I recently bought a copy of this book with a gift card, and I'm so happy I did. This is not your typical home decor book: It makes you think and look at your space completely differently than most books. Nolan challenges you to think about how you and your family live because fulfilling your family's needs and wants will create a happier home. In looking at a space, Nolan suggests creating a "Lust-list" and a "Must-list." She contends that lists help focus the mind, and by dreaming big (Lust-list) and then focusing on the reality of what you truly have and can afford will help you arrive at a practical solution.
Clare Nolan likes to use sketchbooks like the ones above to contain mood boards and lists.
Making a House Your Home is well-organized, and there are lots of mood boards for inspiration. One of my favorite sections is "Do sweat the small stuff." Sometimes it truly is the little things, especially those things you use every single day. She uses great examples in the book, but in our home it would be a sturdy teapot, comfortable and soft sheets, easy access to favorite mugs, convenient vertical space to place books, nondrying soap, and a soy candles. Since these little things matter every single day these are the things that are splurge-worthy. I also enjoyed the pages dedicated to flower arranging.
Nolan focuses on all the senses in the book. I enjoyed the section on scent.
Many of the sections are dedicated to specific rooms, and although some of the tips are intuitive, many of them are not. The Living Room section (especially the Creating Tablescapes page) is wonderful. The Home Office section with its pages on personal passions is also neat, and I'll never look at a master bathroom the same way ever again: I love the bathroom section!
There are several tutorials in the book including the gorgeous chest above.
This book is helpful for everyone, whether you're just starting out in your first home, or are an empty nester in need of downsizing. There's great advice in the book on how to reassess your needs after a few years as our needs are constantly changing. I will definitely keep this book for a very long time for this reason.
I wanted to try one of the tutorials from the book that was super easy: Dust-Free Potpourri
Mix together a few drops of essential oil to a small bowl or cup full of rock salt.
I suggest Aveda essential oils. I used rose!
Candle by Angèle Parlange, New Orleans
This little carnival glass bowl is in our powder room.
Have you read any neat home decor books lately? If so, please share!
Until next time…