Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Book Banter: The Perfectly Imperfect Home

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a lovely Christmas with lots of beautiful food and good company. The Mister and I enjoyed the usual tour around Victoria for all the family gatherings and then flew to Brisbane to visit more family over New Years (between us we have five siblings in Queensland!). It was wonderful to see most of our families and a few of our friends. We even managed two surprisingly comfortable and fun sleeps in the new double swag from Santa!

It's back to work and reality now but we have lots of big plans for 2012. Many are house related, like painting the exterior and working on the front garden, while others are leisurely, like a little overseas adventure (yipee!) and indulging in fine foods. I'll try to keep you updated. Back to the house though, I have been so inspired by a new book I bought at the end of last year called The Perfectly Imperfect Home. It's authored by Deborah Needleman of Domino magazine fame and the much-loved book of the same name. I pre-ordered it on the Book Depository prior to its release and loved it so much that I ordered another for a special person that I owe a little treat to (said person has not received it yet so it could be YOU!).

The title of this book alone makes my heart sing. A perfectly imperfect home - just what I'm going for. According to Deborah, the point of decorating is to create the background for the best life you can have, with all its joys and imperfections. Amen to that. While this is a visually beautiful book, it is also understanding of the practicalities and realities of daily life and it doesn't discriminate. There is plenty here for those of us with small homes, modest incomes and the need to DIY rather than hire decorators and other professionals all the time. In saying that, I found the information on the 'rules' of decorating appealing and loved learning about some proper or traditional elements to include in the home. With sections like 'lampshade literacy' and style cheat sheets, this is a helpful read as well as an enjoyable one.

I loved the author's encouragement to break some of these rules if it works for you and embrace unexpected elements. There is much about creating a home for your own life and enjoyment, not the author's or anyone elses (bar your visitors and overnight guests!). A wonderful chapter titled 'A bit of quirk' even mentions happy accidents of a well-lived life.

Watercolour illustrations by artist Virginia Johnson are the making of a coffee table book sure to be more timeless than those with photographs. They are divinely gorgeous and enhance the whimsical touches and recommendations throughout.

Since devouring this book before Christmas, and considering the chapter 'Bath as a room' which challenges the tendancy to think of a bathroom as a decorating afterthought, I have been itching to make some changes in our own humble bathing room. So far, I have painted over the tile strip in Dulux Domino (as I did in the kitchen), added a black and white striped rug and some black and white striped knobs to the vanity doors (from Provincial Home Living) but I'm still stewing on some other ideas. The fact I'm still thinking about it is the sign that this book made an impression.

It is too hard to pick favourite chapters, but others worthy of note are 'Dinner with friends', 'Glamifications', 'Cozifications' and 'Delicious Scent'. Too many wonderful ideas and tips to pass on here so read it for yourself. I highly recommend it. Here's to a perfectly imperfect year for us all! Xx

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