In the BNOTP Library: Decorating Secrets by Mary Carol Garrity

I believe I have every book Mary Carol Garrity has ever written. I was thinking today, I wish she would do one on Halloween decorating. Mary Carol, I hope you see this!

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In the BNOTP Library: Decorating Secrets
Author: Mary Carol Garrity

Decorating Secrets by Mary Carol Garrity

3 Things I Like About This Book:

  • In this book, Mary Carol is taking us under her wing and sharing the decorating secrets she’s learned from years and years of designing beautiful rooms for the lucky customers who live close enough to visit her store, Nell Hill’s in Atchison, Kansas. One of these days, I’m taking a road trip and heading that way. Ummm, maybe this spring, although I love, love, love all the looks she creates for winter, especially her cozy beds. I digress, I’m supposed to be telling you why I love this book! πŸ™‚ Remember this door that I’ve shared here at BNOTP? This book starts off with this picture of Mary Carol’s front door at her previous home (she moved recently) under the chapter “First Impressions” and the book just gets better and better. If you’re looking for some new and inspiring ideas for your front door, you’ll find them here.

Mary Carol Garrity's Front Door with Basket


  • Other chapters in this book are: The Nell Hill’s Approach, A Place to Relax, A Gracious Setting, The Garden Room, Refuge and Retreat and Unlocking the Secrets. It’s dangerous for me to create a Mary Carol Garrity book review post because all I want to do now is forget any plans I had today and go curl up in a comfy chair with this delicious book.
  • Photography is wonderful and feels real. I’m a big fan of books where the rooms look real with soft shadows and a cozy feel, not that slick, cold, no-one-actually-lives-here, magazine look. This book is a wonderful read for fall and winter, a time when we could all use a good dose of cozy. The chapter titled “Gracious Setting” is a delight for those of us who love a beautifully set table. If you love cozy rooms, antiques, and traditional decor that feels fresh and inviting, you’ll love this book!

You can read more about this book and preview it where I normally buy my books here: Decorating Secrets by Mary Carol Garrity

You’ll find previous reviews I’ve shared for other wonderful books by Mary Carol Garity here: Books by Mary Carol Garrity

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You’ll find previously featured books from the BNTOP library here: In The BNOTP Library or just click on the collage below.

In the BNOTP Library

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  1. This looks like a great book. I don’t have hardly any decorating books and need to remedy that! Are you home yet????

    • I am! Just got back on Friday. My body is still trying to adjust to the 6 hours time change. I’m going to bed around 9 or 10 each night and waking up at 4 or 5 AM. I kind of like this new schedule…get a lot done in the wee hours of the morning. lol You’ll love this book, Pinky. Really ANY of Mary Carol’s books are great!

      • I wrote my Master’s thesis between the hours of 4AM and 9AM years ago when that was the only unstructured time in my schedule; long before that, growing up as one of 5 kids in a busy household, I was the early bird because those early hours were so quiet and I loved that. Finally, when I started writing, these same hours proved to be my most creative. If this is your 1st time discovering what some of us already know, enjoy every minute! πŸ™‚

  2. Oooh, have you seen the photos of her “new” (old) home now…a re-designed cabin…or, “luxury cabin!!” She DOES HAVE the flair!! Luv her ideas!! franki

  3. I’m one of those lucky people who live near a Nell Hills store. Even when I don’t buy a thing, a trip to her store provides loads of inspiration. If you take that road trip you’re talking about, let me know. I’ll meet you for lunch!

  4. Susan, I wish she would too. I’m a fan and have each of her beautiful books.
    Welcome home, by the way! ‘-)

  5. Hi Susan, I too have all Mary Carol’s books. I also have been to both her stores one in Kansas City and her original store in Atchison. She often greets her customers and is as nice and friendly as you can imagine. If you take your books she will sign them on the spot.
    I am so enjoying your blog, love your style too. Very real with a touch of the South. Love the product articles. Welcome home!

  6. I’d love to meet you also and live in the KC area. Maybe you could host a lunch or some other get-to-get her.

    • If I ever head that way Kay, I will definitely mention it on the blog. Woudn’t that be fun, if we could all meet there, then go somewhere for lunch afterwards!

  7. Marlene Stephenson says

    Trying to get some of my Christmas shopping done,then i would love to buy all three of her books.I have a cousin in Wichita,Kansas and his wife says she’s heard of her and we could go see her together,well her store and house and whatever else we could find. lol

  8. I read her blog every Monday–I do love her style. I’ve called the store a couple of times to order something, but it was always sold out. I must learn to stop dragging my feet.

    • That happened to me once, too Mia. I would love to see it in person. I bet stuff flies out of there, especially this time of year when folks are getting ready for holiday entertaining and company.

  9. I have been fortunate to visit MCG’s former home in Atchison three times for her tours . I have many photos on my blog of those visits plus many more photos of her store in KC. My son lives about 15 minutes from the Briarcliff store, so I get to visit it periodically. Mary Carol is as sweet as can be. You must make a trip to visit both stores. Each time I go to the store she is there, and she is often helping customers. She is one energetic woman!

  10. I have all of Mary Carol’s books too with the exception of her last one, which I didn’t like quite as well as the others. I love her decorating style and follow her blog and would love to visit her shops. Their new cottage by the lake (Innisfree) is adorable and so cozy and inviting!! My favorite MCG book is, “O CHRISTMAS TREE”, which is beautifully done. Two other “cozy & seasonal” books that I have enjoyed are: “EVERGREEN” by John Grady Burns, Jill Helmer and Kathy Stewart (a MUST HAVE for your library!!) and “WINTER HOUSE” by Charlotte Moss. Both of these are wonderful books that I’ve always treasured. BTW..I love following your blog & library posts!! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks so much, Barbara! Oh, I love Winter House and O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree is such a gorgeous book! Mary Carol really outdid herself on that one, didn’t she. I need to pull that one out to enjoy again over the next few months. I’m going to look up Evergreen right now. It sounds like we have the same taste in decorating and books so thanks for that recommendation!

      • I agree….”O Christmas Tree” is pure eye candy inside and out…. and I especially like the book jacket and tartan inside the cover. (Not sure that matters to anyone else.. but it sets the mood for me! lol) When I ran across it in Books-A-Million the year it came out, I couldn’t wait to get home to read it. This time of year my favorite thing to do in the evening is grab a throw and sit by the fire with a “stack” of seasonal books to enjoy along with a good drink and enjoy these great books all over again!! Cheers!!!

    • Barbara, it looks like he may be located here in Atlanta now…check out this website: Also, he has a new book out coming out on March 1st:
      His book, Evergreen, is actually less expensive ($50) bought directly from his website than it is on Amazon! That’s rare to see, usually Amazon is a better price.

      • Susan, so sorry….After I sent the post about “Evergreen”, I realized that I failed to mention that JGBurns was in Atlanta. When my friend saw my copy she immediately tried to order online and found sticker shock, but like you, went to his website and ordered from there. It is one of the most beautifully illustrated coffee table books that I’ve ever seen. Sure hope you enjoy it as much as I have…. please let me know what you think!!

    • Ohhh, I like this one called Collections, too! I’m in trouble! lol

      • Oh my goodness…. I must have the “Collections” book too. And the new one that is out soon, also looks fabulous. I signed up to receive emails on their future releases which will be great. That’s sure to keep me in trouble for a long time. BTW: One more book that I have that is really great is by Cindy Rinfret and entitled: “Classic Greenwich Style”. Foreword is by Bunny Williams (love her) and her husband, John Rosselli…need I say more, they are the greatest and it is a wonderful book. They also did foreword in “One Man’s Folly” the Houses of Furlow Gatewood… I think you may have recommended this one earlier. It is very good and also a very interesting story. I love winter as it gives me more time to read and enjoy these great books and with rain in forecast this weekend, I’ll be doing just that…happy reading!!

        • I have both those books and LOVE them! Rinfret wrote a sequel or follow-up book to her original, Classic Greenwich Style, book and it’s on my wish list. You can see it here:
          The two of us would be dangerous together, Barbara! lol We definitely have the same taste in decorating/gardening books!

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