Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Domythic Book Club

I thought it might be fun to recommend a few books I've found helpful over the years. Sadly there seems to be no single volume out there that encapsulates Domythic style, but these are a few that I feel contain bits and pieces of what I consider to be the goals of the decor style.

Interior Alchemy: Secrets to Expressing Creative Ambiance.
This book was recommended to me by Jen Parrish, a friend whose aesthetic and decorating taste I value very highly. The book starts out with a section explaining how to "hoosh" an interior...a term that seems to be similar to the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy idea of zhooshing up one's appearance, only applied to decor. "A hoosh is an arrangement that works, that has a sense of balance and its own internal coherence..." The book goes on to give several examples of interior styles that successfully "hoosh" a space. Some are a bit ramshackle looking, but almost all the pictures include content that can be used as inspiration. The real gem here, however, is the text. The suggestions are extremely inspirational, explaining how to infuse your house with a sense of history and collection.

Rustic Accents for Your Home: 45 Projects from Vines, Twigs & Branches
This is a book I've picked up at the library where I work. Some of the projects are a little more "country cabin" than my preference (making words with twigs, etc) but a lot of them have great potential for the mythic home too. Plus the book begins with an excellent section explaining in general how to harvest and prepare vines twigs and branches for use in the home.

Country Living A Bit of Velvet and a Dash of Lace.
I've checked this one out from the library multiple times. Magnolia Pearl has a very distinct and signature style, leaning heavily on antique lace and velvet. Sometimes her interiors are a bit too over-the-top for myself personally, but again, I can dissect the images and almost always find inspiration in the components. I love her use of garden statuary in her home, and of course the fabrics are droolworthy.

Nell Hill's Feather Your Nest

(and all other volumes by Mary Carol Garrity) I have to admit, Nell Hill's books are my personal favorite when it comes to interior decor inspiration. She just seems to get the mixture of nature mixed with elegance...acknowledging and tossing aside the rules of decorating when needed...just right. Or at least just the way I like it. I especially love her book on Christmas decor, Nell Hill's Christmas at Home. I've used it for more than just Christmas decor inspiration.

William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Home
I'm just a tad bit biased toward the Arts and Crafts design style, as should not surprise anyone who follows my other blog. This is probably my favorite book on William Morris' style, as it contains both gorgeous pictures of his homes and other Victorian spaces he helped decorate, plus modern examples of people who have designed their interiors inspired by his art.

So now it's your turn...what interior decorating books do you recommend?


  1. I second William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Home. They are all gorgeous houses and I regularly flick through the pages for inspiration.

    I tend to not read much in the way of interiors books (unless they are Arts and Crafts/Gothic revival related) but I do enjoy Period Living magazine. Although it is obviously dealing with period houses they quite often feature quite quirky homes that are very inspiring.

  2. Dang, there goes my book budget. I want them all! Here's another one to add: "In a Spiritual Style: The Home as Sanctuary," by Laura Cerwinske.


    "Carl and Karin Larsson Creators of the Swedish Style"

    "Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Garden"

    -- Terri Windling

  3. Oh these are wonderful. I go in and out of this style and always turn back to French style, but my heart is always tugged by the mythical and magical. Anita

  4. Gardening Through the Ages by Penelope Hobhouse. Another book I THOUGHT I owned but can't find is a wonderful book on traditional French gardens, that combined veggies, herbs and flowers, so that all the senses are covered.

    There is also a wonderful series of books on Arts and Crafts bungalows, one book per section of house-one for bathrooms, one for kitchens etc etc. I'll have to look the above up and see if I can find titles and authors names.

  5. Bryony, I'll have to see if I can get that magazine at the library!

    Terri, I added all of those books to my request list at the library. Can't wait to read them!

    Anita, I think you balance the French style with the magic and create a perfect blend :)

    Leigh, I look forward to trying to get the books you mentioned! Let me know if you remember the missing titles :)

  6. Grace, as requisted... I've been busy, spent some time looking up the Bungalow books...

    Bungalow Series by Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen---

    Bungalow: the ultimate arts and crafts home

    Bungalow Details: interiors

    Bungalow Bathrooms

    Bungalow Kitchens

    That's the only ones in the series that I know of. And SUPRISE! I'm NOT crasy after all! I DO own the book on French gardening...

    The Art of French Vegetable Gardening by Louisa Jones 1995

    This has a bunch of recipes as well as tons of gardening pics-even some practicle advice DIY on making your own traditional French veggie garden. I love this book and love the idea of ALL needs fulfilled in one garden.

  7. Bungalow by Jane Powell was terrific. Pretty pictures of course, but the text itself is not only unusually readable, it's truly delightful.

  8. I KNEW there was a reason why my book request list at the library was dwindling so low...it was to make room for all these delicious new suggested titles!! Can't wait to try these!! Tess, I *think* I've read that one before, but it was before I had a place to decorate, so I definitely want to read it again now!!

  9. I remember reading Magnolia Peal's book and thinking, "Now, she cannot have cats. How would you clean that place!" I was inspired by her recovering of old sofa's, we have a beat down red velvet Victorian style couch that could use some patching and TLC. Too much lace is not my thing, but it might work if paired with some plainer textiles.

    I just read and enjoyed "A Home of Her Own" about women renovating and decorating homes (and more). There are some gorgeous places and inspiring stories. Here is her blog tied to the book; if I remember correctly one of the chapters is about a woman who has written books about Arts and Crafts houses: http://ahomeofherown.wordpress.com/

    1. Ooops, should have read that closer. Magnolia Pearl!

      Also, I'd love inspirational magazine recommendations too.

  10. Thank you Amy! I think I've read A Home of Her Own, but I'll have to re-request it!

    Sadly, my favorite magazine is out of print now...Cottage Living :(