Tuesday, September 11, 2007


My morning began with a 5 am phone call from my mother’s 80-year-old cousin who was having serious back pains, and wanted to know if I thought she should go the Emergency Room. She said her doctor, whom she had been seeing about a disk problem, is out of town this week.

I told her that if the only alternative was doing nothing, the Emergency Room might be a good idea. About 6 phone calls and 3 hours later, she painfully got ready, dressed and called for an ambulance.

Since I spent all day yesterday working on Sue’s story (2 photos above and one below were taken in her garden) and working on a surprise new project, today I planned to catch up on my blog mail and post about Decorating With Books.

I think Sue’s story really captures both her personality and style but I’ll leave it alone for a day, then re-read it to see if I still think it’s ready to fly. After that, I need to write the acknowledgements and add a few new captions to the Introduction. Then, the book is done.

After responding to message from a French blogger, I found myself checking out the blog of a British woman who has several chickens in her backyard, which led me to an Australian site. I feel as if I’ve taken a mini-vacation while drinking my (second) cup of morning tea.

I’ve wanted to write about books since I read A Focus On Books, posted on June 11th by Clare of Vintage-Home (vintage-home.blogspot.com). The post features dozens of stunning vintage books displayed with style. Check it out.

Then, several weeks ago when I was at Fabulous Fifi’s (www.fabulousfifi.typepad.com) cottage in Sarasota, Fifi and I chatted about What To Do With An Ever-Growing Stash Of Books.

I snapped some photos. Here's my take on Decorating With Books:

1- Two short stacks look nicer than one tall one.

2-Never buy furniture that cannot hold a stack of books.
3-Tuck baskets under and next to tables when you run out of space.

4- Color coordinating your books is the key to visually attractive displays.

5- When your books won’t cooperate, you can always make pretty book covers. Photo by Dan Mayers.

What’s your best trick?

*** BLOG DU JOUR ***

I’d like to introduce you to Barbara. We discovered each other several weeks ago. She’s currently traveling around Britain, so you will have time to catch up with her older posts on Ramblings From An English Garden before she returns. Barbara is an avid gardener and has a “cheeky” outlook on life.


daisy cottage said...

oooh - one of my FAVORITE subjects - decorating books AND decorating WITH books! Great photos of Fifi's collection too. Mine seem to be everywhere and in every room. I can't resist them and pretty much no matter where one sits down in my house, a stack or basket of decorating books is always nearby! I'm addicted!


Penny Carlson said...

I love books! Especially decorating, cooking and gardening books. I have 100's of books. Most go into various bookscases around the house. However, I do stack some favorites in short stacks on coffee tables, dressers and nightstands. I have a huge basket under my coffee table that hold even more books.

I love going into new bookstores as well as used bookstores. And some of my best finds were in antique malls.

Susan Tuttle said...

Hi Barbara,
I have a copy of Romantic Country next to my bed--I had no idea you lived in Maine too! What a wonderful job you have done as editor!! I am very excited to see your new book--what a delightful topic!

I have been writing my own mixed media art book that will be published by North Light Books in a year or so. We should have tea sometime.

I can sense your passion for what you do!! Wonderful!!


PS--may I add your link to my links page?

Trisha said...

When I grow up, I want to be considered "cheeky".

madrekarin said...

Oh, wow. What a gorgeous blog you have! I just happened to be browsing some of my older posts and found your sweet comment. Thank you very much. I am also a book fiend, and have them displayed all about my house. That way, I can grab a good book wherever I may be. ;)

Susie Q said...

Oh wow. One of my favorite things to discuss! Books and decorating with them.
I have them in every room. I have oddles (Did I just write oodles? *smile*) of decorating books and read and re-read them often. We are all reading something or several somethings all the time. I have small stacks on tables and used as bases for lamps. I even have a small stack (with a sweet bunny lamp on top) in our master bathroom.
I have a larger stack of British related books in the dining room and on top rests a lovely rose adorned sun hat.
Books reside in pretty baskets or in small stacks under tables..on benches and in shelves.
I have some books open with a magnifying glass a top. Some have delicious little bookmarks atop, my favorites being the ones I purchased in various places in Europe.
I so loved your posts today! It was wonderful!


Sofia Barao said...

thank you for the notes on Honfleur Barbara, they are going to be very helpful :)

Loved this books, so gorgeous on decoration!

Jes said...

Hi Barbara, just wanted to come by and introduce myself after I saw you left a comment on Susan Tuttle's blog about my art retreat weekend and discovered that you were a Maine girl too!

LOVELY blog, and can't wait to sit with a cup of tea and pour over it all soon.

Jes Berry

PAT said...

Hi Barbara...

Books here, books there, books everywhere, here and at the lake. I love books! I stack them on tables, on the floor, in baskets and on shelves.

Decorating books, reference books, novels, mystery books, biographies and cookbooks. I'm sure you get the idea!


cjan said...

HI Barbara, thanks for the ideas. I have alot of books in my vingettes throughout our home, but liked your ideas as well! I'm going to go hunting for some books to add a stack on an old chair. That's so neat to do..

Have a great day. Glad your book is almost done. Anxious to see it.


Vintage Rose Collection said...

Barbara, What a milestone, the book is almost complete!!!! You must be a proud mama... I can't wait see it!
I love decorating with books too. Stacking like colors gets them out of the closet while creating height and interest to home decor. I collect books just for their pretty covers, AND I love the idea of the book covers. Very cool!

Jen r. said...

Love this idea! I have a ton of kid's books at home that need a home!


Diana at Chloe's Chic Boutique said...

I was browsing different blogs today and ended up here... I'm glad I did :)
I love books, especially decorating books! Thanks for the display ideas.
When will your book be available?


Kathie said...

I have to say I'm not crazy about color coordinating them or doing the matching book cover thing. That's a bit precious for me. Just the profusion will do nicely. Nothing warms a room like bookshelves or stacks of books.