September 20, 2019

DOWN TO EARTH

For so long it’s felt so far away, but my new book, Down to Earth: Laid-back Interiors for Modern Living is coming out in about TWO weeks (On October 8th- Which happens to be my/ Dave’s 14th anniversary 🙂 ) and it’s crazy to think it’s almost here!!  Helen Norman shot the photos and I just love her and her work.

 

Books 1 & 2 are the same size

 

I’ve been saving some of these projects for years (I finished the cover project over three years ago!) and I am beyond pumped to finally be able to share them!!  Some of you might remember my cousin’s house in Florida (photo below) that I started working on in 2013.  We finished up a about a year ago and it was a doozy.   The first post I ever wrote about it in 2013 was probably one of the most controversial posts on Pure Style Home that I can think of and the comment section was a crazy read with a lot of insight on both sides of the argument about how ridiculous/gross or not ridiculous and gross the house was for him to live in.  (I’m SO bummed but when I switched blogging platforms, the comments from all of my early posts didn’t transfer- argggg- but you can see remnants of that convo in the link I posted to above.)  We photographed it last fall and it’s one of my favorite projects to date.  {I might love it so much because we get to go and visit?  I’ve got my guest room tricked out in Florida style lol.}

 

“during” but this gives you an idea of the house

 

In the book, I share a bit about my cousin and why I think he wanted to build something like that and how the process has been for him… and there are also a couple peeks at his pets.

The book features six house projects with each chapter delving into the projects and also outlining what I think of as the six main elements of down to earth design and living.  Each of the featured homes has a totally different architectural style and we were so fortunate to be able to work with some truly amazing architects, builders, and clients.  I’m also really thankful to the architects and builders for being so patient and for me to hold the projects for the book… it’s not an easy thing to do and we all wanted to get these photos out into the world as fast as possible so I’m really appreciative of their patience and support for the book.

 

HABITAT

 

Sitting down to write a book after my first one, Habitat, was tough for me at first.  We had just finished filming our show and I was slammed, trying to get back into the swing of these with our clients, and I knew the type of book I wanted to write and I knew what projects I wanted to share, but at first, my mind was still reeling from all that we’d just gone through…  and my first book was such a big one and was more manual-like, that ,at first, I worried I had nothing left to say.  It took me a couple weeks to get into it and to set up the organization of it so that things would start flowing.  I knew that Habitat was generally about decorating, and was more universally-appealing, and that Down to Earth was going to be about achieving a particular aesthetic- so my content was getting much more specific… which felt like a lot of pressure and made me worry a bit.  I appreciate SO MANY different styles and love the frilliest prettiest rooms out there, but I wanted to write a book about how I personally like to decorate – more casual and relaxed and easy-breezy- and what goes into that decision-making process.  But when I was writing, I tried to make sure that there was information and insight that even those who like a style totally different than mine could appreciate and I wanted to be respectful of all styles… and I hope I was able to do that.  (I guess we’ll see when those reviews came in! 😉

 

a bunch of my fabric patterns make an appearance in the book.. Here’s a little peek at “thistle” which we used for the end papers.

 

The other thing that I thought a lot about while I was writing was the phrase, “down to earth.”  I write about nature and how it is calming, grounding, and beautiful all at once… how it invigorates me and how I like to bring it into every home I do.  And how humble, simple objects and materials can be celebrated.  That’s really the essence of the vibe I love so much and so when I was naming the book “down to earth” -as a vibe and aesthetic (and in what I value)- just made the most sense to me, but it isn’t lost on me that the book has lots of houses and things  in it that are expensive.  My cousin’s house (and I say this in the book) is just about as far as you might possibly be able to get from “down to earth” (it’s truly massive) but with every move I was able to make there, I tried to bring in nature, to relax it, to give it soul and make it more casual, easy, and real, more “down to earth” if you will.  But can you ever really bring a house like that “down to earth?” I’m not sure… I only know I tried with every move I had the authority to make.  For me, the title isn’t just a title, it’s really a thesis and I attempted to prove how “down to earth” is a style and way of living that can be applied in any home no matter how big or small- and even in the case of a mansion.  I think for those who read the words instead of just looking at the pictures (which, in a decorating book- I’d guesstimate only 50% of the readers are reading the words 😉 ) the title will make sense and fit (So I pray there are more readers out there!!)  but when I landed on that title, it was a conscious choice that I felt I had to make even though I knew I might get some flack for it.

I wrote it last fall – alternating between the window seat in our attic, the Brogue (our local pub/ coffee house) and, thankfully, once I got going, I was able to really crank it out.  Though the photos and lots of the tips and info I share are about design, it’s also a bit of a philosophy on living, where I write about what’s worked for me and what I feel like has made things easier or better or happier with “home” for me- the reality is that none of it is really the “stuff”- it’s my attitude.  I’ve mentioned it before, but “contentment” to me is such a beautiful thing.  As someone who’s always planning things and making things, I’m often looking towards the meeting of future goals for satisfaction so I have to remind myself to be happy in the present moment and to appreciate what I have.  I try to do the same thing when decorating when I have to- be okay that it’s not finished or instant and just exhale and appreciate.  Anyway, sorry to get so deep on a Friday (yay!!!) but I did want to share a bit about what’s in there and what my thoughts have been on lately.

Gisele approves

 

For anyone thinking about buying it, definitely think about pre-ordering it.  Habitat sold out multiple times when it came out which was kind of a bummer because I know people mentioned wanting to buy it for Christmas gifts and not being able to.  And- the great thing about a pre-order on a lot of websites is that you get it for the lowest price it ever drops down to so if it goes 30% off for a day, you get it at that price, instead of at the cover price, which is where is jumps back to when it gets released.

I’ve got signed copies available here, along with a link list of booksellers carrying it online- Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound etc.

And if you have any friends you think might be interested, please share!! Thank you so much, and I’ve said it before & will definitely say it again, but I know – without a doubt- that I wouldn’t have the business I have today without this blog & its amazing readers.  I am truly thankful for the kindness & support so many of you have shown.

I’ll be sharing a list of book signings and dates soon too!!

xo

Snapped a pic of the book on my messy bed one morning the other week

 

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Patti Balhorn
4 years ago

Can’t wait to get your new book. LOVED Habitat – one of my favorite design books and I have about 75 books. Great information, well organized and written. Gave lots of Habitat out as gifts to friends. Congrats on your new book!

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Sheri
4 years ago

So thrilled for you, Lauren, and I can’t wait to receive the book in a couple of weeks. I am so in love with your thoughts on contentment – thank you for the beautiful reminder. Have a wonderful weekend!

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Julie S
4 years ago

This sounds great!!! I will get my hands on it and devour it. Loved Habitat, and so delighted to know you’re going even deeper teaching in another way with your style and how it happens.

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jennibell
4 years ago

Yay!! I *am* a reader so will devour this book 🙂
I’m so happy for you and your success. Glad to see you back to blogging more regularly again….I know it’s hard to squeeze in the time so wanted you to know it’s great to connect this way.

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