Confessions of a Hardcover Glutton

18th November, 2013

I’ve been known to bemoan the bitterness of winter as vociferously as you’d expect from a Southern girl whose roots have been replanted in the it-actually-gets-cold-here East Coast. But there is a part of me that secretly loves having an excuse to hibernate for a few months. It gets dark so early these days (by mid afternoon!), which kills my social life but leaves me with more hours every evening to dive deep into a sea of beautiful books. There are acres of inspiration to be found online, but still there’s nothing quite like revisiting the well-thumbed pages of a beloved art or photography tome. It’s right up there with travel as one of my favorite a ways to refill my creative tank. Give me a good book and scatter a few flower arrangements around the house to deceive me into memories of spring, and I’ll have found my own warmth during the long, dark cold
 BooksAndFlowers2Just in time for the shivery season, a fresh platoon of artists’ portfolios has recently been released, with standouts from aesthetic idols of mine like Lori Goldstein and Wes Anderson, and a new-and-improved reprint by Peter Beard. I greedily buy them as soon as they’re released, needing the immediate visual fix but also knowing that I will love and refer back to them for decades to come. Books ~ both novels and nonfiction ~ not only feed my soul, but also teach me immensely, challenging my imagination and my sometimes-slippery sense of perspective. I constantly recall the words of another hero of mine, John Waters, who once famously insisted: “We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t f*ck ’em!” Indeed, it’s an appreciating investment. BooksAndFlowers3These days I split my time between an apartment in the city, and the home I share with Zach in Amagansett. Since returning from Asia, the two of us have thrown ourselves into redoing the latter house, really working to create a spiritual and artistic oasis for ourselves and our friends. Its vibe is intensely earthy, relaxed and bohemian. By contrast, my NYC pad (pictured here) has a much more formal energy, reflecting the professional obligations and more tightly scheduled lifestyle I experience there. I’ve learned that I thrive best when given equal time in both realms; be it ballgowns or bonfires, I need and adore each habitat differently. Of course, both places are designed and stocked to inspire! BooksAndFlowers4I’ve always relied heavily on eBay when decorating, and that fact is truer than ever as I attempt to affordably ornament one house from the couch of an apartment located hours away. My confidence in the feasibility of that task is bolstered as I look around this city pad, my eye fondly falling upon all the treasures eBay has brought to it ~ including many of the books and most of the art and objets caught in these images. That’s why, when I worked with that company last month to help launch their new Collections platform, I immediately built boards inspired by both my urban HQ and my rustic retreat (which should be ready to show you soon). Doing so actually hugely helped me in defining the opposing aesthetics of those two disparate dwellings. BooksAndFlowers5My emotional well-being is so tied to my sense of place, and creating inspiring spaces is my best way of staying sane amidst the intensity of work and city living. And as much as I crave adventure, sometimes my favorite way to travel is by settling into an epic book from the comfort of my own bed, content to let my imagination do all the wandering. BooksAndFlowers6What’s the one book that always stirs your soul and fills your eyes with inspiration?

  • Beautiful pictures! Such fun decor and arrangements!

  • Jackie Mirek

    As visually enticing as your posts are, you have quite the way with words! A rare talent, even for successful bloggers. Hats off to you.

    • Miranda Babbitt

      Totally agree, Jackie. I hardly ever find myself being more intrigued to the writing than the photos (although with this post it was a definite 50/50… vibrant & beautiful, jeez louise). I would read a whole book by Kelly, easily.

  • Your interior is divine, would you like to redecorate my apartment? 😉 Too bad kids actually killed my ability to read a book, hopefully it’ll come back in a few years… I love hardcovers too.

    Mafalda ❀

  • cristina MEDBLICK

    gorgeous corners… amazing deco!!

    stunning… the shades make absolutelty the difference 😉

  • justanotherf blog

    Another beautifuly written post. Loved to hear from your love on creating the spaces you live in… And also your love for books… Nowadays, with all the information across the web, with blogs, and pintrest, and tumblr, we are a bit like image junkies… Always looking for more and more inspiration. I am an architect, and always rely on images for inspiration… But there’s something about the printed image that makes it diferent… With books you have more time to process what you are seeing…in the web, we tend to browse and not really take our time processing that crazy amount of info… I couldn’t select a book that i turn to for inspiration…but I would say that the most valuable inspiration comes from the images you create in your mind while reading…

  • Great post, and by the pictures you show us I LOVE your apartment!

  • Elisa Taviti

    Cool pictures!

    Elisa – My Fantabulous World

  • Nico

    What awesome shots!

    New post on lowbudget-lowcost Fashion Blog

  • Abigail Hoppen

    Beautiful book collection! I’m a avid cookbook hoarder. I could sit and read for hours all the different recipes!

  • Leslie Musser

    love all of your floral pieces!

  • Shopopal

    Great pictures!

  • Looks like an inspirational place to live!

  • I need to get my books out now and use them as decoration!

  • daisy

    your home is beautiful!

    & Pretty Things

  • Featherstone Vintage

    You have a fabulous book collection! I always go to “Boutique” by Marnie Fogg for quick inspiration. I also love to reread “Tender is the Night” by Fitzgerald(or any Fitzgerald for that matter.)

  • Sara

    love it, such nice inspiration!

  • Liz

    Love hardcover books! I always like to choose them versus paperbacks because they look so much more elegant displayed on a shelf or coffee table.

    xo, Liz

  • lisa evans

    Your decorating and fashion skills know no bounds! I love a post about books that inspire. Anything by Chanel inspires me. Photography books by Scavullo and Illustration books by Stipelman keep me doing what I do 🙂


    O.m.g. (did I spell that right, I’m old) but oh my god I have that exact birthday book (the big blue one) and after glancing at it on my mothers shelf for what a year, I picked it up yesterday to re-inform myself, about myself. I am July 3,1972, a CANCER -BABY, I dare say. We have creative-minds and warm spirits. But I am blessed with a curse only few can empathize with, the double-duce’s a left-handed cancer, my need for creative content is……..oxygen. Yes, the little kid in the back of the room, staring out the window. Reading about me in that book helped me discover that and seeing that somebody else in the world discovered it to, made me smile. u go gurl

  • This is a beautiful post….I love hearing more about your decor inspiration. More please!

  • Dale Janee

    So beautiful!! I love all the books.


  • Brittany Sage

    I love that you referenced John Waters. He is a favorite of mine. I thought I was going to meet him last year and was over the moon excited but in a strange turn of events it didn’t work out but an interesting night came out of it. You can read my tale here:

  • French Robin Designs

    Beautifully written. The photos are amazing — I’m heading over to eBay to do some shopping! Some of my favorite books: Chronicles of Narnia — I love to read this aloud to my children; The Paris Wife – Hemingway’s first wife; and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – told from the point of an autistic boy.

  • Cristina Monti
  • Allison W.

    I love Conde Nast Traveler’s A Room with a View- It has the best vistas around the world from hotel rooms. Who says picture books are just for kids? Sometimes a girl just needs to dream about escaping reality!

    Ps. I love your blog!

  • valvacious

    love your book collection. Once you showed a picture of your bookends.. sculptured modern man like figures, they looked like a piece of art. Where did you get them?

    • theglamourai

      Yes ~ love those! They are made from steel and lava rock, and I found them at an antique store. No idea who designed them but they are so special!


  • BFLYsouljah


    You are exquisitely magnificent. I truly adore your style, and elegant way with words. You are such a beacon for inspiration, especially in this modern day world of ‘get-rich-being-a-blogger’. I have been an avid follower for about 4 years now, watching your life through technicolor visuals has been delightful. I come to your blog to cloak myself in daily fashion musings, yet to truly marvel at your style. This post was read twice, as are most, yet what I found delectable was the way you used the end photo in the beginning as well; as virtual book ends. This way with visual aesthetics is just one of the many reasons I follow your blog. Thank you for stirring the creative juices in me again.

    In regards to my favorite book, it would be a sin to choose only one, yet when it comes to looking for inspiration it would have to be VOGUE. Check out my blog for inspiration {soon to be changed to my fashion business name, stay tuned!}


  • sofia martinez

    Just as you did, I will combine this floral containers and pair it with books

TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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