Favorite Decorating and Design Books

I started collecting decorating and design books many years ago when I discovered I could buy books online for around the same price (sometimes less) than a magazine.  I still love decorating magazines, but who can resist a great design book for just pennies on Amazon and half.ebay.com.

Recently I added a mini-library along one wall of the office.

IKEA Billy bookcases, bookshelves for the office

I gathered books together from all around the house, including the family room.

Family room with judges paneling

The bedroom…

And the upstairs Family Room …

As Max and I sat looking at all the stacks,

Decorating and Design Books

I knew I needed a plan for organizing them onto the new IKEA Billy Bookcases.  (Here’s a post showing how to assemble the Billy bookcase.

Decorating and Design Books

I found this process exciting and frustrating at the same time.  It was great finally having a place for all my decorating/crafting/sewing/birding/gardening books, but it wasn’t easy deciding just how to organize them.  Do you have a favorite system for organizing your books on your bookshelves?  If you do, I’d love to hear it!

Apparently, there are lots of ways to store and organize books.
1. They can simply be filed onto bookshelves by the authors last name.
2. They can be grouped according to subject matter, and then filed by the author’s last name.  That’s more or less the way the books were organized in the elementary school library where I worked as a Media Parapro for 5 years when my son was in grade school.
3. Some folks group their books according to color: (photo from Pinterest).  I guess if you’re right brained and tend to be very visual, this system just might be the answer.

Book Storage

4. If you aren’t thrilled with all that color, I’ve seen quite a few books throughout Blogland covered with white paper, creating a monotone or tone-on-tone look for the shelves.

This example (from Apartment Therapy) shows books covered in brown craft paper.

Book Storage

5. You can file or stack your books hither and yon on your shelves, in no particular order at all.

6.  Or, hang them from the walls.  Is this not the strangest thing ever?  Umm, I got nothing.  Speechless.  (Photo from Pinterest)

7.  I read some folks even organize their books according to the order they read them during their lifetime, creating a sort of “life diary” on their shelves.  When they glance over their bookshelves, they can remember where they were and what was going on in their life when they were reading a particular book.  I can barely remember what I was doing yesterday…don’t think that system would work too well for me.

I wonder if this bookshelf was made by the same folks who made the fairytale furniture.  (Photo from Pinterest)  Isn’t it a hoot?!

So, how did I end up organizing/shelving my books?  I dedicated one whole Billy bookcase to holding my Birding, Gardening, Crafting, Reference and Art books, grouping them by subject.  The other two Billy bookcases are filled with all my Decorating/Design books, shelved in alphabetical order by the author.

There are a few exceptions.  I’ve grouped all the books about Blue and White Decor together on one shelf.  I’ve grouped all the Christmas Decor books together on another shelf.  Same for all my “porch” books, although I may eventually blend those in with all the regular decor books.  I have a feeling this system will change as I purchase additional books  in the coming years.

What’s the correct way to organize your books?
Answer:  The system that works best for Y.O.U.  If you can place your hand on the book you need, when you need it, then you’ve got a great system.  That’s all that matters.

On My Book Shelf:
I’ve received several comments (and e-mails) requesting I share some of my favorite design/decorating books.  So, I spent the better part of today pulling books off the shelves, grouping them and taking pics.  I love you guys; you ask and I deliver!

My office looks like a book bomb exploded in here.  I’m not kidding.  I’ll be reshelving books for days. lol  I could have just taken pics of the spines, but that really doesn’t show much about the book, and frankly, I think it’s kind of boring.

So, in no particular order, here are a few of my fave design/decorating books. Most are available inexpensively on Amazon or eBay if you see one that grabs your interest.  (Click on any photo to enlarge it for a better view.)

I pretty much love anything Charles Faudree puts his name on.  He has a new book out called Charles Faudree Details.  I haven’t ordered it yet, but I’ve hear from a reliable source that’s it’s good.  (Update…ordered it and it is good.)  I usually don’t buy books until they have been out a little while and have a few reviews posted on Amazon.  I find the reviews are a tremendous help, not so much for the scoring, but for what is actually written in the review.

Books by Author, Charles Faudree

If you’re looking for inspiration for a craft/sewing room, these books are a lot of fun.

I don’t have all of Charlotte Moss’ books, so I can’t speak for all of them, but these three are really good.  The middle one is small, but has some wonderful images….wish it were larger.  You may remember seeing Winter House in THIS previous post about celebrating the winter blues. 🙂

Books by Charlotte Mos

I like pretty much everything by Barbara Milo Ohrbach.  Carolyn Westbrook shares her own personal home in Carolyn Westbrook, Home…and it’s wonderful.  I have found, you can never go wrong with books where the author is sharing their own home.  Those are usually the best books!

Home by Carolyn Westbrook; Tabletops by Barbara Ohrbach

I have quite a few books by Mary Carol Garrity.   Her books always have great decorating ideas that are  simple and can be easily copied.  Her books are reasonably priced, too.

Books by Mary Carol Garrity

Nell Hill’s, O Christmas Tree is also excellent.  I have given this book as a gift several times.

O Christmas Tree by Mary Carol Garrity

A better view of the titles…

Books by Mary Carol Garrity

I love English Country style, so those type books are a big part of my collection.  I just received the one in the center, The English Country House, and it’s huge…484 pages.  It looks great…can’t wait to dig in.  The other two books pictured below are wonderful and can usually be found for a reasonable price on Amazon.

Books on English Country Design

Remember the photo of the bottle tree I shared in THIS post.  It came from the center book, Southern Style.  It was this book that got me dreaming of bottle trees.

I know I keep saying it, but these three are among my very favorite books.   Can’t go wrong with any of them.

Hunt Country Style, Southern Style and Keith Irvine, A Life in Design

I loved this book, An Affair with a House, so much, I’ve never ordered any of the other books Bunny Williams has written.  This is going to sound crazy, but this book was so wonderful, I just didn’t see how she could top or equal it.  So, I just didn’t want to take the risk I’d be disappointed by ordering her more recent books.  Crazy, I know.

Do you have any of Bunny’s other books?  Again, I have found the books where decorators share their OWN homes, like An Affair with a House, are always special…always the best.

An Affair to Remember by Bunny Williams

Mario Buatta was inspired by Colefax and Fowler when he was just starting out.  Since I’m a huge Mario Buatta fan, that was all I needed to know to order these books.  If you like English design, you’ll enjoy both.

Colefax & Fowler

I rarely read a “decorating” book cover to cover.  I did with, Adventures with Old Houses.  If you love old houses, you’ll enjoy these three books.

Books about old historic houses

I’ve been re-reading At Home with Books since I added my mini library to the office.  I’ve had this book for a long time, but I’m on a book high right now with all this newly acquired book storage.  At Home with Books shows some of the most amazing and interesting “home” libraries from all over the world.  And let me tell ya, there are some book-obsessed folks in this world.  I felt almost normal 😉 after reading this book. lol  If you love books and seeing how others care for their books, you’ll enjoy, At Home with Books.

The other two books, American Writers at Home and Writers’ Houses, take us into the homes of  famous authors so we can see where and how they lived while they were writing their most important work.  I get chills whenever I open these books.  Chills.

American Writers at Home, Writers' Houses, At Home with Books

More favorites:

Antiques at Home by Barbara Milo Ohrbach

Even though most of the rooms in my home are decorated in shades of red and green, I broke the design rules and decorated two rooms (Guest room and Upstairs Family Room) in blue and white, with touches of yellow.  If you love Blue and White as much as I do, you’ll love any of these books.

Books about Blue and White Design

I almost never find Carolyn Roehm books discounted as much as I’d like.  About once a year I cave and order one, anyway. They never disappoint.  Her books are filled with gorgeous, breathtaking pictures.  You’ll definitely want to display these on your coffee table…that is if you can put them down long enough.

Books by Carolyn Roehm

Signature Style and Great Traditional Style are super inexpensive on Amazon and they are filled with beautiful images.  Paula Deen’s Savannah Style is wonderful!  Lots of beautiful traditional decor and lots of darling beach cottages…it has it all.

Paula Deen's Savannah Style

Love both these!  Choosing China & Glass has some really stunning images.

Books about China and Glass

Three more of my absolutely favorite books: Antiques for the Table, Modern Antiques for the Table and The Epicurean Collector.

Antiques for the Tabe

More favorites:

Classic Greenwich Style, Cindy Rinfret

I’ve never once been the slightest disappointed with a book written by Lady Henrietta Spencer-Churchill.  Not once.  They are consistently beautiful and filled with stunning rooms.  The two books in the center are my most favorite of these four…but all four are wonderful.

Books by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill

I knew I’d love the book, Patina Style, before I even ordered it.  Brook’s blog, Velvet and Linen, is always a great read and filled with wonderful inspiration.  Patina Style is just as inspiring.  Amazon said they were sold out when I bought my copy, so I had to purchase a used copy.  It came in great condition…looked brand new.  Not sure if it’s still sold out or not.  I guess it’s done very well since it’s sold out…says a lot for the book!

Patina Style by Brooke and Steve Giannetti

Anyone who loves French Country decor has heard of Betty Lou Phillips and most likely owns a few of her books.  Again, she is one of those authors who consistently releases great books that never disappoint.

Books by Betty Lou Phillips

Two more of my fave French Decor books…

Books about French Country Design

Entertaining from an Ethnic Indian Kitchen is written by Komali Nunna.  You may recognize the name because Komali participates in Tablescape Thursday from time to time.  Her book is filled with wonderful recipes, ideas for entertaining and gorgeous photos.

If you love Mottahedeh china and you’ve always wondered about it’s history, this book will take you through the history/creation of this beautiful china.  I received both of these books below as gifts and have really enjoyed them.

I’ve always been a Mary Engelbreit fan, but I had no idea I would love touring her home so much. Home Sweet Home shows you just how Mary lives and it’s as warm, cozy and charming as you would expect.  Leading the Artful Life has (to me) kind of dull looking cover, but the book is nothing like that on the inside.  It’s filled with beautiful interiors decorated in a casual, comfortable style…and there’s lots of wonderful color, so don’t let that cover fool ya.   These books just make you smile when you open them…happy interiors, beautiful interiors.  Mary has a blog, appropriately called, Mary Engelbreit.

Books by Mary Engelbreit

I had been creating tablescapes for about two years here at BNOTP before I ever bought any books on the subject.  Over the past year I’ve ordered several, but to be honest, most have been kind of disappointing.  So many of them have been filled with very formal, really grand table settings for huge galas or events. Southern Lady: Gracious Tables by Phyllis Hoffman is filled with lots of inspiration for everyday dining or for special occasions, formal and informal.

Southern Lady, Gracious Tables by Phyllis Hoffman

The Art of the Table answers a lot of questions about dining etiquette.  It’s not a “picture” book like so many of the others in this post.

Books about entertaining and setting beautiful tables

This post doesn’t include all of my faves…never got to the gardening books, cottage books, Christmas books  or my beloved porch books.  So many books, so little time.

YOUR Favorite Books:
Okay, you can’t leave this post without telling me at least one of your favorite decorating/design books.  I’d love to hear what books you love.  My shelves are yearning for more…please share your faves!

I have to end with this photo I found at Pinterest.  Book lovers are the best.  YaknowwhatImean?

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. oh boy!, i am hyperventilating reading this post. I just love books, and decorating books are at the top of my list!. I'd love to buy more but space and budget restrict for now, however i am going to add a few to my wish list – an affair with a house (as i've looked at that before so to read your review just makes me want it more!), and the Mary Engelbreit ones (love her as well!).
    I have two of your books!. thats another thing i love….seeing if people have the same books as me!(at home with books, and creating a new old house).
    I seriously hope you do a post about the cottage books….i love cottages, and am currently loving Ros Byam Shaw's book 'Perfect English Cottage'.
    I really enjoy your blog, and i love Max, thank you for sharing.

  2. Wow, what a magnificent collection of books. You could open your very own decorating book library. Max looks quite overwhelmed I must say.

  3. Woke up this morning before the boys and hadn't checked your blog since school was out…immediate jealousy over your gorgeous bookcases in your gorgeous office! Everything turned out beautifully. I gave up my office years ago when the in-laws couldn't sleep on the pull-out so we turned it into a guest bedroom. Now we have a third little boy in that room and I occupy a little space in my dh's office. I will live vicariously through you until I get my office back. I was excited to see how many of the same books we have!

  4. Great post, Susan. My favorite is An Affair With A House. I never tire of perusing all of its glory.

    I see many books I am familiar with, and lots of new ones, too. I am afraid that you have enticed me to pay Amazon a visit.

  5. PING….book sales just went up! Goodness…where is my charge card!

  6. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says:

    I never realized how many decorating and design books I had until I put them all in one room, too, Susan! Some of that was thanks to you and your last post on decorating books!

    I have a few of the French books by Betty Lou Phillips {I fell in love with her work in a magazine awhile ago and was thrilled when I had found she had books}. Also have the Mary Carol Garrity books – love them especially for ideas for vignettes and tabletops {got these from your last post on books}. I just got the Where Woman Create books because I am looking for some inspiration for what will be a new craft/creative space for me.

  7. Susan I have a few(very few)of these books.I do love books,I'm not a real big reader,but these kinds of books I really enjoy,and you sure have a great collection,I could just sit over there in that comfy chair and look at 'em over and over.Thanks for sharing your books,I so enjoyed it!

  8. The Real Me! says:

    Okay you know that month long vacation I'm taking? You know the one where I come and stay in your gorgeous guest room? Yeah, that one. I am totally going to raid your bookshelf. Like totally! When's dinner ready? LOL!

    Have a lovely weekend my friend.

  9. The Country Nest says:

    What a great post. I love your whole office, but the bookshelves and all the books, WOW! I want to come and sit in your new chair and read your books. What a wonderful collection you have. Now I want to go to Amazon. Your post is going to cost me.
    Happy Labor day weekend.

  10. Many of these books are my favorites, also. And I have to agree with you that you know it will be a good book when an author shares their home. I never get tired of browsing through "An Affair with a House" by Bunny Williams. It's perfection!

  11. You certainly have amassed quite a collection! I have some of these books and now I know how I am going to spend my Labor Day Weekend: persuing Amazon for some books that I don't have-especially the tablescaping books. As always thank you for sharing…have a wonderful weekend!

  12. An Affair With a House is my all time favorite decorating book. I saw her on a PBS decorating show (A Moment of Luxury) and loved seeing the house on TV.

    Alexandra Stoddard's books are my favorite nonphoto inspirations. Especially Living a Beautiful Life and Creating a Beautiful Home.

    I also love the books put out by the original Victoria magazine.

    I have Romantic Prairie Style on my Wish List, perhaps my Christmas gift to myself this year. 🙂

  13. Komali Nunna says:

    Susan, What a beautiful collection of books you have. I can spend a month without leaving the house, reading all those books. Thank you so much for mentioning my book on your blog. I appreciate all your kind comments.

  14. Hi Susan ~ I thought I had a lot of decor/home books. I see quite a few that I have put on my "must read" list. Now if I only had the time to actually read them:) My job for today is to find one in my reading room that you DON'T have. Thank you.

  15. What a wonderful posting and so many great suggestions for more books to read and/or buy! I recently bought a book by Stephen Saint-Onge called No Place Like Home, and I really like it. Not fancy, but very livable spaces and good advice.

  16. OMG, I couldn't get past how gorgeous your house is! It looks like something out of one of those books!
    Wow. Just wow.

  17. Richard Cottrell says:

    Good morning, thanks for sharing pictures of your darling home. It looks so warm and inviting. One could just settle in and enjoy a different book for many days. I love designer books, garden, cooking, South, Royal Family, antiques, dogs and the list goes on and on. One can never have enough books. have a great weekend, see you soon. Richard from My Old Historic House.

  18. HI Susan and you sure do have a great collection of decor books. I see a few that I have too!
    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  19. tableandtop.com says:

    Great post. I love all of the books and the second photo is GREAT!!!

    'Please visit our new website http://www.tableandtop.com and check out our blog http://tableandtop.blogspot.com’

  20. Bonnie Bee says:

    I now have three MORE items added to my TO DO LIST…1) break out the walls of the library and expand.. 2)go to Ikea for MORE bookshelves AND 3)head over to Amazon to order, order order… wonderful post. thanks for sharing all of your bound treasures!
    Have a safe weekend..

  21. Wow! I think I am a bit overwhelmed–hang on a bit while I grab coffee to kick the old noggin into action…

    Okay–first I like your blue and white upstairs family room with the yellow sunflowers. Bright and refreshing!

    The whole grouping according to color is intriguing, but not sure how you would every find anything. Perhaps if you combined that with covering the books you could put them in any order and cover each category with a different color? BTW, when I saw the books covered in brown craft paper, I thought Martha Stewart before reading the origination.

    Hanging the books from the walls and ceiling–uh–am I the only one that the first word is Hoarde?

    I like the deconstructing shelving. That is just SO CUTE!!!!

    I have two cabinets in the 5th wheel devoted to books. They are put in by size and then by author. When I had a little library in my office/library in our house, I organized by size and then by author.

    BTW did you see Design Star last week? Karl made book shelves out of books. It was really quite creative and fun! http://hgtv.sndimg.com/HGTV/2011/08/26/HSTAR608_Karl-Room-After-001_s4x3_lg.jpg
    Closeup http://hgtv.sndimg.com/HGTV/2011/08/26/HSTAR608_Karl-Bookshelf-Wide_s3x4_lg.jpg
    I think I would rather have put the books in spine out, but it is a nice creative idea.

    Thanks for sharing your favorite books!

  22. Wow……congratulations on finishing your room. I've enjoyed every step along the way :-).

    We have a wall in the livingroom that has an entertainment unit in the center and bookshelves on either side. These were all in the house when we bought it and my hope is to rebuild this wall soon. Our books are very eclectic and the system that worked best for me was 'subject'.
    Brad's golf and sports books

    Gardening (including birds,
    landscaping, herbs, etc)


    Personal interest (health, exercise, relationships)

    Home decorating

    All things Disney including some very old publications, Walt's biography books, etc. (we live in Mickey's backyard in Fl)

    Children – this includes new and vintage from both families – beloved books to pass down thru the generations including old Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins, Laura Ingalls and Anne of Green Gables series, many of which are signed editions

    Personal such as family baby books, year books, wedding albums, bibles

    ..and finally our favorite authors – mine are Kathleen Woodiwiss, Nora Roberts, Fern Michaels and the entire John Jakes 'Bicentennial' series read as they were published in the 70s-80s which I promise myself to reread someday. Brad enjoys Tom Clancy, David Balducci, and a few others but he rarely keeps them after reading prefering to pass them on. Just don't touch his golf books!

    The Treasures (4 grandchildren) are all allowed to borrow books from our library. They write their names on a piece of paper in the drawer with the name of the book and a check mark when it's been returned. This was necessary because I let them borrow all the books including antique and vintage and I wanted them to develop a sense of trust and value in them for reading.

    My cookbook collection lives in it's own bookcase in the kitchen and there's another bookcase full of sewing and quilting books in the studio.

    Yup…..we've been book crazy all our lives.

  23. Hi Susan,
    A PASSION for decorating books!
    I lovvvvvvvvvvvvve books as well. They're wonderful to hold and thumb through to get ideas and to think on.
    Have a blessed week-end.

    God bless,
    d from homehaven nestled in the kansas flinthills

  24. FABBY'S LIVING says:

    Oh, I wish I had them all! I love your new book shelves at your office…the better way for me would be by auther last name. I just know you will fix your wonderful books better than any of the ohotos you posted…I didin't like any. Have a great weekend. XOXO FABBY

  25. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Wow, Chris, what a great library! I live the idea of doing it by subject. Now that I have all these books off the shelf from creating the post, I may do some rearranging.

  26. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Labbie, thanks for that link…I'll check it out!

  27. I love your sewcrof! I group my books by subject. I organize them on the shelves some on display, some on the sides mixed with with pieces of art. It appears your shelves are loaded from one side, and I kindof want to come over and move em around.

  28. Susan, my non-fiction books, I keep by subject, my fiction books go by author or just singly here and there. Some are standing up with photo boxes or an ornament in between, others are lying down.
    I have a huge collection of Victoria magazines which some are in my shelves, the rest in a craft cupboard.
    I recently weeded out some books and took them to the Goodwill as I rely on my library for most of my fiction reading. I could not pay for my reading habit and have no more room on my shelves.
    I notice Max sneaked into the bedroom!! Gotta love that cat!!

  29. Buttonchief7 says:

    Since our home is country, my collection includes all Mary Emmerling, the Time-Life country books, lots of Country Living books, lots of BH&G books, Diamond Baratta Design,(their colors are just perfect), lots of quilt, rug-hooking and sewing books and Bunny's book is one of my favs. Also own every issue of Country Living and Country Home magazine. Just have books stacked everywhere and they are used by me and shared with friends. My fantasy dream is to be locked in a Barnes and Noble overnight. Also read lots of fiction too.

  30. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    lol Love that fantasy! They should make a movie like that. The characters could come to life in the books…sort of like that movie, Night in the Museum. 🙂

  31. Susan,
    Thanks for sharing these books with us. You do have quite a collection. I have a few of them, but I have an obsession about cookbooks. Please post your favorite cottage decorating books soon. We downsized and live in a small cottage now. Would love to see which ones you recommend.

  32. This is definitely one of those times when one should be careful of what one wishes for (or asks in this case), as I had no idea that you'd go to all the trouble of showing the books. What a job and I thank you as one of those who did ask what was going on your shelves.

    On my huge bookcase in our den, there are two books I love on decorating —- Southern Rooms, published by Rockport Publishers and Southern Style by Mark Mayfield. They're fabulous and if anyone wants to see how the White House looks under different Presidents, just google books by First Ladies on the WH. I started with Nancy Regan and Hillary Clinton. There also fabulous books with interiors during the holidays and lots of menus/recipes.

    Whew – I'm tried after all that viewing. Hope the books go back on the shelves easily.

  33. Oh my goodness! That has to be one of the best recommended reading blog posts EVER. (I took lots of notes. Amazon may be my next stop.) I am crazy for my books and I can tell you are, too. Loved it! I just bought a book at a local independent bookseller and on the brown paper bag was printed: PEACE.LOVE.BOOKS.
    I'm new to your blog and I'm really enjoying it.

  34. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Anon at 6:37…no, don't worry about that. You were not the only one who asked. I could have just listed the books, but it's so much more fun to see the covers. 🙂 I love the book Southern Style. I've been eyeing Southern Rooms, almost ordered it a time or two. Thanks for the recommendation.

  35. Little Susie says:

    Susan, remember my hgtv profile when i state that i am addicted to decorating mags? that goes for books too….just don't buy the books……this could be my all time favorite post of your's….love love love this one…have not heard of most and charles laudree….oh yes and all the english books, love them….just spent about 15 minutes looking at google.com images of ''perfect english cottage'' images…..love this post, you have got to be about the most generous person god ever made to take the time to share these …i could go on and on about how much i love this post, but opps, too late, already did…………lolol

    i put this message on your facebook too, as this bloggin bit seems to still befuddle me as far as comment alerts and such….plus i only did the one ''mother's day flowers'' post and uh, that was in may!! lol…..only reason i thought of it, was my son sent me more flowers for my birthday this week and i thought "gee, 3 months already? maybe time for another blog post!'….lololololo…

    anyways…..i do adore this post…fell in love with the billy boy books post too this week….something about books just goes straight to my heart and soul in one big ''sigh i'm home''….

    oh, fav decorating books…..well, unlike my gazillion decorating mags, i don't have tons of books, but my fav this month is i found a Jessica McClintock's "Simply Romantic Decorating" in the bin at the grocery store for $8, and that was pretty wonderful enough, and the next week i asked dami to pick me up a few items when he went for his cat food and he brought me back a second copy saying "they had marked it down to $1, so since i know you love it so much, i figured you can have 2 now"…LOL

    so Jessica's book is my current wonderful fav decorating book…it's full of soft romanticali-iscious and pretty mostly monochromatic rooms in her personal home as far as i can tell….and is chock full of fun tips and actual practical step-by-step "how to's" on everything you see from stenciling to piping pillows and such things…

    it's not a complete "how-to" book, but it's a nice little foray into this one home she has done….a sweet treat 🙂

    my wish list of books keeps getting longer with each passing holiday when i end up asking for other things as well: fifi o'neil's "prarie style" the "patina style" book you already own, bunny's book of course, and now BOTH of joann colleti's feminine home books/mags, the "perfect english cottage", and i have to add most of your books you have in this post….

    anyway, i so rarely post even though i read all your blog posts, but this one went so straight into my heart of hearts along with the billybookcases that i wanted to write and say ''thank you''….susie 🙂

  36. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Susie, thanks for these suggestions! I used to wear Jessica McClintock's perfume…didn't realize she had a decorating book. I should look for that one. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post…it was a fun for me to create because I get so excited about my fave books. 🙂

  37. Oh My Gosh! What a lot of work has gone into this post. Your blog is amazing, love it and becoming a regular reader.

  38. I had NO IDEA there were so many interesting decorating books out there! Borders sure didn't carry that many; actually, they carried hardly any.

    I don't have many of my own, but I really like my Mary Engelbreit books too. Also Rachel Ashwell's earlier books.

    Susan, do you lend? If not, I would love to spend a day (or two or three) sprawled across your cute Sewcroff chair, reading book after book after book.

  39. freddyandpetunia says:

    Omg Susan! Besides my bf and myself, I've never known anyone to be so addicted!
    Unfortunately, I'm even MORE addicted than you–yikes-ies! I could definitely open my own design-book store–! But there ARE worse things–right?!
    Btw–the office is looking spectacular! What a great place to stir the creative juices!

  40. Michele/Ohio says:

    Dear Susan,

    May I please come live with you? I cook, and clean and am generally very quiet whilst reading.

    And I do love cats.

    I will bring cookies!



  41. sharonavinger says:

    I adored your post, Susan! I, too, am addicted to decorating books and have many, many titles. I can recommend the following books to add to your wonderful collection:
    -Decorating Cottage Style – Neva Scott
    -Great Country French Style- Meredeth Books
    -The Art of Accessorizing – Christi Carter (Marty in "A Stroll Thru Life" has this book and refers to it in her blog/super book on arranging accessories and vignettes)
    Happy reading!

  42. Wow, what a fantastic assortment of inspiration you have there! I'd been debating on ordering that Country Living: Small Spaces and Cozy Places book. Once I saw your post I ordered it!! I just know it's going to be fantastic now. Thanks for sharing your faves with us!

  43. Susan, Your post just provided me the "PERFECT" Sunday morning! Your collection of books brings new inspiration. Please find time to do similar posts of your porch,garden and Christmas books. I spent years planning my library in my 1846 Century farmhouse and the titles you provided today will give me many new additions for my shelves and many happy hours of inspiration.Thank you so much. Sincerely, Norma

  44. It' s sooo cozy. *love*

    Greetings from Germany. :))

  45. I am enjoying reading all these suggestions! One of my favorites is Putting the Heart in Your Home: Decorating that Nurtures Your Soul by Jean Lemmon, which has mostly cottage-y style ideas.
    My other favorite is Laura Ashley Decorates an English House in the Cotswolds. I got it as a souvenir in London over 25 years ago, and it has survived many moves and several downsizings; I would never part with this slim gem of a book!

  46. Great post. Saw Paula Deen's 'Savannah Style' in Ross over the weekend for $7.99. Way cheaper than what I paid.

  47. What a fabulous post! I had to move the URL over to my book list. Now I'll never catch up! You must have spent hours on this. Thank you.

  48. Just wanted to leave and quick note to let you know how much I appreciate you doing this post. I know it took you a very long time to write, so thank you very much! I've already pulled up Amazon and added several new books to my wish list for Christmas!

  49. Marsha Yeager says:

    Thanks Susan for taking the time to do this post. Now I don't feel like I am the only one obsessed with books. I was beginning to feel everyone was reading on line or getting a Kindle. I need more 'excellent' decorating books and your post has helped me put together a list. I too have those in cute piles all over my house and I have been known to buy a book I already have because they aren't in one place. Have you done that, too? My enormous book collection consists of gardening books. I'll be interested to read your post on those books when you do it. My heart skipped a beat when I learned Borders was closing at the Avenue. Then I realized that I probably had something to do with that. I would from time to time look at a book in there store, decide I wanted it and came home and ordered it from Amazon. I felt bad but when you buy tons of books, you must get them for a good price and Amazon never lets me down. Love your blog, neighbor.

  50. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Thanks, Marsha! Yep, I'm guilty of the same. In the beginning when I discovered "decorating/design" books and realized I could get them from Amazon for about the same as what a magazine costs, I did go to Borders and scout out their books to figure out which ones I really wanted to order online. With the recommendations Amazon makes, I always have a huge wish list going. Unfortunately, the stores just can't compete with online. I also shop halfebay.com…sometimes their prices are better.

  51. Jacqueline says:

    Susan, I followed the link to Fairy Tale furniture! That was adorable.

    I love books too and decorating and gardening books especially. It is fun to see how decorating books go out of style too and see what we once thought was wonderful and isn't so great anymore.

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!