Book review: Decorate

6 Sep

It looks as though my fiance and I will shortly be moving home. We had only JUST settled into our new flat when our landlady called us and told us that she’s has decided to sell. At first it was totally gutting, because we love our flat and had been looking forward to spending at least a year here (especially as P has moved 4 times in 2011 and I’ve moved 3 times!). But such is life, and it gave us a bit of a kick in the backside to start looking for a flat to buy. Being six months earlier than planned, the money situation has been fairly headache-inducing, but it looks like we are there now and we are at the earliest stages of buying a lovely, small 2 bed flat in a terraced house in Brixton. Exciting!

Which is all a roundabout way of saying that I’ve been looking at a LOT of house porn lately.

I have been a fan of Holly Becker of Decor8 for ages. I love her blog and her writing, and with the possibility of extended periods of decorating/DIY coming up, I decided to get a copy of her book, Decorate.

I’ll start with the negatives. This book made me feel a total design fail. Every page is absolutely gorgeous. But every page is styled and almost every home is owned by a stylist or design blogger. So it’s okay that every page looks 100% more amazing than my flat, right? Right.

They are also owned by people with much larger properties than mine. I would say my one real criticism of the book is that there wasn’t enough room dedicated to small spaces. Apart from one studio flat, the ‘small’ floor plans were still about twice the size of my current (and future) flat.

Other than that, I absolutely love this book. I feel like I could pore over it for weeks, seeing something different in it each time I open it.

I have already started thinking about things to add to my mood boards. I am going to be using Pinterest to create these, so if you are interested in seeing how the room ideas come together, follow me on there.

Having said that there weren’t enough very small spaces, I do think that the inclusion of floor plans against every flat and/or house featured was great. It really lets you see the varied and wonderful ways that stylists and design bloggers use space in their own home.

Really these spreads above were selected totally at random. I couldn’t choose which to put in because there is something I like on almost every page. It makes me want to be in our new flat immediately. If you are looking for home inspiration, I would highly recommend it. I know that my future home will never be as tidy (or as perfectly disorganised) as the homes on show in this book, but there are endless ideas which I will be using when (fingers crossed all goes well) we move into our new home.

Holly is going to be in the UK at the Decorex Love Design show in London at the end of September. I am gutted that I am going to miss her as I will be away that weekend/early half of that week, but if you are around, go along and let me know how it goes!

Buy Decorate from Amazon


2 Responses to “Book review: Decorate”

  1. Holly Becker 06/09/2011 at 11:30 am #

    Hello! I’m so glad that you liked Decorate! I’m not sure if you were aware of it or not, but to reach many readers the properties shown are located in Europe and in America and in many different sized homes.

    For instance, in Copenhagen, we shot at a home with about 500 square feet, in NYC Rita Konig’s apartment was two rooms, Liz Bauer’s was one room and Alayne Patrick’s was one room – in fact 1/3 of the spaces in the book were 2 rooms or less and 1/3 were also rental properties making it inspiring to those who don’t live in large properties.

    But of course, to appeal to everyone, we needed to also include larger city apartments (like Jonathan Adler’s), homes in the country, homes in the ‘burbs, etc. so the balance was absolutely necessary since the book isn’t about Small Homes or Small Spaces, but rather focuses on IDEAS for decorating. I curated properties that had good ideas so that the focus wasn’t on size but on the ability to apply the ideas in any home, rental or owned, large or small. I’m glad I could explain a bit of the reasoning behind the spaces chosen and thank you again for your wonderful review!


  2. Katie 06/09/2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Thanks for letting me know, Holly – they probably look much bigger because they are using the space way better than I am at the minute!

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