“Currently Reading” series with “Kathryn At Home – A Guide To Simple Entertaining” by Kathryn M. Ireland

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Welcome to my second installment of the “currently reading” series. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. First of all, Kathryn is one of my favorite designers, her Santa Monica home (which she just recently sold to move to Venice, CA) had the perfect mix of California cool, cozy, chic and looked completely welcoming and her farm in France is my dream space. Actually she pretty much has what I am aspiring to: the California lifestyle that I love so dearly and the get away location to just relax and enjoy nature. You go Kathryn!

This is her latest book and it is all about entertaining with tips on how to entertain with ease while making it look beautiful, along with many healthy and fresh recipes. Throughout the book there are photos of the two homes mentioned, I did think there was going to be more photos of the homes but it is more a cookbook than anything else.

The book is so beautifully put together, it really showcases Kathryn’s aesthetic. Her love of pattern is shown throughout the book with colorful pages and even the traditional type used enhances the style. Every page is gorgeous and pleasing to the eye, making you want to continue reading and turning the pages to take it all in. I can’t wait to read it cover to cover. I’m thinking this will definitely be one for the “cookbook series” since there are so many lovely recipes I want to try.

Here’s a few of the pages…

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Love this traditional font.

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Kathryn on her farm in France. You gotta love a woman who can wear a beautiful dress on a tractor.

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Beautiful tablescapes.

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Some of her gorgeous fabrics that she is known for.

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Cute little drawings throughout the book.

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I bought my copy through Amazon where you can find this book and 5 other books by Kathryn. Looks like I’m going to be ordering 5 more books…I want them all!!

Hope you’re enjoying this new series, I know it’s fun for this bookworm.

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My Stylish French Girlfriends and My Love of French Design

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I am a total bookworm!!! A cozy chair, a rainy day and a good book is a perfect day to me, unfortunately living in Southern California does not lend to many rainy days, not that I’m complaining, but when it’s does, you know where to find me. My favorite books are usually biographies or design books so when I received My Stylish French Girlfriends by Sharon Santoni, I was thrilled to see that it was a whole bunch of both. Sharon Santoni the creator of her fabulous blog My French Country Home, which chronicles all things French and the French way of life, has designed a book that I will cherish forever. Sharon continues to explore the beauty of France and her incredible girlfriends that each live different but equally lovely lives in her new book. It’s a book of people living out their dreams and in the process building homes that are full of love, warmth and beauty.

I’ve always been drawn to all things French, starting with my ninth grade French language class (even though everyone else was taking Spanish), to the the pastry shop, appropriately named Paris Pastry, that my brother I am could walk to from our childhood home to spend all our allowance on chocolate eclairs and napoleons. Oh the thought of that place still makes me smile, I can still smell the warm bread baking and see the cases full of the most gorgeous pastries. Nothing like it. I’ve also been enthralled with the unique way that most French decor can offer such elegance but with a warmth and beauty that seems traditional and modern all at the same time. There is something special about a room that looks like no one tried to decorate it and yet it’s pure perfection. The French have that nailed down. They’re homes say I’m not trying at all and at the same time it seems that every piece in the room has been hand picked. It’s is a talent that I’m hopping to hone myself, as I’m completely captivated by it and hope someday that my home will have the same effect.

I do love a design book that is nice and big so you can really get a good look at the photos. This one measures 12in. x 10in. so it’s lovely for a coffee table book. It’s just super pretty and I’m having a hard time putting it down. I wanted to share some of it with you but believe me these photos do not do this book justice, I just wanted to give you a glimpse of my new book obsession.

All photos taken directly from the book My Stylish French Girlfriends.

The book cover is exactly what I’ve been talking about, that elegant ease that is so FRENCH!

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Each chapter starts with a photo of one of Sharon’s girlfriend and then a description of the friend’s lifestyle. All photos are done without any stylist or makeup person. This is each friend’s style and life exactly as they live them and I found that incredibly refreshing.

Here’s a bit of Alicia’s beautiful life…

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Alicia’s kitchen and photo with her son.

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This outdoor area is stunning.

My type A personality would be out there trimming away at this garden but the beauty of it, is that it’s growing naturally. There’s a lesson in there for me.

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Next up in Catherine…

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Catherine lives in this stunning chateau, which is a bed and breakfast also. The property is  beautifully set by the sea and Catherine is a chef.  Be still my heart, I think I’ve found some heaven on earth.

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Gorgeous, right?!!!

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Cecile is a hoot and has a very interesting story.

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Her mix of vintage and modern.

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Cecile lives in the country.

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We all know how much I love to dine alfresco as seen in my blog post here.

I love a good table set.

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Lastly I wanted you to get acquainted with Charlotte.

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This outdoor area is perfect.

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So that’s a little sneak peek at this awesome book. To see a listing of all my book posts look under my library menu at the top of my home page.

I highly recommend this book for any interior design lovers out there.

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Design Books to Own

Design Books to Own

I am a sucker for Design books. I could sit for hours looking through them. It’s so inspirational and feeds my creative soul. I own quite a few of my own but am always on the lookout for new Design books to collect. Here are some Design books that I already own and some that I’m putting on my wish list.

Design Books That Are In My Library:

Elements of Style by Erin Gates

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Elements of Style Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates is a new design book I just got for Christmas. I read this in two days. She has great design style, good tips and shares her own personal journey. She is very upfront and open. It was a pleasure to read every page and to get to know her a bit and see her personal style in her own home. I think most designers are challenged when it comes to their own home. I know I feel like that. Helping others with design decisions is easy but in my own home I can be a bit challenged, it was nice to hear someone else feels the same way. I also follow her on Instagram @elementstyle and love her blog Elements of Style. I really enjoyed all the pictures and great advice. Here are some of my favorite pages in the book.

photo 4Pictures of her own kitchen remodel were very inspiring and I loved to see what she did in her own home. Notice I book marked all my favorite places so I can use as references when I need it. I do this with cookbooks and design books. I’m a total bookworm!

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I enjoyed her attention to detail and how she could make something simple and inexpensive look so exquisite, like this dresser from IKEA that she dressed up with the gold drawer pulls. Really great!

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She also included her recommendations for materials, paint, sofa choices and style choices.

Downtown Chic by Robert and Cortney Novogratz

photo 1Downtown Chic by Robert and Cortney Novogratz is so special because no one designs like these two. They have their own unique, modern and fresh style that I have never seen anywhere else. Although they tend to decorate more on the modern side there is always a vintage flare that they bring to every project. They have a way of using vintage items without it being to “grandma” or “garage saleish”. I like reused items but I don’t like when I see decorators buying junk for cheap and then reselling them completely untouched as vintage and for $$$$$. I really enjoyed their decorating show but after a few tries they didn’t seem to have much success. Too bad because I thought their design shows were really good. You can visit their blog at The Novogratz Blog, and follow them on Instagram @The_Novogratz.  Here are some of my favorite pages in the book…

photo 3I love the Novogratz country home. It’s a place that makes you want to hang out with family, take your shoes off and enjoy the outdoors. The outside of the house is white with bright yellow shutters. Very charming.

The inside of the house is mostly white with bold pops of color. They have a way of using color that makes it modern and not too childish or cartoonish. I would love a vacation home just like this!

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Below is a picture of their New York home kitchen, they don’t live there anymore as they recently moved to LA (welcome to Cali… Novogratz family).

photo 4Notice the amazing light fixtures. I love how inventive they are, the back wall is a glass garage door so you can open it up and get a great indoor-outdoor room. Genius!!!

Below shows their great attention to detail. This is Cortney’s dressing table. She uses vintage finds to hang and store her jewelry and glass containers to store cotton balls and q-tips. I also do this on my vanity. Thanks for the great ideas Cortney!

photoI could go on and on with all my design books but I’ll stop for now. Here are some design books I have my eyes on to purchase in the future…

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 9.36.50 PMWho wouldn’t want to go into designers home? Can’t wait to see whats inside this book.

 Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 9.36.29 PMThis book is all about work spaces. It really helps to have work spaces that inspire you, and since I work out of my house I want my work space to look great and be functional.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 9.35.45 PMI follow Remodelista on Instagram and love their style. Can’t wait to read this one.

71v2jfLzHYLLove Kate Spade. This looks really interesting.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 9.37.16 PMLoved the idea of a book on accessorizing. Accessories can make or break a space.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 9.37.36 PMDon’t know much about this book, but I always love to educate myself in anyway I can, especially in design.

I’ll let you know what I think of these books when I get them. I also think I’ll do another post like this. It was really fun for me to go through these design books again. It reminded me of why I love design so much. Hope you enjoyed it too. See you tomorrow with another post.

All the best,

Joy