Maybe it’s BECAUSE I’m not living in my own space or cooking my own meals that I’ve developed this penchant for books on cooking and decorating.
So. The Perfectly Imperfect Home is about making your home a reflection of yourself, something that looks like YOU live in it. And I am down with that, but then the first chapter is on lighting and I am *le snore* (except that she uses ‘sconce’ as an adjective. SCONCEY. I support this manoeuvre). But then she gets around to things I dig, like Rugs: The Laying Down Thereof, and Armchairs, Incl.The Optimum Height For Your Armchair’s Side-Table And Reading Lamp, Which Are Both Higher and Lower Than You Would Think.
And it’s all very If you’re doing this, think of this. Maybe give this a try, and see how you like. And the illustrations are illustrations, not photos. Even the examples of ACTUAL PLACES THAT EXIST are hand-drawn illustrations, which works well in that it suggests a basket like this, a lamp like this, not This Particular And Identifiable End-Table From Wherever People Buy Their Furniture From That Is Not Ikea.
There are ideas, both specific and general, that I love. Specifically, I am now obsessed with the idea of a bench in the bathroom. You can put your CLOTHES on it, instead of on the counter (which is always lamentably wet) or on the floor (which is gross), and you can stack towels on it and you can SIT ON IT. Generally: JOLLIFYERS! These are things that jolly up your home. Things that you look at and are like, Awww, that. Like a skeleton that you keep on an armchair in the front room and dress up for holidays.
In a box in the garage, but not forgotten, Sam Skellington. You will live to jollify another day.
It’s all a delightful blend of suggestion and strong suggestion (put Big! Splashy! Wallpapers! in rooms that you maybe don’t spend all day in; if you’re going to mix patterns go for a large floral and a thin stripe, or a small floral and a fat check), and she says things like ‘The thought of arranging flowers can unhinge even the most stylish people. The secret to “doing flowers” is not to be intimidated. You are the boss of them!’ She is like the Julia Child of decorating instructions.
Pleasant and amiable, but with sense. I will probably give this another read-through when I can finally ‘decorate’ rather than just ‘cram all my furniture into two rooms.’