Summer favorite: Warwick’s

One of the best things about summer is visiting Warwick’s to discover beautiful but lesser-known interior design books not found at the chain bookstores.

Summer means San Diego. I have been vacationing there since I was two years old. It is now the summer ritual of my own family. All six of us love it and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. We each have our list of favorite things to do while visiting. One thing we all look forward to is a trip to Warwick’s Bookstore in La Jolla. This bookstore is located in the gorgeous shopping/downtown section of La Jolla. All of us enjoy reading so we go there several times during our stay to check out the newest books and get recommendations from the staff. The store’s website has a list of staff member’s picks for the best reads – perfect for us unfortunate people not lucky enough to live in La Jolla.

My reason for loving Warwick’s is that I can find design books that I don’t see anywhere else. In Orlando, we are down to Barnes & Noble as our one bookstore barring a few small independent ones around town. I prefer to support local independent bookstores. The problem is that none of our Orlando stores have much of a selection of design books. Because of its location in the West, Warwick’s has many titles featuring my favorite subject, Mexican and Spanish design. Over the years, I have added some invaluable books to my collection for design research.



Verna Cook Shipway and Warren Shipway have a series of books focused on Mexican design. I love each of them for their photos of Mexican homes designed in true Mexican style.


The climate in Mexico is perfect for indoor outdoor living. Covered patios are ubiquitous there as eating and entertaining often happen outdoors. The book above is a good one for this topic as well as for gardens.  I find Mexican gardens to be the perfect blend of exotic and manicured.


Red Tile Style is a wonderful book featuring architecture, primarily, in California of the Spanish-Revival style. There are great photos of homes, commercial buildings and a chapter focused on details.


Casa Alta, An Adalusian Paradise.

Casa Alta is a book I had never seen before nor have I seen it in a store since. It focuses on one house, a summer house in southern Spain, belonging to the late Victor Carrasco and Elizabeth McMillan.


(Photo: Richard Barnes)

Inside are glimpses of tile and star lights. I am enamored with both of these items.


(Photo: Richard Barnes)


(Photo: Richard Barnes)

What is different about this book is that there is an emphasis on the motivations behind renovating and furnishing the house. The garden and its intoxicating scents of citrus blossoms and fruit trees are romantically described.


(Photo: Richard Barnes)



(Photo: Richard Barnes)

Mr. Carrasco used his home as a place for creating bodegónes, Spanish still lifes. Above are assorted found pieces that he turned into lamps. The unusually shaped bulbs make this grouping exceptionally charming.


(Photo: Richard Barnes)

The dining room pictured above shows that the house was very personal and gracious. There are precious antiques within but also humble pieces which make the whole feel of the house welcoming and unpretentious.

Casa V Interiors is well-versed in many design styles and can bring that knowledge to your home to make it personal for you.