House Beautiful

15 Books to Read Right Now (Part 1)

15 Books to Read Right Now

Oh don’t mind me; I’m currently lost in three books at the moment just totally lapping them up. And there are some GREAT books out there right now. So in the spirit of that, we present the 1st installment of 15 books to read, all different, some tried and tested by yours truly. Enjoy darlings!:

Sweetbitter: A Novel by Stephanie Danler – Just finished this tale about a 22-year-old girl from a small town who moves to NYC and scores a job at one of the City’s hottest restaurants. It’s being touted as the Kitchen Confidential of 2016. If you’ve ever worked at a restaurant, or found yourself as a bright young thang living in NYC in your 20s, this is a fun read.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler | Covet Living

Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories From a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big by Jensen Karp – Currently reading and currently laughing at almost every line in this book, written by Jensen Karp, aka Hot Karl, aka a Jewish kid from the suburbs who became a rap battle legend in LA and got this close to become a star. It. is. hilarious. If you need a laugh, and/or feel nostalgic towards all things 90s music and pop culture, read this.

Kanye West Owes Me $300 by Jensen Karp | Covet Living

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley –  The first of many thrillers I’m about to sink my teeth into these next few weeks. This is the story about a doomed group of 10 passengers bound from Martha’s Vineyard to NYC on a private jet that goes down into the ocean 16 minutes after departure. With only two survivors, the book interweaves between the backstories of the passengers, and the aftermath of the wreck – and conspiracies start to arise.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley | Covet Living

The Girls: A Novel by Emma Cline – I’ve been hearing/reading lots of good things about this book, touted as one of the THE summer reads. Taking place one summer in the late 60s, a “lonely and thoughtful” teenager, Edie Boyd, meets a group of girls and is drawn into their cult-like group, led by a charismatic man. As she starts to lose herself to the cult, hidden away in the Hollywood Hills, she has no idea what violence is about to go down. Sound familiar?

The Girls by Emma Cline | Covet Living

Grace by Natashia Deon – “I am dead,” says one of the narrators of this book, Naomi, at the start of this tale. Set in the 1940s South, Naomi is a 15-year-old runaway slave who’s left behind her beloved mom and sis and found herself taking refuge in a Georgia brothel. After getting pregnant with a white man and then murdered right after, she narrates the book, looking over her daughter Josey as she grows up. Sounds like an amazing tale set against a fascinating historical backdrop.

Grace by Natashia Deon | Covet Living

We Could Be Beautiful: A Novel by Swan Huntley – A wealthy single woman in Manhattan falls for an older, handsome, sophisticated man. But her mom, once friends with his parents and now living with Alzheimer’s, only has bad memories of him – and things aren’t totally what they seem. A psychological thriller I can’t wait to read.

We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley | Covet Living

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid – Loved this review: “I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It dominates.” This is the opening of Iain Reid’s debut novel and it could also be a description of the way I felt all the way through the book. In these days of fat, doorstop-sized tomes, I’m Thinking of Ending Things wastes no excess pages and every word, every line, feels necessary. The narrator is considering what to do about Jake, the man with whom she is driving for hours to and from his parents’ house in the country. We see glimpses of a horrible crime in the future, and with each successive chapter the suspense and psychological buzz gets more intense. It’s like a movie where you almost want to turn away, but of course you can’t. Because this is a story that stays. It sticks. It lingers…–Seira Wilson, The Amazon Book Review.  Just… yes.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid | Covet Living

With Malice by Eileen Cook – Two best friends take a trip to Italy and find themselves in a fatal car accident. One wakes up having no idea what happened; the other never returns. The entire novel is driven by the need to answer one question: what happened? Twists and turns galore as the mystery unravels.

With Malice by Eileen Cook | Covet Living

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – A love story about a woman who must suddenly choose between the husband she thought died in a helicopter crash, and the fiance who has brought her back to life. It kind of sounds like a modern day romance novel and I’LL TAKE IT.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Live Fast Die Hot by Jenny Mollen – You know Jenny right? Married to the actor Jason Biggs, an actress, suuuuuper honest, a just freaking HILARIOUS and smart woman? If you don’t, get to know her. I listen to her and Jason every week on Sirius/XM and they make me wanna have them as my neighbors, invite them over for wine and cheese, and talk honestly about marriage, pooping, reality TV, how she hired a prostitute for her husband for his birthday, you know, just life stuff. This is her second book (“I Like You Just the Way I Am” was her first).

Live Fast Die Hot by Jenny Mollen | Covet Living

On Bowie by Rob Sheffield – When David Bowie died this year, a teensy weensy sliver of my heart went with him, as I practically worshipped him from my teen years. Rob Sheffield, a NY Times bestseller and Bowie superfan, pays homage with a really poignant, really insightful book about this extra special genius. If you’re a fan, you gotta read this.

On Bowie by Rob Sheffield | Covet Living

Maestra by L.S. Hilton – Ok. I would describe this as The Talented Mr. Ripley meets 50 Shades of Grey, with a female anti-heroine as the main character who’s boinking anyone who gets in her way to the upper echelon world of art dealers and bajillionaires. My bestie Melissa, a fan of romance novels since she could read, loved this.

Maestra by L.S. Hilton | Covet Living

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry – Another psychological suspense thriller for Gone Girl/Girl on a Train fans. Set in England, it centers on Nora – also the narrator – whose sister is found dead and whose death she takes is upon herself to investigate. Supposedly really well-written and a total page-turner.

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal – An endearing tale of a young woman who’s left to be raised by her dad after her mom falls in love with a dashing sommelier. Her dad is determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter, and as she grows up she finds comfort in the flavors of her native Minnesota. Every chapter tells the story of a single dish and character. Warm, funny and very sensory, it is “an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life—its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises.”

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal | Covet Living

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam – Ever since I read “Just As Long As We’re Together” by Jude Blume when I was 10, I’ve never been able to pass up a book described as a “coming of age novel following two best friends.” It’s just a thing. Now this book is one of the hottest reads of the summer, and guess what? It’s a coming of age novel following two best friends! Say no more.

Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam | Covet Living

There you have it! As I said before this is just the first of two installments; the next batch will hopefully be on the blog soonish, or at the very least before we both hit menopause. Oh, and leave a comment if I left off a book that you recently read and loved!

PS: This is me this summer, mentally, every dang day:

Photo by


karrie signature

Currently Loving…

You guys know this drill… it’s that time of the month (no, not that one) where over coffee & with Gus underfoot, I unload all the design // fashion // life inspo goodness from my phone onto our little blog.  There’s great stuff in here, but it’s organized in an obnoxiously overstuffed Nordstrom Rack-rack fashion (sahhhhreee)… meaning yoooou lucky little ducks (!)  Yer gonna have to pick through all of it to get to the goods :)  You can turn on Karrie’s latest & greatest Spotify mix and grab yourself a cup of coffee before you get rollin.  Here she blows:

Tee up the U-Haul.  I’m moving in immediately.  LOOK AT THE SHAKES, and the copper gutters, and the blue shutters which are the most perfect shade of not-navy-but-not-marine-blue I’ve ever seen.

front window and shutters

front window and shutters

Same goes with this.  What in the..

dream house

This tile slays me to no end.  I’m sort of confused about the rotating mamas in these pics (next thing you know, there’ll be a pic of me giving Gus a bath in that tub floating around Pinterest), but I’m obsessed and can’t pin down the source.  It’s some kinda encaustic tile… any ideas?

this tile that tile again

encaustic tile

WHAT IS IT????  Is this it?  I pulled this from the archives of my phone from the last time I was at Ann Sacks:


And this one (similar but clearly a different breed) from Amiel’s desk at Country Floors (WHAT UP HOLMES??!)… love him.


The best upholstered bed EVA, on the cheap, courtesy of Tar-jay.  We just put this in Karrie’s master at Casa CL.  Normally, buying things like upholstered furniture from Target would give me the scaries, but this proved to be an amazing score.  We did it in Linen Talc.

Skyline Upholstered

All I ever wanted to wear, all summa long.

spaghetti strap

Major truth.  And majorly scary.  But chances are, majorly worth it.  Can’t think of a time I’ve ever shut my eyes and taken a leap when I’ve regretted it.  Something good always comes.

scary to jump

I lied.  I’d like to wear this on Saturday nights.  To a tea party.  In Neverneverland.


Please take me to there and tee me up a latté.

makes me so happy

There are trends out there that – albeit beautiful – have been did more times than Debbie Does Dallas… Moroccan rugs (I have one – guilty!), batik pillows (I love them but I seriously can’t see another one) and the like.  But you know what I’m not sick of yet?  African sea glass beads.  I ran into oodles of noodles of these at the Pasadena Flea Market a few weeks ago, and I wasn’t one bit mad.  I want these lilac bad boys to hang over my big fat gold lamp base.

african purple and sea glass beads

Just a super unique ceramic lamp via Mark D. Sikes, who does no wrong, ever.

lamp mark d sikes

It doesn’t matter how many times Pinterest goes: “Psst!  You’ve already pinned this pin!”  I always repin it anyway b/c that’s how much I love this kitchen.


Snug as a damn bug in a rug, I love him so much it hurts.


Something to remember.  In a sea of Instagram chicks who are legit stunning and a dating pool that’s like The Hunger Games, it is NOT hard to feel like you wanna airbrush your whole self, and maybe your life.  But, mmmmaybe don’t.  My best friend from college told me the other day that I was cute, but that that was the absolute dumbest thing about me (meaning, I have way better qualities that have nothing to do with that).  Maybe the nicest semi-backhanded compliment ever, and twas a good reminder to be yourself and be kind, and that that’s all that really matters in the end.

good heart

Those chairs.  I die.


As cement tiles go, there are a few patterns that are REAL played out.  This isn’t one of ’em.  I would think seriously about installing this vertically, maybe behind a bar.  With floating shelves over it.  And an unlacquered brass faucet.  OMG, I just let out a little pee.

cement tile shop

Only the best outfit I’ve ever seen.

best outfit ever

Another good reminder.  It’s not easy to do, but not one bad thing has ever happened when I’ve done this.

don't be in a rush

These might weigh more than me and split my earlobes, but I think they’re worth it.

moda operandi earrings

Love this Robert Allen fabric, posted up here for $13/yard.  RUN.  Now.

robert allen fabric

I need some purple mascara in my rotation, stat.

purple mascara

Probably some of this too.  You know I love my Burt’s Bee’s in Wink, but in pics it makes me look washed out.  Like my lips blend in with mah FACE.  This might not have a much different effect, but it’s worth a shot.

perfect lipstick

Please let my backyard magically transform into this.

patio haven

Painting your trim & baseboards isn’t for the faint of heart, but I do love how this turned out.

paint the trim

A kermit-tipped mani also isn’t for the faint of heart, but I’d take it for a spin.

nail ideas

OMG, I die every time I see this.  Karrie affectionately refers to me as “Wabbit.”  If I ever procreate, I’m dressing my kid in this Peter Cottontail get-up.

my kid

Love the mustard off-the-shoulder number.

mustard off shoulder

HOPERS – can we do this for our next Boho Yard Party??!

boho camp

I snapped this lamp up from a yard sale down the street from Karrie’s new house. Fun Fact: the lady who owned it was Lionel Richie’s old assistant, and it came from his house.  It’s about four parts hideous and one part amazing.


The pendant lights – I CANNOT EVEN.  I get a tickle in my shorts when I spy lighting I haven’t seen before (because when you have to source for clients all the time, you get sick of seeing the saaaaaaaaame thing 900x).  These two-toners are money in the bank.


My new favorite textile line / designer.  Hey girl heeeeeeeey.


You know I can’t stay away from anything white, white or beige with a funky texture. Love this guy.  By way of my home slices at DRC San Diego.


Can. She. Ever. Do. Wrong.


Get in my house.


Get on my ear lobes.


Literally looks like what my life in So Cal feels like.


I do miss Charleston.  I always thought I’d move back there someday… never say never, but for now, I’m great OD-ing on nostalgia a little every time I see a pic like this of downtown.

Processed with VSCO with e2 preset

Processed with VSCO with e2 preset

Snapped these up a few weeks ago at the Rose Bowl Flea Market for Karrie’s master bedroom.  They’re enormous and so lovely in person.


Shouldacouldahwouldah snapped up these vintage lamps, too.


This girl had her flea marketing outfit on point.  I won’t even bother showing you what mine looked like that day, which was a cross between soccer mom function + Fraggle Rock.  But for reals.  It’s like, 110 degrees out there.


New favorite nail color that’s (are you sitting down for this?) not Essie Adore-A-Ball, but a still-neutral perfect for summer peach… (Cuccio’s “Life’s a Peach”).

Dangerously close to trying to put this into a kid’s bath in a Vegas remodel I’m doing, for the coolest client EVER with Anthro-Refined-Boho taste.  I’ve seen a similar pattern at Ann Sacks (see below), but love the green in this one that Jessica Risko Smith mocked up.  Kudos, GF.



Let’s go on a tile tangent, shall we?  I have no idea where I’d put this, but Sonoma Tilemakers’ colors and materials literally knock me down with a feather, every time.


GASP.  I hate to go so bananas about brass but man.  Insert brass + some bleached wood and you’ve got a party.



Kelly Nutt is another designer with a dreamy Insta.  Follow her for sho.


Kelly Wearstler for Ann Sacks.  #nomnomnom


Love the cute baby hex tile almost as much as I love that chick’s shoes.


TRUER WORDS HAVE NEVER BEEN SPOKEN.  The struggle is real, people.




Kantha pillows I snagged from the flea market for Karrie’s nook.


I forgot this is THE BEST CHEESE EVER until I ate the entire display at the market across from Casa CL a few weekends ago.  Whoops.


Good fillers for accessorizing beachy bookshelves.



Kate Marker is a good insta follow.  I always end up loving what she posts, like this little ditty.


A burl wood bar + that tile?  Yah.


Kelly Nutt for the win.


Je voudrais, via DRC San Diego.


Je voudrais aussi.  And aussi via DRC.  I’m a franglais poet for realz.  In a wee wallpapered closet or powder bath??  C’MAHHHN.


What is this glorious tape/trim that costs more than my left nut?  Love.  Down the lead edge of some drapery panel done in a small contrasting print?  Done.


Another case for open shelving.  As if we ever needed more.


Super cute and a bit Les Indiennes, sans le price tag.  OMG j’am on a roll.


This dining room is everything.  It’s not even totally my style but I can’t help myself.


My girl Betsy at Bixby doin’ it right!!  This marble-topped pedestal table is perfection.


Via the most perfect(ly snooty) lighting shop on Melrose that makes me feel like a kid from the other side of the tracks every time I go in, cuz nobody will EVER talk to me. It’s like the Julia Roberts / Pretty Woman scene where the ladies who work there are like: “That wouldn’t fit you… it’s VERY EXPENSIVE.”  I care not one flip.  Look how amazing their lighting is.


Like trying to choose a favorite star in the sky.


Shouldahcouldahwouldah bought these from the Arteriors on Melrose when they were on super clearance.  But, I bought Gusgus diapers instead.


Uh, I’d like to take a nap there please.


Always a great reminder, ‘spesh when you’re not sure what’s what.


Love, love love for summer.


I popped into this boutique on the Jersey Shore a few years ago during a work trip, and their buyers have cherry picked the most amazing batch of clothing & accessories, ever.  Thank GYAH you can buy stuff off their insta.  And this sweater makes me ALL KINDS OF STOKED for Fall.


If you aren’t following my friend Erika Gervin of South Harlow Interiors on Instagram and in real life, you’re missing out.  She’s one of those people you meet and instantly love… last summer, I was at a girls (or, I guess we’re ladies – whatever) networking thing (that culminated in a Magic Mike II viewing), but the point is, I was talking to her in line for popcorn, and she had just left her super big girl marketing job to branch out on her own in design.  She had no formal training, just major talent and major confidence in herself.  I started reading through my mental laundry list of why it would be so scary for me to branch out on my own and she goes: “GURL.  Just do it.  If I can do it you can do it!”  And I tell you.  When I was about to jump off the little cliff and go out on my own, what she had said to me 6 months before was ringing in my ears.  Anyhow.  She bought this rug for herself and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so perfect, or ever seen anything like it again.  See?  Girl’s got great taste.


The sweet Gus-cousin who took a nap on my feet last week on the street in Crested Butte.  Look at those eyes (!)


That’s all I got!  Happy Sunday to you sweetie pies.


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