Friday, November 6, 2009

Books that inspire me ~ to get creative, hunt for the treasure, explore the out-of-doors, comfy up my home, and more

Recently I was inspired by a book called MaryJane's Outpost to suggest to my local library that they allow patrons to make book recommendations. They said, Sure, go ahead and put together a list! So I did. I thought I would share my book list with you. I came up with a dozen titles, and in this posting, I'll share the first six.

The theme for my selection of books is
Living well: at home and (occasionally) outside.

Some of my favorite books are decorating books. I especially love decorating with antiques and vintage goodies, and I like looking at lots of colorful photos of rooms and houses. My book list includes books about decorating, some with practical how-to's and recipes, and one with display ideas. But my list also includes books that just help me live better – by cooking up good foods, eliminating clutter, and getting outside to enjoy the beauty around me. These books all inspire me for different reasons. I hope you'll find some inspiration here, as well.

1. MaryJane's Outpost: Unleashing your inner wild
Love this book! This was the book that gave me the idea of having patrons recommend library books – I guess I needed to share it. MaryJane's Outpost is written by MaryJane Butters, a 50-something grandma who has spent a large portion of her life playing and working in the out-of-doors. There's lot of inspiration to be found here, everything from outdoor activities to decorating to cooking. She even shows us how to make jewelry out of fishing lures. I especially liked the vintage photos and old advertisements. This book is fun and fabulous!

2. Bazaar Style: Decorating with market and vintage finds
Selina Lake & Joanna Simmons
When I first read the subtitle, I thought it meant flea market – and it sort of does, but these decorating ideas really come from all different types of markets around the world, including French brocantes and Moroccan bazaars. The book uses photos of real homes, which is a nice change from the overly stylized rooms we see so often in some decorating magazines. The colors are bright and cheerful, and anyone can get this look, even on a tight budget. Inspiring to look at, even if you don't want to change a thing in your home.

3. Good Things: A collection of inspired household ideas and projects
Martha Stewart
This Martha Stewart book was published 12 years ago, but the ideas stand up to the test of time. I have mixed feelings about Martha's projects in general – they are a little too perfect to suit my offbeat tastes – but there are some ideas here that I like and could see myself doing, including sending the box of leaves (a perfect gift for my friends in Savannah) and making the floating apple candleholders.

4. The Art of Display: Creating style with decorative objects
Katherine Sorrell
I've lost track of the number of times I've checked out this book. I like browsing the photos that show how to display everything from the sublime (silk kimono) to the ridiculous (a fireplace entirely covered in little seashells).

5. Party Basics for New Nesters: More than 100 fresh ideas for holidays and every day
Maria McBride
I've lived on my own for 30 years, so I'm obviously not in the target audience for this book, but I like it anyway. The candy bar idea is just right for Halloween, although I suggested it recently to a friend who is getting married, since I think it could be a fun idea for a wedding reception too.

6. Love It or Lose It: Living clutter-free forever
Barbara Hemphill & Maggie Bedrosian
This falls into the "if only" category. I am a pack rat who is trying to reform, and I need all the help I can get. This will likely be one of those books I return to again and again.

Do any of these books look interesting to you? What books do you read when you want a little inspiration for making life more comfortable? Please leave a comment with your thoughts! Thanks for visiting, and stop back soon to see Part 2 of Books that inspire me.

1 comment:

Silke said...

What great books, Beth! I think I have one of those - the Martha book - I think a present from you one year... ;) I find I look at magazines, some decorating books, or on blogs. And sometimes I find that I look at books like Simple Abundance, which put into that space of appreciating the simple things in life. Sometimes that's all I need to feel more comfortable in the moment... Great post - so inspiring!! Love, Silke