A book review - Absolutely Beautiful Things
A few days ago, something kind of special was dropped through my post box. A special gift to myself for which I had been waiting almost a year…an absolutely beautiful book by designer Anna Spiro.
I found Anna’s blog a few years back and fell in love with her style. Her use of colour and pattern seemed so fresh and spontaneous I instantly felt an affinity with her styling and use of beautiful antiques mixed with more modern pieces. I realised this Aussie blogger was also from way down south, not quite where I come from, but way down in the southern hemisphere. The light in Aussie reminds me of South Africa, and her home ‘an old Queenslander’ as she put it, reminds me of one of our homes in South Africa with the same zinc roof and wraparound veranda… if any of you have lived in a home with a corrugated iron roof, you’ll know they create the most magical sound when it rains!
Anna’s style incorporates antiques, art, fabulous colourful fabrics with a hint of quirky just for fun all rolled into one lovely pleasing welcoming style. I just love it! Her style is refreshing, bold yet easy on the eye, with interesting antiques and décor items sourced from around the world. Her style is not about recreating a particular era, but about blending different pieces from all different eras, mixing them up with fabulous colour and fabrics and a great sense of style and it works!
As a designer and a writer, Anna comes across supremely modest and humble without the slightest bit of lofty superiority that one sometimes finds in so many interior design books. She attributes her success to her mother and grandmothers and her own sheer hard work and a little bit of serendipity!
The photos are wonderful, full of exquisite vignettes, all of them colourful and beautifully styled. I spent the entire afternoon and the evening reading the book from cover to cover and I could hear Anna’s voice between the lines, unpretentious, ever so grateful, gracious and kind, yet quietly confident in her own ability.
She talks about her beginnings, putting together a design, colours, fabric and starting collections as well as so much more. When I finished reading last night, I closed the book and said out loud, ‘now that’s a beautiful design book’. It took me on a journey, gave me insight into the woman behind the colourful interiors and has made me want to hop on a plane and go visit her store down under for some of those fabulous cushions!
Some of you might be a little hesitant about using such bold colour, especially in England where with smaller rooms and different light, people seem to think if they stick to beige it will make the rooms look larger but a little colour can add a tremendously upbeat atmosphere to any home whether you live here or in Australia. Anna’s book Absolutely Beautiful things is available from Amazon here
So are you an all-white/all beige kind of girl or
do you love mixing it all up with a bit of colour?