Book Review: Simple Style by Julia Bird

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I think you should sit down for this. Honestly, these images from ‘Simple Style: Relaxed Interiors for the Contempory Home‘ by Julia Bird are so stunning–I don’t want anyone to faint from the breathtaking beauty of it all.

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These shots are a perfect example of a style that I have dubbed ‘Glamorganic‘–that blend of feminine vintage and weathered modern pieces so characteristic of many British interiors. Not surprising really, as author Julia Bird was an editor at Homes and Gardens magazine and has worked as a stylist for such venerable English institutions as Laura Ashley and Marks and Spencer.

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The images in this book are like a warm hug from your mom. I really want to burrow down into them, bask in the dreamy lighting and layered textures. They’re full of all our favourite details: bleached plank floors, clean, spare furniture arrangements, gentle pops of color against neutral foundations.

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Would you believe me if I told you this wrought iron bed is nearly identical to the one in my parents’ bedroom? When I was little we lived in Georgia, and I remember my mom dragging me through the countryside to every hole-in-the-wall antique store in search of pieces like this. As a kid I hated it, but what I wouldn’t give to be able to do that with her now!

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I had to include these two shots for my girls out there who love a punch of red. Whether your scene is stripes, florals, or all of the above, there’s no denying the power of this color!

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And speaking of power, can we talk about this leopard print sofa? I dream of having a little study just like this one–the walls lined with books, the sun streaming through tall windows, and a decadent couch for lounging and eating bonbons. Purr…

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This table setting practically begs for a generous spread of waffles, cinnamon buns, and freshly squeezed O.J. The soft citrus color palette, from the striped curtains in the background to the dahlias in the pitcher, makes this such a cheerful and invigorating breakfast nook!

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I’ve explored the merits of chalkboards as decor before, but this one takes it to a whole other level! I love the oversized scale of it, especially in contrast to those teeny weeny chairs. And the rustic wood frame is the icing on the cake.

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My inner clean freak (the one who laments my pigsty of a house but can’t quite summon the energy to do anything about it) is having heart palpitations at the sight of this tidy column of linens. Of course maybe if I had such a charming collection of vintage sheets and bedspreads, I’d keep them this neatly folded too!

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I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the shockingly gorgeous images from this book. So get thee to Amazon post haste and snap up a copy of ‘Simple Style: Relaxed Interiors for the Contempory Home‘ by Julia Bird. And when you flip through it for the first time, keep a paper bag handy in case you start to hyperventilate.

All images courtesy of ‘Simple Style: Relaxed Interiors for the Contempory Home‘ by Julia Bird.

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33 Responses to “Book Review: Simple Style by Julia Bird”

  1. Mary Jo Says:

    Ah, I am so in love with that giant chalkboard, you have no idea! Lovely lovely photos–yum!

  2. Lynne Says:

    Oh, so many lovely things. I love the blackboard, love the wallpaper in the top shot (actually, I wonder how we could find out where it’s from?)My mum dragged me round antiques shops all the time too – mostly in Scotland. I was not into it then either. But, the best bit is your last comment about the inner clean freak! That is so me too! Instead, I am constantly overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have lying around – but I don’t ever seem to make any progress…

  3. Heidi Says:

    Why can’t I ever get my unmade bed to look like the one in that fourth picture? And I think I really need a chandelier!

  4. Rachel (Heart of Light) Says:

    All that perfect light – I’m swooning! I love these clean, spare looks.

  5. Melissa Says:

    That giant chalkboard would be my dream! All of these photographs are so pretty!

  6. Pretty Little World Says:

    Ah! A leopard print sofa that’s not overwhelming AND looks cozy?
    Where can I sign up?!

  7. Joanna Says:

    I love the extra-roomy and plush loveseat, the wide-plank floorboards, and all those books! Heaven, I tell you.

  8. Joanna Says:

    I love the extra-roomy and plush loveseat, the wide-plank floorboards, and all those books! Heaven, I tell you.

  9. christina Says:

    oh my goodness, thanks for warning us to sit down…love. love. love.
    those wrought iron beds are just coming at me from all directions…i’m dying for one…
    and that chalkboard…if/when we have kids, that is so their playroom…
    xox

  10. christina Says:

    oh my goodness, thanks for warning us to sit down…love. love. love.
    those wrought iron beds are just coming at me from all directions…i’m dying for one…
    and that chalkboard…if/when we have kids, that is so their playroom…
    xox

  11. Raina Says:

    Sigh. Those photos make me want to throw out every last doodad and geegaw I own.
    (Those would be technical decorating terms.)

  12. please sir Says:

    I love the simple, relaxing spaces and the over-sized chalkboards!

  13. Absolutely Not Martha Says:

    i want that chalkboard.

  14. Melanie Says:

    I’m in love with that massive chalkboard. In love.

  15. kari Says:

    Hi there — just wanted to say thanks for your comment on my blog. I’ve been a big fan of your site for a long time — you’re a continual inspiration and a daily joy. Cheers!

  16. dolce chic Says:

    Gorgeous!!!!

  17. Rachel Says:

    Wow!!! Beautiful!
    I love the pink curtains!!! And the oversized mirror propped against the wall.

  18. stephanie Says:

    Ahhh … like a breath of spring air. I want to take a nap on that nice slouchy sofa in the window.

  19. fromtherightbank Says:

    Glamorganic – I love it!
    The last thing I need is another book BUT with an endorsement like this, how can I resist? I’m off to Amazon now . . .

  20. kasey Says:

    that first pic takes my breath away!

  21. Dionne C Says:

    All of these rooms look lovey. They all have so much character in the details! I especially love the shades of blue pillows stacked in the 2nd pic.

  22. abigail Says:

    lovely rooms. the soft color pallets are beautiful.

  23. Shell Sherree Says:

    Oh, where to start? I’d love to transplant number 3 straight into my lounge room. But then I saw the leopard print ~ uh-oh, a quandary. That large venetian-style mirror propped on the weensy frail table terrifies me, but how spectacular it is.

  24. nkp Says:

    I guess I’m in the majority on this one…completely swept away by the overscale chalkboard shot and the wee chairs, sigh, perfection!

  25. nkp Says:

    I guess I’m in the majority on this one…completely swept away by the overscale chalkboard shot and the wee chairs, sigh, perfection!

  26. Suzanne : : S.HOPtalk Says:

    You had me weak in the knees at the first image. I hope you won’t mind if I stalk this post until my copy of Simple Style arrives in the mail. Gorgeous!

  27. Suzanne : : S.HOPtalk Says:

    You had me weak in the knees at the first image. I hope you won’t mind if I stalk this post until my copy of Simple Style arrives in the mail. Gorgeous!

  28. michelle parks mccourt Says:

    that day bed, chalk board and so many other lovely eye candies! have a great thursday.

  29. Caroline @ Patagonia Gifts Says:

    I’m in love, Anne! Love that first bedroom with yellow blanket! Gorgeous!
    xoxo

  30. Trina Says:

    Ooh this looks like pure gorgeousness. My kind of style. I love the big chalkboard and little chairs too…magical.
    Thanks for the tip on the paint. I don’t have Farrow and Ball around here 😦 I was going to try a Restoration Hardware color which I thought might give off that same kind of look. Although I have to say I think I like the F&B one better from what I can tell.
    xx Trina

  31. callie grayson Says:

    swooning!
    The first image is perfect! I would love to curl up and read on that bed. the 3rd image is how I want my living room to look!! *sigh*
    am really loving her styling

  32. {this is glamorous} Says:

    What a stunning, stunning book! If these are just a small sample of what’s inside, shall have to pick it up immediately.

  33. vee Says:

    ack, totally love that chalkboard!!!!!!!!

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