But this one — well it’s special — I had to share because it’s quintessential Britain. Whenever I’ve visited England, I always enjoyed strolling around the charming villages mostly for the ambiance — stone homes and pathways, rolling hills, traditional thatched roofs, and wooden floors… Along with the cozy, inviting rooms and rustic fireplaces. The perfect vacation spot in the Autumn is to break free from the modern conveniences of city life (or inconveniences, however you see it) and head to a cottage of any kind really, but an English one is like a big, warm hug. It’s where you go for a few weeks to roll out dough, bake apple pies and curl up under plaid woolen blankets with a mug of cocoa or hot mulled wine. No diets. No laptop. No television. That is what Perfect English Cottage feels like in book format – a big cozy vacation space meant for dreaming.

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

So, what do I like about this book? Nothing. I was so disappointed! Ha ha! No seriously, it is fabulous and I won’t at all be surprised if it becomes the authors next bestseller. For one, it’s huge and the photographs are inviting and vivid. For $22 (at least at Amazon), it’s a steal because I think it’s worth $50 due to book size and the amount of photographs inside. I love a good coffee table book. Photos are not used over and over again on different pages throughout the book, either. Each page is different from the last, each photo new and beautifully shot – the mood of the space reaches out from the pages and pulls you in like cookies beckoning you from the oven. And it was published, in my opinion, during the perfect time of the year (it just released) because it fits the weather and how I imagine England as I’ve only been there in the Autumn months.

I also like it because it  features real homes, 18 of them, and all categorized so you have rustic, whimsical, historical and cottages by the sea to name a few, all styled with absolute perfection. It is divided, by style, into five key chapters: Character, Holiday, Romance, Simplicity and Elegance. It reminds me so much of some of the homes I’ve either lived in or visited when I lived in New England back in the states, which is another reason why I love this book so much — it’s a reminder of a bit of where I’ve been and experiences I’ve had. The medley of patterns, prints, colors and textures in each room lures you in and holds your attention — and one theme I see through the photographs is simplicity, creating a retreat, layering experiences and years into the home decor, and infusing rooms with character while still using careful restraint so as to not overwhelm the space or yourself with too much clutter. These rooms are edited beautifully.

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Perfect English Cottage

Bottom line: If you love a good English cottage, take it from me — this is a great addition to your decorating library.  This book won’t disappoint!

Please note: As most of you know but I’ll say it again… all book links to the title are associated with my Amazon store and will link to Amazon where you can purchase it. If you purchase the book, I earn 6% of the book total ($3.85 USD before tax).

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on September 25, 2009

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