New Design Books I’m loving …

New books

Yo. Some quick fast recommendations for y’all by people in my industry who I respect SO MUCH. Now that I’m working on the book I am buying/devouring more and more design/art books, with wonder if mine will ever come out (it will, there is a contract, fall, 2015, folks it just feels sooooo far away) and when it does, if it will be good. I thought my summer was going to be kinda relaxing but I have a feeling that i’ll be obsessing about every shot in this book. Its kinda like why even do it if you don’t make it REALLY good, right? It’s just wasted effort if its mediocre.

So this is my official ‘Nice job guys, you done good’ post.

Creative Block by Danielle Krysa of The Jealous Curator. I shocked how much I love this book considering I’m not an artist. Creative blocks come in so many different forms, for not just artists and designers and in this book Danielle Krysa asked 50 of her favorite artists how they deal with that. It’s not wordy, it’s not full of essays, just real life quick stories and advise of how they get over the natural, yet dreaded and often soul sucking, creative block. Plus Danielle is one of the nicest, most lovely to be around people on the planet.

Bright Bazaar by Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar Blog. Who doesn’t love Will Taylor. I missed his signings here last week since i was in New York, but I’ve always been a fan of his blog and his style. Its full of color, fun and whimsy, without being cheesy or too young. This book is full of a ton of great snippets of design advise that is approachable without being cheap.

Decorate with flowers by Holly Becker of Decor8. It’s a book full of beautiful houses with beautiful flowers so whats not to love? My old house is in it, so is DesignLoveFest and SFGirlbybay’s. I just got it last week and haven’t had a chance to read it but those pictures sure are nice.

Whatever you are be a good one by Lisa Congdon. I just purchased this but haven’t gotten it yet, but I’ve been a huge fan of Lisa for years and pretty much love anything she does. So I’m very excited to get this book.

Also as a general note – if you guys buy these on Amazon (which I do) and you like the book, go ahead and rate them 5 stars. I guess this is strangely important to their searchability or something. None of the authors asked me to say that or even told me about that, I’ve just heard it a few times so I wanted to throw that out there.

Am I missing any great new design books? Oh WAIT, I LOVE the new Remodelista book, too. Any others?

  1. Tess

    I love Lisa’s work too! Her new art exhibit ‘lines and circles’ is way fab and I want them all! Bright Bazaar will be next on my list

  2. Sarah

    Maybe it’s counterintuitive for a designer, but I think Undecorate is the best design book ever. Would love to know what you think.

    Two posts in one day? Made my day!

  3. Rose

    I just got Will’s book the other night at a party for him at Jonathan Adler! Looking forward to drawing inspiration from it this summer :)

    Blonde in this City

  4. Elizabeth

    Hi Emily. Regarding your own book, you had asked for your blog readers to submit stylish homes for inclusion in your book; do you plan to let those people (read: me, et al) know if they’re been selected or not? I really think it would be nice to hear either way. Moreover, hopeful breath is being held and I’m turning blue. :) Thank you! Elizabeth

    • Rosie

      Totally agree with Elizabeth! It would be nice to hear a follow-up on this one.

  5. Elisabeth

    Ooh! I just saw Decorating with Flowers at our library yesterday, but my two-year-old ran away from me and I forgot to check it out. It seems like a return trip to the library is in order :)

  6. 3 Design books I really dig:

    1. Home by Novogratz
    2. Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney
    3. Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy Hardcover by Deborah Needleman

  7. Kim

    The title is NEW DESIGN BOOKS I’M LOVING… Enough with the OLD design books that we all have (Design*Sponge, Domino etc… – they’re AWESOME, but we ALL have them). And Remodelista’s book is freakin fabulous!!

    Emily, how could you leave off Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason’s book Remix? You designed her space for SFAS. You know, Aphrochic. You even did a project with her and had the article about it on the blog.

    Another book I like right now for the styling is Modern Rustic by Emily Henson. If I remember correctly though, she didn’t actually write the book but that didn’t bother me because I actually purchased specifically for the styling.

  8. Sandy

    I have Whatever You Are Be A Good One by Lisa Congdon and it is wonderful! You will not be disappointed. I’ve always loved Bright Bazaar too and just the cover photo alone on that book makes me want to run out and buy it! I’ll have to order that one next. Thanks for the recommendations.

  9. Monica

    Thanks for this! I’m always looking for fun decor books.

  10. Kyla

    …or instead of buying them off Amazon, try your local independent bookstore. Or your library. Or somewhere that cares about the arts and artists and culture and beauty… to find your local independent store

  11. Terri

    If I like a book, I will rate it four stars, never five. Five stars is reserved for bookslike “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and “A Prayer for Owen Meany”. This is the reason for all the rating inflation on Amazon, something that drives me bonkers.

  12. We have an independent online magazine called and we just produced a special print edition that is full of inspiration! I can send you a copy if you send me your deets! It’s available on our website at

  13. Am looking SO forward to your book! (Just sent you the wrong contact email into last comment! It’s been a looong day!)

  14. Debbie

    Emiliy you must get Ted Kennedy Watson’s first and fabulous book Style & Simplicity: An A to Z Guide to Living a More Beautiful Life. It was just released earlier this month and is just wonderful. It is the total package from the feel of the cover, the great photos (all taken by the author) to the simple no nonsense advice. And the next time you are in Seattle you must stop at one of his shops Watson Kennedy there is one in Pike’s Market and one downtown. They are just treasure troves of hand selected items both new and vintage for your home and some wonderful jewelry as well. Check out his blog I have been hooked ever since his marvelous windows drew me in off the street on a visit to Seattle last year.

  15. Remix. We’d love it if you’d post about your beautiful project featured in the book!

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