Life Unstyled: How to Embrace Imperfection and Create a Home You Love

If you enjoy perusing images of eclectic home furnishings used in creative ways, have I got a book to recommend to you!  Life Unstyled: How to Embrace Imperfection and Create a Home You Love by Emily Henson is filled with a wealth of full-color photos sharing the unique ideas of homeowners from varying parts of the world.

I like it because it left me with a feeling of validation of what I have always believed at the core: a home need not be a polished display of swanky décor to be great. It can be so much more gratifying to make your space uniquely your own, conforming to your way of being rather than try to live up to a magazine perfect ideal. After all, shouldn’t a home tell a story about the personality and life experiences of its residents?

Another thing I like about this book is that you don’t need an overabundance of time or money to borrow ideas from it and modify or incorporate them into your current living space. True, some of the homes pictured in the book are owned by buyers for textile or furnishings companies. I’m sure that definitely helps them gain access to the goods. But I think you will find that whatever your profession or station in life, there is a spark of an idea waiting inside this book somewhere for you.

If you are reading this blog, you are likely a fan of libraries and books. Let me share two ideas that will delight the book lovers. The first (pictured on the left) is featured in a warehouse-turned-residence in London. The owner has archive shelves (much like the kind used in our very own Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Department.) Here, they are used to divide the bedroom and the kitchen. They store everything from clothing to kitchen crockery and everything in between. You can see from the photo that the metal panels on the side are employed to display lots of pictures and artwork. Feel free to fall in love with this idea like I did,  just don’t ask me how to get rolling archive shelves into your home!

The second idea for book lovers is the vertical shelf featured in a bedroom (below). It looks like a floor-to-ceiling stack of books, but there are shelves in the middle of it all keeping it (hopefully) stable. This idea could be done relatively easily and cheaply in a variety of ways. Your imagination (and ceiling) would be the limit.

Happy home decorating! I’ll leave you with this quote: “The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
― Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

Sage Living by Anne Sage

sage livingPerfectly named style maven and City Sage blogger Anne Sage knows a wise truth: decorating our living spaces for our goals is the first step in making them happen.

In Sage Living, she opens the door to covetable dwellings designed to boost the dreams of their occupants, from the sunny, open-air kitchen of a holistic nutritionist to the eclectic living room of a world traveler ready to put down roots.

With page after page of stunning interiors, engagingly written home stories, and hundreds of design tips for every room, Sage Living goes beneath the stylized surface to help readers decorate for the lives they truly want. (description from publisher)

Flea Market Fabulous by Lara Spencer

flea market fabulousFocusing on nine different rooms (including her own recently purchased Manhattan apartment), Lara Spencer shows readers that all it takes is planning, shopping know-how, and a little imagination to create beautiful and comfortable homes that reflect their personal style.

Flea Market Fabulous takes readers through the step-by-step process of overcoming the challenges of the room, offering helpful tips and lessons along the way. She identi­fies the design dilemma; comes up with a decorat­ing plan; makes a mood board for inspiration; compiles a shopping list; scours flea markets for furniture and accessories that fit the bill; restores, repurposes, and reinvents the pieces she finds, giving them new life; and brings all the elements together in the gorgeous, finished space.

With illuminating before, during, and after photographs of her DIY projects and the room installations, Lara demystifies the decorating process and allows readers to envision endless possibilities for what they can do in their own homes. (description from publisher)

Collected: Living with the Things You Love by Fritz Karch and Rebecca Robertson

collectedCollectors and decorating experts Fritz Karch and Rebecca Robertson present a tour of peculiar, elegant, and awe-inspiring collections from around the world. Collected teaches readers the basic principles of the hunt while exploring the thoughtful and inventive ways people display their various collections, from the accessible and affordable to the aspirational extreme. The featured collections range from dice to café au lait bowls to 19th-century-French sewing tools to sand from world travels, illustrating collections as expressions of personal style.

From no frills (“The Modest”) to ornate (“The Exceptionalist”), Karch and Robertson examine the selected collections according to personality type. The book showcases 16 different collecting personalities, each with its own chapter, featuring gorgeous photo­graphs, vignettes showing how the objects are displayed, and a collecting lesson. (description from publisher)

A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman

beautiful mess happy homemadeStep inside the world of Elsie and Emma, the sisters behind the décor blog A Beautiful Mess.  With tiny budgets and a crafty, can-do attitude, they overhauled each room in their first homes with DIY projects using family photos, vibrant fabrics, flea-market finds, and affordable furniture. Now, you can learn how to paint, craft, and decorate your way to a happy, bright space with distinct personality. In the same upbeat spirit and modern style found on their blog, you’ll find fresh, all-new projects including:

• An inspired geometric-pattern coffee table made of balsa wood
• A hand-lettered statement wall featuring your favorite quote
• A quick and easy electrical tape update for your refrigerator
• A set of beautifully designed serving dishes
And more!

Packed with bonus styling tips from hanging the perfect gallery wall to making mismatched furniture work, Happy Handmade Home is design inspiration for personalizing your own space. (description from publisher)

The $50 Home Makeover by Shaunna West

$50 home makeoverStunning and easy projects for less than $50 each!

With The $50 Home Makeover, you can finally turn your living space into your home. This inspiring book offers 75 fun and creative ideas that will help give your place the stylish, modern look that you’ve always wanted – without having to spend a fortune. Each of these imaginative ideas cost less than $50 to bring to life and will beautify your space in unexpected ways. From an Antique Door Table to Reclaimed Wood Wall Art, each crafty home makeover project includes: step-by-step instructions with full-color photographs, a key to denote how long a project takes, how much it costs, and the level of difficulty and before-and-after photos of the finished product.

With the trendy yet inexpensive projects in The $50 Home Makeover, you’ll finally get to make those big improvements that you’ve been dreaming of, all while saving hundreds of dollars! (description from publisher)

Bright Bazaar by Will Taylor

bright bazaarDive into a refreshing take on color from one of the world’s leading interiors bloggers, Will Taylor of Bright.Bazaar, West Elm’s “go-to blogger for color inspiration.” What began as a popular blog attracting over 400,000 readers a month is now a gorgeous, color-popping book sure to delight and inspire all.

As one of Pinterest’s top influencers with over 2.4 million followers, people are taking note. Praised by design star Jonathan Adler as “a true talent with a keen eye,” Will guides you through making the most of the cornerstone of your life – where you live. He starts by giving you jumping-off points for considering how to use color. Next, he arms you with the know-how needed to replicate the looks through using ten color cocktails, from soft and delicate pastel hues to bright and bold color statements. Each color scheme begins with Will sharing his personal photographs and the memories that inspired each palette. He then goes on to show how these inspirations can be used in real-life decorating via easy-to-translate examples, complete with color checklists, swatch scrapbooks, illuminating room analyses and nuggets of Will’s color secrets. More than 350 brand new color photographs invite you into homes both big and small across the world.

Bright Bazaar‘s take on color is packed with personality and heart, playful but informative, and brimming with useful decorating ideas to make any home more beautiful. (description from publisher)

Decorate with Flowers by Holly Becker

decorate with flowersIn this gorgeous and unique book, author Holly Becker teams up with stylist Leslie Shewring to offer practical know-how and colorful inspiration for decorating the home with florals. Beginning with the basics of flower arranging and progressing on to decorating ideas for a range of styles-such as vintage, eclectic, and modern- with creative DIY flower and container projects peppered throughout, Decorate with Flowers offers a bunch of fresh ideas for flower enthusiasts and home decorators on any budget. (description from publisher)

 

Beautiful Winter

beautiful winterWhy not celebrate winter and bring a touch of nature indoors by creating a charming bark wreath bursting with red roses or a twig globe entwined with delicate amaryllis?

 In Beautiful Winter, author and florist Edle Catharina Norman shows how to use seasonal materials and flowers to put together 53 entrancing — and easy to assemble — home projects. From festive garlands to fun table decorations (including candlesticks made of apples), you’ll find an array of unique ideas to inspire you. Illustrated with more than 55 full-color photographs, this book presents glorious decorations that will warm your heart on even the coldest winter day. (description from publisher)

The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman

Style is a luxury, and luxury is simply what makes you happy. Over the years, founding editor in chief of domino magazine Deborah Needleman has seen all kinds of rooms, with all kinds of furnishings. Her conclusion: It’s not hard to create a relaxed, stylish, and comfortable home. Just a few well-considered items can completely change the feel of your space, and The Perfectly Imperfect Home reveals them all.

Ranging from classics such as “A Really Good Sofa” and “Pretty Table Settings” to unusual surprises like “A Bit of Quirk” and “Cozifications,” the essential elements of style are treated in witty and wonderfully useful little essays. You’ll learn what to look for, whether you are at a flea market or a fancy boutique-or just mining what you already own.  Styling tips and simple how-tos show you techniques to put it all together to create, say, a beautifully made bed (the fast way and the fancy way), an inviting reading nook, or an effortlessly chic display of pictures.

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. This book will show you how. (description from publisher)