Melissa Penfold: Secrets Revealed to LIVING WELL BY DESIGN!

You need this book. If you haven’t begun Christmas shopping, order it and be able to claim you HAVE. If you’re keeping track, I gushed about it the other day here as part of a prescription for a cozy day, and there’ll be more praise in this ditty. But make no mistake! This is so much more than pretty pictures into which to escape. In fact, you should schedule an appointment with yourself to spend a few hours to engage with it. You will notice your pulse quickening at times, your eyes widening, and your passion for design igniting. Why? Keep reading and feasting on these amazing interior design photos from LIVING WELL BY DESIGN: Melissa Penfold. It shall become abundantly clear.

Cheerful green breakfast room designed by Tom Scheerer with sofa, oval tulip table, bamboo chairs, and walls papered in 1890s botanical prints by Joao Barbosa Rodrigues. #timelessdesign #greenwallpaper #tomscheerer
From LIVING WELL BY DESIGN: Melissa Penfold (Vendome, 2021). Design: Tom Scheerer. A cheerful green accented breakfast room is papered in 1890s botanical prints by Joao Barbosa Rodrigues.

Melissa Penfold: Secrets Revealed to LIVING WELL BY DESIGN

This is the Australia-based stylemaker Ms. Penfold’s first book, and WOW! I rarely feel the need to read every word of a beautiful design book, but this is something different. (Psst. I also have this inclination when I peek at the author’s blog…magnificent!)

If you’re seeking timeless design wisdom to apply to your own home, no matter the style or size, there’s a wealth of it as she unpacks plenty of secrets.

Melissa Penfold Living Well By Design (Vencome, 2021) book cover
LIVING WELL BY DESIGN: Melissa Penfold (Vendome, 2021) by Melissa Penfold

Of course, if you’re pressed for time, you can be forgiven for just flipping through the glorious photography first by Abbie Melle of exquisite interiors designed for living well.

A gorgeous French inspired kitchen with open shelving, marble, and timeless design - from Melissa Penfold's Living Well By Design (Vendome, 2021).

You’ll discover a breadth of breathtakingly custom designs that aren’t meant to be replicated. Rather, you’ll be inspired and energized to begin exercising new design freedoms.

Universe quote on Hello Lovely by Aldous Huxley. #aldoushuxley #universequotes #wisdomquotes

Melissa Penfold Points Us Toward Greater Freedom

Does a little freedom sound attractive about now? I wonder if the not-so-secret surge of interest in home and interior design over the last two years is related to such longing.

Sophisticated global style in a space with built-ins and design by Lynda Kerry. African tribal cushions, Chinese ceramic lamps, Indian lanterns, Indonesian chairs, bamboo tables.
Design: Lynda Kerry. African tribal cushions, Chinese ceramic lamps, Indian metal lanterns, Indonesian seating, American bamboo side tables and built-ins.

There is simply so much in modern life that seems to bind our hearts and minds. But home. When home is a sanctuary to enjoy plenty of open-ended possibility, our moods lighten. Hope has a chance to flower. And the secret is out: our planet’s future is depending on us to be hopeful people.

Dramatic entry with antique ceiling beams and arched custom front doors with glass in home by architect Brad Norris. #timelessdesign #rusticarchitecture #sticksandstones #bespokehomes
From LIVING WELL BY DESIGN: Melissa Penfold (Vendome, 2021); interior design: Teresa Davis of Post 31 Interiors; architecture: Brad Norris. Dramatic entry with antique ceiling beams and arched custom front doors with glass. Chandelier and sconces by Visual Comfort.

Freedom to feather our nests in a personal way creates opportunities for self-expression and moments of beauty that bring us back to our senses, back to ourselves.

Brené Brown inspirational quote about self-kindness on Hello Lovely Studio. #kindnessquotes #selfkindness #selfcare #brenebrownquotes

And coming back to ourselves?

Well, that sounds like LIVING WELL if you ask me.

Luxurious and timeless kitchen by Thomas Hamel with steel-framed doors and windows. From Melissa Penfold book LIVING WELL BY DESIGN. #bespokekitchens #timelesskitchen #neutralkitchen #steelwindows
Design: Thomas Hamel.

Secrets to Well-Being, Living Well, and Wellth

Living well certainly means something different to each of us. Penfold’s book repeatedly asserts it has little to do with budgets or square footage.

Vintage leather chair near dormer window in a cozy nook of bedroom at Wollumbi. From Melissa Penfold's book LIVING WELL BY DESIGN (Vendome, 2021).
From LIVING WELL BY DESIGN: Melissa Penfold (Vendome, 2021)

But what if you have 500 square feet in which to live well? This home tour is not from the book, but it’s still A MUST WATCH. From its secret doors and streamlined everything to the minimalist aesthetic, we can never be reminded enough that creativity is true wellth.

This apartment is a lovely example of how innovative design can honor the past, feel timelessly luxuriant, and live well and grand:

Are you dying over that looking glass Murphy bed corridor bedroom!?!

Inspirational quote on Hello Lovely Studio.

No matter what “living well” looks and feels like to you, I bet you’ll score ideas for what is possible on these pages. You’ll be treated to never before seen spaces from design royalty such as Bunny Williams.

Here’s the legendary designer’s New York apartment’s kitchen featured in the book:

Bunny Williams's kitchen with dark Donald Kaufman Color custom colour and terrazzo floor (Durite) in a 1920's Gothic Revival New York apartment. #bunnywilliams #blackcabinets #kitchendesign #bespokekitchen #galleykitchens
From LIVING WELL BY DESIGN: Melissa Penfold (Vendome, 2021). Bunny Williams’s kitchen with dark Donald Kaufman Color custom colour and terrazzo floor (Durite) in a 1920’s Gothic Revival New York apartment.

Before you email me for the paint color of the kitchen cabinets in this awe-inspiring Bunny Williams kitchen…it is not one of the secrets revealed in MP’s book. Totally custom.

Timeless room with wall of windows, settee, console table, and Westie resting on a rug. From Melissa Penfold's LIVING WELL BY DESIGN.
Design: Cathy Kincaid.

However, it reminds me of SW Carbonized which we used in our son’s condo renovation. (I highly recommend Carbonized for its sophisticated intrigue…it can look navy, black, or espresso depending on the time of day, and it always looks chic!)

Emily Dickinson quote about hope on Hello Lovely. #hopequotes #emilydickinsonquotes

Embracing Your Home’s Setting

The author writes:

“Following the latest fashions will not necessarily bring you happiness in your home, but embracing its setting certainly will.”

Sweeping mountain view through double-height windows in a home by architect James Carter and interior design by Jane Hawkins Hoke. #windowarchitecture #eleganthomes #janehawkinshoke
Sweeping mountain view through double-height windows in a home by architect James Carter and interior design by Jane Hawkins Hoke.

And…ahem…”embracing its setting” need not mean installing a second bank of windows above another bank of windows to increase the joy of a picturesque mountain view.

It is more about mindful strokes to welcome in more natural light, screen the view from your windows, and connect with nature.

McAlpine House designed house exterior with windows reflecting cityscape - from Melissa Penfold's LIVING WELL BY DESIGN. #houseexteriors #mcalpinehouse #housearchitecture
From LIVING WELL BY DESIGN: Melissa Penfold (Vendome, 2021). McAlpine House designed house exterior optimizing its connection to its urban location. Planters filled with flowers add natural beauty to the terrace.

No mountains or ocean view for this urbanscape (above), yet it feels tranquil and lovely just the same with its planters and simple shrubs.

Mary Oliver quote on Hello Lovely Studio to encourage and uplift. #maryoliver #encouragementquote #naturequotes #poetry

Buy the book HERE.

I Happily Read Every Single Word of LIVING WELL

If you love a timeless design journey with stunning interiors from around the globe as well as secrets demystifying the process, you’re in for a divine trip!

LIVING WELL BY DESIGN by Melissa Penfold on my Belgian linen egg chair - Hello Lovely Studio.
Julia Cameron creativity art quote on Hello Lovely. #artquotes #creativityquotes

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Shop for items you already intended to buy on Amazon RIGHT HERE, and also find home decor here to keep decor inspiration flowing on Hello Lovely!

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Country Wicker Trunk Storage
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcoverd Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Vintage Collapsible French Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
French Country Mirror
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
White Artichoke Lamp
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing
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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Country Wicker Trunk Storage
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcoverd Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Vintage Collapsible French Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
French Country Mirror
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
White Artichoke Lamp
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing