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The Homemade Home by Sania Pell

I must show you my new favorite book but first, I’m embarrassed to make this confession… You see, before my copy of The Homemade Home by Sania Pell arrived this morning I had never heard of this talented lady before. How could this be, she is so amazing and I’m always online and reading everything I come across! Oh well, I am so grateful that this has changed because Sania Pell is my new obsession. In fact, I just spent the past hour researching everything I could find online about her. I also snapped a few glimpses of her new book, The Homemade Home, that is available now to order on Amazon. Published by CICO Books, this gorgeous 192 page full-color book features 50 stylish and affordable projects that show you how to customize your home on a budget. All 300 photographs are by Penny Wincer, a favorite photographer of mine, so I knew the moment I saw her name on this book that I’d love the visuals. And I do — so, so much.

The Homemade Home

This book makes me happy! Do you own such books — ones that you open and immediately all is better in the world? The Homemade Home is my happy place because it embraces what I’m all about — sharing ideas and inspiration that are both accessible and give all an opportunity to inject individuality into our space to avoid that familiar catalog-feel that we want to avoid. Let’s look at some more of this book together, shall we?

The Homemade Home

The Homemade Home

The Homemade Home

There isn’t one photo I don’t like, and not one project I wouldn’t try in this book — I really like how many projects encourage you to use things that you already have – upcycling and recycling them into new items. Author and stylist Sania Pell lives and works in West London where she is married with two children. Her degree is in textiles from the Edinburgh College of Art when, after graduating, she worked for one of London’s top textile studios where her designs were brought to prestigious fashion labels such as Marks & Spencer, The Gap, Monsoon, Armani and Laura Ashley.

The Homemade Home

The Homemade Home

After 7 years in that field, Sania decided to join Elle Decoration magazine to train as a stylist and now she works for publications in England including The Sunday Telegraph and The Mail On Sunday in addition to her work as a visiting lecturer at the Edinburgh College of Art. The Homemade Home is Sania’s first sole book (congratulations Sania if you read this review)– here’s to hoping there is a second and third… I could flip through books like this all day long.

Bottom line: This book is one of my new favorites. It’s imaginative without being over-the-top,  handmade without being kitschy and tacky, and it’s a book that will encourage crafty beginner’s without frustration while equally challenging advanced creatives with new and rewarding projects.

Psst: I’m an Amazon affiliate so the links in this post to Amazon are part of my affiliate program.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on April 12, 2010

Inside Out: Desktop

I’m crazy about the 10th Anniversary Issue of Australian interiors magazine Inside Out. It just arrived in the mail 3 seconds ago (I subscribe but sadly I didn’t get the tea towel designed by the Rob Ryan with mine — wah!) and I’m already drooling on the spread called Desktop featured on pages 151-157 styled by Vanessa Colyer Tay (a favorite style editor of mine). Desktop shows how to create a space on your desk that reflects your own personal style but that also inspires you — it doesn’t give tips in text as much as visual inspiration showing a natural theme, a vintage-inspired one and finally a feminine approach — and all are stunning! In case you do not have access to the magazine, here is a glimpse of what I’m talking about… you may click to enlarge each image below to see some of the details. Because people, it’s all about the details in life – am I right?!?

Inside Out Magazine

Inside Out Magazine

Inside Out Magazine

Inside Out Magazine

I love both the natural and feminine desktops the best. The photographs were shot for the magazine by Sam McAdam who has one of the most beautiful portfolios that I’ve ever seen online — her work is styled to perfection but not fussy and it’s just gorgeous….

Isn’t this inspiring? LOVE. IT. In fact, something as simple as a few pages, expertly done of course, can give me inspiration for weeks to come…which is what makes Inside Out such a treat because with each issue I know I’m going to find plenty of goodies to satisfy the cost of my foreign subscription to their delightful magazine. If you are able, definitely pick up this issue –or subscribe –  you will adore everything in it though their 10th Anniversary Issue is by far my favorite to date. The spread on Lee Mathews and their Art Market article are also faves of mine along with the colorful home of fashion stylist Nicole Bonython-Hines – her black “Japan” flooring is stunning.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration on April 08, 2010

Elle Decor + Christine d’Ornano

Someday when I become rich and famous I want a townhouse in London. I mean, who doesn’t? And surely it’s the in thing to have when you are of the upper class… for all wealthy folks have a townhouse in some major city — and for me it shall be London. If you were rich and famous where would your townhouse be? Well dreaming aside for a moment, let’s peek at the home of Christine d’Ornano in London’s Notting Hill who comes from a truly royal cosmetics family… Her grandfather co-founded Lancome; her father launched Orlane, and later he and his wife started Sisley.

Elle Decor

Christine currently oversees the operations as Executive Vice President of Sisley in the UK and her modern eclectic townhouse is in the current issue of Elle Decor (April) and is fantastic in every way. Have a peek and read the article and see more photographs here.

Elle Decor

I love the splashes of bold color, the combination of red, pink, royal blue and green in the living room, and all of the gorgeous books and flowers. The massive windows are also to die for. This place makes me think of the summer when I was a nanny many, many years ago for the daughter of the CEO of Laura Ashley and how much I loved hanging out in their exquisite townhouse in Boston’s Back Bay. That summer was the closest I ever came to townhouse life and let me tell you… it was everything you’d imagine and more. All three floors and a roof deck more.

(Photography: Simon Upton for Elle Decor)

Posted in Books + Magazines, inspiration on April 07, 2010

Table Style: Book Review

I’ve been dying to pull together this book review for you because I just know that you’ll love it as much as I do! The book is called Table Style and was written by Rebecca Tanqueray, former Deputy Editor of Elle Decoration (UK), photographed by the fantastic Debi Treloar and styled by Liz Belton who has styled many books published by Ryland Peters & Small. To say this book is perfect isn’t enough. I need to expound. And expound I will, with some gushing too!

Table Style Review

Table Style is the decor8 book of the week and I’ll tell you why: it’s inspirational, beautiful and practical with many helpful tips that can be applied rather easily. Table Style is all about making any dinner, whether a casual one with family to a themed dinner party, a lovely occasion by making the most of what you’ve got. So many of us have things laying around that we may not have thought to use on the dinner table but this book will help you to get your creative wheels turning so that next time you see some empty canning jars in your cabinet awaiting your next jam session, well perhaps you will pull them out and display them as they are shown on pages 123-124 and also below you can catch a glimpse. It’s really a lovely and most affordable idea — in fact one of my favorites from this book.

Table Style Review

The book is divided into two main sections, the first is The Elements and it examines the components of a properly laid table because we all know how good a proper lay can be, right? :) Okay, sorry. I need to keep this professional. But I couldn’t resist. So yes, this section explains how dinnerware, flatware, napkins, flowers and candles can really influence the look and feel of mealtime.

Table Style Review

The second section, The Occasions, is brilliant. For one, I’ve not seen any of these photographs floating around on blogs so each and every view is fresh and new (which is exciting). And the occasions aren’t centered around keeping tradition as much as reinterpreting them. The Holiday table isn’t bogged down with gold, red and evergreen – rather it’s fresh and modernized with red, gray, white, natural linen and felted wool place mats and napkin rings. The 19 beautiful occasions include; classic elegant dining, a vintage tea party, children’s party, baby shower, father’s day meal, autumnal dinner, supper for two, cocktail party, relaxed supper, eastern banquet, weekend breakfast, lazy brunch, summer bbq, chic contemporary dining, mother’s day brunch, picnic in the park, christmas lunch and a garden lunch. There isn’t one that I didn’t connect with on some level, I loved them all!

Table Style Review

And then there is a final part of the book that examines place settings and shows exactly how to set your table according to the type of meal that you plan to present. I particularly loved learning how to set up for British Afternoon Tea and English Afternoon Tea and I never realized that there was a difference! Other settings include American formal, French formal, Chinese informal and Japanese informal. We love Japanese food but I never knew how to properly set the table for some of my favorite Japanese bites until now.

Table Style Review

I highly, highly suggest this book to any lover of entertaining, styling, food and those of you who simply love to look at beautiful, inspirational images for ideas and inspiration. Table Style is a joy!

Disclaimer: As an Amazon affiliate, I earn 4% on the sale of this book if purchased through this link.

(images: holly becker for decor8)

Posted in Books + Magazines on March 31, 2010

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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