Good Reads Part 1

Lets talk books baby. Big, beautiful books with big, beautiful, bootilicious, drool-some pictures in them.

I love non fiction books. Especially books about mid century modern design, interiors and architecture. The more pictures in them, the better if you ask me.

These days I rarely buy magazines, I prefer to pay a bit extra for a decent book that won’t end up in the recycling pile, that I can keep on my bookshelf (never on the coffee table!) and that I can browse through again and again. I like to source my books secondhand through Abebooks, Ebay, the Amazon Marketplace and charity shops because its the cheaper and greener option! (So then my books are not that much more expensive than most mags, honest!)

Here are some of my favourite books and recommendations for mid century freaks and geeks like pile

Orla Kiely – Home

Rob got me this book for Xmas last year and I love it so much! It is a great introduction to the world of all things MCM, beautifully laid out with amazing photographs of Ms Kiely’s own personal favourite nick nacks, her lovely home products, her own home and plenty of other authentic mid century and gorgeous new build home tours that will give you a serious case of house envy.orla book

a random page of goodness I selected to badly photograph

A random page of goodness I selected to badly photograph!


Wayne Hemingway – Cocktail Shakers, Lava Lamps an Tupperware

This book is all about the less than stylish side of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. A look back at the mass market classic products that filled every British home back in the day, like sandwich toasters, furry toilet seat covers, kitschy art from Woolworths and much, much more! Its a laugh at the bad taste-goodness from the past! Please note that this is exactly the same book as Mass Market Classics, just with a different cover and title. However you can pick this version of the book up much cheaper through Amazon’s marketplace.

Just look at that cheesy cover - whats not to love!

Just look at that cheesy cover – whats not to love!

Mid Century Modern – Bradley Quinn

Another book that will make you want to go crazy with the credit card and fill your house with lovely stuff. My only criticism of this book is that the text is a little dull. Now, I am slightly obsessed with the subject matter, but even I found it a struggle to read. I managed to read it from cover to cover no less, and learnt a few things. So its all good. Buy it to look at the pictures again and again. And again.mcm book

Decorative Art 50’s – Charlotte and Peter Fiell

This book is like the Argos catalogue of mid century goodness. Read it and weep peeps! And thats my shit, uneducated book review for you!
No seriously, there is so much eye candy in this compilation of the The Studio Year Book of Decorative Art from Taschen. I have the 60’s version in my book collection and I would love the 70’s version to complete my collection. (HUGE BIRTHDAY HINT ALERT!)50's book

Case Study Houses – Elizabeth A T Smith

I love post war modernist architecture. Particularly American ranch homes. This book is a compact version of Taschen’s larger (and out of my book buying budget) special edition on the case study houses. Each house featured looks retro, yet still modern and is pretty much my dream house. Its unbelievable to think that some of these groundbreaking homes have been pulled down and no longer exist!

Tulip chair, swimming pool and a gorgeous house built around a tree - what a lucky couple on the cover!

Tulip chair, swimming pool and a gorgeous house built around a tree – what a lucky couple on the cover!

My Kitschy Animal Collection

Way back in May, during the blog every day challenge, I published a post which I planned to be the introduction on a series of posts about the tat treasures I collect.

As you can gather, I have not exactly rushed to publish much about my collections. In fact I have published a grand total of nothing at all since May.

From today it will be a topic that occasionally pops up on the blog. Lets make a start by sharing the girliest, tackiest, and tasteless collection of nick-nacks I have in the house!

Its no secret that I love kitsch, but as Rob is not a fan, I keep the kitsch contained in the kitchen. I.e the room that he spends the least amount of time in.

My love of kitschy animals started around seven years ago when I purchased this little owl below at a bootfair for just 50p. Weather owl has been a constant companion in my kitchen(s) for a long time. It does say weather owl on the little stand he is on, I think I used the wrong lens on the camera to capture this. Whoops, amature alert! Don’t worry – I have not given my nick-nacks names! Im not completely nuts. Almost. But not completely! owlNext, came this cat ornament. Found around 18 months ago in a local charity shop for £2. I thought it would match the colour scheme in the (then) newly decorated kitchen. It did. catIm not so keen on how it looks like from behind. But lets be honest, its not a flattering angle for most of us really!cat rearRecently I had another lucky find in a local chazza. I found the perfect kitschy, vintage cat ornament for £3.99. It just had to come home with me. When I first bought it home, I cleaned it up then left it on the kitchen work top for a few weeks before I rearranged my kitchen shelves, and it triggered this conversation between Rob and I –

Rob – “I think our home has been invaded”
Me – “Huh?”
Rob – ” Yeah, someone has been in the kitchen and left behind this god awful tacky cat thing”
Me – “No, thats mine. Thats my new nick-nack. Its great is’nt it”
Rob – “What you actually paid money for that? Through choice?”
Me – “Yep” (feeling proud of myself)
Rob – “Sheeze…….” (Insert a few choice swear words in the blanks!)

This is just typical harmless ribbing between Rob and I! We like to wind each other up. I have to admit that it is an added bonus that Rob hates it!kitty cat

Next, came these two dogs. And a collection. I did not intend to accumulate a kitschy china animal collection. But somehow it happened. Believe it or not, I do not like too much clutter!

I could not refuse these two ornaments as they came from my nan’s house. Nan has recently gone into a care home, and we have been emptying out her house. Sad times, but it is nice to have a little reminder of my grandparents in the kitchen.doggysAs you can see, I like my kitschy china animals like I like my men – all big eyes, cute and cheap!

Here is how my kitchen shelves have recently changed. From this –nik naksTo this –shelves
The ever evolving shelves of goodness!