3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving

How is that such a word nerd has forever had a love affair with pretty picture books and shelter magazines? Oh, child, THAT is a discussion for another day! Today’s 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving shares honest opinions about books I cherish which were gifted to me for review.

© India by Andreas H. Bitesnich, published by teNeues, $95, www.teneues.com
© India by Andreas H. Bitesnich, published by teNeues, $95, www.teneues.com

It is always a pleasure to introduce you to worthwhile reads, pretty picture books, and inspiring design guides to ignite the imagination and share wisdom. Today’s line-up is quite an eclectic one so be prepared to travel from India to Tennessee to Pittsburgh!

Women in India with turquoise home and cow. Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich. All rights reserved. Come discover 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving!
Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich – All rights reserved. 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving…certainly brilliant additions to your library indeed.

Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving

1. Favorite Art Book: INDIA

What rare treasure lies within this timelessly exquisite book of travel photos by Vienna-based photographer Andreas H. Bitesnich. How I would love to see India someday!

Are we truly gazing at present-day India with its modern complexities, suffering, ever-evolving democracy, and rich spirituality in this new title?

Indeed, we are. But the lens through which we see these things is sort of everything, yes?

© India by Andreas H. Bitesnich, published by teNeues, $95, www.teneues.com
© India by Andreas H. Bitesnich, published by teNeues.

Timelessness & Presence

This title brings us breathtaking photos of wild Indian elephants, fanciful architecture, and ethereal temples as well as snapshots of poverty.

As I spent time with the artful images (and one cannot help but spend time since they invite lingering), there was this sense of both timelessness and PURITY OF PRESENCE.

Bearded man in India in yellow. Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich. All rights reserved. Come discover 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving!
Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich – All rights reserved. 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving…certainly brilliant additions to your library indeed.

Such purity is likely to stir or disarm you maybe because it has become somewhat remarkable in busy, techie, modern Western life.

To be purely present is to empty ourselves of yesterday, to free ourselves of tomorrow’s cares, and to consent (without expectancy) to a natural rhythm pulsing in the now.

Barbershop in India. Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich. All rights reserved. Come discover 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving!
Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich – All rights reserved.

Seeing Purity

As I considered these thoughtfully captured spiritual seekers and moments of modern urban sprawl, PURE PRESENCE perpetually bubbled up into my consciousness.

Perhaps I am sensing the purity of Bitesnich’s own presence to his subjects in the stirring photos.

Lovely photo of young woman in India. Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich. All rights reserved. Come discover 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving!
Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich – All rights reserved. 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving…certainly brilliant additions to your library indeed.

While many of the images of India whisper nostalgia with a contemplative quality and others maintain a quietude with modern gritty texture, they all seem to speak with a sacred honesty.

Taxis in India. Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich. All rights reserved. Come discover 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving!
Photo © Andreas H. Bitesnich – All rights reserved.

I’d love to hear about your emotional responses to the images or about your own travel to India. Allow yourself to be immersed in the culture here:

3 Favorite Art & Decor Books

2. Favorite Modern Country Decor Book: CITY FARMHOUSE STYLE

Mercy, me…how I love this modern country interior design book!!!!

City Farmhouse Style, Kim Leggett   |  Home of Odette Williams + Nick Law, New York Interior Design: Odette Williams  |  Architect: Lorraine Bonaventura Architect|  Photography: Nicole Franzen
City Farmhouse Style: Designs for a Modern Country Life by Kim Leggett (Harry N. Abrams, 2017)…certainly lovely indeed.

I had the wonderful opportunity to vacation at ‘Storybook Cottage’ this summer, a darling 800 square foot property in Leiper’s Fork near Franklin, Tennesee with interiors designed by deeply admired stylemakers, Dave and Kim Leggett, author of City Farmhouse Style.

City farmhouse style in a Tennessee home with white painted fireplace and rustic decor. Photo by Alissa Saylor. Come discover 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving! #cityfarmhouse #kimleggett #moderncountry #interiordesign
From City Farmhouse Style by Kim Leggett – Photo: Alissa Saylor…certainly charming indeed.

City Farmhouse Charm

So I can tell you with authority, that city farmhouse style is 100% THAT RICH fresh flavor of timeless farmhouse style that makes you wanna hunker down at home!

Sheryl Crow's writers loft in the book City Farmhouse by Kim Leggett. Photo by Alissa Saylor. #farmhousestyle #sherylcrow #moderncountry #cityfarmhouse
Sheryl Crow’s decidedly unfussy writer’s loft in Tennessee is featured in City Farmhouse by Kim Leggett with photography by Alissa Saylor. 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving…certainly brilliant additions to your library indeed.

Just wait until you see photos I snapped of charming farmhouse interiors in Tennessee!

Home of The Design Network's; Living Big in Under 1,000 Sq. Ft. - Theodore Leaf   Rolling Stone  magazine's digital guru, Matthew Habib. | City Farmhouse Style Photography: Alissa Saylor. Come discover 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving!#cityfarmhouse #dutchdoor #interiordesign #moderncountry #rusticdecor
Home of The Design Network’s; Living Big in Under 1,000 Sq. Ft. – Theodore Leaf /Rolling Stone magazine’s digital guru, Matthew Habib/Photography: Alissa Saylor.

So Many Flavors of Farmhouse

In this inspiring volume of interior design, you’ll be welcomed with rare hospitality into 14 properties from Hollywood to Brooklyn where interiors have been creatively infused with modern country style.

Gorgeous and rustic city farmhouse style in a dining room with design by Odette Williams and architecture by Lorraine Bonaventura. Photo by Ncile Franzen. Come discover 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving! #farmhousediningroom #interiordesign #rusticdecor #cityfarmhouse
Design: Odette Williams/Architect: Lorraine Bonaventura Architect/Photography: Nicole Franzen. 3 Inspiring Art & Design Books on My Nightstand This Minute I Am Loving…certainly brilliant additions to your library indeed.

The interiors you’ll find within the book are anything but one-note, and we’re treated to design advice about paint colors and even secrets about where to snag unique finds.

Stunning wallpaper in bedroom of Phillip Sweet (Little Big Town) in the book City Farmhouse Style by Kim Leggett. Photo by Alissa Saylor. #cityfarmhousestyle #moderncountry #bedroomdesign #wallpaper
What a gloriously eclectic and interesting bedroom with artful wallpaper in the home of Little Big Town’s Phillip Sweet & blogger Rebecca (sweetladijane)/Photography: Alissa Saylor.

3. Favorite Memoir Book: WORK IN PROGRESS

It has been too long since I have posted design from Leanne Ford, and there is a simple reason: it’s a day and age a blogging fairy on the prairie can’t simply decorate her blog with photos of inspiring rooms without owning rights to the photos or securing permissions (and as I blog every single day as a one woman show…there’s little time for corresponding with all those publicists and jumping through a million hoops).

What a thrill to hear from Leanne and Steve’s publicist about their memoir available for preorder now. I read my advance copy cover to cover on a beautiful summer day in our courtyard and was so moved by the warmth and candor of these HGTV stars of Restored by the Fords.

Work in Progress by Leanne Ford and Steve Ford - the HGTV stars of Restored by the Fords share unconventional thoughts on designing an extraordinary life.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER Work in Progress: Unconventional Thoughts on Designing an Extraordinary Life by Leanne Ford & Steve Ford (Thomas Nelson, 2019)

Work in Progress is a super easy read with its casual, conversational structure. By the end, you feel as though you enjoyed a visit with cool friends who want to share their resources and laugh as much as possible. (When I find friends like this, I want to hang on to ’em.)

The Fords: Up Close and Personal

Here are three surprising things I learned about the siblings. (I’ll try not to spoil ALL the fun since I want you to read their memoir!)

Leanne Ford's bedroom with white built-in shelves, Matteo linens, and overscaled light. Photo by Tessa Neustadt.
Not in the book…but a peek at designer Leanne Ford’s own bedroom in her California cottage – Photo: Tessa Neustadt.
  1. For both Leanne and Steve, faith plays an important role in their approaches to creating, living, achieving, and thriving.
  2. While the spaces these creatives renovate and reveal always ooze cool factor, the innovative siblings seem uncommonly down to earth, surprisingly humble, and cool-yet-nice.
  3. While these HGTV stars are driven, both seem to hold career successes lightly and resist taking themselves too seriously…an admirable killer combo.
Rustic and vintage style are mellowed with white paint, a soft skirt at the sink, and edgy barn style sconces flanking the window. Design by Leanne Ford and photo by Reid Rolls for HGTV Restored by the Fords. #rustickitchen #vintagestyle #leanneford #restoredbythefords
Not in the book…but a peek at simplistic, serene, and signature Leanne Ford style in a kitchen on HGTV’s Restored by the Fords – Photo: Reid Rolls.

WATCH HGTV’s Restored By the Fords

YOUR TURN: What books are on your nightstand this minute?

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Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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6 Comments

  1. future
    September 6, 2019 / 9:01 am

    EVEN IF YOUR TASTE IS NOT FOR A BARN STYLE HOUSE, YOU DO HAVE TO APPRECIATE THESE FOLKS EFFORTS IN PRESERVING AND USING THIS BIT OF ARCHITECTURE. IT IS AMAZING–

  2. September 6, 2019 / 1:31 pm

    I like the Fords and their show takes place in my hometown of Pittsburgh! I need to get their book for sure!! Have a great weekend 😊

    • Michele
      Author
      September 6, 2019 / 2:17 pm

      Wow! Pittsburgh has it goin’ on! Leanne lives in LA as well as Pittsburgh – and I love how she seems so down to earth and not Hollywoodsy! Bon weekend, painter of lovely. 🙂

  3. September 6, 2019 / 6:54 pm

    Oh my, from India to Tennessee, to Pittsburg all in one beautiful and inspirational Blog Post! India is on my bucket list. My oldest son has been several times on business and can’t say enough about the amazing experiences he’s had. That looks like a very special book! I’m also intrigued by the Farmhouse style book, as if I can ever get my home sold I’ll be building myself one in North Carolina. So, I am currently in need of Farmhouse inspiration for sure. I’d love to see photos of your visit to that home in Tennessee. As for the Ford’s, since I’m a home renovator on a much smaller scales, and someone who falls asleep each night watching HGTV, their book will be added to my nightstand shortly!

    • Michele
      Author
      September 7, 2019 / 11:01 am

      So special! I went nuts taking photos of that storybook cottage in Franklin so I am way behind in my organization and editing – it is in the hopper and the post will show up soon! Crazy about Leanne’s work, and while I’m sure a design book is in the works – this peek into their faith, private lives and philosophies was a great primer. So excited to join you on the journey of creating that next special place, Celia and so happy for you. xox

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