Thursday, April 21, 2011

Book Report: Sister Parish Design: On Decorating

Today, I'm continuing my monthly "Book Report" feature, where I focus on a book I've recently purchased and offer you some details and opinions on it. Up this month is Sister Parish Design: On Decorating, by Susan Bartlett Crater and Libby Cameron.

You may be familiar with the gorgeous illustrations (courtesy of the immensely talented Mita Corsini Bland), but what struck me the most was the format of this book. 

Sister Parish Design: On Decorating reads like a transcript of some great lunch where nearly all the interior design greats (i.e., Miles Redd, Bunny Williams, Peter Dunham) have gotten together to discuss the influence of Mrs. Parish on their personal and professional lives. 
As such, the book operates like an extended conversation. These giants of the design industry offer their sage advice, all through the lens of Sister Parish's influence. 

The book is broken down into sections, such as "Mastering the Mix," "Dressing the Window," "The Power of Color," and "Decorating on a Shoestring," which is particularly useful for the budget-conscious among us.
Sister Parish Design: On Decorating also serves as a good primer on the Parish aesthetic and includes some anecdotes on a few of noteable Parish-Hadley clients.

But really, I couldn't offer a quality report of this book without highlighting the spectacular illustrations. Without further ado...
(all illustrations by Mita Corsini Bland photographed by me)

I delayed buying this book for months until I found an inexpensive copy. My only regret is not having bought this book sooner.

My favorite quote from the book:
"[Sister Parish] used to say, 'We are not decorating--we are making places to live.'"--William Hodges

Amen, Sister, amen.


  1. Those illustrations are great! I may go and pick it up...Take care, Caroline

  2. Oooooh! This is going on my list! Gonna check it out next time hubby and I hit Barnes & Noble for coffee on date night!

  3. Oh my goodness, those illustrations are just amazing! I would want to clip them out to frame.

  4. Thanks for the report! I am a book junkie and love to find new ones to add to my collection.

  5. Ashley...the book is a gem for the illustrations alone!

  6. Are there no real pictures? Just illustrations? That seems kind of odd to me. But I'd still check it out.

  7. I need this book! The illustrations are gorgeous.


I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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