Four Lovely Books

By Kate Riley April 3, 2014

One of my most favorite things to do on a rainy day is curl up with a hot beverage and a great book. I love so many genres but many favorites are books on all things home: interior design, home improvement, or simple recipes and crafts. I’ve added four lovely books to my growing collection of inspirational texts, ones you may consider adding to your library too.

four lovely books


I’ve always admired Paul Lowe and look forward to his seasonal Sweet Paul magazine publications – I interviewed him in 2011 and he was kind enough to answer my questions. His tips on styling stay with me to this day (keep it simple and remember what’s important in the shot!) 

eat and makeI learned last year from his publicist that he was writing a book and I’ve eagerly awaited the arrival of Sweet Paul: Eat & Make, a book all about delicious yet simply prepared food and easy to do kitchen crafts that personalize the home.

The ideas are broken down by times of day, how clever! Find inspirational crafts from a Punch Bowl Pendant to Felted Vases to colorful Coffee Filter Flowers and hidden inside is a story about Paul’s famous Food Styling Kit on page 94, a charming read for sure!  


coffee filter flowers

Savor and prepare recipes for morning, noon, and night from Baked Donuts to Norwegian Meatballs, and the styling in the book is quintessentially Sweet Paul!

norwegian meatballs


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bright bazaar book coverI like to think of Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar as one of my friends from the UK even though we’ve never actually met in person, funny how the blogosphere connects people in that way!

His blog is a such a delightful read and we’ve chatted back and forth via email many times. I look forward to his weekend learned & loved posts and I adore his passion for all things color.

Will is the yin to my neutral yang – in my own home I lean on neutrals as comforting but he coaxes me toward more vibrant hues by encouraging everyone to decorate colorfully in doses large and small.

bright bazaar book

In Will’s new book Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make You Smile Style, he provides many jumping off points for injecting vivid hues that appeal to you into your home. I also identify with his perspectives on travel, how cities and landscapes change throughout the day and a keen eye appreciates it all from the mint rooftops of Paris to the golden hour of tangerine light in New York City.

bright bazaar outside living

It’s in the outdoors where color appears in all its forms, with Will’s book you’ll find tips to embrace it your little corner of your backyard too! 


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I’ve followed Remodelista for years, the blog is wonderful resource and wealth of inspiration for the design obsessed like me.

remodelista book coverThe group’s book came out last year but I finally made the trip to the bookstore to pick up my own copy. Inside you’ll find spreads on 12 beautifully decorated yet distinctly different remodeled homes.

I completely agree with the “rules to live by” manifesto spelled out at the start: classic and livable trumps trendy and transient; yes you should freely mix high and low; texture always makes a room interesting; masculine and feminine elements mix well and benefit from each other; plus several more “Eames meets Etsy” beliefs.


remodelista fully finish

The stories and images are inspirational but what’s really valuable are the resource lists inside. Find out how to assemble your remodeling team, where to spend and where to save, plus a retailer source list for everything from salvage to fixtures.

remodelista where to save



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Jennifer Boles is the author of the blog the Peak of Chic where she shares her daily insights on interior design.

in with the old book cover

I’m really enjoying her book In With The Old: Classic Decor from A to Z which spotlights many design essentials present in stylish interiors.

Inside you’ll find a modern approach to traditional decorating highlighting classics from Acrylic and Bamboo to Zebra Prints. In several chapters you’ll read the history behind iconic designs such as the Klismos chair and Chinoiserie.

Many design favorites are rightfully labeled as classics; you’ll find an homage to satin, portieres, dog paintings, orangeries, checkerboard floors, leopard print, floor screens, and murals within the pages.

peak of chic dog paintings




What design/craft/home decorating books are you enjoying these days?



  1. I must look these up. I’m always looking for new books to read and daydream over. The breakfast featured looks delicious!

  2. I’m trying to integrate more reading (and less TV) into my life — thanks for these great recs!

    xo Lily

  3. I am in the process of re-reading Domino’s book of decorating. It is always nice to revisit old favorites. Thanks for introducing me to Will Taylor’s book and blog. I had never heard of it before and his blog is amazing. I agree with Lily- I am trying to read more and watch less TV!

  4. Thanks for recommending these books! I’m a big fan of the blogs Bright Bazaar and Remodelista too! I read a lot of blogs but very few books I’m afraid, but this post made me want to start reading more!

    The little lotus on the first picture caught my eye! Where does it come from?

    • Hi Alicia, that golden edged lotus is from Marshalls (sister store to HomeGoods) – I have two and I love them!

  5. there is nothing like a beautiful colorful book to make me happy, love the leaf through the heavy paper and dream someday………….
    thanks for sharing

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