Favorite Coffee Table Books for Your Home

Beautiful coffee table books are a must for any interior space styling – whether they are placed on coffee tables, bookshelves or even bathrooms!  Check out Emily Henderson’s tips on styling any space and you’re bound to see a coffee table book or two or three or four!  By the way, don’t you LOVE Emily Henderson?  She’s such an amazing stylist and I love the new home she just bought!  I can’t wait to see how she transforms it!!

Books bring so much interest and personality to a space and my personal favorite way of displaying books is to color coordinate them, then stack them and place a vase with flowers of course on top, maybe even a ceramic elephant.  Here are my top 10 coffee table books that not only look beautiful, they’re good reads too!

  1. Styled by Emily Henderson:  Of course we start with Styled which is a great segue into the world of home made interior design for regular folks.  Emily starts with a home style quiz and  breaks down beautiful vignettes into very do-able recreations.  She’s definitely helped me understand why something is placed the way it is and why it works.
  2. Tom Ford:  Isn’t this book BEAUTIFUL?  OMG I can just see it on top of our white fauxdenza screaming style, sophistication and savoir fare.  Its also pretty expensive but isn’t Tom Ford always expensive?
  3. The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living: Kinfolk founder Nathan Williams’ first book emphasizes simple, intentional living spaces.  What I love about this book is its focus on carefully and slowly putting together of your space.  So often I find myself wanting to finish up a space that I just buy things for the space to fill it.  That typically can result in a pretty space, but a space that doesn’t feel like me.  And while I don’t always completely know what me means interior design wise, the ethos of slowing down and curating a home helps with me learning how to design a space that is more me than something that came out of a book.  I realize that its ironic that I turn to a book to teach me how to design something that doesn’t come out of a book – but you get my point right?
  4. Anatomy in Black:  This is just a cool cool book – plus it teaches you about anatomy entirely in black and gold!  I love black and gold so this one is a real treat for me.
  5. Remodelista: Remodelista.com has always been a go-to site for interior design goodness.  This book is no different.  Read any interior design blog and this book is almost sure to come up as a must have!  For me, this book was a nice take on the modern Scandinavian style – white, light wood with pops of color. 
  6. Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life:  Ok I have to be honest here, the best part about this book is the cover.  Its got a great cover that would sit well on any coffee table.  The book itself was just ok for me. It wasn’t super inspiring I think mostly because the vignettes she showcased were just all too similar.  We all love certain things but as an interior design book, I was hoping not to see the same roman shades over and over again.  Just saying – but great great cover. 
  7. Design*Sponge at Home: Now this book I can get behind.  I’ve loved Design*Sponge for a long long time and I also love that her book is bright and cheery!  From DIY projects to before and afters, this book will inspire you to just do something to change the look of your home.  Plus I hear that Grace Bonney is a really cool person too!
  8. The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful: Another blogger favorite – I don’t own this one but from what I’ve read about it, it looks like I should get it! 
  9. Every Person in New York:  Think about this book as the illustrated and funnier version of Humans of New York (also a neat coffee table book).  The forward is written by the hilarious Kristen Wiig and in this book Jason Polan who draws for publications like the New Yorker puts together over 30,000 people in 400 pages of funny, cute illustrations of famous people and not so famous people doing everything from eating tacos to jostling along the street.  If nothing else, it was really fun to flip through this one. 
  10. Vogue: The Covers: I’m no fashionista – you just need to look at my daily wardrobe of t-shirts and scruffy jeans to know.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate beautiful fashion.  This book showcases more than 300 of the most beautiful, provocative, and fashion-forward covers ever produced and the history and stories behind them!  It’ll turn even me into a fashionista I’m sure!

 

So which book will grace your coffee table today?

 

 

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Favorite Etsy Artists Part Deux

I wrote about some of our favorite etsy artists some time ago and its time to add to that list!  I LOVE art from etsy because its unique, its personal and sometimes they can be an inexpensive way to add some art to your walls.  Here are some of my new favorites:

If you like the winsomeness of watercolor, Laura Row Studio is the place to go.  She does some beautiful work of ginger jars, custom pet portraits, landscape and her recent work seems to be a little darker (color-wise, not theme-wise) and I’m loving all of it!

For inexpensive abstract art, Celine Printables is a good way to fill up some of those voids in your gallery wall.  Not everything on your should be loud and patterned, honestly that would just be a little overwhelming.  Sometimes, a little abstract pattern goes a long way toward mellowing down a wall and drawing your eye to the brighter pieces, while simultaneously providing it a place to rest.  Celine Printables is a instant download site meaning you’ll need to take your print somewhere to get printed but for $5 a print, its a great deal.

Another inexpensive instant download store is Melinda Wood Designs.  She does abstract geometric type art, plant and cacti photography (who doesn’t love a good cactus!) .  In fact, we have her modern mountains on our kitchen shelf right now and we’ll be adding on some cacti prints because every single cactus I’ve ever owned has died on me so I’ll be sticking to prints from now on.

Last and most certainly not least, we have one of my absolute favorites: Janet Hill Studio.  Janet Hill is amazing.  Her art is quirky, very 1950s and it always adds that needed pop of color to a room.  Everyone and I mean everyone who has seen her art in my home always ask – who’s that piece by?  Check her out, you won’t regret it!

Have fun collecting!

Counter Stools Roundup for under $310

We are in the midst of getting quotes for a small kitchen remodel – new countertops, sink and faucet, under cabinet lighting (still a maybe!) and a backsplash.  As part of this kitchen reno, I wanted to get new counter stools.  We got our original saddle back counter stools from Target 5 years ago and they are slightly worse for the wear.  We use them A LOT.  The island is just one of those gathering spaces that we eat at, we work at or we just doodle at.  One of our Target stools now has a loose leg and we  use it as a little side table in our loft area.  The other good stool is sitting all alone at our kitchen island and we figured its time she retired.

I personally LOVE the Cherner counter stools.  I mean just look at these beauties!  There’s something so sculptural about it yet its elegant and warm and fits right into a variety of kitchens.  I’ve read that they are incredibly comfortable and sturdy too.  $800 a stool however may be a little out of my price range.

Image Source

 

But what the Cherner stool has helped me do is to really narrow down what we want in a counter stool:

  1. Natural brown tones –  our kitchen island is a dark java and we want a stool that will stand out against it enough but not so much like a white or colored stool.  At the same time, we are getting white quartz countertops (most probably Torquay by Cambria) so a brown tone would help warm things up against the coldness of the stone.
  2. It has to have some kind of architectural sculptural feel to it.  Granted this requirement is a little more vague but it should evoke something when you look at it.
  3. No thick padded stools – somehow those remind me of a more traditional kitchen and that’s definitely not a look we are going for.
  4. In line with number 3, we definitely want something modern looking.

After much researching, we finally settled on either wood or leather stools.  Price wise we are looking at about $300 tops – we did find one that was $310 which is why the title of this blog post is so weird.  Here’s our final 8.  (As an aside, I think I’m driving Kristen nuts with these counter stools selections – we started with at least 16 and have now reduced it to 8).  We can’t buy our stools before our countertops get here, but tell me which ones do YOU like?

Counter Stool Round Up All.001

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

5 | 6 | 7 | 8 |

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Gallery Wall Ideas: How to Find Free Art to Fill a Gallery Wall

Raise your hands if you love a gallery wall – I certainly do but sometimes getting pictures and artwork to fill a gallery wall can be frustrating and expensive.  When we first started out with our first gallery wall in our loft, we knew we wanted a blue-ish theme but while we had purchased some artwork, we didn’t quite have enough for an entire gallery wall.  While yes artwork should be purchased slowly and only when you really find something you like and fits in (more…)

Favorite Etsy Artists

Favorite Etsy Artists

Part of interior design is filling your home with art and I truly believe that art makes a house a home.  You may not know this about me, but I love to paint.  In fact, many of the pieces we have at home right now are originals painted by me!  Originals that only Kristen would buy, but hey, at least I can tout that I have originals!  I’d had hope to show some of my art in this post but everything is packed in boxes right now!  Well, just gives me an excuse to dedicate to whole post to home made art!

All that said, I love browsing Etsy for art because it is not only affordable, its by someone who may or may not be a full time artist but more importantly, its by someone who has something unique to say that hasn’t been pushed through galleries or mass printing.  Sure the Audrey Hepburn canvas from Ikea is nice, but I’d bet a pretty penny that thousands of folks have that hanging on their living room walls.  So here are some of my favorite Etsy artists right now.  I’m definitely teetering over which ones I should buy for the new home – choices choices choices!  I wish I could get them all!

–  Definitely a blogger favorite!  I love her work that uses strong muted colors like blues, blacks and greens.  They stand out well on a neutral wall.  I also love her theme of the hidden face (which is common amongst some of the other Etsy artists I’ve highlighted) – there’s just something mysterious about that draws you in!
–  I first came across Kai Samuel Davis on another blog and fell utterly in love.  His pieces showcase so much movement that it bring life to a wall.  It makes you want to look a little deeper to figure out what’s going on.  Love it!
–  I love David Llyod’s figure abstracts – especially the ones painted from behind (see my love for the hidden face??).  I’m not an art aficionado but there’s just something about his figure paintings that scream sophistication.
–  I hate to beat a dead horse but do you see my obsession with the hidden face?  Add that to my love for hair styles and Elizabeth Mayville is my kind of artist!  I love the neutral backgrounds she uses – all this just makes her subject pop that much more against a neutral wall.  Pair this with some more neutral pieces and you have a really attractive gallery.
–  I actually came across this piece on Framebridge‘s site and I think the quirkiness of this piece would look great in a home office!
–  Young House Love first introduced me to Samantha French and really what’s there not to love?  Its bright, vibrant and the rippling water just makes you wish you owned a pool!  (We don’t own one so we might end up jumping into our bathtub instead!)
–  Again, hooray for the quirky – something that is a little less serious but always beautiful.