great style, great books

I'm fairly bursting with a million blog posts in my head. I can scarcely keep them straight. For today I'm going to tell you about these books. Well, a peek at two of them anyway. I came home one day recently and my beloved husband had all 5 of these waiting or me. Was it my birthday? No. Our anniversary? No. Just Saturday. He's pretty incredible that way -- wonderful, thoughtful gifts just appear. I'm very lucky. I've said before that so many books are beautiful objects in their own right. Well, check out this one (in the middle of the stack above):

Isn't it so very pretty? I've decided that green is my signature colour (cooking up a whole separate blog post on that!). Have long been a stripes nut. And the giant blooms....delish. And most interestingly -- co-authored by none other than Nina Campbell. Can't wait to dig in for a great read. And check out the endpapers:

Vittoria chintz, RubelliFern Chintz, Lee Jofa

Also love everything Mark Hampton did. Not only was he a very talent designer, but he was also a great writer and his watercolours of rooms are just dreamy. I would die to own one. But for now his book Legendary Decorators of the Twentieth Century will have to satisfy. The book is 22 chapters, each devoted to one of the Greats, and he has illustrated some of their most famous rooms. I'm sure I will be contravening a million copyright laws by doing this, but I can't resist sharing some of the room renderings with you. The illustrations are so wonderful and the rooms themselves would look just as stylish today as they did when first designed -- genius!

A living room by Billy Baldwin featuring a Syrie Maugham sofa, Jean-Michel Frank table and Frances Elkins colour scheme.The famous Cole Porter library by Billy BaldwinA Parisian apartment by Madeleine Castaing. That blue was her signature.This, of course, is by John Fowler, prince of decorators.The mastery of David Hicks - his own home. Makes me want to paint a room pink!

decorating with books

Billy Baldwin called them the greatest decoration of all. I heartily agree. Books are yummy. They're so much more than a good read. In the styling biz, we depend on them. Here are my top 10 fave books to prop with (so so so many more!):

1. I Married Adventure: The Lives of Martin and Osa Johnson

2. David Hicks On living - with Taste

3. Slim Aarons Once Upon a Time

4. Century

5. The Way We Live

6. The Garden Book

7. Axel Vervoordt Timeless Interiors

8. Tom Ford

9. The Hamptons

10. Chanel



top photo source: absolutely beautiful things