A blue-and-white living room featuring bold patterns and deep coral accents

A scene from ‘Summer to Summer’ by Jennifer Ash Rudick. Photo by Tria Giovan

In Summer to Summer: Houses by the Sea (Vendome, 2020), writer Jennifer Ash Rudick and photographer Tria Giovan, the talents behind Out East: Houses and Gardens of the Hamptons (Vendome, 2017) have teamed up again to deliver a collection of magical summer houses in Maine, Nantucket, Provincetown, Martha’s Vineyard, and more, showcasing a bevy of styles for summertime living. We can almost feel the beachside breezes and sand under our feet while gathering decorating ideas to try.

2020 reading list

‘Summer to Summer: Houses by the Sea’ by Jennifer Ash Rudick, Photography by Tria Giovan (Vendome, 2020), $75

2020 reading list

‘Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style’ by Christin Geall (Princeton Architectural Press, 2020), $28

Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style (Princeton Architectural Press, 2020) by Christin Geall offers a fresh, thoughtful approach to arranging. Art and art history have influenced Geall, and she writes about how paintings can provide guidance about color, light, and movement. The chapter on creativity encourages all us to train, practice, and study in order to develop artistically. “Creatives, in my opinion, are largely made, not born,” writes Geall.

Tulip flower arrangement

Floral design and photo by Christin Geall

In French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings (Gibbs Smith, 2020), blogger, author, and photographer Courtney Allison’s second book, Allison applies her design aesthetic to entertaining. She gives advice and shares her experience on topics such as linens, lighting, place settings, and flowers. Some of her signatures include vintage silver, etched-crystal wineglasses, and rustic containers of lush blooms. “Old painted buckets, metal bins, gathering baskets, and zinc or galvanized vessels are some of my favorite picks for large arrangements,” she writes.

2020 reading list

‘French Country Cottage Inspired Gatherings’ by Courtney Allison (Gibbs Smith, 2020), $35

A cafe table and chairs, with blue tablecloth and flowers, on a dock by the water.

Photo by Courtney Allison

The Language of Flowers by Odessa Begay (Harper Collins, 2020) explores an old and well-loved topic, preserving the fancy of the Victorian volumes but with a more contemporary approach. Fifty flowers are presented, drawing on a rich array of art, literature, the customs of various religions and cultures, folklore, horticulture, and more. We love reading about our favorite flowers, and the illustrations are engaging and lively.

2020 reading list

‘The Language of Flowers’ by Odessa Begay (HarperCollins, 2020), $28


By Alice Welsh Doyle

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