Thanks so much to all of you who entered the Design Camp giveaway!  I am so grateful to Lori and Kelli for sponsoring such an amazing giveaway and inviting me to attend Design Camp in Atlanta as well.  I am already so looking forward to it … and I’m delighted to share that Ryan Di Salvo — from The Life & Style Guild — will be there as well.

For those of you who had been waiting to hear who won, I’m so sorry you missed the earlier announcement on my Facebook page.  Don’t forget to “like” me there for updates that don’t always make it to the blog!  I also post the giveaway winner on the original post, but I’m thinking some of you didn’t get an “updated” notification in your RSS feeds.  Boo.  My mistake for not understanding how that all works.    

The entire Design Camp agenda is action-packed, but I am particularly looking forward to meeting Susanna Salk.  A frequent contributor to the Today Show and mom to two boys, Susanna has authored some amazing books — including one of my favorites, the best-selling Room for Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play.  Of course, you’ve already heard of her latest (and equally fabulous) book, Be Your Own Decorator: Taking Cues and Confidence from Today’s Leading Designers … because it was the talk of, well, everywhere.

And that brings me to today’s five minute fix.  You know when sometimes you just need “something” — and you aren’t quite sure what?  The best way for me to get “un-stuck” is to leaf through a favorite design book … and actually read the text.  Egads!  Am I the only one who reads design books??  Of course, I am always inspired by websites like iVillage, Pinterest and Houzz.  But sometimes there’s no substitute for holding a hard-cover book in your hand, appreciating — on paper — each part of a glossy interiors image, and learning, in the words of the designer, the “why” (or the “why not?”) behind the room.

Susanna sent me a copy of Room for Children quite some time ago, and it has been a delight to refer back to such wonderful rooms — all designed with the needs of their little occupants in mind but as stylishly as stylish can be.  There are so many ways that a home can be chic and practical, and, in my design practice, I love bringing sophisticated functionality to every room.  After all, children live in the entire house, not just in their bedrooms and play areas!  Having twins or triplets = lots and lots of baby gear.  And hello, Susanna and I are both “boy moms.”  Can you say “outnumbered”?  In my house — and undoubtedly in hers — it has to work as well as it looks good.

So the next time you are wondering “what to do about ________” in your home, pick up a design book!  Or do what I do and use the Amazon iPhone app and One-Click ordering to buy a new one … all while sitting in the carpool line.  Yes, I have a problem.  The first step is admitting it, right?   Those five minutes you spend — either ordering, flipping through or reading — just might give you the solution to an issue you’ve been noodling over.

Do you have a favorite design book?  And have you met the author?

For those of you who entered the giveaway but did not win, I’m still crossing my fingers to see you in Atlanta!  You should have received an email from Lori and Kelli with a special offer for a discounted Design Camp registration rate.  Thanks so much for reading my blog and taking the time to enter the giveaway.  

Top photos via Apartment Therapy.  Bottom photos by Dustin Peck Photography for traci zeller designs.

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