December 14, 2012

My House in Books

As I mentioned back in May, my husband and I bought our first house! There's nothing quite like buying a home to make you feel like a grown up.

I thought I'd do a little something different today by giving you a peak inside my home. A person's home can reveal so much about them - what's important to them, where they spend their time, what they value, as well as their sense of style. 

Instead of giving you a full house tour, I thought it would make more sense to give you a "book tour." I don't just love reading books - I like decorating with them too!

Without further ado, let's step inside.


You pull into the driveway, open the garage door and you're greeted with this lovely little setup. A tray centered between two candlestick lamps sits on a top of an antique chest with a fake plant (because goodness knows I can't keep a real one alive) and three of my blue decorating books (The Home Book, Decorate and The Well-Dressed Home). Drop your keys in the bowl and come on in!


Grab a treat for the puppy and take a look through my cookbooks (The Sugar Cube, The Southern Foodie, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, The Commonsense Kitchen, Bon Appetit: Fast Easy Fresh, Bon Appetit and Between the Hedges) while you grab a Diet Coke from the fridge. I don't use these books as frequently as I'd like to, but I'm working on it. I'm also hoping Christmas brings lots of new additions to this area of my kitchen. And you gotta admire the Scottie dog bookends! 


While you're cooking up something awesome (from one of the fabulous books by the fridge, duh!), grab a spatula from the utensil jar and glance at my antique Anne books. As you probably know by now, I love Anne Shirley. So, I was delighted to find these two books from the series (Anne of Ingleside and Anne's House of Dreams) at an antique store near my house for $5 total! I love that I found Anne's House of Dreams because it's the book where Anne and Gilbert get married and live in their first home. Perfection!


Walk past the kitchen table. There's a sitting area on the kitchen side in front of the double-sided fireplace, and you'll find three more blue books (Jane Austen in Scarsdale, Fifth Avenue 5 A.M. and My Name is Memory) under these gorgeous canisters that my mom's friend gave me as a wedding gift. 


Keep moving, and you'll find yourself in the living room. You've got to have a bookshelf in a room where you can sit and read by the fire!

Three books (Southern Weddings, Celerie Kemble: To Your Taste and Mary McDonald Interiors) are stacked under a crystal bowl that I received as a wedding gift. Glance at the lovely painting titled "The Proposal" that my grandmother gave me when handsome and I got engaged, and then you can look through some of my favorite coffee table books. Organized by color, there's mostly decorating, Downton Abbey, L.M. Montgomery and some Jane Austen on this shelf. 

The next shelf holds the books that are too tall to stand upright in this bookcase - Taschen's Paris, Taschen's London, Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design and Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood's Greatest Costume Designer. I adore the first two books - they'll inspire you to pack your bags and jet off to Europe. While I'm not into costume design in particular, I love Old Hollywood style. You could spend a whole weekend lost in the glamourous photos of the second two books.

A green Chevron bowl sits atop of Nina Garcia's fashion books (The One Hundred, The Little Black Book of Style, The Style Strategy and Look Book) and next to them you can see one of my wedding photos!


Green chairs flank a little green table with two black books with gold lettering on top. The first, Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, was purchased by my Grammy from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. The second, a Barnes and Noble copy of Jane Austen's Emma, I chose just because it looked similar to the first. The most recent copies of all my magazines (typically InStyle, Entertainment Weekly, and Lucky) are stacked underneath the table for your reading pleasure should you choose to take a seat!


Open the master bedroom door, and you'll find the bedside reading. My Kindle is parked right by the bed because I do some of my best reading before I fall asleep. You may notice that it's all dressed up here in the super adorable case I got from simbiosisbyjulia shop on etsy. The exact case I got isn't available anymore, but browse all her other cute options!

In the basket underneath, you'll find a bunch of books. There are always multiple stacks of current reads and to-be-read-soon (right now that includes Dee Henderson's Full Disclosure and Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys), as well as my Bible and journal. I've also got a huge collection of Flair felt tip pens, a Lilly Pulitzer planner and some various charging accessories hiding down there, too.  

Plus, what beside table would be complete without a jewelry box, a candle, some of the best lotion ever, a wedding picture with my bridesmaids and a bowl for gathering all my hair bands, bobby pins and my everyday jewelry? And I'm so obsessed with my crazy cool coaster from
Anthropologie - can't be getting water rings on my furniture!


Take a seat in my favorite Ikat chair from TJ Maxx and grab something off the "favorites" shelf. The lovely illustration of the five girls reading is a print by Inslee - a birthday gift from my sweet friend. A photo of me and my best friend (in a cool monogrammed frame she gave me when she asked me to be her MOH) sits next to one of my favorite wedding pictures. Then there's a little figurine of a girl holding twin babies, which I've had for years because I'm the big sister to twins! The blue canvas has an Audrey Hepburn quote, which is from the livingston & porter etsy shop.

The milk glass bowl is filled to the brim with lip balms, lipsticks and lip gloss. Whenever I'm ready for a change, I just swap out some of the ones in my purse for some of the ones piled up here. This shelf looks a little lonely, but only because I'm hoping to get the other 36 Hours book for Christmas. I had to get the shelf ready just in case Santa's listening!

To the right, my hardcover Emily Giffin books are all lined up. She isn't my favorite author ever, but she writes some of my favorite chick lit and her books look so cute all lined up. I love spending an afternoon lost in one of her books. Another wedding photo keeps them in line, and two special Diet Cokes hang out there, too. One of them came from a friend who brought it back from Israel, and the other is from the handsome one. 

Two years ago, the handsome one had a special surprise for me in honor of my 21st birthday. Since he knew that I wasn't planning on drinking, he showed up with my one addiction: Diet Coke. He walked into my house carrying a 6-pack of Diet Coke because, as he said, "Everyone has to have too much of something on their 21st." I drank all but one, so that I could save it. It now sits on my bookshelf as a daily reminder of why I love my husband.

Jump down a shelf, and you'll find my Penguin Classics. So far, I've managed to snag Sense and Sensibility, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Little Women, Emma, Middlemarch, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. I've also got Pride and Prejudice, but that currently resides on a different shelf. As you may already know, I'm hoping to find the rest of the Austen classics under the tree this year. A framed wedding photo and some antique metal horses I collected back in the day are keeping the classics company.

An Atlanta snow globe, another wedding photo and the Hunger Games series have laid claim to this shelf. Months later and yes, I'm still in love with Peeta. Sorry I'm not sorry!

I was super late to the Harry Potter party, but at least I made it! I've got hardcover copies of all seven books, which I picked up for super cheap at a local used bookstore. That was one bonus to buying them after everyone else! Confession: I also own them all in paperback and audiobook, and at least three in ebook form. Struggle. I'm using a Chinese Foo Dog, also known as a guardian lion, as a bookend. I found it at TJ Maxx while I was helping the handsome one shop for the apartment he lived in after graduating. It's the perfect reminder of a fun day with the one I love. And there's another framed wedding photo. I know, they just keep coming.

Finally, here's my Jane Austen shelf. I technically collect copies of Pride and Prejudice, but it's kind of spilled over into other lovely copies of Austen's works. However, the Pride and Prejduice collection includes: White's Fine Edition (my favorite cover!), a red leather copy from an antique store, a copy purchased at the Jane Austen Museum in Bath, the blue Barnes and Noble leather version, the Ruben Toledo cover, a cute pink copy I found in San Francisco, and the Penguin Classics edition and a copy my husband bought me while on business trip in Japan. I'm racking up! it doesn't include my Annotated Edition (favorite copy ever!), which is currently displayed on the living room bookshelf. Another wedding photo is propped up in front, and next to it is a giraffe I got in South Africa (where I met my man).


Go upstairs and open the office door - surprise! It's the main book collection. Handsome's office currently doubles as my library, and it makes me so happy to see all my pretties looking so fancy on my Ikea EXPEDIT shelves. This is my most "undecorated" room so far, but it's on the to do list! I can't wait to makeover this office and add more elements to make it a true reading room. I'm always rearranging my books, but I've currently got an alphabetical by author organizational system going on right now. 

There's also some bathrooms, a dining room and two more bedrooms, but I don't have any books in those rooms right now so they'll maintain an air of mystery I suppose. So, what's my home say about me? Spot any favorite books or ones you want to check out? This turned in to one of my longest posts ever, but I hope you enjoyed! Welcome to my happy little home!

16 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness -- this might just be my favourite of your posts so far! You really have a flair for decorating and your books look SO perfect in each location that you showcased. Seriously, I'm in awe. I just have nine bookshelves in a row (also Ikea, but not as pretty as yours), with everything in alphabetical order (but grouped in YA/kids, then adult fiction, then non-fiction). Your collection is just WAY cooler.

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    1. It's one of my favorite posts, too. I'd been wanting to do it for a long time and thought it was finally time to put it out there :) And thanks for the sweet compliment about my decorating! I love when everything starts coming together, and I love finding the perfect spot for my books, too. Thanks for the kind words lady!

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  2. Oh man, where oh where did you get that bedside table? I am absolutely in awe of it. I also am kicking myself for wanting us to get a bedroom set so bed when we first bought our house. UGH. It would be so nice to have a little bit more freedom. I think I'm going to have to convince the husband to let it go after his law school days are over.

    It's funny... last night I decorated for Christmas and I was like trying to place books just right and I have a lot of piles all over the place. I think in January I'm going to request the husband to work on a new shelving idea for our living room. Our ceilings are so high and something like those shelves in your office (and higher) would do so well in there and then I can hide a lot of other crap too.

    I love your style! Not that that is shocking. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. Thanks Estelle! The bedside table was at a local antique store. Don't you love when you find something so cool like that?! It's the best feeling! And I totally know what you mean about rushing to buy stuff. My mom told me that I just needed to let certain spaces be empty until I found just the right thing. I'm so glad I listened to her! And you should totally do a little redecorating post-law school. You've got to celebrate somehow, right?

      I hope your husband does build you some bookshelves! I think that's a wonderful idea, and they really are perfect for hiding lots of crap :)

      Thanks for the sweet compliment about my style! You're so sweet!

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  3. LOVELY! Everything looks so good. I've been waiting to see pics, so I'm glad you finally shared. Love all the details, and love seeing books all over yours house. They manage to find their way throughout mine as well.

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    1. Thanks! I really appreciate that :) I love incorporating my books throughout my house, especially since they all migrate around anyway.

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  4. I'm so glad you did this post - I loved seeing all the photos of your books and how you decorate with them! I love your bedside table and the blue bookshelf (2nd last picture). In our new home, I was so excited to finally have my own "library", that most of my books are now in it, but you've inspired me to be okay with having books elsewhere in my home. Not that I don't have *piles* everywhere...but I wouldn't really call that *decorating* lol.

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    1. Thanks Brie! Both the bedside table and bookshelf were from antique stores near my house. I love digging around and finding the perfect treasure. Especially because it's usually something you'll never find anywhere else. And yes, you should definitely include book throughout your home! They're such a great thing to decorate with and make your whole house feel more YOU :)

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  5. ALL OF THE BOOKS! I love how you've incorporated them into all areas of the home! Thank you for sharing. :)

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    1. Thanks Lisa! I loved sharing this - it's actually one of my favorite posts so far. Glad you enjoyed :)

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  6. OMG LOVE! We just moved into our apartment when we got married and I've been having the hardest time decorating/finding room for all of the books. Your setup looks AMAZING!!

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    1. Thanks Jamie! Getting married and then moving to a new place was kind of horrible at first haha!! I don't know about y'all but we had like no furniture and it was stressing me out to see so much empty space haha!

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  7. NICE :) And can I just say how much I love your distressed wood. Especially your end table.

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  8. Love your home! I especially love the two pictures of your larger bookcases. The teal one and the white one. If I was a guest in your house, I'd probably be very inappropriate and just sit down in front and look at everything, every title. THEN, I'd move to sit in your furniture, which is where you'd mostly have already directed me. You know, being Southern and all. My grandmother would have a FIT.

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    1. First, I'd love it if you were a guest in my house. Second, I'd love it even more if you just sat down and looked at my bookcase. I'd know we were MEANT to be friends if you checked out my books - that's the first thing I want to do when I go into a new home. I have to figure out if we have similar book taste so we can then talk books :)

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