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
The Great American House: Tradition for the Way We Live by 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
My copy is well worn; I constantly reference it for color inspiration and interesting architectural details.
From Diane @dianenicoll
One Man’s Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood by Julia Reed
Cecil Beaton at Home: An Interior Life by Andrew Ginger
Tiffany Taste by John Loring
From Ann @annscia
Americana: Farmhouses and Manors of Long Island by Kyle Marshall
From Heidi @heidiwynne
Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People
Marella Agnelli: The Last Swan
From Charmaine @charmainewakefield
Interiors by Design by Roger Banks Pye
Living by Design by John Stefanidis
From Brooke @lbtalbot
A Place to Call Home by James T. Farmer
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!)
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
From Karen @karenkeysar
Folly De Grandeur: Romance and Revival in the English Country House by Nicky Halsam
Elements of Style by Michael S. Smith
Winter House by Charlotte Moss
Near and Far: Interiors I Love 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
From Rie @portobellodesign
The Gardens of Bunny Mellon by Linda Jane Holden
For historical purposes
The Well-Adorned Home: Making Luxury Livable by Cathy Kincaid
For The Love of White: The White and Neutral Home by Chrissie Rucker
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!
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