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Book Report: Live Beautiful

Hello. I am here to give my monthly Book Report :-). This month I pulled Live Beautiful by Athena Calderone from my pile of design books that I have purchased and not yet read. I am so glad that I did! This book is full of practical advice and beautiful inspiration.

Athena Calderone started as an everything-home enthusiast. She loved to cook, entertain, renovate, and re-do decor and design. In the introduction of the book, Athena describes how she and her family have lived in and renovated eight homes in the past twenty years. As her love of the design process grew she went back to school to study interior design. She started her own design firm and over time realized that she far enjoyed focusing on using her own homes as her "laboratory". She started Eye Swoon where she offers advice on all things home and has almost 800,000 followers on Instagram @eyeswoon.

She is a wonderful, detailed writer. In Live Beautiful, Athena interviews fourteen individuals/families about their homes; and includes two of her own homes. She shares the stories of turning all of these "buildings" into homes and offers thorough commentary on the elements used, the feelings the spaces create, tips to achieve similar looks and/or how to build rooms using the principles that exist in these homes. All of the images in the book are taken by Nicole Franzen.

Each home is introduced with a "Fact Sheet" and "Resources", including paint colors which I love to know! I have taken a picture from each of the homes featured in the book to give you a taste of the treasures within the book.

This is the cover of the book and chances are you have seen this image before. It was actually in my Vignettes of the Month post for October. This is the desk space in Athena's kitchen made from a floating shelf of soapstone.

These first three images are from Athena's family's home in Brooklyn. She shares all about her personal design choices and decisions made while renovating this home.

A continuing theme throughout the book is to include treasures and beautiful objects in utilitarian spaces like she has here in her gorgeous kitchen.

This is from the home of Nate Berkus, Jeremiah Brent and their children. They are the first family featured in the book. I love this vignette in their living room.

This is an image from the kitchen in the home of Jenna Lyons and her family. That brass!

This is from the family home of Signe Bindslev Henriksen of Space Copenhagen. Incidentally, I love the rule of three featured on this page. Groupings always look best in three (and I'm not just saying that because I am one of three children lol).

This well collected room is in the Montauk, New York home of Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams and RW Guild.

These vibrant, layered glimpses are from the home of Gariel Hendifar and Jeremy Anderson of Apparatus.

This is from the home of Oliver Gustav, an avid antiques collector and dealer from Denmark. His entire home is full of treasures!

This is the kitchen in the home of Jane Keltner de Valle, Style Director at Architectural Digest, her husband Giancarlo Valle and their children. The abundant use of marble in their kitchen is stunning.

This is the dining room in the Amagansett, New York home of Athena Calderone and her family. I love the mix of old and new. She talks in this chapter about her desire to use natural materials and how the rope ceilings came to be. This house if stunning.

This bathroom that looks like it should be in an island spa retreat is in the home of Interior Designer Pamela Shamshiri and her children.

This beautiful vignette is in the home of architect Danielle Siggerud and her husband. I love the way the artwork looks above the table, simple and a statement at the same time.

This is an exterior picture of the Amagansett, New York home of Consumer Brand Investor Kearnon O'Molony and his wife, Kate Mack, a Casting Director. Those sloping windows up to the roof line are amazing.

This layered dining area is in the Lyon, France home of Stéphane Garotin and Pierre Emmanuel Martin, founders of Maison Hand.

I love the way this sofa follows the lines of the wall in this Malibu, California home designed by Vanessa Alexander of Alexander Design.

This "bench moment" is in the living room of Interior Designer Jean Charles Tomas.

The last home featured in the book is the family home of Laure Hériard Dubreuil, her husband, artist Aaron Young, and their son. The home is layered with a mix of furniture styles and design eras that fill the rooms while the bones of the 1800s townhome remain in tact.

The images by Nicole Franzen are exquisite and the commentary in the chapters by Athena Calderone is extremely informative. This is a book to turn to again and again for the tips and tricks more than anything.

I will be back tomorrow with an Either Or post. See you then.

Thank you for joining me today,





Hi, I’m Kerry, a true lover of all things home design.  Thank you for stopping by to check in on the journey.  Please feel free to reach out to me, I love to talk design!

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