Books to inspire your own decor epiphanies
Forget cookie-cutter design: this fall’s new interior-decorating books are all about giving your home personality—and not someone else’s. Whether it’s delving into your emotional attachment to certain curios or helping you dig out your favourite collections for display, these books give bold ideas about putting your personal stamp on your home.
The First Apartment Book (Random House/Clarkson Potter, $28.99)
Designer Kyle Schuneman looks at ways to bring big style to a small space—on an even smaller budget. The vibe is hip, as Schuneman breaks down looks for 10 distinct apartments: the Art Lover, the Free Spirit, the Preppy, the Roommates, the Collector, the Schlar, the Rebel, the Homebody, the Bohemian, and the Couple. (Recognize yourself in there?) How-to sidebars and tool guides are geared to the first-time apartment-dweller. Some of our favourite projects? We love the Collector’s displays of vintage German shepherd ceramics, his homemade tennis-racket mirrors, and a retro postcard board. The Rebel has dip-dye curtains, while the Homebody has a living room with a textural mix of wood-grain wallpaper, herringbone rug, fuzzy pillows, and rough log coffee table. Make-your-own artwork, wall stencils, and vinyl-record headboards: they’re all here.
Happier At Home (Random House, $29.95)
Bestselling The Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin turns her attention to the home front. She delves much deeper than surface décor, looking at everything from time management to building family relationships. Check out her first chapter, called “Possessions”, a meditation on decluttering and the way to find happiness in things we already own. Learn how to “cultivate a shrine” out of objects you love or that define you; for Rubin that means displaying a once tucked-away china pink flamingo that reminds her of her grandparents and creating photo galleries around her home. But she also explains how to part with things that drag you down. The aim? Creating a “place of safety, of exploration, comfort, and love”. Call it feel-good decorating—or as she puts it, true interior (as in your inner self) design.
The Things That Matter (Random House, $39.95)
Big Apple interior designer Nate Berkus (who wrote Home Rules) helps you create a home that tells a story about who you are. He tells the tales of his own cherished finds, with lots of photos of how he displays them in his home—think old iron book shelves carefully set with antique picture frames, vases, books, and statuettes. Then he visits the unique houses and apartments of 12 others: there’s Barri Leiner Grant’s Chicago abode, with its shelves spilling over with mirrors, figurines, family photos, heart-shaped rocks, and vintage wooden boxes; or Brooke and Michael Hainey’s rich piles of art and fashion books, quirky painting groupings, and collection of shoes (displayed in a French, silk-lined curio cabinet). Eclectic design with plenty of human stories behind the eccentric objects.