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Bowerbird: Creating Beautiful Interiors with the Things You Collect Hardcover – October 1, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In The Life of a Bowerbird, Sibella Court reveals her very personal and surprising approach to collecting and collections. She shows how to procure the elements of a collection, how to organize and store them, and how to display them in creative and ever-changing ways. With the help of The Life of a Bowerbird, you will view your belongings in a whole new light.

A bowerbird is an Australian native bird that builds a reedy ground nest and goes to extraordinary lengths to decorate it with "stolen" goods & found objects like shells, bones, pegs, & shiny milk caps.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Sibella Court is an interior stylist, creative director and author. Her previous books include the award-winning, Etcetera: creating beautiful interiors with the things you love, The Stylist's Guide to NYC and Nomad: bringing your travels home. She has worked as a stylist for Anthropologie, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale's, and Saks on Fifth Ave, and written and styled for publications such as Gourmet, Marie Claire, Grazia and Vogue Living.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Hardie Grant Books (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1742705197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1742705194
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 1.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,142,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Similar to the other books by Sibella Court, this one is gorgeous. Attention to detail is the key aspect of "Bowerbird." From the beautiful covers, ribbon bookmark, thick paper, and stunning photography, this is a joy. I love the photos of the arranged objects, especially the books and ephemera. I am never disappointed with her books. Be cautioned, however, that this is not a design book with tips and instruction. It is basically a photography book very light on the text. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the plus side, I like the "extra effort" presentation of the book, including an embossed cover, quality paper, ribbon book mark and handsome leather-like spine. I also have the previous books by Sibella Court, so I was familiar with her personal aesthetic -- and was eager to see more of her suggestions for creating eclectic tableaus, using all of my "stuff". Personally, I like her "anthropolgie" vibe, and I relate to some of her comments......For instance: "I love a mad mantle!". Well, I can't imagine myself actually saying that phrase.....but I really do know what she means, and completely agree. I am thinking back to the evolving "mad mantle" in the Sixties movie "Darling" with Julie Christie. The changing tableau on the mantle provided a visual record of what happened throughout the movie, and the image has stayed with me. Decor can have THAT kind of personal appeal -- it can be a temporary/shifting reflection of your state of mind; an ever-changing gathering of stuff, from the ridiculous to the sublime. That is Court's strong point, as a visual taste-maker, and I think her books provide great idea "prompts" that anyone can adapt to their own aesthetic. While I did not find the preponderance of taxidermy to be a distraction throughout the book -- I take issue with the end papers. One opens the book to a large needlessly-discouraging photograph of dead birds, tagged and laying in rows. In the whole wide world of images that could have been used for the end papers.....This would have been my last choice.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...it really is. The cover has amazing detail, the binding is leather (or pleather, not sure but either way it's a nice detail), and it is just a hint at what is inside this book. Each page is full of neutral colors, vintage and antique collections displayed beautifully. The book is not heavy on text, but the pictures are rich and dreamy, inspiring, and complex and simple all at the same time. The colors are muted and soft and the collections include items like vintage glass, scissors, wood bobbins of thread, tools, taxidermy, specimens, old wood, anything you could possibly collect that is old and special. I can see my many collections of flea market finds, beads, and old things in the pages of this book and the inspiration is endless.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have all of her books and this is my least favorite. Dead birds, dead seahorses and stuffed owls...too many dead things. It just made me feel bad and I didn't want to turn the pages because I was afraid of what sad thing I would see next. Ninety percent of the book is fine but I wish I would have looked at this before I ordered it. Her other books are far better on many levels...color and clarity included. Still, her books are always interesting and I'm sure other people will enjoy this one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No only did I love all of the items Sibella Court collects but I was blown away by the attention to detail put into each background on every page! It is a visually stunning book - maybe some will be disappointed in that it doesn't go into detail regarding the title claim "..creating beautiful interiors with the things you collect" but it did inspire me to order other books of hers as this is the first I've owned.

I am very pleased with the book and will make it a permanent part of my collection.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've liked other books by Ms. Court, but this one I actually disliked. It goes beyond the "photo collage" types of decor coffee-table books, which I generally like, and is just rather twee photos of tiny areas, without showing the big picture or even the entire room. The first thing you see when you open the book is an "artistic" photo of carefully arranged dead birds. Please. I sent it back.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because all my favorite design gurus sing the praises of Sibella Court, and I've admired her earlier books. A day after ordering it from Amazon, I browsed through a copy at Anthropologie, and immediately thought, "uh-oh." While The Life of a Bowerbird is a beautiful coffee table book to linger with over a cup of coffee, it doesn't really offer any practical tips as claimed by the subtitle. And although the pictures are lovely, the text/layout is hard to read. I ultimately decided to return the book, because I'd honestly rather spend my money on accumulating some of the things pictured in the book than own the book itself, which features page after page of fascinating collections of feathers, bones, buttons, etc. but no real substance beyond the eye candy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was entirely one woman's collections and as interesting as they were I have seen better ways to display collectiions in decorating magazines. I browsed through this book in one setting and passed it on.
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