A Really Good Read...
"The point of decorating, as far as I can tell, is to create the background for the best life you can have... starting with what you want your house to do, how you want it to make you feel..."
I recently finished reading The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman, founding editor of Domino Magazine. I'm ashamed to say that when I first cracked the book open, I was a little disappointed to see all watercolor illustrations and no photos. Yes, I am one of those lazy people who often buy design books, drools over pages and pages of photos, and rarely read the accompanying paragraphs.
However, the beauty of the illustrations in Needleman's book (aside from their actual beauty-they really are pretty) is that they force you to read what she's written. What she's written is a concise, witty, brilliant handbook for decorating the home.
The Perfectly Imperfect Home is full of funny anecdotes, experienced wisdom, imaginative observations, and even matter-of-fact instructions, such as the proper way to fold a bath towel. Not to worry; One of the best parts about this book is that she delivers all of her guidelines and advice with a grain of salt: the understanding that no home is perfect and rules are made to be broken. This allows us to move freely across the boundaries of her decorating parameters, leaving the reader (or me) with the comforting confirmation that some of the best parts of our homes are their imperfections.
Here are some of my favorite insights from the book:
"The simple secret is making sure that every decorating decision contributes to the creation of beauty and comfort. Beauty to uplift our senses (to transcend the mundane) and comfort to make us feel taken care of (to embrace us in the mundane)."
"An element of quirkiness in your decor shows that you do not take decorating, or, by extension, yourself too seriously."
"Fortunately, decorating is about trying to bring our desires in line with reality."
"Good decoration solves problems elegantly. A stylish home is highly functional and reflects the best possible look for your life, budget, and mode of living (even your peculiarities), and the problems and advantages of the place you live in."