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Kevin McCloud's Principles of Home: Enjoying Life in the 21st Century [Paperback]

Kevin McCloud
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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This title will be released on August 6, 2015.
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Book Description

6 Aug 2015

New, practical paperback edition of the landmark design manifesto from the UK’s favourite design guru.

In this inspirational yet also practical paperback Kevin explores all areas of domestic living, from materialism to sustainability, craftsmanship to comfort. Kevin’s beautifully written text brings insight and understanding to enjoying life in the 21st century, but crucially he offers detailed, helpful and incisive advice on design, construction and style.

Kevin addresses very real and solvable domestic issues: What is the perfect kitchen layout? How to create a feeling of space in traditionally sized rooms? How to create an extension that works? How best to choose colour for function? What to use for insulation? How to shop for second hand? And how best to manage home waste and recycling?

An inspiring but always usable book from the foremost voice in modern architectural design.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (6 Aug 2015)
  • ISBN-10: 0007425058
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007425051
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,007,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


‘A landmark piece of interiors publishing…an inspiring but always usable book from the foremost voice in modern architectural design’. – Henley Standard

‘Both inspirational and practical, each of the 43 principles addresses very real domestic issues’ – Guernsey Now

Quotes on Kevin

‘a serious man of taste and integrity’ The Observer

‘like most television naturals, Kevin McCloud has an unmediated quality which comes across as effortless… (the) David Attenborough of the building site’ The Guardian

‘passionate; knowledgeable; eloquent and basically everything that most TV presenters are not’ The Independent

‘Kevin McCloud can enthuse over a simple joist like no one else. This is a man who actually enjoys watching concrete dry… his enthusiasm is so infectious’ The Observer

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Kevin McCloud is best known as presenter of Channel 4's BAFTA-nominated ‘Grand Designs’, now in its tenth series. He writes books and articles about decoration, design, lighting and colour, and is editor-at-large of Grand Designs magazine. In addition, Kevin is a product and lighting designer and has produced ranges of furniture, lighting and tableware for high street names.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed. Reviews shown are from other formats of this item.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Principles, not demonstrations 12 Dec 2010
By kbwong
I really like this book. It's not about DIY per se, nor decorating, nor Grand Designing your home. (So if you bought this book expecting, perhaps a little investigating beforehand might be useful next time.) It's about what it says on the front cover: Kevin McCloud's 45 Principles of Home. It's a philosophy, a way of looking at Home, how we make a Home, how we feel about Home, how we live in our Home. I like especially the philosophy that there's no such thing as an eco-home, but simply an eco-way of living, that it's not what we're living in that matters, but how we live in what we have.

I must admit I didn't expect the book to be amusing, as well. (McCloud's description of trying to set a bale of hay on fire had me giggling throughout.) That's a bit of a plus. And the design of the book is really truly good, which is encouraging and shows McCloud's publisher going out on a limb to follow McCloud's principles for his book. (I am particularly pleased with the citations being in the margins of the book, rather than at the end.)

Another reviewer said they found some of the insights to be "insulting", by which I assume they mean "simple" or "basic". I have no problems with that. For some people, they will be new, and I think McCloud was more interested in completeness of philosophy than making sure he wasn't insulting someone's assumed level of experience and knowledge. People have to start somewhere, after all.

All in all, I've really enjoyed reading this, and am already recommending it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant philosophical journey 30 Dec 2010
I was looking for some ideas for redesigning our kitchen and saw this. I had seen it reviewed and thought it might be quite interesting. And what a find it is. Every chapter is a treatise on ecological and philosphical living; but not written in an overbearing or highbrow way; it is very practical and offers many useful ideas of living with in our planet's means. A lot to digest so probably it is best taken in small chunks. The quotations and 'conversations' with other interesting authors and scietntists are very valuable. I thoroughly recommend this if you are 'green' and keen on living well but wanting to look after our planet.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For anyone who is doing their home up, as we are, there is something that will make you think about your approach and indeed your approach to life. The book is less about overall house design and more about the detail of living in one, in fact the theme of the book is largely about being green with some excellent pointers on what is important and what is not. An interesting read that I am sure will influence our thinking to some extent.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Gift 30 Nov 2010
By Beth H
A beautiful modern coffee table book whose content is also informative and challenging! The book was thoughtful and forward looking about the way we live, our homes, our 'stuff', how to choose things for our homes, what beauty is, what works and what does not and how to make your own choices. Kevin went to some lengths to talk about where it might be worth spending money and where not to bother, to live well. And his home-spun experiments to test materials were quite funny. He must have an understanding family! I find it hard to describe how a book, which is quite technical in places, can also be so beautiful and interesting. I bought two, gave them as gifts and got genuine looking thanks!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By judev
A rather large , heavy , non-glossy book full of the ' wisdoms' that Kevin shared in Grand design series, I really like his writing but not sure how someone who was not familiar with his work would feel. A bit heavy to read in bed but worth dipping into for some guidance and ideas , great 'Green' influence.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Less can be more 20 Nov 2010
By K R
considering the weighty content, preaching paired down design with ecological sensibility, the book is over-long, over-heavy, overstated and the ink gives off fumes. It's a big thick impressive book, but maybe it could be more incisive and useful in a shorter, slimmer, edited version?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic McCloud, with a twist... 25 Sep 2013
By Mr I.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Classic, rambling McCloud, but all the better for it, albeit not quite what I expected.

I guess what I was expecting was a treatise on internal or external architecture.
What you get is more a philosophy of living, and how that (should) shape(s) your home and how your home shapes you.
Delightfully green and left field with more than a hint of agent provocateur, and why joined up thinking makes sense.
Yes, it does get round to architecture, and design (it's big on design), and recycling, and a shed load of other things as well.
And why it's OK to drive a gas guzzler (one careful owner with very, very low mileage), and beautiful 1960's Hofler bass guitars.

An enjoyable rollercoaster!
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