Recommended Reading

How to Hang a Picture

by Anh-Minh on November 20, 2013

When Jay Sacher and Suzanne LaGasa asked if I’d write the foreword for their new book, How to Hang a Picture (And Other Essential Lessons for the Stylish Home), I was so flattered. Then a bit of fear set in—I had never written a foreword before and wasn’t really sure what approach to take. But after reading the pages that Jay and Suzanne shared with me, it turned out to be a pretty easy task. That’s because this is a book that I actually needed in my life.

Hanging, framing, and displaying art is something I often struggle with—and I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s the reason why so many art pieces sat unframed or tucked away in cabinets in my house for years. Thankfully, this guide is full of helpful information, as well as lovely illustrations of interiors. And I admit: I’m a sucker for illustrated decorating books!

You can view more pages from How to Hang a Picture on the website that Jay and Suzanne started. The book came out just last week, and I’m already planning to pick up a couple of extra copies to give as holiday gifts this year.

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I’ve got a new book on my nightstand that’s keeping me reading into the night, Kern and Burn: Conversations With Design Entrepreneurs.

Today the barrier to turning an idea into a viable product or company is lower than ever with tools like crowd-sourced funding and social media. And the skill sets of many designers are perfectly suited to leverage them. Kern and Burn contains 30 interviews with design entrepreneurs who had an idea that they thought could be great and took the risks to make them happen, resulting in some of today’s most interesting products and companies. Each candid conversation addresses a core tenet for success, like Make Something You Love, Learn by Doing, and Make Your Idea Real. It’s fascinating and motivating to hear about the experiences (both the triumphs and the failures) that have led to products I personally use and admire, like TeuxDeux and Warby Parker.

In addition to its interesting interviews, Kern and Burn is a beautiful print publication you can curl up with, something we clearly love! I was lucky to snag an advance copy, but the book just started shipping yesterday.

{Images via Kern and Burn}

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Meg and I are big fans of NYC-based photographer Michael Mundy and his site, An Afternoon With. AAW focuses on Michael’s “simple, tranquil and sophisticated images of interiors [that] are revealing and resonate with the character of their inhabitants.” (We were fortunate enough to collaborate with Michael for a story in Issue No. 2 of Anthology.) 

Michael has released two limited-edition publications that feature some of the folks he’s photographed for the site. The second issue’s launch last week coincided with the three-year anniversary of AAW. You can purchase both in his shop, along with a small selection of his prints. We’re crossing our fingers that Michael will offer more editions of AAW in the future!

AAW – Issue 1

AAW – Issue 2

{ All images courtesy of An Afternoon With }

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{ Image above via Artisan }

Last week, Meg and I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by West Elm and Studio Choo. Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo—the floral designers behind Studio Choo—were celebrating the launch of their new book, The Flower Recipe Book. The duo gave a lesson on how to make a beautiful arrangement using peonies, ranunculus, roses, honeysuckles, pokeberry, and crabapple. At first, I felt overwhelmed by all the options and had a flashback of the sad centerpieces I made last Thanksgiving. But just like in their book, we were given step-by-step instructions and felt at ease when it was our turn to make our own bouquet (shown below).

If you’d like to create your own bouquet, good news: The Flower Recipe Workshop is coming to West Elm locations nationwide this Saturday, May 11.  That’s right—you can learn how to make a carnation flower arrangement just in time for Mother’s Day! Tickets are $65, and the cost includes all materials as well as the vase. Attendees will not only take home a floral project of their own creation, but a copy of The Flower Recipe Book, too. Those of you in Seattle get an extra-special treat: Jill and Alethea will be at the Seattle store on Saturday. Call your location West Elm to register (more information is available here). And don’t miss West Elm’s video on the workshop!

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The weather has been so gorgeous in the Bay Area this week, that I’ve been setting aside a couple of hours every afternoon to just sit outside and read. So I was thrilled to get an email yesterday announcing the release of a special bonus issue of one of my favorite magazines: American Craft.

The issue is only available online, and includes the same caliber of content and imagery that I’ve come to expect from the print version. You can read the entire edition on the American Craft website. (And, of course, you can also purchase a subscription to the print magazine right here!)

{ All images via American Craft }

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