decorating-books-you-must-haveHello friends! How are you doing? We moved last week! Yep, I’m two weeks from my due date and we’ve moved. I know, nuts right!? I’ve been very busy with packing, unpacking, sorting… You know how it goes – I was freaking out a bit last week but once we moved, it was all good. And then we had a big flea market this past Saturday morning where we held a private sale to only my local readers and close friends. It was so nice, my husband ran it for me so I stayed in our new place cozied up with cake and tea. Some of my friends came by over the weekend to visit and some came bearing the sweetest little presents for the baby and I which warmed my heart. Our friends can really do the best things during times when you feel a bit like having a nervous breakdown.

Now that we’re in the new space, THANK GOD, I’ve been obsessed with how I will plan everything out and decorate it though I’m trying to hold back a little and rest – but man, it’s HARD to rest when you are surrounded by boxes, am I right? It’s fun to visualize how you’ll live and then to see if you can create that vision in real life – which is really what decorating is all about, isn’t it? But first you need the vision and sometimes we just lack that, even the best of us. I thought that I’d show you where I’m collecting inspiration lately and some general great books that I think you should have in your library just because they’re so good… And I’d LOVE for you to add to this post with decorating book suggestions of your own that you own and refer to for inspiration, too. Ready to get started? Drool fest to follow…


1. Gypsy by Sibella Court – This book is so visual and perfect for times when you’re in a creative rut or feel a tinge of wanderlust. In this special creation, you’ll find Sibella’s latest inspirations as part travel / part decor book, where she takes us to the Galapagos islands and Ecuador, Indochine, Transylvania, Scotland and Turkey. Out of those destinations, I’ve only been to Turkey (and loved it!) so it was fun to travel with Sibella to see the more uncharted places, like Transylvania, through the eyes of a stylist. I appreciate how she didn’t go to the typical destinations – Paris, London, New York, Sydney… But her approach was to comb destinations a bit out of the ordinary to shed more light on exactly what each offer to the world of design from patterns to colors, that are so often overlooked. A mix of photography shot by herself and her brother, Chris Court, it’s jam-packed with beauty. Aside from the gorgeous full-page photography, she gives us glimpses into her process – how she approaches her work – and shows a color board for each of her destinations which is becoming more and more popular in decorating (and wedding) books these days – color palettes and mood boards – they are all the rage because most of us genuinely want to see how collections of things can be organized into a definite palette that can later inspire an interior. Sibella’s palettes are very earthy and rustic, deep and intoxicating. You won’t find that many pastels or primary colors in this book, Sibella just isn’t a pastel kind of girl. My favorite palette is Scotland where I fell completely in love with all of the green tones. Buy Here.


2. A Life Less Ordinary by Alex Legendre and Zoe Ellison – Authors Alex and Zoe are the shop owners behind i gigi in Brighton, England and do a brilliant job translating their shop aesthetic directly onto the pages of this gorgeous book. Known in England for their covetable style, I really like the restful muted tones and the rustic, vintage recycled vibe in this book along with their styling – so many gorgeous arrangements to look at and try at home. Their design philosophy boils down to this, “The most important thing for us is to create a space that is practical and can be lived in, as well as looking beautiful and feeling relaxed”, which is completely in line with how I feel about decorating… Living in a non-fussy space that is still lovely, organized and practical is the ultimate goal for me, always. The pages are so stunning, I’d like to turn them into prints to hang on my wall! In addition to decorating, this book also discusses their friendship and business, which I found interesting but honestly it is the photography that tickled my heart strings the most. Stunning! Buy Here.


3. Creative Spaces by Geraldine James – Author Geraldine James, a home buying manager at one of the most gorgeous department stores in the world, Selfridges, travels extensively to source products for the store and so her vision is crystal clear and extremely trained. With a background in fashion and design, her passion for collecting and finding gorgeous things shows through each page of this book – her eye is nothing short of inspiring. When her first two books released, Creative Walls and Creative Display, I immediately bought and read them cover to cover which was quite easy as they’re mostly visual with her interesting thoughts seasoning the overall feast but never covering the delicious presentation. In Creative Spaces, she takes you on 20 very personal home tours of those whom she knows personally, people whom she thinks we should know and be inspired by, too. She takes us from Italy to London to New York to share the way her creative pals live in spaces of all shapes and sizes. I definitely recommend this book along with her two others. All are a perfect addition to the library of any decorating lover. Buy Here.


4. Couture Prairie: And Flea Market Treasures by Rachel Ashwell – If you’ve ever longed to live in whimsical prettiness right to the heart of cowboy country, complete with cowgirl boots and ruffles, this book is for you. What I found so inspirational about this book is that I’ve met the author a few times, I even visited her at home a few years ago in LA for tea and a chat, and her book is completely in line with who she is without any “fluff”. This lady is the real deal and doesn’t care if you love ruffles and lace, she loves it and has a massive following of fans who do as well. Rachel has been authentic from the start, way back when I used to watch her flea marketing shows on television in the 1990s. This book shows her gorgeous ranch in Texas and the homes on it, where she teaches and allows others to teach as well as host retreats and fun flea marketing excursions. It’s all so interesting as I’ve often dreamed of having a big house in the middle of nowhere where I host retreats and vacations, too. A sort of blogger retreat. This book is big, gorgeous and completely perfect for dreaming those home on the range dreams, whether Shabby Chic is your style or not, there are so many elements of it that have been brought to other design styles, so much cross-over, that you’re bound to find elements that you could easily work into your home no matter what the style. Buy Here.


5. Remix by Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason – I had the pleasure of meeting both authors at my own book signing in Philly a few years ago and felt such an immediate connection with them because they radiant warmth and enthusiasm. Remix is all about decorating with cultural objects and soul (some refer to this style as Ethnic Chic). As the bloggers behind AphroChic and the designers under the same name, Jeanine and Bryan share only homes where cultural, global style (they term this soulful), is key as they show you how to decorate with bold colors and patterns from around the globe to create cozy and stylish rooms. I like this book because I adore the authors and find their approachable decorating sensibility a nice break from the usual titles floating around that talk at you more than with you. This book is like sitting down with friends, and I love that personal flair. It was also such a nice bonus to see their own home towards the end. Great job, you guys! Buy Here.


6. A Place Called Home by Jason Grant – Most of my friends don’t know who interior stylist Jason Grant is, which is a bit of a shame because he is SO GOOD. He hasn’t had much exposure yet in the states or Europe, he is however a styling rock star in Australia and is one to definitely watch elsewhere, too. He has a bright, happy design approach with loads of clear, fresh color in mostly yellows, reds and blues which you can see more on his website and blog. He also has his own paint line with Australian company Murobond, and now this glorious book which just became available in the UK (here) and in the US (here) so definitely grab a copy and check him out. If you like interiors with a casual, joyful spirit and aren’t big on reading a lot of text (perhaps you’re more visual like me), then this book is one to pick up and cherish. It covers everything from inspiration to styling and storage and Jason’s personal approach along with photos from his travels and quick tips throughout that are just great. Bravo, Jason! Buy Here.


7. Decorating With Style by Abigail Ahearn – Far from minimalistic and cheery, Abigail has a unique sensibility that is all her own which is often described as edgy, dark, moody, eclectic and quite quirky. This lady definitely has an unexpected, yet refreshing, voice in the design world. Based in London, Abigail also owns a shop (which I visited), blogs, and teaches out of her home when she’s not doing client work. I was so pleased when I met her and she spoke at my book party at Anthropologie not too long ago – she brought her mood boards and explained her process and style. I have a soft spot for any designer who blogs, especially with the passion – and she clearly has passion in her posts about decorating. It’s not the typical designer fluff blogs that are out there which are constantly pushing the next product. Her blog is intimate and funny and completely not textbook designer. This is my favorite of her two books, because it feels much more in tune with her voice and style, and because it’s full of interesting perspectives on decorating, styling and her overall philosophy. Buy Here.


8. Paper to Petal by Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell – Okay so this isn’t a decorating book but I’m going to review it anyway on this list because you can decorate with these projects in your home, so it sorta fits here. It’s more crafty and entertaining-related, just so you know… Anyway, the talented Rebecca Thuss has long been an inspiration to me, ever since her days at Martha Stewart, who happened to write the foreword. This gorgeous, huge book is LOADED with 75 paper flower projects so you can make your own by hand for crafting, decorating, events and beyond. I grew up with a mom who was trained as a floral designer and so you can imagine how much influence flowers have had over my life. My mother was a flower whiz but not just with the real ones. She also made tons of paper flowers too – she found them to be a nice complement to her fresh arrangements. I remember when I was little and she taught me how to make paper pom pom flowers out of tissue paper and how she loved making tiny blooms using crepe papers and fabric, too. Years later, when I worked in a millinery shop in Boston making headpieces for brides, I was trained to sew and create fabric flowers. Several of the projects in this book took me back a bit to crafting with my mother, and to my days in the millinery shop, which brought a smile to my face. Today, I’m still a lover of blooms – both fresh and paper (I’m not opposed to great looking silk ones too, if used in a quirky untraditional way). This book is a must-have for anyone who crafts and loves flowers. You will seriously eat it up. In addition to the step-by-step projects, there are gorgeous photos showing how to use your paper creations as well as a hearty section of templates in the back. Stunning, really. Buy Here.


9. Bring The Outdoors In by Shane Powers – This book has been out for a bit, but I find myself flipping through it whenever I need garden project ideas for indoors. I have to admit, that unlike my mother and husband, I’m not a big collector of plants indoors with the exception of succulents (which I adore). In fact, I own only a few, including an aloe that I proudly raised from infancy when blogger Iro gave me a single stem that she brought back to Germany from Greece. Now it’s a big, happy aloe on my windowsill and I feel like a bad ass because I haven’t managed to kill it yet. Plants add so much beauty to a home and are so good for the air quality, but are also trending at the moment – have you noticed? More and more designers, stylists and bloggers are getting into plants which before, were mostly seen in very contemporary, minimalistic spaces or those with a more boho, hippie vibe. Plants are great in all homes, all styles, it’s just a matter of finding those that you click with and can maintain since plants do require regular care just like kids and dogs. This book is a delight because American stylist Shane Powers gives you a briefing into to plants before showing 22 simple yet stylish projects that will enable you to work plant magic into your decor without turning your space in creative ways. Buy Here.


10. Creative Family Home by Ashlyn Gibson – I’m going to have a baby in two weeks, have you heard? ha ha. Anyway, he’ll be my first child, so you can only imagine what I have running through my head at the moment… Topics ranging from breast feeding to sleep schedules and the best way to decorate his nursery and child proof the house, to name a few of the fifty thousand thoughts I’ve had about this whole mommy hood thing. There is so much to think about, good grief, yet I do love exploring this new world. All of this exploration brought me to this book by Ashlyn Gibson which covers a slew of delightful spaces for creative families with a focus on kids’ spaces. My husband and I consider ourselves a creative family (we love neat and orderly but not minimalistic by any means), so the eclectic mix of homes shown really speak to me. Ashlyn takes you home-by-home by theme from the Urban Hub (a personal favorite) to Ship Shape and Mediterranean Heights. I like the intros to each family throughout along with the home tours. What a pleasure. Great read. Buy Here.

SO IT IS YOUR TURN! What book do you currently own (not upcoming titles please!) and refer to often for decorating inspiration? Please comment below and share! 🙂

(images linked to their sources above. Also, I’m an Amazon affiliate so I may earn a big fat 5% if you buy a book. Woo hoo.)

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colocar una televisión y una chimenea en la misma pared requiere un equilibrio. estos dos elementos del salón necesitan un plan preciso para dar al espacio un toque de calidez y comodidad. las distintas combinaciones pueden ayudar a lograr un lugar armonioso. te damos algunas ideas para para conseguir una combinación ganadora

  1. – se puede lograr una cohesión completa si se coloca la televisión justo encima de la chimenea. esto permite concentrar la atención en un único foco. para esto es importante que estos dos elementos estén unido de alguna forma por ejemplo rodearlos de madera
  2. – separados: tener estos dos elementos separados es complicado. sin embargo, la madera que envuelve la televisión y que al mismo también hace de marco en la pared donde se encuentra la chimenea permite un equilibro entre ambas
  3. – forma artística: jugar con la televisión y chimenea para que los dos elementos formen parte de una composición artística mayor
  4. – mezcla de texturas: la perfecta armonía entre la televisión y la chimenea se logra a la textura diferenciada de la pared en las que han sido colocadas
  5. – alineación perfecta: el culmen de equilibrio llega cuando además de colocar la chimenea y la televisión una encima de otra, ambas tienen el mismo tamaño
  6. – tres no son multitud: una distribución asimétrica de los tres elementos con tamaños diferentes puede aportar un toque de modernidad
Artículo visto en idealista.com


los grandes tapados en 2014 no serán países punteros latinoamericanos o del sudeste asiático, el crecimiento este año lo liderarán países africanos, como sierra leona o sudán del sur, y otros como mongolia, turkmenistán o la próspera región administrativa china de macao, según la publicación the economist

con una previsión de crecimiento del pib del 35% para este año, sudán del sur, el país más joven del mundo (tras lograr su independencia en 2011), marcado por los conflictos y rico en reservas petrolíferas, disparará además sus precios hasta cerrar con una inflación prevista del 9%

por detrás se situará mongolia,  dominado por estepas y de apenas 2,8 millones de habitantes, crecerá según los expertos un 15,3% impulsado por su sector minero, en una bonanza que vendrá acompañada de un aumento del índice de precios al consumo (ipc) del 11,8%

macao, ciudad de casinos, pasado colonial portugués y  unos 570.000 habitantes, crecerá un 13,5% gracias al sector del juego y su ipc se mantendrá en torno al 6%, mientras que la devastada sierra leona avanzará un 11,2% en 2014 y su inflación se situará en el 10%

en el ranking, la quinta posición la ocupa la ex república soviética de turkmenistán,  limítrofe con irán o afganistán entre otros, y cuyo pib se espera alcance en 2014 el 9,2% y su inflación se eleve hasta el 11%

Artículo visto en idealista.com


por alfredo garcía, experto de alquiler protegido

con la entrada en vigor de la ley de medidas de flexibilización y fomento del mercado del alquiler de viviendas, que reformó la ley de arrendamientos urbanos el pasado 6 de junio de 2013, es necesario conocer bien los nuevos derechos y obligaciones que afectan a propietario e inquilino a la hora de firmar un contrato. uno de los cambios normativos que más dudas plantea es el relacionado con las facilidades para dejar la vivienda, por parte del inquilino, y de recuperarla, por parte del propietario o, lo que es lo mismo, el desistimiento del contrato por una de las partes

en primer lugar, ¿cuánto puede durar el contrato de alquiler? la duración legal de los contratos de arrendamiento se reduce de cinco a tres años, y será libremente pactada por el inquilino y el propietario. si el contrato firmado fuera inferior a tres años, llegado el día de su vencimiento, éste se prorrogará obligatoriamente por plazos anuales hasta que el arrendamiento alcance una duración mínima de tres años. agotado este periodo, y si ninguna de las partes se pronuncia, se aplica la ‘prórroga tácita automática’, que viene a significar un año más de contrato (antes, eran tres), siempre y cuando no se hayan contemplado otros periodos en el contrato inicial

al margen de los plazos indicados, tanto arrendatario como arrendador podrán ‘romper’ el contrato por diversas circunstancias

¿cuándo puede abandonar la vivienda el inquilino? este podrá desistir del contrato, antes de que se cumplan los tres años de la prórroga, una vez que hayan transcurrido, al menos, seis meses desde la firma del contrato de alquiler. por lo tanto, no tendrá que esperar a que finalice la anualidad (según la normativa anterior, tenía que cumplir cada una de las anualidades) y tan sólo deberá avisar con 30 de días de antelación (antes, dos meses) a la finalización del plazo fijado en el contrato o de una de las prórrogas, sin tener que pagar indemnización (salvo que en el contrato se especifique que sí)

¿cuándo puede solicitar recuperar la vivienda el propietario? éste podrá solicitarla como residencia habitual, únicamente, en caso de necesitarla para él o un familiar de primer grado (o su cónyuge, tras el divorcio o nulidad), una vez que haya transcurrido, al menos, un año, desde la firma del contrato, y siempre que se lo comunique al inquilino con, al menos, dos meses de antelación (anteriormente, estaba obligado a arrendar su vivienda, como mínimo, cinco años)

aunque inquilino y propietario pueden firmar un contrato de tan sólo un año de duración, si el inquilino quiere, éste se prorrogará hasta los tres años y el propietario no podrá disponer de su vivienda hasta entonces, salvo que consiga justificar la necesidad de uso de la misma

visitar la web de alquiler protegido

Artículo visto en idealista.com


Comprar una vivienda para luego alquilarla resulta cada vez una práctica más común. mientras la rentabilidad del bono español a 10 años se sitúa en el 3,8%, la rentabilidad por el arrendamiento es del 4,6%. no hay de momento ningún producto financiero de similar riesgo con una rentabilidad mejor. según un estudio de idealista.com, portal inmobiliario líder en españa, en los barrios más lujosos o con el precio de venta de las casas más elevado, es más rentable alquilar, mientras que en las zonas con precios más baratos, es más interesante comprar

el diario “cinco días” ha hecho una comparativa y concluye que en las zonas más lujosas de las dos grandes urbes, madrid y barcelona, es más interesante alquilar que comprar, ya que es más fácil hacer frente al pago de un alquiler que de una hipoteca. en cambio, en las zonas donde los precios se han ajustado más, es más rentable comprar que alquilar

según fernando encinar, jefe de estudios de idealista.com, “una sociedad con más alquiler es una sociedad mejor a nivel económico y laboral”. el periódico también señala que comprar una casa en 30 años equivale prácticamente a vivir hasta 41 años como inquilino



el pleno del parlamento europeo (pe) ha dado el visto bueno definitivo a la normativa sobre hipotecas, que aumentará la protección e información previa de los hipotecados. también contempla la dación en pago. según antolín sánchez presedo, eurodiputado socialista, la normativa “supone un cambio muy importante” al “ser la primera directiva hipotecaria europea”

se trata de la primera directiva hipotecaria europea. introduce un listado de garantías que “tendrán que ser incorporadas en la legislación española porque ahora no existen”, asegura sánchez presedo. entre las nuevas garantías destacan la de que el consumidor disponga de un periodo  obligatorio de reflexión de siete días antes de firmar un contrato hipotecario o bien del mismo periodo de siete días para retractarse tras la firma

en cuanto a la dación en pago, la nueva norma prohíbe que se pueda excluir esa posibilidad cuando la hayan pactado las partes previamente o incluso si no lo hubieran hecho con anterioridad si aceptasen esa solución a ‘posteriori’ y ante la imposibilidad del consumidor de asumir la hipoteca. además, la directiva exigirá una “tolerancia razonable” antes de proceder a las ejecuciones y limitará los cargos por impago para proteger a los consumidores y evitar el sobreendeudamiento a largo plazo

el texto también incluye garantías de flexibilidad en el pago, por ejemplo, con la eliminación de la posibilidad de imponer recargos si el prestatario quiere pagar el préstamo antes de tiempo. la entidad, eso sí, tendría derecho a recibir una compensación justa por los costes de ese reembolso anticipado, pero no podría imponer multas adicionales para desincentivar esta amortización


la navidad ya ha llegado y con ella los adornos propios de esta época. guirnaldas, el tradicional árbol, luces, bolas de colores, flores de pascua… todos ellos pueden combinarse de distintas formas para reflejar el espíritu de esta época del año pero también para dar un nuevo aire a distintos lugares o espacios de la casa como las escaleras, la chimenea o el salón. te damos algunas ideas para lograrlo

Aiken House & Gardens

Artículo visto en idealista.com