Great news for lovers of Southern style and fans of interior designer Phoebe Howard: she has completed her first book! The Joy of Decorating will be on store bookshelves Spring 2012.
The book is a culmination of years of work and was put into production during the last year and a half. From the publisher, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, here's the book's summary: "In her first book, Mrs. Howard walks readers step-by-step through some of her favorite projects. She also shares how she and her husband design and decorate inviting and inspiring rooms in their stores. Featured decorating projects include houses and apartments in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Bermuda, and New York, and address the most common decorating issues and problems she hears from her clients and customers. Co-written with well-known Southern writer Susan Sully, this lush book epitomizes the grace and elegance of Southern interior design."
Many of you are already familiar with Mrs. Howard, but if this is your first encounter with her, here's a little intro. Years ago, Phoebe and husband Jim Howard opened their first store, Mrs. Howard, in Jacksonville, Florida, "hoping to demystify the decorating process for their customers". Their goal was to showcase Jim's architectural and decorating talent, and Phoebe's knack for decorating and merchandising. Five years later, Max & Company was added featuring a younger more modern aesthetic. There are now Mrs. Howard and Max & Company stores in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, FL, Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina. Phoebe's style is classic, Southern, clean-lined and pretty. Her designs appear to have accomplished her goal of "demystifying the design process". While my personal design style leans somewhat more heavily on French and English influences with a considerably greater amount of "clutter", I admit that everytime I look at spaces styled by Jim or Phoebe, I feel calm and rested. The spaces always look uncomplicated yet exquisite. Phoebe and Jim have a sixth sense for scale and balance, and I love the balance they forge between keeping rooms both pretty and practical.
Signature Phoebe Howard: clean lines and neutral tones in this Atlanta residence.
Enjoy this pictorial tour of some Howard projects...
Other views of the home featured on the book cover, above and below.
Gorgeous details in this East Hampton home:
Beautiful custom-made slipcovers with self-tie detail.
Ahhh... peace and relaxation, with a touch of patriotism for some pop.
Each week on her blog, Mrs. Howard Personal Shopper, Phoebe features before and after photos from recent projects. For a project a few weeks ago, Lindsey Kelley from the Atlanta store, helped these clients furnish their living room, below. The clients already had silk curtains and a rug. Neutral upholstery was used and the colors from the rug were incorporated with lamps and pillows.
In another before and after series, the cabinets in this kitchen were raised to the ceiling to add visual height to the room. As a "surprise" element , the island was painted navy blue to add another layer of color to the room.
A remarkable difference!
Phoebe's blog also features a weekly Q&A in which she answers a wide range of questions from the proper height to hang artwork to how to handle family antiques. Each question is answered with beautiful photos to illustrate the concept. The picture, below, was one of several photos used to support her answer to the question of how to incorporate family antiques. Phoebe's answer HERE was, in part, to decorate with pieces you love, antique or not, and to only use an antique that enhances the beauty of the overall space.
These lovelies do the job marvelously!
I am excited to see what Phoebe has in store in the book. It will be $50 and is available for pre-order. Special pricing will be offered for blog readers, and signed copies will also be available. To reserve a copy, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Phoebe-style design inspiration, visit their website HERE.
I'll talk to you soon, friends!