Five Decorating Books I Love

As you’ve probably guessed, I can’t get enough of beautiful imagery. I’m happily addicted to Pinterest and also find myself prone to buying books on design, fashion, architecture and style. I’ve had to pare down my book collection recently for the sake of space and sanity but there are some books that I cannot live without. I’ve highlighted five books below on decorating that I think the Beekman aficionado will identify with and appreciate. Do you have any favorites you’d like to recommend?


Antiques collector and interior designer Axel Vervoordt has an effortless style that combines old-world rusticity with new-world modernity that I really find inspiring. His rooms are lived-in and comfortable but also intriguingly dramatic. In this book, the interiors of 23 homes across the United States and Europe are profiled. His design philosophy is discussed in beautiful essays that enhance the photography.

AN AFFAIR WITH A HOUSE by Bunny Williams

Bunny Williams is one of the most acclaimed and respected American interior designers and her books never disappoint. This one in particular is a beautiful – almost poetic – rendering of her love affair with the Connecticut farm house she shares with her husband and their two dogs. Bunny’s approach to decorating is traditional, blending precious antiques with well-loved flea market finds to achieve welcoming and comforting spaces. While reading this book, which also contains recipes and gardening tips, I felt like a guest in her home.


Architect Gil Shaefer is probably my favourite designer. His approach to design matches my own almost identically and yet it inspires and challenges me to think outside my own design parameters. In this book, he reveals all of the challenges and benefits of committing oneself to creating a home that never loses sight of American traditionalism while always embracing modern living. His own home in Connecticut is profiled and four other homes that he designed or refurbished are featured as well. Each home in this book is an inspiration to me.


Designer, antiques collector and interior designer Thomas Jayne renders gorgeous interiors that value American design traditions. In doing so, he also creates rooms that are functional, never over-stuffed or cluttered with fussy antiques. He refuses to let modern design overshadow the quality of tradition but incorporates whimsical and updated elements that add personality and contrast to his rooms.

MONOCHROME by Paula Rice Jackson and John F. Saladino

This book is a compilation of interiors by various designers and architects, all based around the theme of the monochromatic color palette. From traditional to ultra-modern, all styles are covered, all conveying the essence of monochromatic design: a sense of balance, peace and harmony. The rooms are soothing and embracing precisely because of their lack of contrast. I learned a lot about the discipline of this design principle by studying this book.




Andrew Ritchie is the creator of Martha Moments, a blog devoted Martha-Stewart related content and her community of supporters. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada, and has been a longtime friend of Brent & Josh, Beekman 1802 and Sharon Springs. Each week he’ll scour the world (wide web) to find the 5 most beautiful things to inspire you. Follow Andrew on Pinterest.


by Andrew

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Love An Affair With A House. You might also like the three books from Michael S. Smith. He has beautiful taste. Victoria Hagen’s book Interior Portraits is stunning. American Modern from Thomas O’Brien is a great read. I just finished Thom Filicia’s new book American Beauty. Happy reading!

Susan Elwood

Fun, fun, I could look to these all day……my husband will cringe, thinking “Oh no here we go again, more ideas for me to make happen!”

Christopher Bois

What a great list of books. My favorite is Bunny Williams. Love her look and home.


Christopher, you’re welcome! I highly, highly recommend The Great American Home. Bunny Williams writes the foreword and the houses are beautifully done – inside and out – by architect Gil Shaefer.