Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Read this: The Perfectly Imperfect Home

It was just a week ago that the new book by Deborah Needleman, The Perfectly Imperfect Home:  How to Decorate and Live Well, was released.  I couldn't stand waiting, so I took advantage of Amazon's free Super Saver shipping and added the pre-order to the purchase of our Kindle a few weeks ago.

Photo from aestate.com
I've had this book, by the former editor of everyone's favorite Domino, in my hot little hands for a week now, and I am SO glad I spent the money and didn't wait until I could go to the bookstore and decide if I wanted it/take pictures of the few pages I actually needed for reference.  I'm not the only one who does that right?

This book is a wealth of information, sure.  The lighting chapter was particularly great for me (full disclosure:  I'm not finished yet, so there may be some AMAZING stuff at the end that I won't mention).  Did you know a reading lamp should be below your eye level?  It makes sense, but that's a low lamp!  I did some adjusting after reading that!  I also loved the sections on "A Really Good Sofa" and "A Bit of Quirk."  This is what decorating books should REALLY be about.

More than that, the attitude in this book is so refreshing.  Call it a trend, but even in the intro Needleman talks about the importance of life and the willingness to be messy (and imperfect) in a home.  It's something that's so great to read about for a change.  In the absence of Domino, I have a subscription to Elle Decor.  If I weren't already alienated by the $2000 toilet paper holders (nope, not exaggerating), the cold, sterile spaces would probably do it anyway.  A place where people actually live should show their personality.  And whether that comes into play with a Lego collection, a messy pile of books (or a novel concept, a bookcase actually filled with books instead of decorative objects), or a cat bed under the sunny window, that's cool with me. 

The fact that there's a bowl of toilet paper rolls on the cover of the book, along with a pile of mail and some framed children's artwork.  This is how people live, and it sets the tone for what's inside.  Real advice, for real people, and generally for real budgets.  There are some times when she sounds a bit out of touch for the average self decorator.  Especially considering that a ton of Domino fans are young - in their mid twenties!  But that's few and far between.  For the most part, the advice can be applied to any budget, and any style.

My favorite part of the book by far are the illustrations.  Artist Virginia Johnson's watercolors are a great accent for the meat in the book.  Some are based on real rooms, some are imaginary, but all are beautiful, and have already given me some ideas.

Image from aestate.com
image from A Bloomsbury Life
Even the liner features gorgeous watercolor designs.

image from aestate.com
At less than $20 from Amazon, this book is a steal.  Even the cover price of $30 isn't too much to pay.  It's well worth it!  This would also be a great gift for any decor lover in your life, trust.