Be prepared to be swept away by the mind of scientist, designer and teacher – she of Captains Rest and The Hosting Masterclass – Sarah Andrews, in her debut book, Principles of Style.
The culmination of Sarah’s rich professional and life experience, this book is a gentle design guide built for anyone interested in styling their own home or accommodation business.
Although I gave myself a few weeks to revel in this hard cover beauty, I drank the contents in their entirety over one night. Several hours spent spellbound over pages of lessons, childhood stories and far away places I’d never been.
What begins as a type of reference bible encompassing 10 lessons of basic styling, evolves into two additional sections called ‘Houses’ and ‘Rooms’. Here, you’ll get a glimpse into how these principles have been applied in both Sarah’s personal dwellings (such as Captains Rest) as well as homes she has travelled to around the world. With heartfelt and personal prose, we are given a peek into loves, losses, adventures and memories including Sarah’s first childhood project, The Nun’s Room, an original cottage on her parent’s property which she made her own when she was just five years old.
I adore that, unfettered by the book’s formal title, Sarah encourages interior design to be haphazard, unexpected and uniquely yours to create. Nothing is forced or contrived, but rather suggested and encouraged.
Through beautifully staged photography, we see comparisons of differently styled scenes for the purpose of visualising what works and what doesn’t. We are then led on a visual journey through moody shots of interior spaces over stunning matte printed paper stock.
This is the type of book in which you can fall into the pages and be transported to other worlds as well as learn from and be inspired by divine interior scenes that surpass trends and product promotions. Principles of Style is a valuable tool for creating spaces of substance that emanate calmness, composure and a sense of home.
From the perspective of both a student of The Hosting Masterclass and the owner of a BnB, I feel like this book is the perfect takeaway from my time learning with Sarah. I’m foremost inspired by her unusual history, rebellious spirit and her humble path to cult status success. Proof that achievement can be earned by veering off the beaten track and sailing into uncharted territories – a grand lesson she unconsciously teaches through her life’s work.