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« Picture Winter: Learning New Techniques | Main | Wordless Wednesday: Picture Winter, Day 5 »

What's on Your Bookshelf?

Maybe you’re like me and you’re a design enthusiast.  Maybe you’re like me and you follow tons of design blogs which cover fabulous minimalist, modern, Scandinavian furniture but your home actually looks like a 1950s ranch.  What about blogs by enormously creative photographers who craft images you could only dream of creating yourself?  Or maybe you’re like me and you buy way too much Scandinavian glassware thanks to your best friend from high school.  Okay, maybe not that last one.  My point is this: are you, as someone recently put it, a closet design junkie? and maybe with a growing photography habit?

I am.  But with a new (-to-me) house to settle into and no formal design or photography training, I was having difficulty figuring out how to apply all of my reading to my own life.  As I wrote earlier, I spent some time at the end of last year getting educated.  I scoured the internet.  Elise and I took classes.  I tried to talk shop to anyone who would listen and engage.  And I devoured books, the coffee table kind.  Let’s talk about that last part.

Now, there are plenty of book lists out there, especially having just come off the new year and all the year-end roundups.  Apartment Therapy had a list of the best design and decor books of 2010 that I loved.  Design*Sponge had a 2010 design book gift guide that was great, too.  The Guardian UK had their own British take on the best photography books of 2010.  I pored over these lists but what I really needed were the classics, the standards to get my bookshelf started.  

Having browsed the stacks at the bookstores, I came up with a few favorites:  

  • The Home Book by House Beautiful: guides you through the design process by asking questions about your style preferences; also lots of beautiful photos and tips 
  • Style and Substance from Elle Decor: lots of decor eye candy for ideas and inspiration
  • The Book of Decorating from the now-defunct Domino:  style guides, color palettes, loads of tips and shopping resources, all in a room-by-room format
  • Expressive Photography by the Shutter Sisters: as previously discussed, gorgeous images, technical tips, words of wisdom and practical exercises

How did I do?  What did I miss?  Leave me a comment so I can fill up my bookshelf!


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Reader Comments (3)

I really enjoy the books and ideas from Sarah Susanka's The Not So Big House. Very interesting perspective on using space.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLori S

After the DOMINO book (my bible), I found a great new book, "Details: A Stylist's Secrets to Creating Inspired Interiors" by Lili Diallo. She used to be a stylist at DOMINO (naturally!). I absolutely love the design in this book. I also found The Nest's Home Design Handbook a good reference book (though the home decor featured in the book is a bit stiff).

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterC Lee

thanks for the recommendations. i'm checking them out on amazon PRONTO! i'm sure i've got some room on my shelf for these few more! --mae.

January 9, 2011 | Registered CommenterHere in This House

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