Posts Tagged ‘books’

Which Would You Choose: Covered Books or Book Jackets?

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134 This week, I would like to give you a choice about something in YOUR home! Usually on Wednesdays I ask you to help me make up my mind on a design detail for my new house – which hopefully will be ready to unveil some time in the new year!

But this week, I’m curious about which you would choose in your own home: books that are covered to coordinate with the decor of the room, or leaving books in their usual book jackets. I already know which one I will choose for my living room, but I also know it’s a controversial choice.


I prefer to design my bookshelves as part of the overall composition of the space – so covering the books is not a trend for me, it’s something I like to do to keep the design continuity going in the room! I do get that it isn’t a look for everyone. Many people like to pull books off the shelves to read them at a moment’s notice, and that’s harder to do when you can’t see the titles of any of the books!


But I like to keep the books that I want to read – and I am a BIG reader – closer at hand. So when we get to another room in my house you’ll see that there I’ll have all of my books uncovered. In the living room for my new house, though, I want the space to be sleek, serene, restful. So in this room, I’m probably going to have many books on the shelves covered in white paper to keep that mood.

So what would YOU choose in your own home? I would love to “uncover” both sides of this question! Let me know in the comments below!









What’s Inspiring TFID?: Books

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It’s time for another edition of “What’s Inspiring TFID?”.  I asked the staff at Tobi Fairley Interior Design to tell me what books are currently inspiring them.  Here’s what they told me:

Brooke, VP of Sales & Marketing

“I’m inspired by designer Kathryn Greeley’s new book, The Collected Tabletop.  Her table settings are inspiring!”


Brittany, Designer


“I can’t wait to see the inspiring interiors in Martyn Lawrence-Bullard’s upcoming book Live, Love & Decorate.  He’s bananas!”


Ashley, Jr. Designer

“I get so much inspiration from Kelly Wearstler’s Modern Glamour.  She’s fabulous.” 


Kathryn, Jr. Designer

“The photography in Slim Aarons’ La Dolce Vita is inspiring my dreams of future travel.”


Margaret, Office Manager

 “In My Passion for Design by Barbra Streisand, I’m especially inspired by the vintage streetscape of rooms Barbra has created in her basement!”


Bart, Warehouse Manager

“This fall I’m headed to Biloxi, Mississippi, for the Fall Muster Festival.  In preparation I’m getting inspired by various Civil War history books.  On a design note, Beauvoir: A Walk Through History, takes a look at the home the historic home of Jefferson Davis.


Landon, Designer

“As the resident Anglophile here at TFID, one is taking a very brief holiday across the channel to join ‘it’ Brit girl Kathryn Ireland for a bit of French inspiration with Summers in France.”



The ever-chic Mary McDonald is the still holding my attention with her amazing book Mary McDonald: The Allure of Style.

What book is inspiring you right now?



Book-filled Rooms

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(Canadian House and Home via Full House)

Books aren’t trendy, they are classic. Decorating with them never goes out of style though the way they are styled changes with the years.  I love this image from Canadian House and Home’s Trends Issue for 2011. The collection of books is just as yummy as the rich teal paint that covers the room.

Here are more of my favorite book-filled interiors.

(Patricia Gray Blog)


(Habitually Chic)

(Habitually Chic)

(Elle Decor)

(Elle Decor)







(Habitually Chic)

(Cym Lowell Blog)

(Brown Button)

(Kelly Wearstler)



(Design Sponge)



(Patricia Gray Blog)

(Tobi Fairley)

I’d love to hear which rooms are your favorites and why. I especially love dining rooms filled with books. Maybe because it’s unexpected. Or maybe because I love a great book as much as I love a great meal! 

Looking for a few new books to read and fill your shelves this year? Check out my 2011 reading list and my all-time favorite books in my January Travel and Leisure feature.

Happy Reading and Happy New Year!

La Colina – Bunny’s Caribbean Retreat

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Translated as “the hill,” La Colina overlooks the beautiful Caribbean sea.  Bunny Williams and her husband John Roselli, built this classically-inspired home in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  It was after visiting their friend Oscar de la Renta there throughout the years, that they chose this location.

Modeled after the raised cottages of the American South, Bunny enlisted the help of classical architect, Ernesto Buch.

The master bedroom has the most amazing turquoise Venetian plaster walls.  Designed for outdoor living, each bedroom has French doors which lead onto the veranda.

The crisp white gentleman’s bathroom walls are contrasted nicely with an ebony chair and mahogany towel stand.  The interior shutters are such a clever touch. 

And remember the beautiful Greek temple pool house at Bunny’s Connecticut home?  Here’s her coastal version.  Margarita, por favor!

You can read more about La Colina in Bunny Williams’ Point of View.
Only a few hours remain.  Get entered into the book giveaway by leaving a comment below.  The drawing will be at noon CST today!   Good luck!

An Affair with a House

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Bunny Williams has been having an affair with her lovely Connecticut home for 30 years.  In her book, she chronicles the time she has spent renovating, decorating and entertaining in this place she calls Manor House.  Affair is written like the personal diary of her life with this house, it’s furnishings and the people who have visited over the years.

Reading the book, we find out stories about the wonderfully layered interiors.  Bunny talks about how the rooms came together and where she found the beautiful objects that fill them.  Quite amusing is Bunny’s recollection of her DIY wallpapering of the dining room.
The home becomes a frequent hub of entertaining on the weekends as Bunny and her friends flee the city for a bit of respite in the country.  Imagine the beautiful tablescapes she creates with all of this!  Who wouldn’t love to have a storage closet filled with all of this silverware, linens and candles?
Making your way through the book, the places to chat, relax, nap and read seem endless.  The entire property has an unbelievable atmosphere of relaxation.  Bunny likes reading and sipping iced tea on one of these chaises.  I can see why!
It’s quite apparent an avid gardener lives here.  Everywhere one looks there are spectacular displays of nature’s beauty.  From formal, vegetable, cutting and woodland, it seems Bunny has just about every type of garden spread across twelve beautiful acres.
This has to be the most fabulous pool house I have ever seen!  Inspired by a drawing Bunny found in a book about 18th-century garden follies, the Greek-style temple boasts columns made of tree trunks.  And that beautiful textural surface on the pediment?  Pinecones!  The lovely limestone coping surrounding the pool was found in a stonecutter’s lot in the south of France.
An Affair With a House is an absolutely amazing read.  Bunny Williams has created her own bit of heaven at Manor House.  How lucky her house guests must feel to spend a weekend there!
And don’t forget, I am giving away an autographed copy of An Affair With A House this Friday at noon CST.  Simply leave a comment below to be automatically entered into the contest!