Top lifestyle books for Summer

With summer upon us, you may be taking a little bit of time out, so it's the perfect excuse to indulge in some beautiful inspiring books while you kick back. I've gathered a few faves that I definitely think are worth checking out, with varying themes - from Instagram help to modern craft projects to London shopping tips...

A Year Between Friends by Maria Alexandra Vettese & Stephanie Congdon Barnes

I reviewed Maria & Stephanie's first book A Year of Mornings previously and loved it, so was excited to get my hands on their latest offering. A Year Between Friends has a similar feel to their first book - gorgeous every day photography from the lives of two friends, but this time it has a more practical element added in. Recipes, craft ideas and tips on wellbeing flow through the book and the seasonal journey it takes you on. We follow Maria's pregnancy as it progresses, and share in her joy at the birth of her daughter mid way through the book. It is a heart warming read, full of appreciation for domesticity and creativity, and the celebration of true friendship. 

Published by Abrams. Order here.

Sunshine Spaces by Beci Orpin

I'm just loving the cover of Beci Orpin's fourth DIY book, it seems to exude happiness! Once you delve inside, you'll feel totally inspired by the gorgeous photography and fun design too. So, even if you never make any of the projects, it's simply a beautiful book to flick through regardless. BUT, the chances are you will want to make many of Beci's nature inspired ideas, as there are so many great ones! They seem straightforward and all are cool, modern projects - not a twee craft idea in sight! Make a macramé camping chair, a picnic blanket or pet rocks with the kids, all in on-trend Beci Orpin style!

Published by Hardie Grant books. Order here.

Living with Plants by Sophie Lee

I don't know about you, but my plant habit has been escalating lately, with varying levels of success, but I do feel like my plant care skills have improved some what. There's still much to learn though, and this guide by Sophie Lee, owner of Geo Fleur is a good place to start. As well as lots of pretty plant-filled imagery to pore over, Sophie explains how to choose the right plants for your home, takes a closer look at some of the most popular varieties and shares lots of practical tips for caring for your plants. I shall be studying this closely in my quest for houseplant heaven! 

Published by Hardie Grant books. Order here.

The Scandinavian Home by Niki Brantmark

This book is kind of a no-brainer for me. I LOVE Niki's blog My Scandinavian Home - it is jammed packed of some of the most inspiring homes I've ever come across, so a book filled with the same MUST be in my collection! And it certainly doesn't disappoint - I literally want to scrutinise every single page, gleaning ideas that might just make my home as effortlessly chic as the ones featured. It's also made me yearn for a trip to the Nordic countries more than ever, in the hope that some of their natural style will rub off on me! 

Published by Cico Books. Order here.

Read This If You Want To Be Instagram Famous by Henry Carroll

Lastly are two small format books, the first which claims to be your guide into Instagram fame. It's title certainly does grab you if you are as Instagram obsessed as I am! Whether reading it will actually bring you those millions of followers you dream of is yet to be seen, but it is at the very least, an interesting insight into the people who are making it big on the app. Tips from 50 top Instagrammers are interspersed with technical advice on things like composition, using hashtags and how to make money from your feed. It is definitely worth a read if you are having a creative lull and need a inspiration boost, plus you'll discover some ace accounts to follow too. 

Published by Laurence King. Order here.

Shop London by Emma McCarthy

I obviously love any book that's about shopping, particularly when it's about my own city and the independent shops to be discovered there. There's been many of these types of guides published over the years, but they can become outdated as shops close or change, so I like to pick up newer versions like this to see what's new on the retail scene. Saying that, the shops featured in this book aren't necessarily new, but they've been carefully handpicked by Emma (deputy fashion editor of the London Evening Standard), for being the most talked about, tucked away and unique retail spots in the city. It's a must for anyone visiting London, but also for those of us who've lived here for years, but are still discovering its hidden gems. 

Published by Frances Lincoln. Pre Order here.

So, that's what's on my shelves right now, I know I'll be dipping into these books regularly for creative inspiration! What's on your reading list this summer? 

  patchworkharmony.co.uk

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