Book shelf: Versailles and other Grand Designs

Versailles Grand Design header

One of the big perks of being a design blogger is that publishers send me some pretty great design books. Hefty, gorgeous coffee table books. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I do receive these books as complimentary press copies, but I only write posts on the books I like. I’ve previously called these … Read more

Book Review: HABITAT: The Field Guide to Decorating by Lauren Liess

  I’ve long been a fan of decorator and blogger Lauren Liess so was excited for her when she announced her first book was in the works. Titled HABITAT: The Field Guide to Decorating, the book was officially published by Abrams last week and it’s really fantastic. Five years ago we interviewed Lauren on The … Read more

Martha does Bats!

click on image to enlarge My good friend Brian Lies‘ book “Bats at the Library” was featured as a “Good Thing” on Martha Stewarts’ show today! Martha made Brian’s bat craft on air and showed illustrations from the book. Everybody in the audience got a copy of the book. She even had her designers make … Read more

Domino comes to the hinterlands!

I’ve been reading (with envy) all the posts around the Domino: Book of Decorating launch parties that have been held recently. From the New York design elite to the LA party chez Wearstler – this book is making the rounds! So, finally, the Domino gals – Dara Capanigro (whom I interviewed least year) and Domino … Read more

Book Review: French Chic

The lovely folks at Rizzoli sent me an advance copy of Florence de Dampierre‘s new book “French Chic – The Art of Decorating Houses”. And I must say it – ooh la la! Florence de Dampierre is an interior designer and decorative arts historian. Her book gives us a room by room tour of her … Read more

Book Review: A novel idea

I was sent two novels this summer that are “industry based” and the results were mixed. I was so looking forward to “Die, Decorator, Die” by Franklin H. Levy with Pheonix Books. It’s about the cutthroat (literally) world of decorators, and it’s set in Boston! Well, what could be better than to be a Boston-based … Read more

Silver Screen Surroundings: Outlander, S1E8, Both Sides Now

“I’ve looked at love from both sides now…” as the song goes. This weeks 8th episode of Outlander marked the “mid-season finale” of Season 1, which won’t return until April with eight more episodes covering Book 1 (also called Outlander) of the now eight book series. Starz has already announced their commitment to Season 2 … Read more

Howard Slatkin’s “Fifth Avenue Style” Where more is more and design lessons abound

One of my favorite books of late 2013 is “Fifth Avenue Style” by interior designer, and fabulous Instagram user, Howard Slatkin, published by The Vendome Press. The book, shot by Tria Giovan, focuses on Howard’s own New York apartment and is a feast for the eyes. First, let me say that this book was the … Read more

Book Review: Martyn Thompson’s WORKING SPACE

  Working Space: An Insight into the Creative Heart Hardie Grant, 2013), takes a journalistic approach to showcasing the work spaces of 24 creatives from different fields of endeavor. Martyn Thompson, who hails from Australia with stop-overs in Paris and London, has been in the States for 14 years. His photography has been seen in … Read more


  Candice Olson Favorite Design Challenges (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013). Fans of HGTV’s Divine Design will love this 200+ page book featuring 24 projects that faced particularly difficult challenges of space, multi-use needs and more. Each project includes “before” photos, a materials board, Candice’s had renderings and beautiful large “after” photos, along with Candice’s signature … Read more

Book Review: HEIRLOOM MODERN by Hollister Hovey, photos by Porter Hovey

I’m very lucky to be on the press list for some of our favorite publishers of shelter books, but sometimes I get a little backlogged in my reading and reviewing. So, welcome to Book Week on ::Surroundings::! photo via Hollister Hovey Heirloom Modern: Homes filled with objects bought, bequeathed, beloved, and worth handing down written … Read more