I love to look at decorating books and magazines. Actually when I am not holding a laptop, I'm holding a decorating magazine (even when I'm watching TV). I started doing this when my husband and I had our first apartment and it needed serious design help. Decorating magazines were an inexpensive resource where I could dream up items to buy and colors to paint. Later when the children came along, a magazine was easier to enjoy because I could look at it, but really be paying attention to the children (unlike a book that is hard to put down).
As the children got older I started to read decorating books with no pictures of decorated rooms (no pictures!?). One of the first books that I fell in love with is
"Creating a Beautiful Home" by Alexandra Stoddard
Alexandra describes falling in love with her home on the east coast, fixing it up and creating a beautiful home. She shares stories of clients and the trials and tribulations of making a "home". I still enjoy reading this.
A couple of years ago she came out with another great book "Feeling at Home". This time she really gets into finding what it is that makes a house into a home.
"What Color is Your Slipcover" by Denny Daikeler is a fun book that explains how to go about finding what is your Style. The book is filled with questions to answer and tests to take. Denny tells stories about people who use to fill their home with what they felt other people liked before discovering what they truly loved.
"Nesting" is one of those fun books that makes you giggle. The book is broken up into three chapters; decorating, cooking and gardening. Each chapter is filled with funny quotes, short stories and helpful hints.
I still go back and read these books over and over. I highly recommend them and I know they make great House Warming gifts.