Katie's 2019 To-Read List: Books about Home + Design

Happy Happy 2019, friends!

The beginning of each year always has seemed like such a juxtaposition to me...The exhaustion and longing for a bit more routine after a celebratory and always-busy holiday season, mixed with the excitement, energy, and possibilities of a fresh start in the new year.

While I'm not much of a resolution maker anymore, I certainly am one to reflect on the past year and look forward to positive changes for the new year. The last few years I have chosen a word to set the tone + theme for the coming year, and my word for 2019 is SIMPLIFY.

Starting this fall, I have begun a life-changing shift to a much more minimal and simplified home, schedule, and life. I'll be sharing more on that soon, but I would be remiss to mention that this all started with an incredible and eye-opening book recommended by a friend, placed at #1 in the list below.

After reading it, I decided to dive right on in to more learning, growing, and curating an intentional home atmosphere, and I can't wait to share with you later some changes I've implemented already, and bring you along as I continue to soak up new information and ideas as I chip through my 2019 reading list on home + design.

Here is my 2019 book lineup...

1. The More of Less by Joshua Becker

Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own

I read this once already this fall, and I fully intend on reading it again this year for things I missed the first time. If you struggle with clutter at all (I didn't even think I did much before this), this book is for you! The main points I got from it is how much time, energy, and money our stuff robs us from living the life we really want to live, and also highlighted many areas I didn't even realize I had excess in our home. I've never been one to collect things I didn't need or use, but this book changed not only how I view material items, but how big of an impact they really do have on everything else in my life.

2. Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith

More Style, Less Stuff

Santa brought me this book, and from the first couple chapters I can tell this is just the kind of book for me, especially after adopting a more minimal mindset. What I appreciate about Myquillyn Smith is her acknowledgement of the negative connotations of the idea of 'minimalism' (ie: cold, stark, bare) and teaches what it's like to still have a beautiful, stylish, and cozy home that works for your lifestyle. I'm on board with every word so far and wish I had all day to binge read the rest of it!

3. Home Body by Joanna Gaines

A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave

One of three books on this list I've cracked open already because I just couldn't wait! What I love most about Joanna Gaines (aside from her beautiful designs) is the importance she places on creating a home you love. This is what I strive to accomplish for my family and every single one of my clients, and I love how it looks, feels, and functions differently for everybody. I think it's incredibly important to have a space you can come home to each day that feels comfortable, functional, and a reflection of you, and this book reiterates that idea. This is full of pretty specific design tips and concepts, so if you aren't totally into a DIY approach to designing your own home, this may be a little too much book for you. As for me, I don't think it'll take too long to get through this one. :)

4. The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker

A Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life

My understanding is that this book is the how-to, practical approach to The More of Less, which is more a why-to book. It's a #1 bestseller, so that's gotta say something, right? I'm excited to get into this one when I have a bit more time and ambition to go back through the house again with a fine-tooth comb to see where else I can minimize, with specific and practical tips for each area.

5. The Gospel Comes With a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield

Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World

I am about halfway through this book, and it's really opening my eyes to the true meaning of hospitality. I used to think 'hospitality' simply meant entertaining, but I'm learning more and more as a believer what it truly means to be hospitable in a Biblical sense. One of the priorities I have always had in my home is to make sure that anyone that walks through the door feels at home and loved no matter who they are or what they believe, no matter how different they are from me...a no judgment, "come as you are" kind of comfort. This is the type of home I grew up in, and I believe it's a much-needed thing in the world we live in today. If this resonates with you, this may be a good book for you to pick up's not a light read, but it's a rich one.

6. Styled by Emily Henderson

Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves

I am so passionate about learning from others, including other designers. I draw so much inspiration from seeing other people's work, regardless if our styles align. Em Henderson is one of my favorite designers to follow (you can see her impeccable work on Instagram), so I'm anxious to get this book in my hands and get inside her head about her styling methods + tips.

7. The Nesting Place by Myquillyn Smith

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful

Just the tagline of this book is enough to know it's gonna be a good one. While as a designer and self-diagnosed perfectionist I strive for a lot of things to be perfect, in 99.99% of homes and designs, this just isn't reality, and that's OKAY...and often times better! In 2019, where pictures of perfection are everywhere we click, this message of not having to be perfect is another important message that needs to be spread. This is by the same author as Cozy Minimalist Home, a.k.a. The Nester...I just love her stuff, so also can't wait to read this one!

Looks like I better get reading! I'll be sure to let you in on how these books are and what useful ideas I get from them to share with you as we as we work on curating homes we love together.

Cheers to 2019!


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