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It felt like a blogger putting together a collage-montage of blogs. Can't call it a book. One get get furtherer and free of charge with touring the blogs such as "mad about the house" or Erin Gates blog.
As another reviewer has also mentioned, the lack of diversity in this book is noticeable. The author sounds like a lovely person and I think she does have good insights about what makes a home. However, while in her prose she celebrates difference and minimises the importance of money, the homes she chooses to feature are only the expensive abodes of white people. Even the house that’s in Morocco! I would love to see the author follow up with a volume that is more socioeconomically and culturally inclusive.
The book description says that fifteen homes from across the world will be covered, giving the impression that there will be a collection of different styles/cultures. Honestly though, while the photos were of good quality, if each home wasn't separated by title they could have easily been the same one. They all have the same pale shabby chic scandi/nordic aesthetic and the people pictured all appear to be from the same demographic you would expect of this style.
Nothing I could relate to so decided to return it and feel the book description should really reflect the lack of variation better.
To me, this book has a dual character. The photographs of people who live in simply beautiful homes are interesting and inspiring to look at. The author's writing, however, earnest and sincere as it is meant, is full of cliches and platitudes about how to be happy in a home and that it's happiness that makes a home. The examples in the book are chosen because the people who live in these homes are beautiful, original and talented at making their homes inviting and shall I say, artistic? That the text then goes on to talk about how to prioritize when to buy furniture or make improvements according to one's financial status or place in one's career seems out of place alongside the sophistication of the visual portraits included in the book. In a way, the text sounds like a self-help guide with quotes sprinkled in from famous people like Lin Yutang. It seems to me that the creative and happy people portrayed in the book don't really need that kind of advice and that the sophisticated simplicity of their homes appear contradictory to the kind of primer the author provides.