Winter Blues

Mr. Weatherman says it’s getting down into the teens tonight. Again. Ugh. So, I thought the evening called for the resurrection of an older post, one just right for a cold winter night.

Hope you enjoy this post from a previous winter’s eve…
A little birdie told me you had the winter blues…

So I was thinking…since Old Man Winter is here to stay for while, instead of fighting those winter blues, why don’t we just embrace them.

Come on over here; I have the perfect spot for you…a comfy blue chair with a friend who also likes good books. He heard you were coming, so he put on his very best, blue, bow-tie. πŸ™‚

You’ll need a nice hot cup of tea, served from a Blue Willow teapot, of course. πŸ˜‰

How about a soft, fluffy pillow…

Covered with a pretty, blue wreath…

And of course, you’ll need a wonderful, blue book. Here’s one of my favorites, Winter House by Charlotte Moss. Amazon says, “a Winter House is a place to recharge your body and your spirit….the perfect reference for creating your own winter sanctuary.”

Winter House is full of beautiful pictures…they will warm you right down to your toes. ~~SIGH~~

So, here you are…relaxing with a good book…in a cozy, blue chair, with a blue, bow-tied bunny…

In the soft glow of a blue candle…tucked into a little blue candle holder…

With a blue bird singing sweetly on ruffled, blue doilies.

I’ll just tip-toe out now and let you enjoy those winter blues. πŸ™‚

Did you get a chance to see all the wonderful “Before and Afters” posted for Met Monday? If not, just scroll on down…so much inspiration in each post. Don’t forget to leave a comment with your favorite decorating, design, gardening or tablescaping book along with your first name.


*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. I need to be on the look out for that book. Seems to me I could cuddle up in a chair and have a lovely time reading that one!

  2. One Cheap B*tch says

    I love anything Pottery Barn. I have one summer entertaining one that I got so many great ideas out of!

  3. The Tablescaper says

    Love it! Love the blue and white.

    – The Tablescaper

  4. Hi Susan,
    I don't have a favorite winter book, but I do have a new book I received for Christmas. "Tabletops" by Barbara Milo Ohrbach. I believe this book is in your recommended book area.

    I hope you stay warm!

    from Virginia

  5. vignette design says

    For me, it's anything by Charles Faudree or Betty Lou Phillips. They define French interior design. I will have to pick up "Winter House" though. I love Charlotte Moss too. –Delores

  6. Dear Susan,
    Such a sweet hostess…the tea and moreover, the company have helped chase those blues away for me…
    I must toss some seed for that sweet little bird!

    And what book(s) are my favorite? Well, anything I ghost write, of course…
    Boo πŸ™‚

    PS loved your images for the post! Nicely done!

  7. Susan Wicker says

    Oh Susan, your little bunny with the bow tie is just adorable. Your posts are just so wonderful. By the way, any decorating book by Alexandra Stoddard, (and I have many of them), the interior designer and author, are fabulous. She is SO TALENTED! Sincerely, Susan from

  8. Hi Susan! One of my favorite decorating books for reading is On Rue Tatin. It doesn't have pictures but instead leaves the pictures to the mind's eye. The book does include some recipes.

    I'm not sure if it's still in print but I found it on Amazon.

    Happy winter reading!

  9. Mary Ellen (megardengal) says

    Constant Comment is one of my favorite teas! Lovely photos!


  10. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions says

    I have all my design and decorating books packed up, but I do recall that I have a French Country book by Betty Lou Phillips {?} and I have the gardening one in your list by Bunny Williams. I ordered one of the Mary Carol Garrity, Nell Hill books as a giveaway I did back in October and would like to get one for myself, as well. I did a quick skim through of it before it was sent on its way and it looked wonderful.

  11. Yvonne @ StoneGable says

    Hi Susan, The blue setting is so welcoming, and even more so on a frosty night! Beautiful as always and great attention to detail!

    The books I am re-reading now are
    Nell Hill's Decorating Secrets and Charles Faudree's French Country Signature.

    This is not a decorating book, but I just picked up a wonderful little book called Dinner Is Served. Written about the Art of the Table with a good dose of rich table history. Penned by Arthur Inch a retired butler who served in the best English Royal homes for 50 years. Just delightful, English and very proper.

    Another very interesting and interactive post.

    I'm hoping to learn about some new decorating books.

  12. Kendall at Finesse Your Nest says

    I'm not one for collecting things, but I OBSESS OVER & HOARD decorating books, so I guess I AM a collector! I have so many that I've bought the same ones twice by mistake! Here are just a few of my faves (and it was really hard to narrow my list, as to not write a novel!

    Some are relatively new, and some are oldies but goodies.

    (In no particular order):

    1) Domino: The Book of Decorating (Needleman, Costello & Caponigro)

    2)1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse: Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew (Garth Johnson)

    3) Sunset's Big Ideas for Small Spaces (David Lansing & JoAnne Liebeler) – love it so much I accidentally bought it twice!

    4) Better Homes & Gardens Style on a Budget (editors of BHG, Meredith Books)

    5) House Beautiful Colors for Your Home (the Editors of HB)

    6)Flea Market Style (Emily Chalmers)

    7) Better Homes & Gardens New Decorating Book (BHG & Paula Marshall) *sidenote — the 2007 edition is awesome! I have every volume since 1982!

    8)Better Homes & Gardens Decorating Basics (editors of BHG)

    9) Coastal Style (Sally Hayden)

    10) Mary Gilliatt's Shortcuts to Great Decorating (Mary Gilliatt) – publ in 1991, but my copy is tattered, I've referred to it so often over the years!

    Whew! Okay I'm tired!

  13. Anita @ Far Above Rubies says

    I also LOVE Charlotte Moss and Charles Faudree although I don't really have either of their "signature" styles. I love "Cuban Elegance" by Michael Conners, Mediterranean Style" by Robert Fitzgerald and "Southern Lady; Gracious Tables," even though there is a photo in the beginning with a knife in the wrong place, which kind of bothers me, lol. We tend to gravitate to Spanish-inspired because of the accessories we have acquired and try to combine that with my southern family antiques. Love, love your Blue Willow…one of my first patterns, which I keep adding to and one that goes with everything.

  14. Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien says

    My favorite tablescaping book is "The Art of the Table, A Complete Guide to Table Setting, Table Manners and Tableware". The author is Suzanne von Drachenfels. It has a few pictures but mostly is a book for the TRUE tablescaping freak!
    It is a heavy tome, about 548 pages, but covers everything you could possibly need or want to know about tableware, even the history of silverware!
    My husband bought me this book a few years ago. It is my Dining Bible!

  15. Texas Preacher Woman says

    Soooo cozy is this blue chair! Makes me want to just curl up and . . . well, would you bring me a cup of tea?


  16. Just a dreamer says

    Since I had to get rid of nearly my entire library of books when I had to leave my home last year (at this time, in fact). I gave to GW a hellova lot of fabulous books on tablescaping, entertaining and cooking. So, some of the following I did bring with me, (one of those "over my dead body" moments) and some I replaced by ordering again when I got here and some from memory. I have tried not to duplicate what you already have, and if I did, forgive me. For tablescapes, 2 oldies but goodies (mid 1990's): Simple Pleasures and Festive Tables by Raymond Waites; A Tiffany Christmas, (beautiful tables beyond belief) John Loring; Entertaining with Southern Style, Southern Accents Magazine. For "Victoriana eye candy", Cherished Objects, Allison Kyle Leopold and my cookbooks are too many to mention, since I am a foodie in the true meaning of the word. Fondly, Jackie A HUGE fan. PS How come you're not posting on Tuesday Vignettes, (Grits & Glamour) since you are without a doubt (and we must include Gollum here too) the "Queens" of the vignettes and two of the finest home decorators in blogland!

  17. Could I have a spot of tea in that lovely cup and sit in that comfy chair please? It looks so inviting.

  18. I don't have a or any decorating book. I do look at different magazines but mostly blogs.

  19. I pretty much read or at least look at pictures of any decorating books or magazines I can get ahold of. I love your tea set, Susan….Christine

  20. That little bunny sure stole the show. I love Pottery Barn books for decorating and BHG.

  21. Winter House is a favorite of mine but my most favorite — hands down is "An Affair With A House" — it is wonderful and I love to read and reread it.

    If I have a second, it would be any of Mary Carol Garrity's Nell Hill books — she has such style for "more is more" style of decorating.

  22. Hi Susan,

    What a thought provoking post! I don't have any recommendations to add but I've had to open up a document in Word to copy & paste all these wonderful suggestions for future reference. I'm going to be very busy, reading up a storm!

    Your cozy "blues" corner setting is precious….β™₯ the teddy bear. We used to host a "Blues Party" every Jan. where folks had to dress in blue & bring some blue food to share. It was a hoot….blue Jell-O, blue cheese, tinted blue drinks, blue placesettings, blue desserts. We usually served "black & blue burgers". I wish I still had pictures of those parties! It would have made a great post.
    Thanks for jogging my memories. πŸ˜€

  23. I love Lynette Jennings' books. They are currently packed up for the move to Georgia, so I can't tell you names, but they are beautiful books with lots of common sense information – rather like your blog, in fact.

    I just got around to reading the entry that mentioned your profession, and I wanted to tell you how much I admire people who support and protect the elderly. I spent most of my speech path years working with severely challenged infants and children and found each day to be an exciting adventure. I worked briefly with older folks, however, and found that I spent too many nights tossing and turning over situations for which there seemed to be no good solution. Thank you for your work.

    Thanks to all who listed books. I can't wait to get my head out of boxes and into books.

    Betty W

  24. Thought of you during my insomniac morning, Susan. I've been reading,Lisa Patton's book, "Whistlin Dixie in a Nor'easter." It's about a Memphis girl living the life of a b&b owner in Vermont. She describes the sheer cold of winter, and even though I've never lived ANYWHERE but Massachusetts, I could relate to how cold she felt (oh, and the main character is a great decorator, too!)

    Anyway, back to a book about decorating (that was the question?)…I still love my old copy of "Bringing Italy Home." It's a gorgeous book, but it talks a lot about the importance of food and family to the Italian culture, and how these aspects of life bring a sense of warmth and comfort to ones home. Love that.

  25. Hi Susan: I am bookaholic and use favorite books to decorate. Since my living and dining room is Arts and Crafts I have 'Bungalow Style' by Treena Crochet, 'In the Arts and Crafts Style' by Barbara Mayer, plus a book on Falling Water and one on Frank Lloyd Wright on my coffee table. On another table are books on Native Americans and their pottery since I also collect that.

    The Bedroom has a pile of Victoria Magazine books on the bedroom by the bed. And yet another area has three of my new gardening books: 'Armitage's Native Plants', The New Low Maintenance Garden' by Valarie Easten, and 'The Well Designed Mixed Garden', by Tracy DiSabato-Aust. (She always writes great gardening books). Also currently inhaling Charlotte Moss'es book 'Passion for Detail' which I love and got for Christmas. These are just a few. With this cold winter in Virginia, I am getting a lot of reading done.

    Judy R.

  26. Mom on the Run says

    I probably own every decorating, gardening and cookbook with "French" in the title, but my two favorites are French Home by Josephine Ryan and Provencal Escapes by Caroline Clifton-Mogg. While the Faudree and Phillips books are beautiful, they are the American version of over the top "French Country" decorating, so I much prefer those that show real French homes. You can certainly tell the difference….not that I don't enjoy the others, I just more a fan of the real thing.

  27. SmilingSally says

    I do love this blue and white spot, Susan. sigh.

  28. Hi Susan, I had to comment, since books are my weakness! For gardening, "Earth On Her Hands" is a beautiful and inspiring book featuring women gardeners. What women can do with a wheelbarrow and a strong back!

  29. A spot of tea is definitely on the plan for today, and your setting looks so cozy! My favorite book has to be "The Art and Craft of Entertaining" by Kimberly Kennedy. So many wonderful ideas, menus and tablescapes!

  30. Vicci @theplaidbasket says

    Love this chair! The tea set also. I dont have a favorite decorating book to mention cuz I'm still waiting for YOURS! Seriously Susan, when is your tabletop getting printed?

  31. I always like anything by Mary Emmerling, but especially her book "American Country Cottages". I go back to that one over and over again.

  32. Hi Susan, You are my kind of girl. A cup of tea and a good design book, now that is a perfect afternoon for sure. I remember a post you did on decorating with books when I first started reading your blog, that is when I knew we were kindred spirits when I saw many of the same books in your home that are in mine. I have an interesting test on my blog today,I think you will enjoy taking it. Hugs Kathysue

  33. Hi, Susan, I love your blue setting. In fact, I love all of your tablescapes and decorating. One of my favorite books is in your list and I have owned it for over 10 years, "Tabletops" by Barbara Milo Ohrbach. I have quite a few decorating and tabletop books and love to sit by the fire with a cup of coffee and browse through them for hours. Thank you for your blog and for sharing your talents and beautiful tablescapes with all of us. Susan

  34. Love your Blue Willow tea set and the sweet little bird expectantly waiting for a biscuit crumb.
    Two of my favorite books are an older one from the 1990s,"Southern Hospitality" by Emyl Jenkins and a newer one,(2008)"Private Gardens of Georgia" by Polly McLeod Mattox and Helen Mattox Bost.
    Emyl Jenkins, also has a wonderful book, "Southern Christmas" on the history and traditions of Christmas in the South. Hmmm.. guess that makes three favorites.Ü

  35. amariaf2000 says

    I'll be honest, I really do not have a favorite decorating book – I have kept every Traditional Home and Coastal Living that I have ever gotten though. I love to look back through them for inspiration. Years ago, I also got Southern Living which I kep as well (although I do not bother with that mag anymore).

    ~Angela H.
    angela @ peonypatch

  36. Thanks for stopping by on my SITS day! If you want to start back knitting these Bella mitts are the way to go…super fast!

  37. I must have missed this post the first time but am so glad I didn't miss it this time! The setting is beautiful and makes me want to go make some tea! No suggestions on books but got some great suggestions from the other comments! Thanks!!!! XO, Pinky

  38. There are so many books I just adore but some of my favorites are: "Making of a Garden" by Rosemary Verey; "Venzano" a scented garden in Tuscany by Stephanie Donaldson and "Crockett's Victory Garden" by James Crockett (This is the OLD victory garden series).

    I enjoy your website, very informative and pretty to look at. Thanks for sharing your world. RoKing

  39. Diane at InMyOwnStyle says

    I like all decorating and/or lifestyle type books. Carolyn Roehmn's books are just beautiful. I may not have all the stuff, space, or decorate in the same style she does, but the photographs are so inspiring and visually stunning.

  40. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    I've always read more decorating magazines than books. I just ordered several Nell Hill, Phyllis Hoffman and others from our library system. I may have a better answer soon!


  41. So beautiful, Susan! I had somehow missed this one, so I'm delighted that you re-posted it. I've been buying decorating books like crazy lately … just need to take time to read some of them. Perhaps I'll do "homework" this weekend and report back. Fun post … as yours always are!!!

    Bye for now,

  42. Oh, there are too many. Happy Birthday, my other Mama!

  43. This is just the most comfy, warming post!! Made me feel all cozy. I have a lot of decorating books too. Some stay in the bookshelves for a couple years between readings but then I'm looking at them with a different outlook each time or for some special thing. I love the Blue Willow with this chair!!!

  44. food with style says

    this is my idea of heaven, cozy, comfortable, beautiful, beverage and book… does it get any sweeter?

  45. Susan, so happy you reposted this one. I missed it the first time around. I've many of these on my book shelf and have taken notes of new ones I want to add. Thank you for the recommendations. I've a few I didn't see that I think are worth mentioning:

    Peri Wolfman and Charles Gold have two: THE PERFECT SETTING and GREAT SETTINGS


    Shelia Chefetz's ANTIQUES FOR THE TABLE


    I hope I didn't duplicate any that were alreayd mentioned. Sarah A.

  46. Very lovely and enjoyable post…

    A few favorite books:
    Interior Inspirations – Roger Banks-Pye
    A Passion for Detail – Charlotte Moss
    At Home With Books – Ellis, Seebohn & Sykes
    A Room of Her Own – Cris Casson Madden
    The Scented Room – Barbara Milo Ohrbach
    The Country Gardener by Penelope Hobhouse
    Ornament in the Small Garden by Roy Strong

    Among somewhat older books, I really enjoyed reading
    The House in My Head – Dorothy Rogers
    Billy Baldwin Decorates – Billy Baldwin
    David Hicks: Living With Design – David Hicks

  47. Komali Nunna says

    How about my book, Entertaining from an Ethnic Indian Kitchen. It is a cook book, entertaining book and coffee table book as well.
    You post is perfect for cozy winter evening.
    Komali Nunna

  48. Lady Katherine says

    I love the blue tea setting! I take mine with milk and a little sugar Please! I love the crochet doily! Just lovely Susan!
    My favorite book is the one you sent me!

  49. I just discovered your blog right before Christmas and I LOVE it! Your cozy reading corner is just perfect – only thing missing is a sweet dog. Thanks for reposting this particular blog – it is just great and so informative. Some of my favorite books and mags are from Carolyn Roehmn, a favorite book is A Room of My Own and any Susan Susanka books. Coastal Living mag, Traditional Home mag, House Beautiful mag are on the bedroom floor waiting to read and reread. My husband just laughs and shakes his head. So glad I found you!

    Mandy from the UK and USA

  50. Such lovely photos! It reminds me (albeit mine is smaller and not as wonderful!) of my little spot in the study. I adore your tea tray things too…
    Isn'tthat book wonderful? I love it. I aqm one of those very odd ducks who loves Winter!


  51. Denise Farrell-LeBeau says

    I wanted to tell you just how much I have enjoyed your site. I have been viewing all your delicious design ideas, especially the quest bedroom for about 4-5 years. I have a china hutch just like the one you have and you are my inspiration. Today I took out all of my precious little items and replaced it with all blue. It looks stunning! Most of my accents are blue and white and this just completes the living room. Thanks again. Keep those great ideas coming.

    • Denise, it sounds beautiful! That makes my day to know you saw something at BNOTP that was helpful. I love it and get so excited when I see an idea somewhere that I can use in my own home. I love blue and white…such a gorgeous combination!

Leave a Reply to Martha Cancel reply