Sunday, 5 February 2012

Beautiful Books - Decorate by Holly Becker

Writing my blog has always been a journey for me. I never knew where it would lead, but that was always part of the fun. Along the way I've had to learn lots of new things and stretch my ideas and imagination a little further. This post is a little experiment in the blogging process, but also an homage to another blogger, Holly Becker who continues to inspire me with her work.

Some time ago one of my readers commented that my pictures were too small, this is unfortunately the way that Blogger compresses the images for the site, and so far has been a stretch too far for my blogging skills. However, I have recently begun a web design course which is giving me a little confidence to press the 'edit html' button that appears on my blogging page.

So here goes, I really hope this works as this post is all about beautiful books and to do them justice it's only fair I show them a little larger...

So far, so good.

I've written before about my prolific collecting and one of my favourite things to hoard, like a kiddy in a sweet shop, is my beautiful design books. Fashion or interiors I don't mind as long as they are full of beautiful images to inspire the soul. Not only are they a treat to pour over but they look great on my white shelves too! Splashes of pretty colour against the paintwork.

One of my recent favourites is Decorate by Holly Becker, it has just the right mixture of inspiring and uplifting photographs with really practical tips on getting a similar look.

Where this differs from some of my more weighty Thames and Hudson design tomes is that these interiors seem attainable with a little imagination and some creative flair, they are all an expression of their owner's personal style and life.

Eclectic collections of porcelain, and flea market finds beautifully arranged, and plenty of those vibrant prints and fabrics I love so much. At the moment the bathroom pages are particularly inspiring as we are planning our next renovation job on the house.

Fashion books can be tricky things as they can quickly look quite dated, but these are about style again as an expression of the individual rather than following trends or dressing to a prescriptive formula according to your body shape, hair colour and height.

Style, whether it is in the home or on ourselves, is something very personal and all these books help us to discover what that might be without following trends, just in the same way that French women have always looked so effortless.

PS. For any of my blogging friends interested in how I got the images bigger I followed a brilliant post on Geoff Priest's blog. Follow the link for more info. I hope you noticed the difference in the post?!

Homemade Deli, Sheffield

Thick slices of rustic toast, fresh local produce cooked as you like it at home, and a good cup of English tea - the perfect breakfast is made up of the simplest ingredients, made just right. Homemade Deli in Sheffield was the perfect place for a morning catch up with a friend a few weeks ago, the food was lovely, the atmosphere relaxed and the service was friendly.

Since Noah came along 3 and a bit years ago I don't get out for meals as often. Living in London we'd regularly head out for lazy brunches in Clapham; and visits to Belgium were always punctuated with early morning trips to local cafés for a milky coffee and a basket of bread, so these kinds of trips are now a rare treat.

My morning routine now is more likely to involve a rushed bowl of porridge, whilst answering questions about jet engines and space shuttles, followed by an argument over why we need to get dressed and brush our teeth before leaving the house.

Homemade Café and Deli was a welcome respite from the usual clamour, it has a hint of the continental; light wood tables and simple white walls, with just the right amount of English charm. Beautiful, homemade cakes, cook books and pretty ephemera were on display, and in the deli lots of interesting ingredients to tempt me to part with more money. I resisted, but I'm sure I'll be heading back to sample the cakes - it didn't seem appropriate to indulge for breakfast - although I'm sure plenty of people do!

If you're interested to read about more cafés, have a look at my friend Carolyn's lovely blog Cafés to Contemplate.

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