On My Bookcase: Two Must Have Design Books

Two Must Have Design Books

I’ve been anxiously awaiting both of these books to come out for a long, long time. Writing a book is a labor of love and to watch both Rebecca Atwood and Mark D. Sikes go through this process to create incredibly works of art is truly inspiring on so many levels. I’m thrilled to be sharing a little peek into these two gorgeous books with all of you.

Two Must Have Design Books

Rebecca Atwood: Living With Pattern

Rebecca Atwood looks at the world and notices the small details around her. Raised in Cape Cod, there were patterns surrounding her at all times. It’s this awareness that helps to make her textiles some of my very favorite.

I’ve been a fan of Rebecca’s textiles for some time. You can find pillows with her fabric on them scattered throughout my home. They all share one thing in common: they have an earthy and warm sense to them. Their perfection is in their exquisite imperfection.

Now, all of us can learn a great deal from Rebecca’s book Living With Pattern. Not only is this book a visual treat with her hand-painted details, strong graphics, and perfect photographs by Emily Johnston, but it also provides important lessons on how to use textiles as the basis of your home design.

I urge you to look at Living With Pattern. I am certain you’ll be pulled into it, just as I was.

Two Must Have Design Books

Mark D. Sikes: Beautiful

I was nearly giddy when I opened my mail and found a copy of Beautiful, by the talented designer, Mark D. Sikes. I share a deep affinity with Mark: the color blue. But as I sat down to read his book, I realized very quickly, that there is so much more to his decorating than a color he has an affinity for. Beautiful firmly plants him as one of today’s great decorators.

At first glance, you might appreciate the simplicity of a room he has decorated. However, after careful study, you realize there is a depth to the patterns, textures, and placement within a room that is anything but simple. Mark creates traditional rooms that dance gracefully with modern touches, tribal rugs, or handmade tables.

In a world where many call themselves decorators, Mark stands in a league of his own. I only hope to grow into being a decorator of his immense talents.

Two Must Have Design Books

Be sure to check back next month for more book reviews. I’m constantly finding new books – both decorative and nightly reads that I want to begin to sharing with all of you.

Photos by Caitlin Flemming

Design & Technology: Creative Changes

HP Spectre I had intended to keep my office in my home for a few more years, but circumstances beyond my control, forced me to rethink this option. Broken pipes and water streaming into my son’s bedroom meant we had to rearrange the entire house. Suddenly, I was left with nowhere to work. The neighborhood café became my makeshift office. Something needed to change if I wanted to find the inspiration that’s essential working in a creative field.

HP Spectre HP Spectre HP Spectre It was time for me to look for a new place to work. While strategizing a location, my temporary workplace became my local coffee shop. Little did I know, that my future office would be just down the street from where I was working (Sacramento Street of course!). Armed with my HP Spectre, I was ready to let my creativity run wild. I’m moving in new directions and HP Spectre is helping me get there. Every once in a while, we need to take a turn in the direction we are heading and move to another path. I love my work with a passion, and I look forward to this new chapter in my ever evolving work life.

HP Spectre HP Spectre hp-spectre-7HP Spectre has made a big difference in my work life. It’s amazing how the right tools can influence your creative process – I know I’ve been on overdrive lately!

To read about my first encounters with my HP Spectre read this post and this post. 

This post is a partnership with HP Spectre. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting sponsored posts that keep Sacramento Street doors open.

Photos by Andrea Posadas for Sacramento Street

Layer It: Brunch Date

Layer It - Brunch DateOne of my favorite pastimes on the weekends it to plan a brunch date with girlfriends. There is nothing quite like chatting away about life over delicious food. I’ve been hosting girlfriends at our house while Jackson naps. Since I have to be at home, why not have a friend for brunch to spend a few hours with catching up. I’m hoping that I can continue this tradition this fall – no matter how busy life gets.

Layer It - Brunch Date

The Basics

front tie dress | everyday jacket

The Layers

saddle bag | shades | oxfords | necktie | polish

Do you have any favorite pieces you love wearing to meet your friends for brunch? Also, don’t forget to check out past Layer It posts for outfit inspiration.

Shop More Favorites

Blooms in Season: Dreamy Dahlias

Blooms in Season - Dreamy DahliasOne of my favorite parts of transitioning from summer to fall, are the late summer flowers. Dahlias come at a time of year where it still feels firmly like summer but the light has shifted and you know a change is just around the corner. To me, dahlias are pure happiness and I can’t help but smile, every time I see them. Not only do they come in a rainbow of colors, but they also come in a wide variety of sizes.

This month, Natalie will show you the royalty of dahlias. These beauties come directly from local growers in the Bay Area. I am over the moon in love with these beauties.

Blooms in Season - Dreamy DahliasBlooms in Season - Dreamy Dahlias How to maximize the life of cut dahlia flowers?
Dahlias don’t have long lives but there are a few tricks. The most important thing is that they don’t have a lot of water. Just a few inches of water will do, and if you give them more, they will wilt faster. Dahlias also like hot water. Not boiling but the hottest water that comes out of your tap will help them quite a bit.

Types dahlia flowers we featured.
Bowen (small white one)
KA Cloud (pink one)
Passion Vine
KA’s Khaleesi

Blooms in Season - Dreamy DahliasWhere do you purchase your dahlias?
I am very lucky to be in the Bay Area, as dahlias don’t ship well so we only get them from local farms. They don’t do well without water, whereas flowers such as peonies or tulips can be shipped without water for several days or up to a week. Dahlias start to disintegrate quite quickly. We get ours from farms in Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz.

I love the fact that you have local growers, like these from Santa Cruz that you’ve made connections with. Is there a reason dahlias grow along the coast?
They like the light, up to 14 hours. When the days get shorter, they start to fade. They also like sandy soil that is nutrient rich called “sandy lome” soil. They don’t like the heat even though they like the light.

Blooms in Season - Dreamy DahliasDo you have a favorite dahlias?
All of them! The little guys and the big fluffy ones. It’s all about the discrete tones in the petals and their unique personalities. In the last year I discovered the “Bowen Dahlias” and the “Sweet Natalie’s”. I’m feeling enthusiastic about all those names, for obvious reasons.

Tell us about the dahlias in golden gate park – when is the best time to visit?
Late August to September and some years until October. The Dahlia Dell is even available to reserve for a little party or gathering. I’m inspired to have a little luncheon there sometime.

Blooms in Season - Dreamy Dahlias

A huge thank you to Natalie for putting together this stunning dahlia arrangement. To get inspired by past Blooms in Season posts – click here.

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs | Images by Caitlin Flemming for Sacramento Street

Stay Inspired

Sign up to receive Sacramento Street’s latest posts & exclusive design advice straight to your inbox!