RSS Feed

Inspiration abounds inside the pages of coffee table books

Rustic Living

An inviting peak into Ralph Kylloe’s newest book, Rustic Living, shows the many artful faces of wood.

I have always loved coffee table books that specialize in oversized photography of luxe interiors, divine takes on colour, furnishings and styles from all eras. They are one of my favourite gifts to give and receive.

Inspiration and knowledge abound between the covers of these large format books.

In Ralph Kylloe’s Rustic Living, pages come alive with images of cherished log homes grand and small, hand-hewn furnishings created from roots, bark, saplings and trees, and rustic antique collections. Rustic style may be described as plain and simple, but a close inspection of its roots proves otherwise. The style celebrates our heritage, living off the land, utilizing materials close to hand to build shelter and the comforts of home. The glory is in the details.

Shown here is a glimpse into a grand New England home that fits into the high end of rustic. The staircases designed by Shane Lewis feature twisted wood rails, with hand-carved figures by Paul Stark on the newel posts. A set of matching leather dining chairs have relief carved silhouettes. Chinked log walls dominate, but some spaces have walls faced with bark and twig details. Wrought-iron lanterns, chandeliers and pendants balance the weight of these rustic interior. Even the birch bark candle holders on the dining room table sit in an iron and glass container.

If you are a collector, you’ll enjoy some magnificent displays of paraphernalia that relate to outdoor living and handmade crafts.

The author’s homestead, saved for the last chapter, has it all. Snowshoes, fishing items and photos, vintage signage, basketry, crockery, folk art, old flags, and antique rustic furniture fill the home with memories and great stories that have taken years to accumulate and will last for years to come.

Coffee table books are like pieces of art that patiently wait to entice us, to enthrall us, and allow us to dream, over and over again.

Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Email questions to Follow Debbie on Twitter at, and visit – living