This Spring’s Best Design Books

April 9, 2013 | By | Comments (3)

Just in time to inspire you for Spring, there’s a new batch of design books from a few of our favorite Southern writers, architects, and designers offering glimpses into several of the South’s best homes and neighborhoods.

Courtesy of Rizzoli

Courtesy of Rizzoli

The Book:
Houses with Charm: Simple Southern Style (Rizzoli) 
By: author Susan Sully
Southern Roots: Susan lives in Asheville, NC
Why We Love It: Renown connoisseur of Southern-style and our newest Contributing Editor, Susan Sully charms readers again with this curated mix of beautifully, understated homes and cottages. Susan reached out to her good friends who happen to be  some of the boldest-faced names in Southern design today — Amelia Handegan, Norman Askins, Jackye Lanham, Bobby McAlpine, and Ken Tate to name a few and I didn’t forget, all the lovely people at 122design online
— to gain entry into homes that feel like treasure troves of cozy elegance. 

welcoming house This Springs Best Design Books

Courtesy of Rizzoli

The Book: The Welcoming House (Rizzoli)
By: Circa Interiors designers Jane Schwab and Cindy Smith
Southern Roots: The designers work from their Charlotte, NC offices and also have offices in Birmingham.
Why We Love It: Eight beautifully photographed homes designed by Jane and Cindy amount to 240 pages of gorgeous inspiration. Aside from being pretty, Jane and Cindy’s impeccable projects are always gracious and functional (hallmarks of Southern interiors). Luckily, they’ve included several helpful design lessons that they’ve learned throughout their careers.

Michael Imber

Courtesy of Rizzoli

The Book: Michael G. Imber: Ranches, Villas, and Houses (Rizzoli)
By: author-architect, Elizabeth Meredith Dowling
Southern Roots: Architect, Michael calls San Antonio home.
Why We Love It: It’s clear that Michael’s love of the Southwest landscape influences each of his romantic designs from beach homes to sprawling Texas ranches. In 240 pages with 240 photos, Dowling explores Michael’s creative process which always begins with Michael painting a watercolor sketch of the project before any blueprint is drawn.

tropical cottage This Springs Best Design Books

Courtesy of Rizzoli

The Book: The Tropical Cottage (Rizzoli)
By: writer, Beth Dunlop
Southern Roots: Beth is a Miami local.
Why We Love It: Always captivated by charming neighborhoods, especially ones with a tropical touch, thumbing through the The Tropical Cottage feels like you’re actually strolling around Miami’s eclectic and exclusive Coconut Grove neighborhood. Most importantly though, Beth’s insightful writing and colorful photos celebrate a life at the beach that means more than high-rise condos and water parks.


  1. Maggie G.

    So many of these books feature homes that have been restored or newer homes made to look older with fine details and styling. is an excellent resource for hardware, lighting and home decorating touches to finish your projects!

    April 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm
  2. Jessica

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link,

    April 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm
  3. a staycation

    Reblogged this on a stay-cation and commented:
    I think I would like to start a collection of design books and the ones listed in this article would be a great start. I also wouldn’t mind my home looking like any in the books.

    April 9, 2013 at 2:25 pm

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