one of my favorite books for years has been, editor/creative director/stylist/author, mary randolph carter's,'american family style'. long before i had children, long before i had a house at the beach, i would study the photos in this book...the errant mix of family heirlooms with craft projects, the family gatherings, the tanned feet a bed at the beach, a weathered gray farm table buffet the great recipes (love an interior design book with recipes) but mostly the lack of pretension in it all. the images in this book have always comforted me... made me feel summery and at home. now that i do live at the beach, they remind me, that one never needs to be too precious with their interiors. no worries about sand being brought in on bare feet or damp beach towels hanging on patio chairs. beauty in your home should be functional and comfortable, but most of all filled with the things you love, lovingly displayed.
you can still find copies of carter's book on *here*