My friend Joan knows me all too well. After visiting my home in California, she sent me a gift, a coffee table book by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti entitled, NOVEL INTERIORS. It’s a gorgeous book with captions from well-loved novels and photos of interiors and exteriors that illustrate the feeling, the mood of the literature–for decorating is art, writing is art and they combine. Excited about this book, I took some of the literary excerpts from it and illustrated them for this post.
The photos are part of a collection that I have created over the years, tearing from my favorite magazines the rooms and gardens that I absolutely love. So I hope you enjoy the combination of words and pictures. Maybe they will inspire you as they do me.
“Don’t let us make it tidy,” said Mary anxiously. “It wouldn’t be a secret garden if it was tidy.” Frances Hodgson Burnett, THE SECRET GARDEN
“The people whom she had hitherto known just put what they had or could get into their homes, old things, and new things, side by side with each other.” Flora Thompson, LARK RISE TO CANDELFORD
“She has the idea that one night in your house would give her pleasure and do her good…Being one of those imaginative girls, the presence of all our books and furniture soothes her.” E.M. Forster, HOWARDS END
“Jo hurried to this quiet place, and curling herself up in the easy chair, devoured poetry, romance, history, travels, and pictures like a regular bookworm.” Louisa May Alcott, LITTLE WOMEN
“If people do but know how to set about it, every comfort may be as well enjoyed in a cottage as in the most spacious dwelling.” Jane Austen. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
“Nothing matched anything else. Everything was of an exotic brilliance that took away the breath. ‘Not the room of a lady,’ thought Miss Pettigrew.” Winifred Watson, MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY
“It struck me that the seasons sometimes gain by being brought into the house, just as they gain by being brought into painting, and into poetry.” Willa Cather, THE PROFESSOR’S HOUSE
“Picking up the cushions…that Mary had desposed so carefully, she threw them back on to the chairs and the couches. That made all the difference; the room came alive at once.” Katherine Mansfield, “BLISS”
“I’m glad you appreciate my sofa,”replied Mme. Verdurin, “and I warn you that if you expect ever to see another like it you may as well abandon the idea at once.” Marcel Proust, SWANN’S WAY
Photos from Better Homes and Gardens, Meredith Books, Mary Engelbreit Home Companion and Anthropologie. HAPPY DECORATING, HAPPY READING.