October 21, 2011

I spy inspiration

 One of the best things about the nights coming earlier is the ability to spy on your neighbor's home decorating choices while out for an evening stroll. I love sneak peeks at wall colors and covers, paintings and prints, furniture, and other bits of personality spied through windows unobstructed by curtains.

This is the very same reason why I loved feasting my eyes upon Details: A Stylist's Secrets to Creating Inspired Interiors by Lili Diallo. I had thought that the book was going to be on interior design but it's actually about styling your home, which is apparently an entirely separate thing. The author is a stylist and has worked for magazines like Real Simple . So her specialty is arranging objects and furniture and accessories just so. The book takes you into the homes of people she knows, who all seem to be interesting, and sometimes very odd, artist types living in New York City. So it's a different kind of home decoration spying than I usually see on my neighborhood jaunts! I actually appreciated seeing the apartments of these city dwellers though – there is something to be said for making the most of small spaces. Plus, most of the homes are a happy mish-mash of furniture and odds and ends and new things and old things collected over time. While the spaces are well done and beautiful (or strange) none of them seemed totally out of reach. A lot of people in this book bought shelves at IKEA!

Despite the vast array of homes and styles, many of which have little to do with my own style, there is a lot of visual inspiration packed into this book. I especially love her chit-chatty commentary. When she is name dropping furniture designers I don't know what the heck she is talking about but she still comes across as very friendly and accessible. So I read the entire book cover to cover anyway. I love the way she goes into a home and opens the cupboards and closets and makes beautiful arrangements and displays with things that people already own. Or, if the home doesn't really need her touch, she admits that and showcases what the owners have already done. Overall, it is a beautiful book to explore.

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