10 Of My Most Favorite Decorating Books Of All Time

As an Interior Designer, I find inspiration everywhere. Interior design is such a part of who I am that I constantly seek to learn and grow, especially since things change at such a rapid pace in our industry.

One of my favorite sources of inspiration is through decorating books from fellow Interior Designers. It is always great to see the work of other designers and what inspires them.

Not only do I love to read decorating books, I love to collect and display them. They make great coffee table books, and look amazing when used for styling bookshelves and other table tops.  In fact, my collection has grown so large that all my available bookcases are full and I have begun to stack them on the floor :-) My kids think I need help, especially since I continue to buy them. And in case you are ever wondering what to get me as a gift, a decorating book is always welcomed :-)

Today I wanted to share 10 of my most favorite of all time – from the older favorites, to my newest favorites……..listed in no particular order below

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This is the book that started it all………..

1) “Designers In Residence: The Personal Style Of Top Women Designers and Decorators” By The Editors of Victoria Magazine


It is the first decorating book that I can recall purchasing many years ago. As a budding Designer, this book helped me see how these established Designers decorated their own homes. It is always a treat peaking inside the homes of your favorite Designers.

2) “Designers At Home: Personal Reflections On Stylish Living” By Ronda Rice Carman

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This one made my list because it is totally awesome, and Ronda is a fellow Houstonian. She takes us on a tour through the homes of some of the country’s top Designers. Her beautiful book  features the stylish homes of over 50 top designers including Celerie Kemble, Charlotte Moss, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Ken Fulk, India Hicks, Barry Dixon, among others.

3) “Elements of Style: Designing a Home And A Life” By Erin Gates

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This is a beautiful book packed with honest advice, tips, ideas and lessons about designing a home that reflects your style. The beautiful black and white striped spine of this book makes it wonderful for a stylish touch in a vignette.

4) “Gracious Rooms” By Barbara Westbrook

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This book I think is my absolute favorite of my entire collection. Barbara Westbrook is the designer that I aspire to be like in my own career. She is the South’s most inviting designer, and her beautiful book showcases principles for creating a beautiful home rich with comfort and warmth. Barbara Westbrook has been designing classically inspired homes full of Southern charm and a European touch for more than twenty years.

5) “Simplicity” By Nancy Braithwaite

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This book beautifully illustrates luxurious minimalism. Every element in each of the brilliantly curated rooms strives to be simple and powerful without compromise, and every room has a level of power that comes from commanding scale, repetition of elements, subtleties of color, or the sheer beauty of forms. I learn so much from her book, as my style is not necessarily minimal.

6) “One Man’s Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood” By Julia Reed

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If you are into antiques, I guarantee that you will not be able to put this book down. The book features the meticulously restored carriage home and out-buildings of antiques expert Furlow Gatewood’s highly personal property in Americus, Georgia. Several of the buildings on the property were  rescued from demolition and have evolved over decades to become a sublime expression of stylish living. The structures exemplify various architectural traditions-from mid-nineteenth-century Gothic to Palladian. This book will provide tons of inspiration and an education in antiques

7) “Modern Mix: Curating Personal Style With Chic And Accessible Finds” By Eddie Ross

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This is the newest book to my collection. I literally just got it a few days ago, and it is possibly what inspired this post. I pre-ordered it a few months ago because I could not wait to learn more about Eddie Ross’ eye for antiquing and flea market finds. In this richly illustrated style guide, Eddie Ross, dubbed hoarder of all things beautiful, reveals his insider secrets to creating exciting interiors, table settings and parties with chic and accessible finds that celebrate who you are and what you love.

8) “Point Of View” By Bunny Williams

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This is one book that every Designer and design enthusiast needs to have as a resource. Bunny Williams, herself a living legend, worked for legendary Designers Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. I pretty much listen when Bunny Williams speaks

9) “Domino: The Book Of Decorating: A Room-By-Room Guide To Creating A Home That Makes You Happy” By Deborah Needleman

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This book is a great resource for the DIY-er and design enthusiast and pretty much any one who wants a happy home. The book cracks the code to creating a beautiful home, bringing together inspiring rooms, how-to advice and insiders’ secrets from today’s premier tastemakers in an indispensable style manual.

10) “Decorate: 1000 Design Ideas For Every Room In Your HomeBy Holly Becker

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This book is a great resource for the DIY-er and decorating enthusiast as well.The world’s top designers and leading decor experts including Kelly Wearstler, Amy Butler, Jonathan Adler, and many others come together to share over 1,000 professional tips, ideas, and solutions for every room and every budget.

And here ‘s a BONUS for ya! This one is a free download (as of the date of this post) if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber. Click here to download

“How To Design Your Perfect Interior” By Gail Doby

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It was hard picking just 10 books from all the books I have; almost like a mother being asked to pick her favorite child. But these are wonderful books that I have gone back to time and time again. They are all available through Amazon.com

And by the way, I have the same weakness for design magazines……….

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I also have quite the collection that began over 15 years ago. Here is just a small sample stacked on the floor in my library :-)

If you are in the middle of a decorating project, I would recommend picking up one or a few of these books. Hopefully you will find them just as inspiring as I do.

Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!




What We’ve Been Up To lately

Hello My Lovelies,

I know, it’s been a couple of weeks since you last heard from me. It has been crazy busy, and things show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Not that I am complaining :-)  A lot has been going on in our world, and I think that all the hard work is finally paying off.

So what have I been up to?

Well, I literally just found out that I won an award for the project shown below. It was the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Texas Gulf Coast Chapter  (TGCC) 40th Ruby Awards held last night. I won Honorary Mention for Residential Best Use of Antiques. I wasn’t able to make the ceremony, but a colleague of mine messaged me right away congratulating me. I was shocked, honored and so very grateful

Casa Vilora Interiors   Casa Vilora Interiors

Next I was chosen as one of the designers for the ASID TGCC Holiday Show House that will be open to the public from December 5th to the 20th. I was assigned a small bedroom and bathroom, and we are in the planning stages at the moment. It is very exciting to be able to work alongside some of Houston’s finest and most talented Designers. This is an awesome opportunity for Casa Vilora Interiors – we are definitely in good company

As far as design projects – I am working on several new projects at the moment and presenting design plans to a few new ones in the coming weeks. I also have a few installations coming up and will be sharing pictures soon. I am strongly considering bringing on a design assistant, so if you know anyone in the Houston area who might fit the bill, feel free to send them my way

What’s on the horizon for Casa Vilora Interiors?

I will most likely be participating in the Fall edition of the One Room Challenge coming up soon. I haven’t 100% decided to do it yet, because of all the projects I am working on, and of course the Show House, but I would definitely like to get my guest bedroom done before the holiday.

I am also planning a website refresh for Casavilorainteriors.com and rebranding in the near future. I built the current site myself, but now I am ready for a more professional and cleaner look. I am interviewing graphic designers now, and hoping to have it completed by mid -November

I am also in the process of looking for a bigger, more open space for my design studio, where I can offer retail as well as my design services. I have outgrown my cute little Victorian cottage unfortunately, and hoping to find a great space by early next year.

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I plan to get back to my normal weekly blog schedule as soon as possible. I know you guys look forward to decorating tips, advice and room tours. I will be blogging soon about creating a Fall tablescape, and I am really excited to share some great tips with you on that subject.

Feel free to let me know some topics you would like to see me write about here on the blog as well.

Happy Monday!

Wishing You Beauty And Inspiration!




Cool Candle Holders That Are Perfect For Fall Decorating

I recently walked into one of my favorite home décor stores and was immediately hit by their new arrival of Fall scented candles. The yummy aromas of pumpkin spice and apple pies lingered in the air as I walked about checking out their new arrivals for Fall.

Image Via Mercana

Image Via Mercana

Decorating is not just visual, but should appeal to all your senses – including your sense of smell. I love candles, and I typically decorate only with white or off white candles. But during the Fall and Christmas seasons I love to add scented candles for that festive touch.

As you know, I like to decorate seasonally, and adding scented candles are a great way to bring Fall into your décor.

I picked up a few candles at this home décor store, and I have been on the lookout for cool looking candle holders to decorate for Fall.

I found some great options that would be great for tablescapes, ceilings and even wall applications

Check these out

Images Via Mercana

Images Via Mercana

I see a few great options that I will be getting for my new candles.

Do you enjoy decorating with candles? Which candle holder(s) would you use in your Fall décor?

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!


Using Preserved Boxwoods In Decorating

I have been known to kill a few plants in my life, but that doesn’t stop me from using them in my personal home and design projects. I often use faux plants that definitely have to look like the real thing. But when I can find low maintenance options like succulents I jump at that chance.

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Preserved boxwoods are a great way to bring in greenery into your home if you are not into using faux plants.

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Preserved boxwoods are actually real boxwood plants that have been preserved using a dye and glycerin solution to prevent them for drying out and fading over time.

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There is some slight maintenance required to keep them from drying out – just a spray bottle with water every month or so. This keeps the boxwoods looking fresh and green

Although I have never actually done it myself, I am told the process is very simple to do it yourself. See instructions here from WikiHow. I often order my boxwoods from Bella-Marie.com. They have a great variety of sizes and styles in great looking containers.

Casa Vilora Interiors

Preserved boxwoods are great in cottage styled interiors and traditional interiors. They work great in kitchens and dining rooms.


They are just wonderful to bring life and a touch of nature to your interiors.

Image Via Bella Marie.com

Image Via Bella Marie.com


Thanks for stopping by today.

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!



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