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Adopt an Idea from ‘The New Bohemians’

The New Bohemians, Justina Blakeney

The New Bohemians by Justina Blakeney, of The Jungalow, just went on sale today and I’m helping kick off her blogger book tour! The book features photos by Dabito of twenty homes divided into sub-styles like The Modern, Romantic, or Maximal Bohemian, with DIY projects at the end of each section. The images are gorgeous and fun to flip through, but you can also dive deeper to get an idea of who lives in each home and see how they embody bohemian style in various ways.

The New Bohemians, Justina Blakeney

I like to revisit my favorite interior design books over and over, because I get something different out of them each time. I could be looking for layouts, color combinations, or certain pieces of furniture, and with a specific search in mind, I often pick up on things I may have not have noticed the first (or fifth!) time around. That’s why I love the “Adopt an Idea” section at the end of each home tour in The New Bohemians; Justina highlights a few interesting ideas that you may have missed otherwise. Here are a few of my favorites…

The New Bohemians Book: Adopt an Idea

Paint it Black

Erica’s dressers are all glossy and black. If you have an old dresser that needs a little love, paint in black. Add brass hardware for shine and let it patina.

Adopt an Idea from the home of Erica Tanov & Steven Emerson, p. 217 (pictured above)

hr 644

Window Win

It can be tough to know how to decorate around a low window, so when in doubt, add plants! Plant an indoor garden on a low bench: The plants will get the light they need, but you’ll still benefit from the light, too.

Adopt an Idea from the home of Anne Parker & Alea Joy, p.77

hr 644

Shape Up

Paint a shape, for instance a blue rectangle, on the wall and hang a shelf painted to match. The result is an instant art installation where you can store and display your favorite objects.

Adopt an Idea from the home of Justina Blakeney & Jason Rosencrantz, p. 289

hr 644

Create a Wall

If you’re short on wall space, float your bed in the center of the room and use the headboard as an additional wall. Then use space behind the bed to maximize storage.

Adopt an Idea from the home of Marika Wagle, p. 49 (pictured below)

The New Bohemians Book: Adopt an Idea

There are three or four design tips for each featured home in the book, and of course plenty of other information shared throughout, so the above examples are just a fraction of what’s inside. The New Bohemians is available now, and you can check Justina’s book tour to see who else will be featuring more from the book each day.

What We’re Reading Right Now

Our family likes books, you might say. I started working in an independent bookstore in 1998, and met Brandon when he was hired a year later (and we both stayed on until 2004 — the same year we were married). The kids have tons of books in their rooms, and we installed floor-to-ceiling bookshelves to hold (most of) our collection in the front parlor of our Victorian after having made a library of our second floor landing in our first house. Yeah, we kinda like reading.

Brandon switched over to digital books a few years before I did, and now we both read like a mix of traditional and e-books. I use an iPad or sometimes my iPhone, and Brandon reads a Kindle. We were recently introduced to Oyster, which has been described as “Netflix for books,” and it’s pretty awesome. It works on both of our operating systems (and Android, too), and there are several display settings to choose from, letting you customize the look. You get unlimited access to over half a million books for $9.95 a month, and they have everything from classics to new releases (with new titles being added all the time). The best part is that the app makes it easy to find new books through their collections by genre, and it even learns what you like and makes recommendations based on your tastes and activity.

Oyster is offering a 30-day free trial right now and you can browse their popular titles to find some good new books, but I thought it would be fun to put together a reading list with picks from both Brandon and me. Summer’s winding down, but I’m still sort of in that light and fun frame of mind when choosing what to read right now, so my list reflects that. I’m guessing by Brandon’s list that he’s in the ‘end of the world apocalypse’ frame of mind, but you know, to each their own.

Our Oyster Books Reading List

Summer Reads

If you’re still looking for something quick and easy to pick up, these are some good options.

Guilty Pleasures

I re-read a couple of these recently, and oh man. They are ridiculous, in the best way.

My To-Read List

We all have that list of books that we’ve been meaning to get to, right? These are a few of mine.

Brandon’s Picks

Brandon assures me that A Confederacy of Dunces comes together in the end, but I only made it halfway before I gave up on it in favor of something else. (I’m sure I’m wrong and in the minority here, seeing as it’s a Pullitzer Prize winner and all.)

Oyster is offering a free 30-day trial for my readers, so you can try it out for yourself. I have a bunch of other titles that I’m eager to read (I narrowed it down to just three here!), but I’d love a few suggestions too. I’ll add them to my reading list!

Gifts for the Hard to Buy For

I presented a gift guide in partnership with American Express last week, featuring items that could be purchased through their Membership Rewards program. I also asked if you needed help finding gifts for anyone, and today I’m going to follow up and help out with some ideas for the hard to buy for people in your life.

American Express Points for Presents Gift Guide, Part 2

  • Brothers

    Emily said: “I always struggle with new gift ideas for my brothers in their mid-late twenties. I always go with t-shirts or something boring like undies or socks.” And Valerie said: “I’m trying to figure out what to get my brothers (18 and 19) that isn’t in the video game/dvd/gift card oeuvre. But I’m pretty broke this year, so I have a $40 limit for both of them. Everything I’ve looked at so far that I thought would be good goes way over that!”
    There were a lot of requests for brotherly gifts! This Cards Against Humanity game (4) looks awesome, and you can’t go wrong with a Jon Ronson book (Brandon and I both like him). Lost at Sea (5) is Ronson’s newest. You can pay for these with points through Amazon’s checkout.

  • Sisters

  • Ashley said: “I’m having a really hard time coming up with something for my 18 year old sister. She has so many interests its hard to narrow down a meaningful gift.”
    I think sisters would enjoy the brotherly gifts above too, but if you’re looking for something a little more girly, perhaps a bracelet with meaning (2)? The one shown represents strength, motivation, and knowledge, but it would also just look cute as part of an arm party. If she’s a maker, use a gift card to west elm to buy beautiful heirloom scissors (3).

  • Parents (Yours or Hers/His)

    Marie said: “I could use gift ideas for my boyfriend’s parents!! We’ve been dating for 1.5 years and although I’m not very close with them (distance makes it tough), I’d like to give something thoughtful.”
    Give tickets to a show. I cashed in a bunch of my Amex points recently to get tickets to The Book of Mormon (1) (Brandon and I will be going on our anniversary in May). You can pay with points through TicketMaster, so there are tons of options for shows and concerts that they’ll like.

  • For Those Who Don’t Need Another Thing

    Hillary said: “Would love advice about what to get my dad and stepmom. They are retired, don’t really need any “stuff” and are just plain hard to shop for. I usually default to restaurant gift cards but would like to give something more thoughtful. Help!”
    Give to charity. Donate your points to Hurricane Sandy Relief (6), or to another charity on behalf of your gift recipient.

  • The Wild Card

    Sarah said: “I’m having a tough time coming up with something for a family gift exchange. It could go to anyone in my family from my 12 year old niece to my 50+ uncles. I seem to only be able to come up with girly or adult ideas.”
    My best bet for one-gift-fits-all is How Music Works by David Byrne (7) (pay with points on Amazon). It will appeal to book-lovers, music-lovers (young and old — doesn’t everyone agree that David Byrne is awesome?), and it has a technology/science bent.

Paid

I was selected by American Express to help educate consumers about how to use Membership Rewards points. As such I was paid for my services as an ambassador, but all gift choices selected and opinions about the gifts and American Express are my own.

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