17 December 2014


from Novel Interiors 
photograph by Ivan Terestchenko

Tis the season, actually it is upon us & in "Dickens-time"-doesn't it all seem to be squeezed into a Scrooge kind of night?
I always take a moment from whatever I might be reading to stop and open up Mr. Dickens' A Christmas Carol. After many years of this tradition, I'm happy to say Dickens never disappoints!
I've had the same experience reading Lisa Borgnes Giramonti's blog A Bloomsbury Life for about 5 years now, so it's no surprise her new book- Novel Interiors-follows along the same lines, and like Dickens, it's one we will return to often, and with pleasure.

Lisa's book, with photographs by another Little Augury favorite, Ivan Terestchenko, reveals beautiful private rooms evoking the words and atmospherics of her most beloved novels, and yes, Mr. Dickens is there.

photograph from Novel Interiors 
Ivan Terestchenko

In fact, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol preface could have been Novel Interiors' introduction:

Lisa has found the perfect Idea to put readers in the mood to sit down and read a good book (hers or any of the many others she calls upon in Novel Interiors).  Whether it's a first time for you and Charles Dickens, or you and George Eliot, it will be at Lisa's nudging. The book will have you opening it over and over again, and no doubt looking for it again and again.
It's not a book you'll find shelved after a time or two-but will inevitably be found on the sofa (under a pillow), in the chair (under a pillow), or in the bed (under a pillow).


The perfect place to find Novel Interiors,
photograph by Ivan Terestchenko

There is little of the typical language we find in decorating books and magazines (God bless us everyone!), rather Lisa has turned to the great writers to help us find our way-and in doing so we find a new way to look  rooms, especially the rooms we inhabit. This is where Lisa excels, she can move her readers through a room with such ease, drawing out the aspects that make it truly beautiful-it may be a bit worn, or quite grand, but it always has a story to tell.

photograph by Ivan Terestchenko

Grand rooms in estates like Chatsworth are rare, but still there are great and elegant rooms where inhabitants carry on their lives in Evelyn Waugh Brideshead-like fashion. Lisa's chapter "Remembrance of Things Past" visits these formal rooms and while I find myself identifying with some of them-I'm equally drawn to rooms in the chapter "Shall I Put the Kettle On?", proving there is a unique Novel Interior of our very own waiting to be written.


photograph by Ivan Terestchenko

What I like most about Novel Interiors is its melding of two of my very favorite subjects-Rooms and Literature. I think Lisa's book may just bring about a Renaissance (Shakespeare)- or maybe its more a Revolution (Tolstoy) in how rooms look-feel-and are written about-especially in the real world.

all photographs from Novel Interiors provided by the author & used with her permission


  1. Great review!! The book seems to be totally different from the norm. Hope that THE SEASON is treating you to all the best. xoxo Mary

    1. Mary, you will love it-if you don't already have it. I think is going to be a great success. pgt

  2. Excellent Gaye! I must get this for the holidays..It marries my love of reading, interiors, and photography by Terestchenko!
    The Arts by Karena



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