Books That Have Made an Impact on My Life

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.


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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  1. My Junior Girl Scout book is also a treasured piece as is Living a Beautiful Life. I ordered a few of your recommendations- thanks! One that I return to time and time again is Betsy Speert’s Great Color and Pattern Collection- beautiful AND helpful. I’m looking forward to reading everyone else’s recommendation. Thanks, Diane! (BTW, I can’t wait to purchase your drawing as either prints or downloads. Get it, Girl!)

  2. fixing 15 says:

    I forgot to say, Jane Goodall’s “Reason For Hope” . I listened to it as an audio book on tape . I just did it for something to listen to on my boring drive to work, but by the end of the book, her compassion for animals lifted a veil from my eyes , and I instantly became a vegetarian. I went home and told my husband, ” I am going to become a vegetarian.” and he said, “OK I will do it with you”. That was 15 years ago and I have not looked back since! And my husband is still a vegetarian as well.

  3. Vickie M Townsend says:

    As for inspirational *fiction book that had an impact on me: I read Exodus by Leon Uris way back when when it first came out and I was in jr high school. It awakened in me a desire to see Israel; something I was finally able to do in 1999. Egypt too. I don’t know if it would hit me that way now, but it certainly had a long term residual effect. I would sure love to go back, but at this point, it isn’t going to happen, being elderly being what it is :).

  4. Barbara B. Pilcher says:

    Simply Organized, a paperback from the 1980’s. This is the one book that taught me everything I needed to know about organizing a home. I blogged about the tips.

  5. A friend gave me several of Alexandra Stoddard’s books when I was young and just had a new home built. I used to go to bed early every night and read and re-read her books. They truly inspired me to live life beautifully in my home and garden and even be a better wife. It’s been a while since I’ve pulled those books off the shelf. Thanks for the reminder, Diane!

  6. Sandi from Wisconsin says:

    Thanks for the book review. You have me interested in both of the Alexandra Stoddard books. I have read a lot of decorating books and have a few that I won’t part with, but have not read Alexandra’s books.

    Stay healthy and keep inspiring us! Thanks.

  7. Janis Hill says:

    The Holy Bible has had the biggest impact on my life and will for all eternity.

    Julia Child’s cookbooks are classic and I have all of Ina Garten’s as well.

    As for decorating books – I devour them. It doesn’t matter what the “theme” is, I still learn something. Those that have influenced me the most are the Pottery Barn Living Rooms, Bedrooms and Baths Rooms along with several House Beautiful books. Sorry, I don’t have them in front of me to check the titles currently.

  8. Another big influence for me has been the books I have of paintings of the interiors his home in Sweden by Carl Larsson. Some of the titles are “A Home”, “A Farm”, and “A Family”. He is very well known in Sweden, though less so in this country. He revolutionized Swedish interiors, bringing light and color into homes, and did much to initiate the Scandinavian style interiors we see all over the internet today.

  9. “Gift from the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindberg is a little book to which I return again and again. Does it have anything to do with decorating? Yes, in a very visceral way. She encourages the reader to contemplate objects, and think beyond the surface of what we see, into what those objects encourage us to consider about the life we live and want to live. You could think of it as a contemplative meditation on minimalism and what is truly important for happiness.

    Also, although I live in the country, with sheep and more, in an 1842 farmhouse, for a number of years I subscribed to DWELL magazine, and very much enjoyed the vicarious experience of modern, often re-built or recently built, structures and interiors. It’s fun to explore other ways of living!

  10. Yes it’s a good day to stay inside and read – after having sunny spring weather today is overcast with some snowflakes falling. A book I like is “Bringing Tuscany Home”, by Frances Mayes (author of Under The Tuscan Sun and more). I happened upon it at a book sale years ago and it is a beautiful book, even if you’re not looking for Tuscan inspiration. I have the Alexandra Stoddard books and realized I haven’t looked at them in years – it is definitely time to revisit them, they were always a source of inspiration for me. I have only recently discovered Susan Branch, through your website, and I find her to be uplifting especially when I’m in need of cheer. Thanks for another great post.

  11. Vicki Vaughn says:

    Alexandra Stoddard is a favorite and I can’t throw out her books either! Have all the Barefoot Contessa books.

  12. I haven’t a clue why I stopped receiving your emails! So today I googled you to get updated on you. Should I re-subscribe? I wonder how many others have experienced this?
    Was delighted to see Simple Abundance in your stack of books. My husband gave me that book when I was in my thirties, 30 years ago. Loved it.
    Other books that have made a big impact on me include the Bible, all of Jane Austen’s novels, and my newest obsession, all 8 of the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon.
    As far as decorating, Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living magazines have been my inspiration my whole married life, 42 years. For the last 10 years or so, your blog, Thistlewood Farms, and the Nester are my go to’s.
    Thanks, Diane, for many happy hours spent here!

  13. I love Alexander Stoddard and have almost everyone of her books. She sent me a lovely handwritten postcard when I purchased a book from her website. She has taught me how to live a beautiful life. I too adore Barefoot Contessa. I was fortunate to meet her personally when she was out promoting her first book. Such a delightful woman. As for great baking…check out Sally’s Baking Addiction. Amazing recipes and blog…facebook too.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi June – I recently stumbled upon Sally’s Baking Addiction. I agree she is amazing and her site even is addicting. Stay well.

      1. Stay well too Diane. I only follow a few blogs and I told my husband yesterday they are a great distraction right now. As I was opening my emails today I actually thought about pulling some of my books out for a good re-read. Your post reinforced that thought. Love that so many of your followers love Alexander and Ina. You will love Sally’s recipes.

  14. fixing 15 says:

    If you like color in interior design, any book by the British interior designer Tricia Guild is the book for you! She founded her own textile company, Designer Guild, and her books are fabulous. I particularly liked “In Town”. Some of her older books , are of course a little dated, as design books date quickly, but I still love to look through them for the vibrant photography and luscious colors. She has a few new books on the market.
    I was not sure if we were just supposed to comment on Interior Design books or all of them……..
    Spiritual book I can not live without: Living With Joy by Sanaya Roman and all books by her.
    Health book that is changing my life, and is just out (#5 on the NY Times bestseller list): ” Mastering Diabetes” by : Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Nadine – Yes – any book that inspired you is fine to include in your comment. The more variety the better for other readers looking to find somehting enjoyable and inspiring to read.

  15. Has anyone read Simple Abundance: 365 Days to a Balanced and Joyful Life
    It was published November 19, 2019
    by Sarah Ban Breathnach (Author)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryl – No, I have not read it yet. Is is a new version of her first book or totally new? If so I know I would enjoy reading it.

  16. Shai Williams says:

    My craft is beading and one of the most influential books I have read is Missing Link.,

  17. Desaree Martin says:

    Young House Love has really inspired me!

  18. I’d have to say , “Martha Stewart Entertaining” was a huge impact on me. That year I gilded nuts and pine cones ,and sugared fruit, and impressed myself and my family. From then on, I wasn’t afraid to try anything.

  19. When I was young, in the early 70’s, I had this little paperback book on ideas for girls to make over their bedrooms. Maybe it came from the Scholastic book club? I practically memorized that book and all the far-out ideas for a dream bedroom, like making a recessed sleeping pit, making a swinging bed from a door suspended from the ceiling, converting a cast-iron tub to a reading nook, or covering your walls in squares of aluminum foil. It did inspire me to paint giant abstract arrows on my wall with poster paint, which did not make my mom too happy! It also inspired me to want to become an interior designer, though once in art school I went into graphic design instead.

  20. I have a ton of books but not one of them is on decorating and the funny thing is that my house never stays the same for more than a month or two. I guess I was just one that always loved flipping through the magazines at the grocery store but then realized that I never had the money to buy so I did what I could do and that was take what was outside in and just move what I did have (either from the kitchen or other rooms) around.

  21. I tend to look to magazines more than books, and love Traditional Home. I’ve also checked out quite a few Better Homes and Gardens books on decorating from the library.

  22. Michelle B. says:

    I really like the Martha Stewart books and magazines. The books in your giveaway look like so much fun. My house could really use a little redecorating. These books would help quite a bit.

  23. Iveth Caruso says:

    For me Martha & Barefoot Contessa but I am curious to check out some of the books in your list. I love Better Homes & Gardens books too. But these days I read more blogs than these kind of books. Thank you for such a great givaway.

  24. While I keep moving, and moving, and moving houses again and again (not because of desire, but of necessity, i.e., my husband’s job), I dream of one day having a house like Bunny Williams in her book “An Affair with a House.” It’s not the grandeur, or the size, but the evolving relationship with a house. To be there long enough to plant roots and love it, change with it, make memories in it with my kids and husband – having my own affair with a house.

  25. Vee evans says:

    I love your list of books because some of my favorites are on your list as well. In college and grad school, I read because I had to. At work, I read because — well, that’s what journalist do. Working for an NPR station, I am inundated with books and treasure every single preview copy which crosses my desk. But in recent years, I’ve reread several old favorites and I remember why I love them. They include The Red Tent, Pride & Prejudice, The Good Earth and Call of the Wild. These are the books which made reading more than just a past time for me. I’ve never owned decorating books. Instead I read blogs, incl. yours for inspiration.

  26. This is the best giveaway ever!! I too have a LOT of lifestyle books and read and reread them over and over again. My favorite is No Place Like Home by one of my favorite designers, Stephen Saint-Onge.

  27. Shannon Orr says:

    I enjoy thumbing through the pages of The Archive of English Decoration. I don’t decorate in this style at all but I love the clean layout and the layers of history behind it. It reminds me to decorate my own home with things that have meaning.

  28. I love Better Homes and Gardens decorating books. I have quite a few and never tire of going through them for not only the beautiful pictures, but wonderful ideas. I also have a few others in my collection–can never have too many books!

  29. Decorating and creative lifestyle books are currently not in my library. I do, however, subscribe to tons of blogs and get Country Living and HGTV magazine. I’m trying to make our 100 year old farmhouse into a comfortable haven that reflects my style rather than the hodgepodge of left behind possessions it is currently. These decorating books just may be the ticket!

  30. Cheryl Phillips says:

    The book “Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy” is one of many books that inspire me! By the way, my 13-year-old daughter and I are redoing our new home (built in 1905) together and your site is our biggest inspiration!! We recently found a great buffet on the side of the road (!) and she’s tackling the painting job using your tips so she can use it in her craft room for storage. Your site is SO great!! Thank you.

  31. chrissy farnan says:

    Wow such fun books.

    For me Martha was “IT” I watched her shows and subscribed to her magazines. I had hundreds, then the books, the Martha collection. It was so hard to part with the magazines, but that’s where I started my love for creating. Also Mary Engelbreit magazines were my go to, I was sad to see it not making the newsstands any longer.

  32. HOME SWEET HOME and other books by Mary Engelbreit have always delighted and inspired me. I have saved the issues of her now defunct magazine too. So original!

  33. I love all books — and I work in a library, so I get to see alot. My favorite decorating book is from 1998, Use What You Have Decorating by Lauri Ward. In fact, now that I’ve pulled it out to see the title, I think I’ll thumb through it again. Thanks also for some great ideas (both in your post and in these responses) for more books I should check out!

  34. Honestly, I think my mothers sense of decorating and her “seamstress-ing” skills, helped me develop my own sense of style. She taught me about fabrics and color, and spacial planning… though she called it re-arranging the furniture. We pulled many pictures from magazines and arranged lots of furniture on graph paper! She inspired me to DIY, before it was the thing to do. Be yourself, don’t be afraid to be different.

  35. Simple Abundance and The Perfectly Imperfect Home are two of my favs. I’ll have to check out Alexandra Stoddard’s Living A Beautiful Life!

  36. Cindy Lyon says:

    I own many of the books you have listed but it was Alexandra Stoddard who taught me about making my home a comfortable and welcoming place for my myself and my loves ones.

  37. Donna McBroom-Theriot says:

    I love Simple Abundance.

  38. Alexandra Stoddard, Living a Beautiful life, is a must have. Although we do not share the same esthetic, Rachel Ashwell, Shabby Chic, taught me to look at things differently and find beauty in all things.

  39. Melanie C. says:

    I’ve always been a HUGE Mary Englebreit and Mackenzie Childs fan for their use of color and whimsy but I’m more of a magazine girl than anything. (I can tear out the pages.) BH&G and Southern Living have always inspired me to dream AND do. And so do you. Thanks!

  40. Carolyn Roehm’s books. All of them. I was a fan for years, but hearing her tell the story of her home burning to the ground and how it helped her see the world made me even more of an admirer.
    Diane, I enjoy reading your blog so much! I believe I’ve made notes re: my own home when looking at every one of your posts. Thank you, for sharing you creativity.
    Thank you, for the opportuniy of this giveaway!

  41. Without a doubt, my all time favorite is Alexandra Stoddard’s “Living A Beautiful Life”. That book taught me to first look for ALL things I found beautiful, before I tried to find my style. Style can be anything from the pattern of the teacup and saucer one likes to use to the color of ink one chooses to write with. She helped me see that color and beauty work hand and hand and when I see that bond then decorating can happen. Most of all the book just made me excited about all there was to find out about myself, my style and my home. She is incredible! I have a good number of her books and none of them have been read only once!

  42. Debra Lee says:

    I love every Barefoot Contessa book. So delicious and easy to make and I love reading her stories!

  43. Dear Diane,

    I, too, have Alexandra Stoddard’s “Living a Beautiful Life” on my decorating shelf. I love her writing, and her drawings. :-)

    Two of my other favorites are BHG’s “Garden Style” and BHG’s “Cottage Style.”

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  44. Michele @ Our Rosey Life says:

    Hmm… that’s a tough question because I love books. I guess it would be Martha Stewart “Entertaining”. It was a gift when I moved into my first apartment and it was full of new ideas (to me).

  45. Honestly, I’ve never found a book that truly inspired me. However, Better Homes & Gardens magazine and website has the most down to earth decorating ideas and has been my greatest source of inspiration. You’re blog, Diane, has been my inspiration to actually put those ideas into action.

  46. Joyce Ward says:

    Martha Stewart’s Big Book of Crafts is one of my favorites, started me on decoupage, paper crafts, and silver leaf projects; thank you very much!

  47. Deborah Wilkins says:

    It’s a toss-up: Rachel Ashwell’s books vs. Carolyn Roehm’s books! Love them both equally! Love your blog as well, Diane! Have a Happy Easter!


  48. Brenda Stafford says:

    I wish I could remember the name of a book I read about the building of a house. I can’t believe my memory has gotten so bad. As soon as I hit “post,” I’ll remember it. I think it may have been simply “house” and was written about 15 years ago by one of my favorite nonfiction writers whose name I can’t recall! LOL! Doggone it! Terry something? Oh well- it made me really think about home building in a very different way!

  49. Greenberry Street says:

    Well….if you looked at the bookshelf in my two-week-old craft room, you would see MANY books, that I just love. Mine aren’t home decor books, or about cooking or entertaining–mine are about crafts. And probably my favorite is “Knitting for Peace.” I started through that book, and made many of the projects (each for a different charity). One day I might try to do them all! I really enjoyed being able to use my crafty skills and desire, and use it for good–to bring a little hope to someone that needed it. That’s where my charity crafting started, and it hasn’t stopped yet. That book is certainly a keeper for me :-)

  50. MelanHelen says:

    Many, many moons ago, the magazine, and then the book Apartment Life. (It was published by the same company that publishes BHG.) It was all about DIY and knock-off decor long before anybody else I know of was writing about that. Unfortunately, when its target audience got real jobs and houses in the suburbs it morphed into Metropolitan Home which was lovely but just didn’t have the same feel or focus.

  51. Eloquence says:

    Better Home and Gardens — it’s really a magazine, but it’s what got me into reading things online!

  52. Terry Kessinger says:

    I still have it, Martha Stewart’s Christmas book. I still remember my first project, gold stamping disassembled brown paper bags that I used as wrapping paper. I believe that’s a good mark of a book, when it can change the way you look at things. Great books, really great – I’d love to win! Thank you for sharing!

  53. I would be simply delights to win those books! One of my favorite decorating books is 500 Quick and Easy Decorating Projects & Ideas published by Country Living.

  54. I haven’t read any decorating books but love blogs (like yours!) for inspiration as well as the special edition Better Homes and Garden magazines that show you how to do DIY projects inexpensive. Would love to win the books to read :)

  55. Susan Krauss says:

    The book that has made the biggest impact on the way I decorate has to be the original “Shabby Chic” by Rachael Ashwell. I had always thought I was alone in the way I wanted to decorate but then, RA came along and BOOM! After that, I just ran with it.

  56. Shelley T. says:

    I don’t have a decorating book stash -I’d love to start :)

  57. I read lots of creative and decorating blogs. I enjoy Houzz and HGTV and other magazines like BH&G. One book did help me learn how to “decorate” my home seven years ago when I sold my house. It was a book about how to stage a house for selling. I don’t remember the name of it but my house sold in less than one day! So it worked. I am in the process of preparing to sell my house again and would love any help from decorating books as I gave away my staging book. :(

  58. I love decorating books and magazines. I keep years worth of magazines and a shelf full of books. I learn so much from each one. I love Carolyne Roehm for the photos and Alexandra Stoddard for her philosophy on life. I like books/magazines that embrace living a lifestyle not just decorating for others.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Congrats Katie – You won the trio of decorating/craft books. I will email you directly to get your mailing address. Congratulations!!!

  59. It’s funny that you have a Barefoot Contessa book as a favorite, because one of my dog-eared and dearly loved books is the Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook. It may not be a direct “decorating” book, but I’ve always found that one part of your life leads to another. The attention to details and tips to a well groomed party has shaped my home style to be one that invites guests, is welcoming and most importantly, has a LOT of attention to detail.

  60. Linda Cates says:

    I’m a library girl as my budget doesn’t allow the purchase of books. I found a book that Chris Madden wrote about her own home and have checked it out several times over the past few years finding new inspiration every time I look at it. Love your blog!!!!

  61. My inspirational room for my kitchen redo came from pictures in Southern Living Magazine.

  62. I have gotten so much inspiration from the Young House Love book. There are several things I want to do in my house that are in this book. I also love the HGTV’s magazine. I get tons of ideas from simple to complex in the magazine. Thanks for the chance to win.

  63. I’m not sure if it counts as a “creative lifestyle book,” but when I was a kid, my mom was my Brownie/Girl Scout troop leader, and she used a book called “Sticks & Stones & Ice Cream Cones” for some of our activities (she also used Pack-O-Fun magazines). When she was doing a remodel, she was planning to toss her copy, so I grabbed it. This book taught me that crafts (for fun or decoration or gifts) don’t need to be made from expensive materials, which fits my lifestyle perfectly! A simple gift, simply made.

  64. Simple Abundance is also one of my favorites, and allows for a reflective thought each day-think I’ll re-read it.

  65. I don’t have any design books yet, but I read a lot of design blogs. I would love to start with these!

  66. Living A Beautiful Life is my favorite book! I have 2 copies of it. I was really influenced by the idea of not saving things but using them everyday
    I would love these books!

  67. Mary Beth says:

    If only for the photos alone, one of the books I go to time after time is “The Welcoming House: the Art of Living Graciously” by Jane Schwab. Great for the soul!

  68. I actually haven’t bought any craft books yet. I’m still new to the scene. I am able to find everything on the internet so far! But your blog has been inspiring!

  69. I love cupcakes and cashmere. I’ve been wanting to decorate with flowers for a while now so this would be perfect!

  70. I used to have a whole collection of Décor / Crafting books that were lost in a home fire a few years ago. I have bought a few since then, and I really love Fresh American Spaces by Annie Selke. Thanks for your inspiring blog!

  71. Vidya @ Whats Ur Home Story says:

    Come to think of it, I’ve read/ owned only one decorating book so far, YHL’s book that came out last year. Hanging my head in decor blogger shame. :(

  72. Favorite decorating books – Better Homes and Gardens Decorating – each new edition comes with beautiful pictures and ideas to help make your house into your home.

  73. Laura Ingalls Gunn says:

    Oh its so hard to choose a favorite! But perhaps the book that made me look outside the traditional box in decorating was “Domino The Book of Decorating”. Even years later it still feels fresh.

  74. Love your blog and love this post about decorating books. I own many but I especially love House Beautiful’s 750 Designer Secrets published in 2005. Hugh book with timeless gorgeous interior shots. Would love to win these books.

  75. Annamaria Houston says:

    One of my favorite books is Gifts from my Front Porch by Harriet E. Crosby.

  76. Oh…goodness, I love books oh how I love books. I did have Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach and I loved that book. Gave it to a friend and wasn’t returned aww dang it.

    My all time favorites are the Barefoot Contessa books. This is an amazing give away, I would love this collection, smile…. wow !

  77. Katherine says:

    I love all of the 1950s-60s era Better Homes and Garden’s era decorating books. They have many timeless ideas and are very entertaining. I love to pick them up at thrift stores and they look great on the shelf

  78. I don’t know that I have a favorite, but I like the “junk” series.. I can’t recall the author, but I have “Kitchen Junk”, etc. and I like the Shabby Chic books by Rachel ? Sorry, I’m horrible at remembering stuff. These books look really good as well!

  79. First let me say I love, love books & I am a magazine JUNKIE-lol. I love the book Domino by Domino magazine that supposedly is back but can’t find it? I can’t wait to check into the books you listed, but I really want that Girl Scout book you have because I sold the most Girl Scout cookies two years in a row a million years ago & got my picture on the cover of the Glenview Announcements haaaa!

  80. The first books to really influence me have to be Alexandra Stoddard’s. I also loved Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic. I love finding decorating and design books at resale and thrift shops.

  81. Tina Matteson says:

    Alexandra Stoddard’s book “Living A Beautiful Life” transformed my outlook on decorating and homemaking when I was still a newly married college student. I’m so glad I discovered it! And it was wonderful to see it in your stack!

  82. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    I’m an Alexandra Stoddard fan too! And there is still nothing like flipping through the pages of a real book that you can hold in your hands!

  83. Danielle M says:

    In my 20’s, Move your stuff change your life by Karen Rauch Carter was my go-to book. I still refer back to it every once in a while when I need a quick fix.

  84. Your Girl Scout guide brought back a lot memories; I had forgotten how much of an impact it had on me for inspiration as a child. Packaging Your Crafts would be most appealing now as I’m in the handmade greeting card business, and can see that expanding to other items in the future. Thank you for the opportunity.

  85. Linda Southworth says:

    For years I never thought about decorating. I loved a craft here and there but then Better Homes and Gardens/Southern Living magazines entered my life and I set up and took notice! I love to decorate. I watch,read and learn from my favorite blogs and so appreciate all the creativity.

  86. I got my start with the Martha Stewart books and magazine. I love the fact that you still have your Junior girl scout handbook.

  87. As a little girl, I can always remember looking at Southern Living magazines that belonged to my mom and grandmother. I dreamed of having my very own “Southern Living” home. Years later and now living in a Southern Living- inspired home with my husband, my “go-to” style book is “Southern Living Style.” The style is fun yet timeless.

  88. Rachel Ashwell’s Shabby Chic Treasure Hunting and Decorating Guide. It was the first decorating book I ever purchased. Still enjoy looking at those pages of soft picks

  89. I don’t really have a lot of books…..most of my inspiration came from magazines years ago. I have BHG New Decorating Book (1981) and the cover looks like it could be from a current PB catalog! Most of my inspiration now is from all the blogs I follow. I did receive Young House Loves book from my son a couple of Christmases ago and was able to get it signed. Would love to increase my collection. Thanks for the chance to win.

  90. Candy Thayer says:

    Recently, I have enjoyed the book by Miss Mustard Seed. It’s a fun book full of great…but not too expensive ideas as well as some inspiration. Would really love to win the books…especially the one on presentation.

  91. Ashleigh hall says:

    Since I haven’t cracked open a design book yet, I don’t have a favorite! But I’ve cut my teeth on home decor/design blogs like yours and can’t wait to dive into decor books!

  92. More than a book, a magazine. My mom used to subscribe to Architectural Digest when I was a kid. I loved leafing through the pages, and I would imagine those were my homes, my rooms. I understood early on that our surroundings are important, because they create a sense of who we are.

  93. Carissa Rasmussen says:

    I love ana white’s handbuilt home. Although it’s not a design book per say, I’ve had so much inspiration at the thought of what you can build yourself

  94. Kat Diamond says:

    HUGS DIANE, Oh my, when in doubt, my favorite that would impact my life would Packaging Your Crafts by Viola E. Sutanto. Learning about presentation in the way your crafting ideas are given is a MUST HAVE knowledge and this book would be a winner in my crafting library. BTW, I am just so proud of you and all of your accomplishments…you make us want to get out more and do more with what we have around our homes, I already know a few projects I want to do thanks to you. Happy Crafting, Kat

  95. At Home With Carolyne Roehm is a fantastic book! Happy Easter!

  96. Flea Market Style by Tolley and Mead was my first decor design book – I love vintage and that book helped inspire me in more ways to use vintage items

  97. Alexandra Stoddard’s books were the first I bought when I was trying to figure out my style and I go to them often.

  98. Christy Keyton says:

    I love Alexandra Stoddard too! My all time favorite decorating book is Bunny Williams’ An Affair with a House. LOVE that book!

  99. I would love to win these books. They all look like they have great ideas. I really enjoyed Sabrina Soto Home Design and Young House Love books. Thanks for the giveaway.

  100. Linda Owens says:

    Carolyne Roehm is a big influence in decorating and style that I enjoy reading.

  101. The book that made the biggest impact on my style was also by Alexandra Stoddard, Living a beautiful life. I was also inspired by the E-book Living in the land of enough it’s more about minimalism in general but it helped me to depart from excessive art and stuff.
    Thanks for the chance.

  102. When I saw your Junior Girl Scout handbook in that cute pile of books a flood of memories came back to me!! I’m in the same boat as you and loved all the crafts I learned from Girl Scouts! Ü

  103. A book by Nancy Zieman but I can’t remember the title. I love to sew and craft. I would love to win these as I am trying to start a craftroom and this would be a great addition.

  104. Lisa Kubin says:

    I have never read a decorating book so I don’t have a favorite, but these books look fabulous.

  105. Victoria S says:

    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.

  106. 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…. ;)

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

  108. Leading the Artful Life by Mary Engelbreit

  109. 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