#1: Downtown Chic by Robert and Cortney Novogratz of Sixx Design
I was the kind of little girl who asked for books for Christmas instead of Barbies. I still get excited when there are books for me under the tree! One of the perks of blogging is that publishers sometimes send me books to review.
Last week I received a copy of Downtown Chic, written by the talented husband and wife design team from Sixx Design (a name inspired by their six children–a seventh has since arrived!). They discovered their love of renovating and designing when they bought their first home in downtown Manhattan–a crumbling townhouse that needed a total makeover.
Their book showcases their work with lots of big, beautiful photos. Downtown Chic would be the perfect gift for someone who likes modern, clean rooms that are still practical and comfortable for family life.
#2: The House Always Wins by Marni Jameson
Not only is The House Always Wins filled with helpful advice for the do-it-yourself decorator, but it’s laugh-out-loud funny, too. My favorite combination!
Jameson covers topics like “Why Your House Will Never Look Like a Model” and “Cabinets are Like Cabernet: The More You Know, the More You Spend!”
#3: Inspiring Interiors from the 1950s by C. Eugene Moore
I can’t get enough of retro rooms, so I love books like these that reprint photos of what was considered good design in decades past. I got this one for Christmas last year, and it’s really a kick to look through.
#4: Creating a Beautiful Home by Alexandra Stoddard
I was so inspired by this book when I was a newlywed decorating my first house that I must’ve read it a hundred times. The poor book is dog-eared now, with passages underlined and notes scribbled in the margins.
Stoddard gives refreshing advice like, “Do what seems right for you,” and “Be as genuine as you can so that your possessions will move with you wherever your life brings you.” Whenever I need a little inspiration and encouragement, this book always delivers for me.
#5: House Lust: America’s Obsession with Our Homes by Daniel McGinn
This is the book that changed my life. Changed. My. Life. I got it for Christmas in 2007 and couldn’t put it down. Written by Newsweek writer Daniel McGinn, it’s an entertaining investigation into America’s fascination with real estate.
When I read House Lust, I realized I wasn’t the only person who is slightly obsessed with houses. When I finished the book, I said out loud, “I’m totally hooked on houses. I should start a blog about that!” And so I did.
What are your favorite “house books”?
Thanks for the book list! I’ve already had House Lust Saved on Amazon.com for when it becomes available again and now I’ve got both Marni Jameson’s books on my wish list. Her new one “House of Havoc” seems to be right up my alley! Thanks for introducing me to these great books and authors, I can’t wait to read them! By the way thanks for the link to Marni’s blog, I really enjoyed checking it out too! Have a great Holiday!
I’ve always been an Alexandra Stoddard fan – and the retro book looks like a lot of fun! It puts me of a jokey James Lileks book “Interior Desecrations: Hideous Homes from the Horrible 70’s” which is an all out laugh riot!
.-= LaurelStreet´s last blog ..Dear Homies, please stand as I call your name =-.
Nita Hiltner says
My fav The Illustrated Cottage by Nina Williams. It is gorgeous. And it’s a little house, I believe in Colorado, that is French inspired, with her French countryside murals throughout. It is a MUST have.
I also love all the French Style books that come out twice a year by Meredith and all the Charles Faudree books.
Art by Karena says
I have so many art books, and few house books. I would love to start though (maybe Santa) There are so many good ones! Happy Holidays!
.-= Art by Karena´s last blog ..Season of Love & Joy =-.
Angela (Cottage Magpie) says
Love this post–I’ve already showed it to my husband with the “hint, hint” tone of voice. My son was watching all of this and told me to tell you that your site is “neat.” 🙂 You’re the best!
.-= Angela (Cottage Magpie)´s last blog ..Happy Thanksgiving =-.
Amanda @ Serenity Now says
Great list!! I haven’t read any of these…wonder if it’s too late for me to add to my Christmas list? I’ve always been excited about books under the tree too. I just now paused to wonder if that was weird. Is it??!
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..False Advertising =-.
Jocelyn Stott says
I LOVE the look of that first one. Very beautiful. So bight and cheery.
.-= Jocelyn Stott´s last blog ..My Christmas Wish =-.
Downtown chic is one of my favorites. It’s so awesome, it’s one of three that gets a special place on my nightstand. I have to have it close! Cheers. xoxo
.-= RLG´s last blog ..My Happy Kitchen =-.
Paula Grace says
Thanks for the list! I’ll check them out. Happy holidays!
.-= Paula Grace´s last blog ..What am I going to make? =-.
Jane @ Beach House says
My favourite (apart from the Blurb book I made for my relatives last year about Beach House) is Michael Ruhlman’s House: A Memoir about renovating a house and the cost – financial and emotional
.-= Jane @ Beach House´s last blog ..Big Blue Sectional Reveal =-.
Mom in High Heels says
I really enjoyed book #2. I can’t say that I have a favorite house book, but I love looking through all the ones I’ve drug home from the library.
.-= Mom in High Heels´s last blog ..The lonliest holiday =-.
Thanks for the book recs. I’m going to have to check out House Lust. Not only does it look like a great book, but it brought YOU to us. Have a Merry Christmas, Julia!
I do a lot of my own home repairs, so most of my house books are how-to-fix-it’s, but these look awesome! I think Downtown Chic might just describe my decorating style; I’ll have to put it on my Amazon wish list.
House Lust looks like a book I read this summer called Sex and Real Estate.. I took this to Vancouver on vacation this summer. Coming back into the U.S. I left my Swiss army knife in my carryon and had my stuff hand searched by the TSA. Before I realized why they were searching my bag, they pulled out Sex and Real Estate and the TSA agent had me describe what it was about to him. Good times.
Nita Hiltner says
Here is a link to The Illustrated Cottage
E. George says
Hi Julia we are all very thankfull that you started this blog. My choice of home decor books – French Country Living by Caroline Clifton-Mogg and Home creative interiors for everyday living but you will be happy to know I just ordered Downtown Chic I can’t wait till it arrives thank you for that. I’ve been watching the news it looks mighty cold, crispy and white over your side of the planet brrrrrr… Hope your Christmas is Merry and Bright and I hope Santa brings you what your heart desires… Regards and Best Wishes from Esther in Sydney with lots of aircons. on…..
[email protected] View on Design says
great books, thanks for the recommendations…
.-= [email protected] View on Design´s last blog ..Mosman Park perfection =-.
[email protected] Porch Musings says
Looks like a great list!
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Julia!
.-= [email protected] Porch Musings´s last blog ..~Merry Christmas~ =-.
Jen @ After The Alter says
Thank you for the suggestions! Sometimes I look at books and feel jealous of what I CAN’T do..lol but they do give great ideas!
.-= Jen @ After The Alter´s last blog ..Bodily Functions? What Is Inappropriate? =-.
Great list! I have been wanting the first book and I will definitely get it now. I love the Vicente Wolfe books and the Margaret Russell book. I cannot remember the names and I am not home to look up the names but will return another time with those name.
.-= Charlie´s last blog ..Happy Holidays =-.
My favorite all time house book is An Affair with a House by Bunny Williams. I reread it cover-to-cover each year.
Now, I need to check out the books you mentioned!
Another great post! I’m making notes to add to my Amazon wishlist…
I love Alexandra Stoddard, too – I had the good fortune to meet & speak with her at a book signing: Open Your Eyes is one of my personal favorites. I have also enjoyed Home Sweet Home by Mary Engelbreit.
Happy New Year!
Thank you! Love Sixx Design’s show and their family!
Best regards from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
.-= Mapiurka´s last blog ..Aprovechá la promoción hasta agotar stock!! =-.
Favorite housebooks are French, English, Italian interiors which are not matchy-matchy, not blindingly white, feature wonderful antiques with original finishes, antique textiles, tasteful clutter, non-posh gardens with antique garden furniture, with some great modern art and furniture to give the mix an edge. Not “decorated”.