Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Living With What You Love

During our vacation I finally had time to start reading Living With What You Love, by Monica Rich Kosann. I absolutely LOVE this book!!

Most of you have heard about this book and have seen images on other blogs, but I wanted to share some of my favorite images and quotes. This book made me realize that sometimes having meaningful objects and pictures around the house is worth getting over my clutter phobia. The author gives plenty of examples of how you can display your collections, art, and family photos in an organized and artful way. Even as a designer I struggle with this in my own home because I love so many different styles and things.

It is easy to forget how important it is to surround yourself with all that you love for the sake of perfection. With that said, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I am against purchasing unoriginal artwork from stores like Hobby Lobby and Target. I am guilty of this in some form, but I avoid it when possible. I refer to this way of decorating as "furniture store decorating". The problem with this form of decorating is that once the particular "style" is out, so is your entire room and you have to start over from scratch. When you decorate based on what you love and fill your space with as much meaning as possible, it will never go out of style.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"In Socrates' renowned allegory, the Greek philosopher describes a cave where captive viewers can see only shadows on a wall. Behind where the viewers are sitting, all sorts of real-life figures are passing back and forth, chatting, moving around, having celebrations and funerals, doing whatever people do in real life. But all the viewers can see are the shadows of the real figures projected on the far wall of the cave.
When I walk into a hallway filled with family photos, I sometimes feel like one of the viewers whom Socrates described, viewing shadows on a wall."

"Here is where people,
One frequently finds,
lower their voices
and raise their minds."
-Richard Armour, "Library"

""How do you know when you have a "devoted space" that is really your own? My answer is encapsulated in a quote from the great photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. "Taking photos," he said, "is to put one's head, one's eye, and one's heart on the same axis." When you walk in, sit down, and spend time in your devoted space, I think that's the way you feel-that your head, eye, and heart are on the same axis.""

Now for some photos:

There is so much more that I love about this book and I will continue to share a piece each week until I am finished reading it. I hope you can pick up the book because it is the best down to earth decorating book that I have seen in a really long time.



  1. Sounds like a book I will definitely have to check out. Great advice to live with the things we love in such a beautiful way. Great post. Thanks for sharing such lovely pictures.

  2. I'd have to agree to live with what you love. All the rest are just clutter. Have a beautiful day, Kellie xx

  3. I've really started to embrace the philosophy that we need to surround ourselves with things we love. I'm sure that many people would come into my home and not appreciate my eclectic mix of accessories, but they make me happy, each item has meaning to me.

  4. I bring our family's past into our home again through shadow boxes and photographs. This is what I love. I do this not only for me, but to share with our children and grandchildren so that they can learn about their grandparents and great-grandparents. I receive so many compliments for how I bring so many tiny material things together and make them into something so important. Everyone has this choice if they just have the idea. It can be so rewarding.


Please do...don't be shy now! I love to hear your thoughts.