Books That Have Made an Impact on My Life

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Today I am sharing the books that have made the biggest impact on my life…. Maybe you have a few to share too, that will help another reader get through this unprecedented time in an uplifting way.

Do you know what this springtime brings besides warmer weather and spring flowers?

With the arrival of spring… brings books… pretty books, crafty books, decorating books, lifestyle books. A good percentage of these creative types of books are published and released in March and April.  It is just the way the publishing world works.

Since I have been blogging I have received lots of books from publishers to review and this March is starting out no differently.

When my book, Instant Decorating came out in 1994 – it was in April.  Every April since I was a young mom trying to make a house a home, I have always looked forward to seeing what “new” bound-inspiration would be showing up on bookstore shelves or nowadays on Amazon.  Over the years I have bought a lot of creative lifestyle books and devoured each one.  I keep my favorites – the ones that are timeless in my studioffice.

Every spring I tend to get in a cleaning and purging mode, going through my entire collection of lifestyle and decorating books that no longer inspire me and take them to the thrift shop.

Some of the books I keep are older, but to me their pages still inspire. Most have made a huge impact on my life in such a profound way that I don’t think I will ever part with them.

My-Favorite-Lifestyle-Books-that-made-an-impace-in-my-life.jpg


One of my favorite books goes back to the 80’s, but is timeless and still available to buy today.

It is the red book in the stack in the above photo – Living A Beautiful Life by Alexandra Stoddard.

I have a signed copy by the author that I got when I went to her home in Connecticut to meet her. I was honored to have been able to meet with her on a few other occasions, too.  This book made the biggest impact on my life more than any other.

The Other Books That I Won’t Be Parting With Anytime Soon

My very first Barefoot Contessa cookbook titled, Parties

This book was given to me as a Christmas present. It is dog-earred and food stains splatter the pages. It was the first that started my colorful collection.

The Power of Style by Annette Tapert and Diana Edkins

It is all about why you should let your personal style shine. I enjoyed the profile of many very stylish women throughout history who defined the art of living well.

My book, Instant Decorating

It is no longer in print, but was very exciting for me to be able to write a book and get it published by a big name publisher. The styling in the photos looks dated now, but the projects, when done in updated fabrics and colors will really help anyone that has a small decorating budget for both time and money.

Girlfriends Forever by Susan Branch

I love her illustrations and this was just a delight visually as well as inspiring. Maybe when I retire I will have the time to draw and illustrate like she does.

Feeling at Home by Alexandra Stoddard

This is my favorite decorating book!  Not a lot of photos, more of a why you should decorate your home for you and not follow trends.  It is a timeless read for decorating lovers of any style of decor.

Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Still a great read. Kind of a daily devotional about living the best life you possibly can every day of the year.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman

She coined the term “Mollifer” in a home.   You may remember when I wrote about it.  I plan to update that post to share the new “mollifer” in my home. :-)

My Junior Girl Scout Handbook

This book basically taught me everything I know about being crafty :-)

The Simplicity Reader by Elaine St. James

Doable ideas and ways to simplify every aspect in your life.

Last, but not least is…

Style by Kate Spade

This is a fun fashion style book with chic watercolor illustrations that just make me smile. It made me sad when I learned she took her own life. She was the epitome of what living in personal style is all about.


Each of these books is a classic for me. They helped me along my path to live more authentically and creatively while giving me the confidence to live in my own style.

Just Published Lifestyle & Decorating Books

New for 2020 Decorating and Lifestyle books

      She Made Herself a Home | Gather At Home | Simple Farmhouse Life

I am always interested in new books on all things lifestyle and decorating. Seeking to find new inspiration in the pages that will have an impact on my life in one way or another.

  • These 3 books have just been published or will be this week. I am looking forward to reading each one.

Do you have any books either fiction or non-fiction, (they don’t have to be about home or decor) that made a big impact on your life? Share them in the comments for other readers to see. You never know who you may inspire during this unprecedented time in our world.

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115 Comments

  1. The book that made the biggest impact on my style was also by Alexandra Stoddard, Living a beautiful life. I just love her philosophy.
    Thanks for the chance.

  2. At Home by Bill Bryson is a very interesting book. He shares the history – the story – behind the rooms and amenities that compose most of our homes today.

    LOVE design books! Can’t wait to flip through the pages of these new ones…. ;)

  3. Alexandra Stoddard’s book is definatley high on my list. Truely inspiring just like your blog. Would love to have the books.

  4. I have a blog post in ‘draft’ about my library. So many of the same books you have. I too have an Alexandra Stoddard signed book. I’ve seen her speak 3 times and her Living a Beautiful life was a life changing book. I’ve read it so many times. She also wrote a column for McCalls years ago. I have copies of them all. Love her. Did you know that her daughter is a political commentator that often appears on FOX news? Your blog certainly carries on her philosophy.
    Cheers! Rita