Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Little Light Reading

Today at the library where I work I was browsing through a book on decorating I had requested. The book itself, like so many that tout themselves as being romantic in style, was a little heavy on the fluffy linens and putti cherubs. But the subtitle of the book was an eyecatcher for me. In fact, when I read it, I thought "wow...that is a precise, concise description of what I hope to accomplish in our new home.

"Creating Fantasy, Intimacy, and Charm in the Home."

What a great summary of what my desired style is all about!

Anyway, being a library employee and owning a new home, it should come as no surprise to you that I've been checking out and reading interior and exterior design books left and right. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites with you.

Of course there is the previously mentioned book about Magnolia Pearl, A Bit of Velvet and a Dash of Lace. Her interiors go aaaaall the way out there, but I love and admire her style for it.

Another favorite is a book called William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Home. The interiors in this book are truly inspirational. I just wish I could afford the Morris and Voysey print fabrics and wall coverings!

But one of my very favorite sources of inspiration is the design company known as Nell Hill's. Led by Mary Carol Garrity, the store, the books, and the blog are all major sources of inspiration for me. It all started with the book on Christmas decorating, Nell Hill's Christmas at Home. Her juxtaposition of formal with organic and quirky really inspired me. It was from her that I got the idea to take a statue and drape things on it, like Parrish Relics or headwreaths. She decorates her statuary for the holidays, and I just loved seeing how she brought the outdoors in while maintaining a real magic about it.

Other websites and books are geared to a hip and young generation who like a bit of quirk in their decorating, but I've seen very few that manage to still make it look so elegant, or give it such a look of historical context.

Mary Carol's dining room walls are painted a deep dark navy blue, and at Christmas she utilizes that to create tableaus on her table and buffets that resemble mysterious winter forest scenes.
All of the Nell Hill's books are inspirations to me, but I still find myself going back to the Christmas decor one. To me, it includes tips that anyone who wants to meld elegance and classical decor with a bit of whimsy and mystery can use.

A few more pictures from Mary Carol's Nell Hill's blog.

A guest room at the holidays:

Halloween Decor:

A Thanksgiving place setting.
Love the use of a mirror on the front door! (though with our lack of a front stoop roof, not a good idea to blind the cars going by with sun glare)

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