With all of the work we’ve been doing to our house lately, which you can see on my blog The Reader Writes, I’ve had an eye out for interior design books that have been coming through the library. Here are two that I brought home.
Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, by Jessica Romm Perez and Shani Silver. Unbeknownst to me, Domino is a website, magazine, newsletter, blog, and shop. The book is a lovely, cloth-covered pink volume with a ribbon marker. Inside, the writers go through every aspect of decorating a home: seating, flooring, lighting, etc. Text is fairly minimal, with the emphasis on the photos. The authors take us to “Style School,” where we learn the basics of the various looks. There are “Style Standoffs,” which assist the reader in choosing between a patterned or solid sofa, or a large-patterned or small-patterned wallpaper, listing the advantages of each choice. We find examples of inspired style, and quick hints on how to get each look.
I’ve decided that my style must be eclectic, since it doesn’t fall into any neat categories. The art section has inspired me to move my china cabinet over to one side of my dining room wall– since the room is too small to comfortably seat people around the table– and to create a gallery wall on the other side. We have a lot of framed pictures tucked into cubbies, and I could have room to hang them all if I put the furniture off-center. My only fear is that it will not look like the artistic, random collection in the book, but more like an accident caused by someone who didn’t want her pictures stuck in cubbies anymore.
I will say that the designers’ photos are beautiful to behold, but perhaps more upscale than my real life. Even their cluttery rooms are perfectly staged, the chairs are like pieces of sculpture, and they really love white. I can’t picture kids running in from school, dropping backpacks, and flinging themselves onto the sofas. On the other hand, we need sweet dreams to break out of Tracthouse Suburbia, don’t we?
Conclusion: Beautiful, helpful, wide-ranging. A great starting place, and the website continues the journey.
A Touch of Farmhouse Charm, by Liz Fourez. This slender paperback is filled with small projects that will give your home a bit of personality, if that personality happens to fall somewhere between rustic and shabby chic. Since most of my house is traditional, I would never have considered this until my husband watched Fixer Upper with me and mentioned how much he liked the rustic style that Joanna Gaines prefers. Since then, I’ve been trying to mix in some more country touches, and this book has some charming ideas.
The subtitle is Easy DIY Projects to Add a Warm and Rustic Feel to Any Room, so when you see the entry “Monogrammed Doormat,” understand that you will be buying a doormat and adding a monogram, not weaving your own mat, if that is what one does to make a doormat. The emphasis here is on “easy,” and the projects are listed by room. Some of them are far too rustic for me, such as the chicken wire candle holder, but the huge beadboard clock, the framed glass sign, and the family name sign, to name just a few, are really adorable. Furthermore, the simple techniques that Fourez teaches can be used for any number of projects that the reader can come up with on her own.
Of course, this author also has a website and blog at Love Grows Wild, so her book fans need never run out of ideas.
Conclusion: Fun, lovely, and doable. Any of these could be a perfect weekend project for the rustic/ shabby chic homeowner.
Disclaimer: I read library copies of both of these books. Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not reflect those of my employer or anyone else.