It's time for my Five on Friday and today I am giving you a glimpse at five of my favorite interior design books. There is nothing I love more than grabbing a hardback page tuner and soaking up all of the beautiful images while making notes of what I'd like to create or recreate in my own home. I can look at them over and over again, always finding hidden gems that I missed in previous views.
Now I am a self-proclaimed traditionalist so my style of decorating leans towards classic design. I love antiques with a European flair. I pull from French country and neoclassical decor but always add a few modern touches so it doesn't look too frumpy. Honestly, I add what I like and I make it work. Don't we all do that? Anyhoo...this will give you a little reasoning on my five fabulous choices...and here they are!
Book #1- One Man's Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood
This is, hands down, my favorite design book of all time. I love everything Mr. Gatewood created. If I could dream up my perfect interior spaces, this book would be the result. "When it comes to interiors style, antiques, and Southern vernacular architecture, Furlow Gatewood is a one-of-a-kind classic." This book shows the personal homes and magical space on his property in Americus Georgia. The illustrious pages show the restoration of family buildings and added intimate dwellings.
As noted in the book, the structures exemplify various architectural traditions-from mid-nineteenth-century Gothic to Palladian. He collaborated with local craftsmen to create these follies and took delight in designing the picturesque grounds and plantings. He made sure that his precious whippets and peacocks also had comfortable surroundings.
"A gifted designer and longtime associate of antiques dealer John Rosselli, Gatewood has a talent for discovering singular pieces with a poetic patina, composing custom paint finishes and subtle palettes, and knowing how to incorporate distinctive architectural elements. To accompany the book's atmospheric images, close friend Bunny Williams writes about the lessons she has learned from this master of discernment. Gatewood's seductive and hospitable Arcadian oasis, with its exquisite and timeless design, will have an enduring impact on the design community."
Book #2: At Home With Carolyne Roehm
Most of you who have followed my Instagram for the last few years may think that my favorite book by Carolyne Roehm would be A Passion for Blue & White and while I do adore it, my favorite from her collection would have to be At Home With Carolyne Roehm. Within these pages not only are we allowed peeks at her beautiful interiors but she also educates her reader on the perfect dinner parties, menus, place settings and floral arrangements. It addresses all occasions and seasons of the year with an air of sophistication yet with suggestions that are surprisingly simple to replicate.
With budget friendly options for all aspects of the above included, her approach speaks to those of us who don't have an unlimited budget for hosting.
The pictures are beautiful and the menus delicious. From Grandma's biscuits to a spray of peonies, if you are a hostess with the mostest, this book is for you. You honestly can't go wrong with any of the books in her collections.
Note: Some are no longer published so her website will direct you to Ebay or Amazon for a gently used copy. "Buy Now". You won't regret it!
Book #3: Charles Faudree's Country French Living
One of America's top 100 designers, and we can all see why, Charles Faudree's Country French Living "teaches principles of design that make a house a Country French home: The importance of the bedroom and how to make it a soothing sanctuary, deserving as much attention to beauty and detail as the rest of the home. How to identify a pivotal fabric, a dominant color, or one magnificent antique that will dictate the style and design for a whole room. How books can create an inviting atmosphere and add a warmth all their own."
"How a valance is the ultimate decorating deceit, and how window treatments express the personality of a room and add a proper finish. How to use walls as they are meant--as a stage on which to display one's favorite collections. How to use symmetrical groupings that provide a sense if balance and order in a room. Charles Faudree's Country French Living also shows how to make the most of accessories like lamps, pillows, baskets, paintings, and more to finish a room and provide the charm and character so important in a well-designed French Country setting. Country French Living reveals that the true test of a beautiful room is in the details."
That is a lot of how-tos but you will embrace and admire each and every one. He was the master. He is gone too soon but his ideas, designs, and timeless tastes will continue to breathe new life into interiors for generations to come.
Book #4: The Joy of Decorating: Southern Style with Mrs. Howard
Phoebe Howard. Need I say more? Classic southern interiors with a bit of modern added that equals impeccable styling.
The Joy of Decorating has design projects that are organized by theme: Inviting, Inspiring, Timeless, Graceful, Tranquil, Casual, and Comfortable—all words that have been used to describe Mrs. Howard’s work. These are also adjectives that can and have described her own home. The book really does embody the grace of southern design.
My next purchase from Mrs. Howard will be Room by Room. I've heard it's an amazing follow-up to The Joy of Decorating and I can't wait!
Book #5: Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style, Mark D. Sikes
"Casually chic and unfussy, the applauded style of interior designer Mark D. Sikes is marked by his compositions of objects with a "forever-appeal" in settings that put living first. In
Beautiful: All American Decorating and Timeless Style (Rizzoli), he chats companionably through eight chapters as he dissects his approachable style. Organized by color, each chapter examines his passion for certain colors and demonstrates how the designer uses these colors to imbue a home's interiors with personality and style.
Alongside images of Sikes' work, there are photos of vignettes and mood boards, all of which provide the reader with ample design inspiration and show how classic can look fresh, and style and comfort go hand-in-hand."
He and his designs are quickly joining the ranks of Furlow Gatewood for me personally. I swoon with every page and every additional room I see. I need to get my hands on More Beautiful because I have a feeling is.
I'd love to hear about your favorite interior design books. I find inspiration in all styles of decor and can appreciate the beauty in each. On that note, this wraps up our Five on Friday. Join me next week for five of my favorite decor trends for 2021. Until then...have a wonderful weekend and may the bluebird of happiness brighten your path!