Find Inspo for Home & Life with These Rhody Reads

Books with local connections about home, garden, and life


During the past year, the phrase “there’s no place like home” has never been more relevant. Many of us have had to transform our private sanctuaries into places where we work, play, and socialize, mostly virtually. The success of the Room Rater Twitter account is an indicator of how much time we’re spending at home ourselves while also viewing one another’s living spaces. For the month of April, Rhody Reads has selected six books written by local authors that shine a light on the places where we live.

Houses come in all shapes and sizes and Warren resident Katie Hutchison’s The New Cottage: Inspiration for America’s Favorite Home highlights the smaller, simpler kind. The word “cottage” elicits feelings of romance and comfort and Hutchison’s design strategies capture that emotion, providing tips and tools for you to bring some love and light into your space. Also look for Hutchison on Apple Podcasts where she co-hosts Design Me a House with textile designer Dawn Oliveira.

Maintaining a home can be a full-time job, especially when you own a three-family with tenants. In Tenemental: Adventures of a Reluctant Landlady, author Vikki Warner relates her “adventures” as she learns to care for her triple-decker in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence with patience and love. It isn’t always smooth sailing, but it’s definitely worth going along for the ride.

Our home is where we live, love, and heal. Former Travel & Leisure editor-in-chief Dominique Browning shares how her home helped her rebuild her life in the beautiful and poetic Around the House and in the Garden: A Memoir of Heartbreak, Healing, and Home Improvement. Caring for a home is a way of caring for ourselves while leaving behind a permanent testament to our ability to survive.

When we bring nature into the home, it becomes more alive and so do we. Newport’s Jill Rizzo (along with co-author Alethea Harampolis) explores how we can naturally celebrate the changing seasons in Branches & Blooms: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Magical Centerpieces, Wreaths, Garlands, and Other Unexpected Arrangements. Follow Rizzo’s step-by-step instructions to bring the outside world indoors, and even visit her Middletown shop, Farm and Flora Collective.

Modernizing historic New England spaces is a task faced by many homeowners. Author Jaci Conry, with photographer Michael J. Lee, tackles the challenge head on in New England Modern. Conry boldly redefines classic spaces to meet the needs of today’s style with glorious colors and patterns. Find your next inspiration in the pages of this gorgeous collection.

We may not all spend as much time on the design and care of our outside spaces but they can make a huge difference in the look and feel of our homes. In Garden Design Master Class: 100 Lessons from The World’s Finest Designers on the Art of the Garden Carl Dellatore presents essays by top garden designers including Ed Bowen, Taylor Johnston, John Gywnne, and Mikel Folicari from Sakonnet Garden in Little Compton, and Laura Willson, from Swansea. Stunning visuals are sure to inspire.


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