Tuesday, June 3, 2008

love, american (family) style

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*

17 comments:

Martha said...

One of my all time favorite design books!!! :)

Martha B.

mary said...

Just found a used copy on Amazon...I can't believe it's from 1990! Almost 20 years ago! And the photos still look fresh. Thanks for the heads up on this one!

Alison said...

Now I can't stop with that "LAS" theme song.....
Laaa-uuuuuuve American Style truer than the RedWhite&Bluuuu-hoo-HOO-hoo......."

Really like that nothing in her layers reveal when the houses are tossed together - "This old thing - been here forever."

Reminds me of 2 of her books on my library shelves, "American Junk" & "Garden Junk" (she's also the photographer - and good at it.)

Richie Designs said...

Yum I want a bed at the beach!

Cote de Texas said...

I can't believe 1990 was almost 20 years ago === times flies.


Anyway - Megan - this is really interesting. You are living your design dream truly. This reminds me of your house, which I love. You are one lucky girl. seriously.

katiedid said...

Couldn't agree more! What a great book.

Hill Country House Girl said...

Love it,love it,love it! One of my all time favorites, too. And it's that time of year in Texas - sandy feet, wet swimsuits and beach towels hanging all over the house to dry! Again,a house can be perfectly designed,but a home has it's own personality!

Pigtown-Design said...

I love Carter's books! I used to have all of them, but sold'em when I relocated. I wish I'd kept them. She used to have the funkiest website, but I don't think she's updated it for years. I wonder if she's still working at RL.

PB Chick said...

You talking about your fave book reminded me of a book that, I'm embarrased to admit, has been on the table next to the sofa for years and I never look at any more. It's one of my favorites called "Tricia Guild's Country Color". I was reminded of it because it has recipes in it too - I used to always make tomato and basil bruschetta from it when I still thought bruschetta was exotic.

The book is all about Tricia Guild's house in Tuscany.

Sparkie said...

Me too! And her various *** Junk books. Thought she sorta played the whole thing out with the last one I got: For The Love Of Old, or something along those lines.
Family Style is the gold standard. I'm going to look for mine right now.

LIBERTY POST EDITOR said...

This book speaks to me too. Living at the beach I always have sifted sand across my wood floors. I love that feeling on my feet. I must find this book.

beachbungalow8 said...

joni: it's weird, you're right. that visualizing thing works!

i def. need to go out and find her other books. you all have me interested now.

i'm telling you ,this book will draw you in. and you can still buy it for as little as 5.00.

...it's timeless.

Fifi Flowers said...

Ooh to be that wooden bird forever perched on a deck at the beach!

The Lil Bee said...

I love love love tanned feet. And that last picture looks like a room I could sit in for hours, just looking out at the beach. Thanks for sharing!

visual vamp said...

I have this book and and I make the recipes! It's an oldie but goodie for sure!

beachbungalow8 said...

tanned feet are so the best aren't they? total summer

Kathy said...

Yes, Yes, Yes! Oh my this is one of MY most fave books, and one I turn to often. I was working on a client's beachfront deck about 3 months ago and pulled out this book for inspiration! How wonderful to see it mentioned here!

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