Top 10 Coffee Table Books

Decor, Styling

It’s a fact – I am obsessed with books, especially as styling pieces. They’re the perfect way to polish off your decor and I believe that they help to tell a story in your space. It is important to have a mixture of books, wether it is high fashion, interior design, travel, architecture or gardening. Find the ones that set your soul on fire and help to define your tastes and interests.

The wonderful thing about books as decor pieces, is that you can style them in SO MANY different ways. Sitting down, standing up, within beautiful book ends, spines showing, spines hiding, decor pieces on top, decor pieces beside….the possibilities are literally endless and each different way brings a new life to your space.

I’ve popped my top 10 interior styling coffee table books below, with direct links to where you can find them.

1. Tom Ford

One of fashions greatest icons, Tom Ford transformed Gucci from a stagnant accessories label into one of the sexiest fashion brands in the world. His designs have increased Gucci sales astronomically and has helped transform and build the brand into the luxury goods conglomerate it is today.

Available to purchase through Hampton Lane

2. Simplicity

Nancy Braithwaite

Interior designer Nancy Braithwaite’s long-awaited first book is a striking tutorial in the power of simplicity in design. In the world of interior design, Nancy Braithwaite is known for her single-minded devotion to the principle that has guided her work for more than forty years: simplicity. Braithwaite’s work is luxuriously minimalist, its beauty inextricably tied to its Shaker-like purity.

Available at Provincial Home Living

3. French Country Cottage

Courtney Allison

A romantic interpretation of French country style in a California cottage. With beautiful photography and tale about a little forgotten house that could, Courtney shares the story of her renovation of a 1940’s cottage in the California countryside. An abandoned vacation house, set in the center of rolling fields and trees becomes the cottage home of her dreams . . . a French country style cottage filled with original elements and an exquisite mix of rustic and refined. 

Available for purchase at Booktopia

4. Ballerina Project

Dane Shitagi

With over one million followers on Instagram, Ballerina Project has the largest network of followers in the world for ballet and has become an online phenomenon. Created by New York City-based photographer Dane Shitagi over the span of eighteen years, Ballerina Project has become the most significant, unique, and creative photographic archive of renowned ballerinas in the world. 

The artistry, strength, and dedication of over fifty accomplished ballerinas are beautifully captured here with over 170 inspiring photographs in both black-and-white and full color. Iconic locations across the globe including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, London, Rome, and Paris create a timeless backdrop to these remarkable portraits.

Available through Booktopia

5. The Game Changers

Samantha Brett & Steph Adams

The path to success is rarely straightforward. However, with more female trailblazers out there than ever before, achieving their career goals in the worlds of business, entertainment, fashion, politics and beyond, the game is being changed forever.

Journalist Samantha Brett and editor and art director Steph Adams have spent more than two decades between them interviewing and profiling some of the most inspiring and successful women in the world. They quickly realised that these women had a few distinct qualities in common- they are fearless in their pursuits and unafraid to go after what they want, and they do not let fear of failure stop them.

Available to purchase through Amazon

6. Dior: Catwalk

Alexander Fury

Dior: Catwalk is the first comprehensive overview of the legendary house of Dior, featuring more than 180 collections presented through original catwalk photography.

Every haute couture collection is represented inside, as are ready-to-wear collections from the arrival of John Galliano onwards. Complete with an introduction and designer profiles by Alexander Fury, Dior: Catwalk offers a unique opportunity to chart the development of one of the most influential and luxurious fashion brands of all time and discover rarely seen creations.

Boasting more than 1,100 images, Dior: Catwalk is a treasure trove of inspiration and a must-have for all Dior fans.

Available to purchase through Peters of Kensington

7. Peonies

Georgianna Lane

Peonies have always been a favourite with gardeners and cut-flower fans alike, but in 2016 their popularity went beyond bridal bouquets as the blooms took over social media – their gramming power was so huge this year that by May, Elle UK had already crowned the flowers as ‘The New Avocado’.

First outlining the history of the peony, Peonies is then split into chapters Pure, Dramatic, Romantic and Fragrant, and includes over 50 beautiful varieties as well as detailing when they bloom, their size, and, of course, what they’ll look like. From Shawnee Chief to Sarah Bernhardt, you’ll discover an eclectic selection of specimens from those that have the best visual appearance to those with the most fragrant perfume. The final section, Growing and Care, outlines those varieties which are easiest to grow and which produce the best flowers for cutting.

With contemporary commentary on each bloom, easy-to-follow advice and glorious photography, this book will appeal to everyone who appreciates the beauty of the majestic peony.

Available to purchase through Amazon

8. Homebody

Joanna Gaines

#1 New York Times Bestseller – In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts as well as your likes and dislikes with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style.

Room by room Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.

Available to purchase through Target

9. Paris

Serge Remelli

Paris… so familiar and yet surprising. In pastel shades and dazzling details like the palette of French Impressionism, Serge Ramelli presents a unique and personal photo homage to the City of Lights. With romance and history in her blood, Paris shows her tender side as never seen before.

Only Paris offers the inimitable stage that can turn every photo into a film still. In its architectural splendour, its wealth of churches, palaces, parks, and grand boulevards, the city is peerless in its beauty and allure. Add to that a long, rich, and influential history, and this coveted capital is art in its purest form.

From the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, to Montmartre and Saint-Germain-des-Pres – the traces of painters and photographers and echoes of actors and movie directors can be found all over the city. In this exquisite Paris photo book, Serge Ramelli pays tribute to this unique legacy of art and culture, capturing the city’s poetic flair. As in vintage postcards, with glowing street lights or only certain details in colour in a black and white panorama, Ramelli accentuates particular picture elements to create a modern, 3D effect, while retaining a close connection to Parisian history.

Available to purchase through Booktopia

10. Paul Bangay: Small Garden Design

Paul Bangay

Paul Bangay is renowned for the expansive and elegant gardens with classical lines and symmetrical plantings that he has created in Australia and all over the world. Yet gardens on this grand scale are not accessible to everyone. With more of us living in apartments, townhouses and terraces, our gardens are now being squeezed into small spaces such as balconies, courtyards, lightwells or rooftops – and this makes for challenging garden design.

Available to purchase at Provincial Home Living

I hope you’ve managed to find something that you can see working in your home. If you’d like to see more styling and decor tips, be sure to sign up to my newsletter, I promise that you’ll only receive the good stuff! Sign up below!

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Room Reveal – Laundry

Building, Decor, Home, Lifestyle, Styling

It’s officially here! Our very first room reveal. And I have to admit – it is one of my favourite rooms of the whole house (disclaimer: you are going to hear me say that A LOT in the coming weeks!). This room is a space that i designed to be 100% functional. Room for storage, the appliances we wanted and for it to also look pretty (not necessarily in that order).

Functionally, I wanted lots of bench space for folding, plenty of overhead cupboards for storage, a hanging rail for drying, a pull out laundry hamper to hide away the dirty clothes and, most importantly, a wine fridge for celebrating when all the work is DONE!

Being a laundry didn’t mean that it needed to be bland, boring and have no thought go into how it was going to be used. I changed the position of the sink at least 8 times throughout the design process. Ultimately this design works the best for us, for how we use the laundry, but also for how it connects to the rooms around it. The laundry is one of our first points when we enter the house, so it needed to be calming and welcoming. It needed to be an extension of the rest of our home, so neutral colours with a splash of brass (HELLO ABI Interiors brass fixtures!) and plenty of natural light was essential for the flow of our home. It is also connects to the outdoors via a full pane glass door, so it needed to be planned in a way that we could glide through easily (primarily to slide on through and grab a drink from the wine fridge!).

I did a lot of research into the products that I wanted to use in here. I tossed up between engineered stone and Laminex bench tops and in the end decided to go for the Laminex. The laundry is a space that we use daily for so many different functions, so I wanted to be sure that the products I used there would be able to withstand this. e.g. washing out paintbrushes with turps etc. For me personally, I would have a difficult time accepting damaging stone, so for this reason, Laminex was the winner. We went with a design that complimented the rest of the stone throughout the house and chose the Carrara Marble in a gloss finish (you can find all the products linked below).

Now for the pretty touches! The entire aesthetic behind the laundry was based around brass fixtures, so beautiful ABI Interiors were of course my first choice. I had seen them in my favourite magazines and knew that they would make a statement in our laundry. I also featured the same fixtures throughout the rest of our home, which gives a gentle and continual flow from the laundry to the rest of the home. It was important to me that all the fixtures had the same brass finish, so even the tile insert (drain/waste) in the floor had to be brass.

I am a firm believer in the finer details being spot on, so this was something that was non-negotiable. The fab part about selecting all of our fixtures from ABI Interiors is that the finish and colour of the brass completely matches. You would think that brass would be the same universal colour, right? WRONG! There is a huge variety in brass finishes (some are more gold, some much more orange) and then there is polished brass, antique brass, satin brass, distressed antique brass….the list goes on. Trust me when I tell you how valuable it is to find one company who are as versatile in providing such a huge range of products to fit out all the areas of your home like ABI Interiors does!

So here it is, our very first room reveal! I hope it was everything you expected and more. I can’t wait to bring you more spaces within our home!

I’d love to hear what you think of our Laundry – make sure you leave a comment below if you have any questions of comments, I always love to hear from you!

Brass Sink – ABI Interiors

Brass Tap – ABI Interiors

Brass Floor Waste – ABI Interiors

Door handles – Lo&Co Interiors

Tiles – Beaumont Tiles

Benchtop – Laminex Carrara Marble

Glass jars – Kmart

Cork Top Bottle – Kmart

Brass Curtain Rod – Spotlight

Round Brass Tray – IKEA

Best in The Business!

Building, Decor, Home, Styling

It was love at first sight.

The moment i laid eyes the amazing spaces Three Birds Renovations created, i knew I had to work with them. The opportunity arose to be part of their Reno School community and as soon as i signed up, i sunk my teeth so deep into the modules and i was literally swimming with ideas, strategies and a whole lots of interior inspiration…and it came at just the right time, we had started planning our next building project, and i was in need of a little direction and reassurance. Despite this being our third construction project, it was the first time we have decided to take on….HOLD YOUR BREATH….an owner build. Looking back now, i can’t even imagine what we were thinking. Probably something along the lines of

“we’ve built before, surely it cant be that hard

(Insert future Jo’s eye roll and forehead slap). Rookies. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but thankfully The Three Birds did, and the guidance they have provided through the use of their Reno School program has been incredible. A life saver, and a real game changer. You would think that the concepts of renovating and building would be vastly different, but what i have come to realise is that the planning and preparation is so similar. Despite this being a ‘renovation’ guide, it REALLY works for a new build to. The modules within the program include the areas of planning, finding the right trades, and planning stunning interiors, kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. They also offer advice on how to transform the exterior of your home as well. No stone is left un-turned!

And then this happened….Meeting the Three Birds Renovations girls was beyond fabulous. They are as down to Earth, helpful and as gorgeous in person as you could imagine they would be. During their guest appearance at the Sydney Home Show, they spoke candidly about their work and offered tips and tricks to bringing your dreams to life. I only had one question for them:

“How do you convince you builder…AKA husband…that white everything is a good idea?”

Thankfully Dave was with me at the time, and heard it straight from the source.

“It just is. It always is. Trust in your wife, she knows what she is doing.”

THANKS BONNIE!

I’m not going to lie and say that this piece of advice has avoided further arguments, but I can tell you that line is used over and over again when Dave tries to take the reigns on the design front! They reminded me to go with my gut instinct on design and to follow with my heart. That our home is our sanctuary and it needs to be a place we fall in love with over and over again when we wake up each morning.

So if you’re not sure where to start on your building or renovating journey, i can not recommend highly enough The Reno School by the Three Birds Renovations. You’ll find their content informative while also thoroughly enjoyable. They also offer amazing discounts to their tribe which can really save you a bundle. Their online videos make you feel as though you are a part of their design conversation and also offer plenty of laughs in what can be a really stressful experience.

I’d like to personally thank these amazing women for being so open in sharing their knowledge and advice and for letting me be a part of it. And also for giving me a little ammunition in the ‘creative discussions’ (that’s a nice way of putting it, right?) that i have with my husband when I inform him of my next design choice!

I owe you one girls…!

I can’t wait to share my spaces with you a they are brought to life. Make sure you are following along over on my design page, @dreaminginteriors to keep up to date with all the progress – wont be long now!

If you’re currently building, about to build, want to build, plan to build in the future, want to reno your current house, have a reno project you’d love to tackle, or are even slightly interested in any of the above, you HAVE to pop over and check out The Three Birds Reno School. Click HERE to find the answer to ALL of your questions!

Books You Need

Decor

They are my obsession and I just can’t get enough! I know it’s true love – because the time between ordering them online and them arriving on my doorstep – i experience absolutely NO buyers remorse! I love the look, the feel and the mood that is created by a stack of books that are placed in just the right place.

Books don’t always have to be purchased brand new, from your favourite book store, or online. Lets talk location, location, location!

Op Shops: Some of my prettiest pieces have been vintage finds sourced from op-shops and bargain centers Removing the dust jacket can expose the most gorgeous linen spine with gold foil writing…you just have to look a little deeper than the worn and torn dust jacket.

DIY: Find an old book and show it some lovin’! Nope – you don’t have to wine and dine it, but if you are into a little bit of DIY you can completely transform an old book into something amazing with some chalk paint, some gorgeous linen or even wallpaper scraps. Recently, in Aoife’s room reveal which was featured in minty Magazine, I found some 50c books from a local op-shop and covered them in different shades of pink linen. A very pretty, yet simple addition to her space.

Online: You guys know I LOVE The Book Depository. They always stock the latest titles, generally have some pretty decent discounts and offer free shipping world wide. They are my go-to and first port of call when I am looking for new coffee table pieces or books for Aoife’s room.

So what books can I NOT LIVE WITHOUT? Here they are! I’ve popped links through to where you can purchase them.

1. Chanel 3. Hardback. Francois Baudot & Francois Aveline. Book Depository.

2. It. Hardback. Alexa Chung. Book Depository.

3. Elements of Style. Hardback. Erin T. Gates. Book Depository.

4. Christian Louboutin. Hardback. Christian Louboutin & Phillipe Garcia. Book Depository.

5. Tom Ford. Hardback. Tom Ford & Bridget Foley. Book Depository.

6. Valentino: Themes and Variations. Hardback. Pamela Goblin. Book Depository.

7. Chanel Catwalk. Hardback. Patrick Mauries. Book Depository.

8. All In Good Taste. Hardback. Kate Spade New York. Book Depository.

9. Cupcakes and Cashmere At Home. Hardback. Emily Schuman. Book Depository.

9. The Little Book of Fashion. Hardback. Christian Dior. Book Depository.

11. Chanel: Collections and Creations. Hardback. Daniele Bott. Book Depository.

12. Oscar De La Renta. Hardback. Andre Leon Talley. Book Depository.