Many years ago, I discovered a series of books called Chic Simple. They were beautifully designed and wonderfully photographed and they were all edited by Kim Johnson Gross and Jeff Stone. They were sort of a primer for a way to live life, and came in sizes small, medium and large.
When I moved to the UK, and got rid of almost everything I owned, I de-accessioned my collection of these books. I’ve started collecting them again, and made reference to something in one of the books today, and decided to pull them out and take a wander through them.
I wore a uniform to school for most all of my pre-college years, and am never 100% confident on pulling clothes together, so the Women's Wardrobe, Work Clothes, and What Should I Wear? books are staples in my bookcase.
The small books, which are about different components are about 5x4 inches. They are packed with information, great quotes and terrific images, all of the “good” stuff. Alligator luggage, Hermès scarves, Belgian loafers…
The largest size books are really packed with information – about 250 pages worth! The Home book explores the various types of furniture, delineating between a Windsor chair and a Thonet chair, types of vases, sofas, lamps, etc. Information like this never goes out of style or changes. An Iittala Aalto Vase is always going to be just that.
I am not exactly sure how many of these books were published, there’s no definitive list. I just pick them up at the Book Thing when I see them. I have duplicates of a few of them (ask and I will send one). You can find them on Amazon, but you have to search, because if you put in Chic Simple, you’ll get every shabby chic book ever written.