Good Design Makes for Good Living

My Favorite Top Three Home Décor Books

If you are like me and you love decorating your home; then you have probably found yourself collecting quite a few home décor books.  Not only do I collect them, I read them too. They don’t just sit on my coffee table to impress or add to the room’s décor. I have way too many that I would love to review so, I am going to share my top three favorites with you and tell you why I love them so much.

  1. Elements of Style is probably by far the most notable home interior design book that is recognizable by the bold black and white stripes on its bind. You will see it on most every blogger’s coffee table. It made the New York Times Best Seller’s list and it was written by Erin Gates; a popular home blogger. What made this book so unique is the author’s personal life story intermittently told between the beautiful photos of well-designed rooms. A bold story of the author’s life journey from girl to woman. She masterfully paralleled life and art without one interrupting or upstaging the other. Great decorating tips and advice.  When I finished reading the book, I immediately started rearranging things around the house and this was at 12:00 am in the morning.  If you are just starting your collection, I would pick up this book first.
  2. Styled by Emily Henderson is my second favorite home décor book. I remember watching her show on HGTV; and I loved her quirky fun but practical style.  She has an unaffected down to earth demeanor about herself. This book is an Instructional Designer’s dream book. I am a former Instructional Designer and the thing that struck me is the organization of the book.  The layout and cohesiveness of the book is well thought out. I appreciated that. There is a fun style test for the reader to take. After you discover your style, the book introduces how to create and style an organically curated home.  There are beautiful photos with descriptions and reasons why certain objects were chosen and placed in a space.  I had a few aha moments with this book. It draws you in and keeps your attention till the end.  Great advice on how to become an interior stylist and an awesome shopping referral list for good finds. This book is kept in my office as a reference for my work.
  3. Ellen DeGeneres Home, home décor book was my surprise find. I only paid 5.00 for this book at the Five and Under store. At major book stores it retails for 35.00. I was so happy when I found this book. I remember reading somewhere that Ellen loved to buy houses just to restore, design and decorate them. In this book she shares the homes that she bought and the story behind the purchase. She seemed to have an innate taste to choose a home with soul and potential. The common purpose in her buying a home centered around how the property made her feel.  Her eye for styling is very thoughtful and respectful of the space. Her collection of art and furniture is very sophisticated and not pretentious at all. She is a minimalist and her styling conveys that less is more. It’s a great book to just thumb through and look at beautiful photographs.

These are my top three home décor books for now.  Let me know what home décor books you love and why?

Good design makes for good living,


Getting Ready for Christmas Decorating in October

Believe it or not, it is considered late at the end of September to plan for styling your home and tree for Christmas! In the world of serious Christmas decorator lovers, they already have their theme and colors planned.  The bulbs are already purchased, and the design plan is outlined and ready for implementation.  Well, I am here to tell you that there is still time to get the look you want if you get started now while we are in October. Go through your existing Christmas decoration stash and get inspired from what you already have and create something new. Look at last year and a few years back Christmas photos to make sure you don’t repeat the same look. I find that looking back at Christmas photos gives me an objective eye to see what worked and what didn’t.  Look at the items on your tree, mantle, coffee table that worked. What do you recall was a hit that your guest often commented on; those are the items you want to replicate. Pull your color scheme together by combining colors that were previously used at different times. Doing this will freshen the look and save you money. You can create a totally different look by using previously used décor items.

If you didn’t have enough fillers last year for your tree, make sure you go out now to buy up on your theme related Christmas bulbs to give life to your design. Most stores have the Christmas décor items out now; as a matter of fact, they were out early September. If you see something you really like, grab it now because soon the best stuff will be gone. Keep in mind that you will always need more bulbs than you think. More is better. I like to fill in every gap and hole. Make sure you vary in the size of your bulbs to fill in small and large gaps in the tree.

My rule of thumb is when the stores start putting out the holiday decorations then it’s a sign to start buying and planning.

So, stay calm! You still have plenty of time to shop and enjoy planning for your Christmas decor. Get the decorating plan out the way; so that you can focus on completing your shopping list for gifts.  If you are already done with shopping for gifts, then you are way ahead of most of us.