Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Love

I've mentioned before that I'm not a huge reader.  It's rather ironic that I'm a writer, yet I don't really enjoy reading, so it stands to reason that books with lots of pictures would be the kind I gravitate towards.

I don't own a ton of decorating and design books, but I do own a few.  Some I've had for years, like Malcom Hillier's Wreaths and Garlands, and John Hadamuscin's Special Occasions.  Both of the books I just mentioned are more about entertaining and floral arranging than decorating, but I still love the photography and wonderful ideas they give you in books about floral design and entertaining.

The other design books I own have mostly been gifts, or books I've purchased after having them recommended by a friend.

For some reason this spring has me itching to add to my collection of design books, I just love the permanence of a coffee table book that I can go back to time and time again.  I do that with magazines, but in most instances there are only one or two homes or features that really catch my eye in any given magazine.

With books, the whole book will have a design style and I find that I love nearly 80% of what I see in any given book.  Plus, now that my interest in photography has taken off, I find that I pour over books in a totally new way.  I cherish the composition or lighting of a shot now where I once was mostly interested in the decor.

When Terry John Woods friended me on Facebook recently, I felt it was a sign that I needed to buy this talented man's book.  I had seen it many times and knew I would love it, but I'd never made that commitment and gone ahead and purchased it.

I ordered it from Amazon along with my pre-order of Fifi's book, but Terry's book arrived just a few days ago, and Fifi's is due any day now!

I have to say that from the moment I opened this book, New Farmhouse Style, I was completely blown away!  The styling, photography, everything about this book had my heart beating faster and my fingers ready to turn the page to see the next delightful image and read the heartfelt text.

Now as you might imagine, writing about beautiful homes and even getting to visit some of them for a living can make it a little harder to be wowed by anything home related, much less a book, but this one had me at hello.  

I mean just look at the photo above.  Terry loves white tulips and ironstone and so do I.  I even have white tulips at my house right now, and I also have lots of little white pitchers floating around this very dusty place of mine!

The incredible photography by Kindra Clineff, paired with Terry's simple yet elegant sense of style had me rethinking everything I thought about photos and styling for shoots.  His book proves that less really is more when it comes to the new sense of country decorating.

This book made me want to pack my bags and move to an old farmhouse in Vermont and instead of filling it with stuff, fill it with only the stuff I love!  Yes folks, this book is truly that good!

Now, just in case you are thinking "hey has Kat lost her mind, is she now on Terry John Woods' payroll, what does she stand to get from singing his praises?"  The answer is yes, I have lost my mind but it's totally unrelated to Terry John Woods or his book.  Two, I'm not on Terry's payroll gosh darn it!  And three, I stand nothing to gain from my gushing review except to give credit where credit is due, and that means telling all of you so that you too can discover this wonderful book for yourself!

I did a photo shoot at a lovely home yesterday, and I have to tell you that I was very much aware of each and every shot that I took.  I carefully edited out what wasn't necessary, taking my cues from Terry's clean, inviting style.  And I have to say that when I reviewed the pictures, I couldn't have been more pleased with the end results.

Today or tomorrow, Fifi's fabulous book, Romantic Prairie Style, should be showing up on my doorstep, and I know that it will move me in the same way that Terry's book has.  I've had a sneak peek at her book, and I can't wait to get my hot little hands on it as well.  And the best part is that Terry has a new book called Summer House, which you can pre-order now, and Fifi has begun work on her second book too!

At this rate, you may not be hearing from me for awhile!  Remember what I said about not being able to live in a mostly white house...well I may have lied when I said that...never say never....Benjamin Moore store here I come!!!

Until next time friends...

Spread the Love...

Ocean Soul   (from now on I'll be posting just one link because blogger doesn't like it when I post 3 and it makes my pictures go all wonky!)  ***I love, love, love how this blogger's daughter took the whole family along with her on a school trip to Italy...check it out!


  1. Love, love, love your photos. So calming and dreamy.

  2. I love that book, too, Kat! And funny, but I have 5 of the books in your stack...great minds think alike! I totally understand the simplicity in decorating that you are talking is what I am doing in my house right now, too! That "Simply White" is going to get a workout! Can't wait to see your new photos and I just picked up the Cottage Style magazine, too! Looking forward to reading your articles with a nice latte! XO

  3. Hi Kat, I will look at this book soon. Your tulips are so pretty. ♥O

  4. I have some small white pitchers, but I don't think any of them are Ironstone. I love the simplicity and versatility of all white pieces though.

  5. Kat, thanks for telling me about another good book. I did just get Fifi's book a couple of days ago and my oh my. I love it. Have a super week.

  6. Your tulips are lovely! Thanks for the book recommendation. I love design books, but told myself I wouldn't buy another until I built my new bookcase. Looks like I need to get over to Lowe's for some more wood, so I can add New Farmhouse Style to my collection.

  7. What a beautiful book Kat and I am so glad that it inspired you not only in your photography but now your home! I had to giggle after we chatted about painting. :) I am loving the Simply White and I think that I could really live in an all white house as well.

    Just found Ocean Soul today and I loved her post with the family trips! Brilliant!
    Have a great rest of the day!

  8. Hi Kat, I'm heading over to Amazon to buy that book - you had me at Farmhouse! xxoo

  9. Funny, Sometimes I long for a "white" house too... I am slowly trying to atleast lighten up This Old House with small touches.

  10. Thanks for the suggestion! I'm feeling a book itch coming on!

  11. Terry's book looks wonderful...I think I have something to add to my collection. As I have said before, I can't have books on my coffee table or they become coasters! But I am loving the farmhouse look, and the new books and I am slowly making my way into that territory with the lakehouse.

    It's nice that you are finding inspiration for your photography in these books. I have to start looking at all the aspects of of a room in that way...not that I am serious about photography, but to gain a little more insight into it.

    Hope you are having a good week!


  12. beautiful images.....smiles.

  13. Kat~ beautiful... perhaps you should consider YOUR OWN book?
    uuummm..... just a thought....
    thanks for sharing...

  14. Love your style books. And hey, I believe Cat & Cricket has something there . . .

  15. Kat,
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful book:)


  16. Yes, Terry just zeros in on the essence of style. The man has got it!

  17. That looks like a fine book, and I hope you'll do a post on Fifi's book too.

  18. You are going to have fun with those books. Love the images.


  19. Hi Kat, I have this book and have been very inspired by the photos and styling. I think what he captures so well is a REAL home. Not staged and propped with things that are not practical or actually really present day to day. I am liking this approach compared to many books that have things overly styled. When I look at a photo, I have to know that is true to the real life image.

  20. I will have to check into that book-it sounds wonderful! I love your flower pictures! Just gorgeous!!

  21. Kelly J/Hunters HillMarch 31, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Great books for rainy dreary weather .... great photos here as well for the same reason ... ahhhhh

  22. I know I should be encouraging you to enjoy slowing down and taking time to read coffee table books, but your photos are definitely worthy of their very own coffee table book! And thanks for the shout out! That was so sweet!

  23. LOVELY posting... perhaps you would like to contribute a pretty posting like this on
    We are always looking for contributors... great way to link back to YOUR site too!


  24. I have Terry John Woods' book as well and it is just beautiful, so calming, peaceful and charming, love it! I think you will really enjoy Fifi's book as well. I received my copy just a couple of days ago and it is absolutely gorgeous, one of my favorites already - every one of the homes featured is lovely and all have a real sense of "home", not just nicely decorated houses. Did I mention I also have three of the other books you have featured in your photo? And that I love your photos, hydrangea in ironstone and tulips in an aqua Bell jar, simply beautiful.

  25. I love that book, too! I almost did a post on it awhile back, I was o impressed.

    Your photos are stunning, as always! :-)


  26. That book is on my "to order" list, afterall what self respecting Maine gal wouldn't want to promote him too! xo ~Lili

  27. Kat- the book does look lovely and I will look forward to checking it out - BUT the true vision here are your photographs. They are your most beautiful yet. YOU should be the one publishing a photography book my friend!


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