MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Novel Interiors by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti

Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature
ISBN: 9780385345996
Publisher's Synopsis:
For those who have ever lost themselves in the stylish worlds of novels like Sense and Sensibility, The Age of Innocence, Wuthering Heights, The Picture of Dorian Gray and countless others, this design book embraces the fantasy of time and place, showing you how to bring some of those elements into your own home.

Lisa Giramonti inspires a new approach to decorating: by teaching us through the lens of worlds we may already know and love. With gorgeous photographs by World of Interiors photographer Ivan Terestchenko, aspirational quotes, and tailored reading lists, Novel Interiors reveals the essence and details of interiors mentioned in great literary works. This is a stunning, photo-driven book that shares enchanting and timeless ways to live more elegantly.
  A Bloomsbury Life

"Through the lens of the words, one sees new things.
You might say "I never thought I could make a room that looks like what so-and-so was describing,"
but maybe you can -- and maybe you will.
Or maybe you are already in one."
David Netto
Los Angeles 2014

MrsK's Review:
Inside the covers of this journey you will find so many insights, a treasury of memories, and an abundance of decorating visions for your home. At first I sat down expecting an enjoyable moment of browsing, which is what I was given. Days later, I returned for a few moments to read the photo captions and was immediately lost in the details of the rooms. A week later my visit lasted through out the lazy morning. 
"We don't just read a great story, we inhabit it.
If you're at all like me, 
it's what happens between the plot points of a novel that creates the most indelible impression.
Of course, the story line is important, but what you really remember
are all of those tiny details that pull you into beautiful worlds that you hate to leave."

Such a delightful quote. With each page I discovered cherished quotes from books that are such good friends you would find them within my bookcases. With every photo, I would inspect the details in awe. Often there were sighs of contentment, quiet "oohs" and many "ah-hah" nods. At times would recognize an item in my home and memories would flash like snapshots in a photo album. Yet, there were so many more moments where I would daydream of a change in that corner, or a revamping of that area, and of course those moments of additions inside and out on my patio.

You will experience delightful moments of discovery and inspiration as you reconnect with moments from those storytellers that have illuminated imaginations or generations:
  • "The cottage of content [is] better than the Palace of cold splendor, and that was where love was, all was." David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (pg.23).  With an inviting breakfast partially eaten on the kitchen counter just reminding me of a kitchen I once knew.
  • "It was just what it ought to be, and it looked what it was." Emma by Jane Austen (pgs. 26-27). With furniture that is worn, the trunk as a coffee table and my mother's sketches on the wall... I glanced around my front room and was reassured in the comfort of my home.
  • "See!' said Eugene, 'miniature flour-barrel, rolling- pin, spice-box, shelf of brown jars, chopping-board, coffee-mill, dresser elegantly furnished with crockery, saucepans and pans, roasting jack, a charming kettle, an armory of dish-covers. The moral influence of these objects, in forming the domestic virtues, may have an immense influence upon me..." Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (pgs. 30-31). I adored this pantry. What a great idea. Instead of having a pantry of cans, I could renovate my pantry will all things for guests. Displaying all the wonderful generational items. Adding the decadent jams and biscuits. Folding the guest and holiday linens. And what would I do with my every day stockpile of cans, flours, etc... why hide them on the shelves where all of my guest items once lived!
  • "Don't let us make it tidy,' said Mary anxiously. 'It wouldn't be a secret garden if it was tidy." The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (pgs. 32-33). I could smell the flowers outside the window. I glimpsed the pots that added layers to the patio's edge... I was ready to go on to the patio and begin replanting!
  • "The linen...though coarse, was clean and smelt beautifully of lavendar." The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (pgs. 38-39). The whimsy of a built in bed. The detail of items loved, crafted, and cherished. Which room should the construction begin in?
  • "Every room feels as cozy and welcoming as the kitchen... A home that embraces these qualities is a place friends will return to again and again." (pgs. 48-51). Not only did I fall in love with this kitchen, I realized some of the angles could benefit my kitchen layout. "In Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, there's a blissful-sounding 'wilderness of books' in the March family's library that Jo hurries to every chance she can." Check... I have recreated this image in every home... this is my touch of comfort... my retreat that I share with all who enter our doors.
  • "Jo hurried to this quiet place, and curling herself up in the easy chair, devoured poetry, romance, history, travels, and pictures like a regular bookworm." Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (pgs. 54-55). Recreating our own 'comfy' spot is a must in every home, on any porch, and within any garden. The author has great little hints on creating the "ultimate cozy corner" which brings to life all of your hidden treasures or at least "plants" a seed as to what you could look for when out and about your town.
  •  "In every nook and corner there was some queer little table, or cupboard, or bookcase, or seat, or something or other, that made me think there was not such another good corner in the room; until I looked at the next one, and found it equal to it, if not better." David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (pgs. 58-59). With an abundance of treasures from the past, I value that everywhere, everyday generational touch. Not every photo lends to my liking... yet every quote offered an insight into the depth of inspiration from authors I have known.
 Beyond the quotes, beyond the images, there are the best "tidbits" from what to look for when you are out and about, or suggestions for naming your home. Maybe you want a quick reference about color and texture choices. Maybe a suggestion or two for entertaining with just the right touches. Or maybe you just enjoy literary connections. This book offers a treasure with every browse!

There are so many delightful treasures within every photo and behind every quote,
Enjoy your discoveries, your memories, and your quest in redecorating even the smallest area of your home.

So enjoyable!
The perfect table browser!
Meet the Author:
Lisa Borgnes Giramonti: Artist + Blogger, A Bloomsbury Life  In 2008, Lisa Borgnes Giramonti founded a lifestyle/design blog called "A Bloomsbury Life" with one goal in mind: to figure out how to live a modern life through an Old World lens. Since then, over two million visitors have joined her on her quest to live more meaningfully. Today, "A Bloomsbury Life" attracts over 50,000 hits a month and is read by people in over 140 countries.
Lisa has written for Martha Stewart magazine, Hyland magazine and was given her own style column in W Magazine. In addition, she has been featured on the pages of many design magazines, blogs and national newspapers. Lisa's personal story and lifestyle are featured in the 2011 book Undecorate by Christiane Lemieux (Potter Style) and the 2012 book The Mothers of Reinvention by Jennifer Pate and Barbara Machen. 
Lisa is also an embroidery artist, and in 2013 the Huffington Post declared her one of "Five LA Women Artists to Watch" -- in their words, "She melds the lost art of needlepoint with a Dorothy Parker-like sensibility." Her work is in many private collections including Soho House Hollywood. Her 2010 solo show at the ACME Gallery in Beverly Hills was featured in the LA Times, Angeleno Magazine, C Magazine and other art journals.
present in the home of Anglophile artist Lisa Borgnes Giramonti ...

"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

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