Sunday, June 27, 2010

Living With What You Love

Struggling.  I have been struggling to write a post about two of my favorite, and I think very important design topics: family photos and collections. Trying to gather the right words and images, including many from my own home, together in a way that clearly illustrates my thoughts and ideas on these subjects has proven to be a far greater challenge than I had anticipated!  Ah yes, so much easier to do it verbally!  So, I put it aside for later.

Later came in an unexpected way. Via my inbox! A few weeks ago I received the most casual email that said in part "I have been enjoying your blog and I think my newest book may be of interest to you."  I receive a lot of emails these days. Many are from new bloggy friends or readers with questions about a certain item or post.  Some I really can't even discern what they are about.  And, then there are some requesting endorsements, mentions, givaways, reviews and more recently for sponsorship possibilities. I read them all.  I reply only to those I am genuinely interested in myself, sharing with my readers and that fit the style of this blog!


                                                                
I've tried to complete posts on these topics on more than one occasion. Collections & family photos come up inevitably with every client, friend or family member I have ever worked with. It can be a very sensitive subject. It stirs the emotions and quite often are the very components that can make or break a room. Done tastefully, displaying family photos and collections are what gives our spaces warmth, believability and soul.  Most people do not have the ability to self edit, especially when it comes to possessions that are personal. Many are challenged by figuring out the best and most inspiring ways to display their collections. I have successfully helped many, but I am always looking for new and exciting ways to accomplish this important aspect of design.


Enter Monica Rich Kosann. Photographer, designer and author of 3 books. Her latest book is called. Living With What You Love. We exchanged a few emails, she sent me her book and I read it...cover to cover and I simply loved it!  We also chatted on the phone. This talented woman was so warm and engaging. The conversation flowed easily and it was hard to believe we were complete strangers. But, after reading every page of her book, I should not have been surprised by her warmth and passion.

                                                                      Currently the objects of my desire!

Whether or not you are currently working with a design professional, this book has so many ideas to get you started in creating your own tasteful and original displays of beloved family photos and collections. Monica will walk you through ways to incorporate photos and collections into your own home and decor without it becoming a distraction, but instead an enhancement to your style as well as the style of your home. Her book is an abundance of information on everything from framing to curating a collection on a tray. The interiors featured in her book are as varied as the collections themselves. Her approach is fresh and unique. The forward is by Alexa Hampton. This is a book for homeowners and designers alike. A really great resource for your design library!

Here's a tiny sampling of the book:










In addition, Monica designs exquisite jewelry including charm bracelets and lockets as well as items for the home based on vintage pieces. Just last week I saw an ad in Elle Decor for one of her lockets. Katie Holmes has worn her signature locket since the birth of daughter, Suri.  Madonna purchased several of her image cases for a dinner party. She had each case wrapped and placed on the dinner plates as a gift for her guests! I have my eye on a few pieces that I will be leaving not so subtle hints to my family for my birthday next month! And, just this month Monica was accepted to be a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America as reported by WWD!!!




In the coming weeks, I promise to still share some of my own images of how I display my family photos and collections including: antique keys & locks, French opera glasses and corkscrews. In the meantime, as the mercury soars and you find yourself retreating indoors for a reprieve, may I suggest heading to your favorite book seller to get started on Living With What You Love !

All images courtesy of Monica Rich Kosann.  Photographs by Steven Randazzo 

36 comments:

  1. I just picked up the book and agree- it helped me to see my home in a different way.
    I didn't realize that Monica sold jewelry. The locket will be perfect for... better keep it a secret!
    -Ann

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  2. Looks like a fabulous resource...thanks for sharing! I love the way she has displayed some of the collections!

    Suzanne

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  3. Very interesting - great commentary. You made me see this topic in a new light. I look forward to picking up a copy of Monica's book. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Oh, her book looks so interesting and your post was great!! Lovely photos of gorgeous collections too. I am not a collector, don't seem to have that gene (although I love to acquire random things!!!), but I love looking at others' interesting collections. Can't wait to see your own photos....sounds intriguing!

    The only thing I guess I do officially collect is famliy photos and many of them are in (almost) all-silver frames on a dedicated shelf in my office...I buy silver frames only if I see one I really like and add or convert a photo into it...

    xo Terri

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  5. Looks like a really helpful book. I recently styled a row of bookcases for a client - nearly 20 linear feet! - with more framed family photos than I had ever had to deal with before. I was happy, she loved it, but I wonder if it would have been easier with this book to inspire me? I will definitely give it a look. Thanks for the review.

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  6. What a fabulous post. I too, have struggled with mixing my family heritage, memories of loved ones and showing my personality through my collections in a modern/semi-classic style. I love a sense of history, but I don't want my house to be a showroom of family photos. Thanks for the link to this inspiring book. I'll be getting a copy. I need it.

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  7. That book looks wonderful with AWESOME images! THANKS for sharing that!

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  8. Love this post!!! The photo are great, so glad I visited today, thanks.

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  9. Weather vane collection is just the best!

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  10. Looks like a wonderful book. I think I need to sell it in our shop!
    I love your collection :)

    xo
    Brooke

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  11. Such a terrific post. Monica's book looks like a useful tool for us all and a beautiful read. She's obviously a talented gal, her jewelry is gorgeous.

    Thank you as always & I'm hoping your weekend was a good one? xx

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  12. Oh, My Goodness....the weather vanes!!! I have a beloved angel weather vane that I'm moved from space to space, but this display of them in multiples is so unique and interesting. This one really spoke to me! This is a book I'll be purchasing. It really tackles an issue that comes up for me with clients all the time. Interested to see what else you have to say about it.

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  13. Sometimes that is how I shop- if I really love it, it will work!

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  14. Great ideas here!! I love to group my smalls on a tray...mostly little gifts from my kids when they were younger, but all have great meaning.

    I so agree; if we live with what we love, it will bring US joy...items carry memories and nostalgia. They will always work together.

    I'll be looking for the book...thanks!! What a nice email to recieve.

    Best,
    Michelle

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  15. those photos are yummy. looks like a wonderful book...

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  16. Thanks for mentioning this book. I will go to Amazon.com and see if I can order it.

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  17. Nothing looks cluttered...all well grouped collections. Love the image of sepia ships and numbered game pins. Installation art! Thanks, Trish

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  18. I can't wait to see your collections and photos! While I'm not much of a collector, I do have some beloved family pieces that I would like to incorporate into my home as well as way too many photos. And I just don't like the idea of relegating family pics to "non-public" spaces, which seems to be what most designers suggest!

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  19. I love collections. I truly think they can make an entire house. Can't wait to see yours! I just found your blog today and I absolutely love it! I love finding new blogger friends!

    - Maggie
    mgwalton.blogspot.com

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  20. Looks like a great book ~ I will have to check it out! Love the lockets too! ~Debby xo

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  21. Such terrific images - and a terrific message! Why edit the things we love out of our life?! Filling our rooms with the things that make us happiest is bound to make for a happy, memory filled home! Can't wait to see your pics!

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  22. It looks like I might have another favorite design book (: Creating spaces that reflect the soul are dear to my heart and the Living With What You Love concept fits perfectly! A must read for the summer. Thank you for sharing this lovely find (:

    Michele

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  23. Looks like a great book. I will definitely pick it up. This can definitely be a sensitive subject with clients. I am all about living with the things we love but many times editing is key!

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  24. the art of collecting is a fine art indeed!!
    love this post.
    xxx

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  25. I'm familiar with Monica, but not her new book. I will indeed but it on my summer reading list!

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  26. Adding this to my ever growing list of decor books that I need in my life! Maybe I can display all the books somehow! Love all these gorgeous photos of beautiful collections, you always have the best tips.

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  27. off to get this book, what a great recommendation. my fav was the weathervane collection.

    can't wait to see your collections rebecca
    debra

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  28. looks like a great book!
    my personal design motto is: edit, edit, edit! and that goes double for "collections"!

    joan

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  29. What a great post! I do find it a challenge to deal with others' collections. I will pick up her book, it looks like it would be a fabulous gift as well!
    xx

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  30. How exciting! I saw Monica's pictures of her boys in Country Living {and I believe the picture of her stairway gallery was in there, too....} and now I have to dig through my mags and see if I still have it, because perhaps her home was featured, as well? I will most definitely be getting this book as I am always looking for ways to beautifully and tastefully present photos and collections in my home. Can't wait to see yours, too! Thank you for the introduction to Monica's work! xx Suzanne

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  31. Wow! this looks like a great resource book for a homeowner, wouldn't this make a wonderful House warming gift. Great images, thank you for sharing.
    I also wanted to thank you for your sweet comment on my Black and white guest bath. I so appreciate you taking time to read my post and to comment,Kathysue

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  32. Over the years, what stands out to me are the collections I see, all garnered with love, albeit some collections can begin as a hobby and others by default. Of course, a blog can take on a life of all the things we love.
    Thanks for sharing this book. I think it makes a perfect gift.
    pve

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  33. Monica's book looks wonderful! I will have to see it for myself. Thanks for the recommendation. xx

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  34. Great discovery. She is a real talent. You wrote a fantastic post!

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  35. Are those vintage skittles, or some kind of on-ship game? Either way, they're awesome and I want some!

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  36. I'm always telling people to live with what they love - it's so important to giving your home a prooper personality - and your own touch look forward to picking up this book - loved the ideas - especially the weather vanes displayed o the walls -just discovered your blog - i'll definitely be back -

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