Read Across America Day

Reading together is a wonderful way to spend quality time with children, exploring the world through books.

Today is the National Education Association’s annual Read Across America Day.  Traditionally celebrated in conjunction with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, RAA aims to promote literacy and a love of reading by encouraging educators, parents, and communities by participating in a week of special activities.  Classrooms around the country will spend the week with some extra focus on the enjoyment of reading.  Helping children grow into lifelong readers with critical thinking skills means instilling in them a love of books at a young age.  If reading is fun and interactive, children are more likely to continue to enjoy reading into adulthood.

There is nothing quite like cuddling up with your children and some great books at the end of a long day.  Reading together is a wonderful way to spend quality time exploring the world through books.  Whether you laugh together over a silly story or inspire conversation that continues after the last page has been turned, when you read with your children you connect with them, strengthen your relationship, broaden their minds, and teach them to associate books with strong positive feelings.

In honor of Read Across America Day, I’d like to share some of the books my daughters and I enjoy together.  Maybe you will find something new to share with a child in your life!

1.  The Day the Crayons Quit:  Our all time favorite book, and not just because I love color but also because I love listening to my children laugh and giggle, especially when we get to the nude crayon.

The Day the Crayons Quit
The Day the Crayons Quit

2.  Iggy Peck Architect and Rosie Revere Engineer:  Both of these are absolutely well written and beautifully illustrated.  Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere never give up and teach that when something fails, you have to try again.

Iggy Peck Architect
Iggy Peck Architect
Rosie Revere Engineer
Rosie Revere Engineer

3.  We Are in a Book!  Anything written by Mo Willems is a hit in our house.  Elephant & Piggie bring more giggles and great interaction between the children.  We also can’t forget the Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems.

We Are in a Book
We Are in a Book!

4.  Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride  A great chapter book for your kids.

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride
Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride

5.  Dear Mr. Blueberry  An adorable story of a young girl named Emily and her teacher, Mr.Blueberry, who exchange letters during the summer about a whale in her pond.  This is a joy to read, so sweet and innocent!

Dear Mr. Blueberry
Dear Mr. Blueberry

6.  Pete the Cat  Mikayla, my youngest daughter, loves the rhyming and song throughout the Pete the Cat series of books.

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses

7.  Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon  Molly Lou Melon leaves you believing in being the best you can be and loving who you are.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

8.  National Geographic Readers  Olivia, our 8 year old, absolutely loves these biographies from National Geographic.  They make it so easy and interesting for children to learn about history.

Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart
Anne Frank
Anne Frank

Do you have favorite books to read with the children in your life?

 

 

 

 

 

New Design Books

Over the weekend, I picked up three great new design books.

Over the weekend, I picked up three great new design books.  I can’t wait to delve more deeply into them!

The first one is Suzanne Kasler: Timeless Style.  This is her second book and it beautifully demonstrates her skill at creating layered interiors with wonderful details.

Suzanne Kasler Timeless Style

I also bought Simply Serene by Thomas Pheasant.  He has such a sophisticated way of designing!

Thomas Pheasant Simply Serene

The third book I added to my collection is Tom Scheerer Decorates.  Tom Scheerer has such a relaxed approach to his interiors, illustrating a well-lived life with so many layers.

Tom Scheerer Decorates

Have you discovered any must-have design books lately?

 

Cover image via Burlap and Crystal

 

 

Louis Vuitton Travel Books

While browsing around Architectural Digest’s website recently, I came across a description of a new series of travel books from Louis Vuitton.

While browsing around Architectural Digest‘s website recently, I came across a description of a new series of travel books from Louis Vuitton.  Each book in the series consists of full-color artwork showing a visiting artist’s vision of the area.

The four books in the series.
The four books in the series.

The books in the series feature Easter Island, New York City, London, and Paris.  Each book is filled with beautiful prints detailing a different artist’s perspective.  The Easter Island book contains the work of American artist Daniel Arsham.  Congolese artist Cheri Samba created the prints in the Paris book, while art by Matsko Seki from Japan illustrates the London travel book.  In the New York City book, we see this iconic city from the eyes of French artist Jean-Philippe Delhomme.  Each book demonstrates a distinct style and unique outlook.

Matsko Seki's illustration of the Tower of London.
Matsko Seki’s illustration of the Tower of London.
New York City as seen by Jean-Philippe Delhomme
New York City as seen by Jean-Philippe Delhomme
London's Bank of England by Matso Seki.
London’s Bank of England by Matso Seki.
Paris, by Cheri Samba.
Paris, by Cheri Samba.

Any of these books, or the whole set, would make great gifts or beautiful coffee table books.  For pricing and ordering information, visit the Louis Vuitton website.

Coffee Table Books

Beautiful books are decorative and say something about your interests.

Coffee table books make great gifts!  They are also a good way to fill shelves without using a lot of trinkets.  Beautiful books are decorative and say something about your interests.  I have tons of interior design books, which isn’t surprising, but someone else might gravitate toward books on fashion, travel, photography, art, nature, or gardening.  Coffee table books come in an array of sizes and colors, making it possible to find a beautiful book on a subject you love that also fits well with your interior.  To display coffee table books, you can stack them, lay them side by side, or simply leave out one book at a time.  Your collection will tell an interesting story.  Here are some of my favorite coffee table books to get you inspired!

1.  Rothko:  An amazing introduction to Rothko’s work!

2.  Abstract Expressionism:  A beautiful look at the abstract expressionism movement in NY following World War II.

3.  Andy Warhol:  Features the life and work of the iconic Andy Warhol.

4.  The Art Book:  A fun, accessible compilation of artists from medieval times to present day.

5.  The Little Black Jacket:  Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld’s reinterpretation of Chanel’s iconic little black jacket.

6.  Cabinet of Natural Curiosities:  Gorgeous displays of natural wonders!

7.  Dealer’s Choice:  Lush photos of homes belonging to the world’s foremost anitquaires.

8.  Big Book of Chic:  A lavish book featuring Miles Redd’s unique designs.

9.  Cohler on Design:  Cohler’s classic interiors interspersed with amazing inspirational design images.

10.  Marilyn Monroe:  Text from Normal Mailer’s biography of Marilyn along with Bert Stern’s incredible photography.  I am so fortunate to have an edition of this book from my mother.

11.  A Photographer’s Life:  Everyone should have at least one book by Annie Leibovitz!

12.  Alexander McQueen:  Savage Beauty:  A look at the full breadth of McQueen’s amazing career.

13.  Woman in the Mirror:  Richard Avedon’s poetic portraits of women.

14.  By the Light of the Sea:  Always a go-to book!

15.  Slim Aarons:  Once Upon a Time:  Influential photos of the rich and famous in their exclusive surroundings.

What kind of story do your coffee table books tell?

Peter Beard

I fell in love with Peter Beard’s photography when I saw his work in a client’s home.

I fell in love with Peter Beard’s photography when I saw his work in a client’s home.  The images themselves are beautiful and striking, but each piece is surrounded by a fascinating collage of handwritten memories, found objects such as feathers, and colorful, dramatic swatches of ink.  His work elicits excitement at the thought of being so close to these incredible animals.

Born in New York in 1938, Peter Beard traveled to Africa as a young man first in 1955 and again in 1960.  He later returned to Kenya and worked in Tsavo National Park, photographing the demise of thousands of elephants and rhinos.  Dismayed at the mass hunting of these animals for sport and the lack of conservation and regulation at the time, Beard published two The End of the Game books.  He was ahead of his time in drawing attention to hunting for sport without limit or consequence.  The End of the Game is a great collection of images and a book I love to put on coffee tables.

Peter Beard’s work appeals to me not only because it is real, but because the layered, collage effect of mixed mediums brings a textural experience to his art.  His use of these mediums is clever and fascinating to me, making each image seem like a personal memory from his own journals.  Although the photos are mainly from the 1960’s and 1970’s, his work is still prominent and quite impressive.  You could curate a room room around this stunning photography.

Not all of Peter Beard’s photos focus on animals and people he encountered during his time in Africa.  A rather privileged young man with a trust fund and host of interesting celebrities as friends (including Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa), he once turned his lens on the iconic Jacqueline Kennedy in Greece where, he says, he taught her how to properly use a camera. To see more examples of Peter Beard’s work and publications, or to learn more about his fascinating life, visit his website or find him on Facebook.

More Must-Have Books

Earlier this year, I blogged about must-have books on interior design. Today I’d like to present a second list of must-have books!

Earlier this year, I blogged about must-have books on interior design.  Today I’d like to present a second list of must-have books!  These are great books for fall, mainly featuring iconic designers offering up new inspiration.  Others, like GAIA, are beautiful coffee table books to dress up a room or give as gifts.  Some of these are new and some are available for pre-order.

I’m sure as the new year arrives and trends come and go, I’ll have more fabulous titles to add to my must-have list!  What’s on your reading list or coffee table right now?

Interiors Atelier AM
By the Light of the Sea
Cy Twombly: Fifty Years Of Works On Paper
Barbara Barry, Around Beauty
The Age of Elegance: Interiors by Alex Papachristidis
GAIA
Thom Filicia: American Beauty: Renovating and Decorating a Beloved Retreat
Sandra Nunnerley Interiors: A Global Sensibility
Darryl Carter: The Collected Room: Rooms with Style, Grace, and History

Must-Have Books

Any bookstore or website you visit is sure to have an overwhelming number of design books to choose from, but which ones are worth your time and money?

Books about interior design are definitely not hard to find.  Any bookstore or website you visit is sure to have an overwhelming number of design books to choose from, but which ones are worth your time and money?

I’d suggest you start with the designers you love.  Whose work speaks to you and reflects your own style best?  If he or she has a book, it will probably be a good investment.  You can also check out your favorite design magazines for book suggestions and reviews to get an idea where to start.  Finally, following interior design blogs or websites will introduce you to books others have found inspiring and useful.

On that note, I’d like to share some of my favorite books by incredible designers.  These invaluable resources contain so much creativity and inspiration, from the overall themes down to the smallest details.

Katie Ridder Rooms by Heather Smith McIsaac, photographs by Eric Piasecki.
Jeffrey Bilhuber: Defining Luxury: The Qualities of Life at Home
Traditional Now: Interiors by David Kleinberg
Hue by By Kelly Wearstler
Mary McDonald: Interiors: The Allure of Style
Dealer’s Choice: At Home with Purveyors of Antique and Vintage Furnishings