rediscovering our favorite design books

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For me, these days of sheltering-in-place have been both confusing and clarifying. I know I’m not alone in that feeling, and I also know that many of us have had the good fortune of rediscovering many things about the place we call home. I have found comfort in revisiting well-worn, well-loved design books full of beautiful homes and gardens. And I was curious about what books others return to for comfort and inspiration.

So I reached out to some of my creative and stylish friends on Instagram to learn about their favorite design books. We had a very nice virtual chat. And I realized this: Isn’t it interesting how our individual styles often reflect the designers whose work we admire and return to? I love to see how different people interpret and incorporate elements of another style, making it completely their own. (If you’re not on Instagram, you can still click on the link and get a glimpse of each person’s feed).

Here are the results of my very informal, unscientific survey. There are classics, old-favorites, and recently published books on this list.

(Several people chose the Ahearn, Schafer, Gatewood, and Bunny Williams books so I did not repeat them as I went down the line, but included the other books that each person added to the list)

From Linda @stonecottage2250

Timeless: Classic American Architecture for Contemporary Living by Patrick Ahearn

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Patrick Ahearn

The Great American House: Tradition for the Way We Live by Gil Schafer
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Gil Schafer

In both cases, they do a beautiful inspiring job of preserving classic American architecture and creating stylish and livable homes.

 From Matt @mattpmazure

Time and Place by Steven Gambrel
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My copy is well worn; I constantly reference it for color inspiration and interesting architectural details.

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Steven Gambrel

 From Diane @dianenicoll

One Man’s Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood by Julia Reed

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Furlow Gatewood

Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life by Andrew Ginger

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Tiffany Taste by John Loring

From Ann @annscia

Americana:  Farmhouses and Manors of Long Island by Kyle Marshall

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From Heidi @heidiwynne

Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People

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Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan

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Marella Agnelli

From Charmaine @charmainewakefield

Interiors by Design by Roger Banks Pye

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Roger Banks Pye

Living by Design by John Stefanidis

From Brooke @lbtalbot

A Place to Call Home by James T. Farmer
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He has several very nice books. We went to see him in Baltimore at the Walter’s Art Gallery. He was doing his floral arrangements! (Click here to read our post about it!)

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James T. Farmer

 From Maura@m.o.endres

The English Garden Room by Elizabeth Dickson

…is a book I pick up constantly and a longtime treasure book on my shelves.

 An Affair with a House by Bunny Williams

 

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Bunny Williams

From Karen @karenkeysar

Folly De Grandeur: Romance and Revival in the English Country House by Nicky Halsam
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The Hunting Lodge,Nicky Haslam's home in the country
The Hunting Lodge,Nicky Haslam’s home in the country

Elements of Style by Michael S. Smith
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Winter House by Charlotte Moss
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Near and Far: Interiors I Love by Lisa Fine
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from Near and Far by Lisa Fine

From Alice @largercross and largercross.com

English Decoration: Timeless Inspiration for the Contemporary Home by Ben Pentreath and The Auction Catalogs of Bunny Mellon and The Duchess of Devonshire
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Ben Pentreath

From Rie @portobellodesign

The Gardens of Bunny Mellon by Linda Jane Holden
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Bunny Mellon’s Oakspring Farm

For historical purposes

 The Well-Adorned Home: Making Luxury Livable by Cathy Kincaid
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Cathy Kincaid

Pure Beauty

 For The Love of White: The White and Neutral Home by Chrissie Rucker
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For the Love of White

For the great styling

Although things are slowly returning to something closer to normal for many of us, we continue to spend more time around the house and in the garden (and if we are lucky, with our heads in books).

Hope you are inspired (like I am)…and thank you to my friends for chatting on Instagram with me!

Cheers!

Holly

 

 

 

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