7 Snowy Day Reads for The Design Inclined

So, it appears that there’s a storm brewing (and they’re calling it, alarmingly, a Bomb Cyclone, and predicting ice storms in Florida of all places!) If you’re able to escape the bitter cold and spend a day hibernating at home, there’s still time to beg, borrow, or buy a book to cozy up with. After you’ve braved the crowds getting bread and milk, hunker down for the duration with a cup of tea and a good read.


1. The House in Good Taste by Elsie de Wolfe (Rizzoli USA)

De Wolfe was a pioneer in the world of interior design. She was also an actress. And a socialite. And named best-dressed woman in the world in 1935. Girlfriend had it going on. Though this book was published in 1913, much of the interior design advice is applicable today.

Words of wisdom: “Probably when another woman would be dreaming of love affairs, I dream of the delightful houses I have lived in.”


2. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines (Thomas Nelson)

They’re the Beyoncé and Jay-Z of the design world. They made shiplap a household word. They run an empire that includes real estate, restaurants, and retail stores–and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Their latest project, which they announced last night, is a new baby, their fifth.  Their energy knows no bounds. The book details how they met and built their businesses through talent, hard work and sheer force of will. (Chip’s new book, Capital Gaines, was released in October 2017.)

Words of Wisdom: “I always thought that the “thriving” would come when everything was perfect, and what I learned is that it’s actually down in the mess that things get good.” –Joanna Gaines


3. 100 Interiors Around the World (Taschen)

Are you a world traveler? Would you like to be a world traveler? Would you like to decorate like a world traveler? This is the book for you. Featuring images by interior design photographers, it includes homes on six continents furnished in a variety of styles, created by some of the world’s top designers.

Words of Wisdom: “Only art has the power to turn a bunker into something that is relevant to us today.” Media entrepreneur, Christian Boros.


4. Elements of Style: Designing a Home and a Life by Erin Gates (Simon & Schuster)

Gates is a blogger and interior designer who takes readers through the house, offering design advice—accompanied by gorgeous photos—for each room. She offers practical tips for handling the messy realities of life with creative, stylish aplomb.

Words of Wisdom: “I love the way spaces tell stories and how stories are born from creating spaces.” Erin Gates


5. The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus (Random House Publishing Group)
He’s Oprah’s favorite interior designer. He and his husband have a show on TLC (Nate & Jeremiah By Design). And he’s adorable. In this book, he explains his decorating philosophy: our homes should be true reflections of who we are and what we hold dear. The book is part design journal, part autobiography and features photos of Berkus’ own home, plus a dozen others in styles ranging from ultra modern to rustic.

Words of Wisdom: “The truth is, things matter…. They represent what we’ve seen, who we’ve loved and where we hope to go next.”


6. The Cocktail Party: Eat Drink Play Recover by Mary Giuliani (Penguin Random House)
Giuliani, a caterer to the stars, is the daughter-in-law of New Jersey interior designer Tess Giuliani. Her book offers helpful tips for hosting cocktail parties for any occasion. Interspersed with personal stories of hosting triumphs and disasters (she invited neighbors to dinner at the bottom of her empty swimming pool on the same day the pool company showed up to fill it), the book makes you feel as though Giuliani is at your side as you navigate the challenges of hosting.

Words of Wisdom: “All the world’s a stage; my stage is your table.”


7. Cocktail Chameleon by Mark Addison (Assouline)
Addison, an event designer and producer, knows his way around a cocktail party. He also knows just about everything there is to know about cocktails—history, variations, techniques. He includes tips on proper serving ware and garnishes as he takes you through breakfast (Bloody Marys), lunch (punch), dinner (martinis) and dessert (Irish Coffee). Pace yourself.

Words of Wisdom: “It’s called entertaining for a reason: you get to have fun while you do it!”