bound inspiration

recently i started collecting interior style, design and decorating books.  i got a copy of domino for christmas a few years ago and the obsession began.  the first step is admitting you have a problem right?  it started slowly at first, a design book here, a design book there.  now i have a few healthy stacks all around our bedroom.  it's usually what i pick up for my bedtime reading, even though i'm in the middle of reading two other books.  and although i've read each one of these books many ... many ... many times, with the exception of one, i always seem to find something interesting or new.  perhaps that's why i feel the need to collect more.  so i will have an endless supply of inspiration at my finger tips.  or ... i'm just slowly becoming a hoarder.

way back in 2011, when we decided to go through the process of building a house again we decided to consult some design reference material.  we had read somewhere or someone had told us that it was a good idea to do so when you were about to build a new house.  i always take good advice, except when i take bad advice.  so many of the ideas we used in our current home were a result of gathering inspiration from interior design books we signed out of the library.  perhaps this is where the obsession started? we began seeing the things we could do in our own home in a totally different way.  it didn't have to be the way the builder wanted to do it.  crazy i know.  the point is, i love being able to flip through my own little medium sized collection of books when i approach a client project or a space in my own home.  not to re-create the same space but to gather inspiration to create my own.

so .... based on all of that, here are a few of my a few of my favourite design reads from my not so little, and not so big, library.


my husband got me this book last christmas and to be honest this might have been the beginning of my design book obsession.  i frequently read this one cover to cover.  and there are a number of reasons why:  1. the fact that it's organized by space, easy to find specific inspiration if you're looking for it  2. the entire book is full of amazing photographs of amazing spaces  3. all of the ideas are things i want to do in my home.  seriously, there is nothing in this book that is extreme in terms of design or decor.  4. the decorator's handbook at the end of the book.  and finally, my favourite part of this book, 5. all of the tips and tricks sections at the end of room in the book.  ideas, upon ideas.  it really is a great book.  and might even be the one i'd recommend if you were looking to start a design book collection of your own.

apartment therapy

i was so excited to see this book under the christmas tree this past year.  santa really knew what i wanted.  this is such a great book.  i have a feeling i might be saying that line again, for each one of these books.  i really love everything in apartment therapy.  particularly the kitchen and outdoor sections.  and once again there are a number of reasons i've fallen in love with this book:  1. it's really quite practical.  for those that might not know what their "style" is, there is a section dedicated to figuring that out.  2. provides a lingo guide, heck there is even a colour wheel and colour scheme ideas  3.  the maintaining your home section is a fantastic bonus.  everything from seasonal house maintenance to getting a red wine stain our.  did you know that you can remove sticker adhesive off anything by using mayonnaise?  how handy is that!?  and finally 4. all the really great photographs of the all the really great homes.

young house love & lovable livable home

can i first just say that these guys are pretty good at what they do.  and i totally miss reading young house love, although they still post now and then.  each of these two books are great picks for someone looking for little projects, and some not so little ones too, to do themselves.  their full of things i would've never thought of.  john and sherry's projects in each book are generally not all that time consuming, easy on the budget and can create big impact in your home.  i think i have a least two thirds of their first book, young house love, covered in notes or page corners turned over.

design sponge

oh, design sponge.  we share similar initials.  for me this book is more of a visual collection of beautiful interiors.  and interiors of real people no less.  they are not "over styled", you know, when a family room looks more like a showroom than someone actually lives there.  when i look at coffee tables in photographs i often wonder "how much of that stuff actually stays on the coffee table", because in our home the coffee table is for sitting on, or playing star wars on.  anyways, the spaces in design sponge look comfortable and look like real people use them.  it's also a well written book, should be considering grace bonney is also the author of design sponge. the other reason i like this book is the do-it-yourself section.  how to create a beautiful floral arrangement to sewing a slip cover and everything in between.  


i don't often choose to pick up this book.  and i there is no particular reason, but when i do i find i read it over and over and over, and over.  i could spend an entire month just reading through decorate. here's why:  1.  excellent layout.  it's easy to follow.  each page contains explanations about the elements in each of the rooms, why they work, significance to the home owner, etc  2.  they include floor plans.  so many of the books i have don't have floor plans.  and for me, anyway, a floor plan helps me to visualize a space more than just a photograph.  3. just like with domino, every time i do pick this one up, i always find or learn something new.  lastly 4.  all the design, decorating, style quotes that are smattered throughout.

cupcakes & cashmere at home

love her blog.  love her first book.  so owning a copy of emily schuman's second book was a given, even better that it was all about the home.  her home is beautiful and the kitchen is pretty freakin' amazing.  there's just something about brass fixtures.  not to mention the giant marble topped kitchen island.  anyway, the book is more about all the little details.  which, in my humble opinion, are kind of important when you want to create that feeling of home in your house.  these are the little pieces that are important to you, like photographs from a great trip, a series of postcards from friends, or concert tickets from all the bands you been to see.  these items should be on display.  emily's book also has a great entertaining section at the end.  everything from recipes and table settings to dinner party theme nights.  taco night sounds pretty good about right now.


this is my most recent design book purchase.  i started following emily henderson on instagram about a year ago and i've been hooked since.  she's got such an easy approach to interior style and design.  i haven't had a real sit down with this book yet, i think i've flipped through it about a thousand times since it arrived a few days ago.  i fully intend on drinking a glass of wine or at the very least a latte and spend many hours reading this bad boy.  

happy reading.  happy inspiration.

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