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The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well [Hardcover]

Deborah Needleman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 13.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 May 2012

The Perfectly Imperfect Home is a must-have guide to choosing the 80 essential items you need for furnishing and decorating your home, expertly written by Deborah Needham, founder of Domino magazine.

Featuring original watercolour illustrations of decorators’ own homes, the book sets out how to select everything from the big stuff (a doted-on bed, a couch that will last generations) to quirky accents (an interesting-looking chair, a mix of textiles on a table). It is often the individual pieces, from chairs to china, mirrors to vases, that help you to express your personality, add style and beauty to a home and make everyone in it feel comfortable, glamorous and well-cared for.

The inspiring design and approachable tone of The Perfectly Imperfect Home puts it a cut above the competition. Witty and wonderful essays and quick-reference sidebars highlight each of the 80 essentials, offering histories, offbeat uses and really useful styling tips.

Decorating a home can be intimidating, but here are 80 essentials that make it manageable and fun.

Frequently Bought Together

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well + Domino: the Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy + Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking
Price For All Three: 44.20

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jacqui Small LLP (4 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906417709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906417703
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 20.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 219,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Deborah Needleman is a terrific editor - of words, and now, of rooms and living spaces. In her very readable book, "The Perfectly Imperfect Home," the author offers her advice and expertise on a very important subject - how to make your house your home. She includes succinct advice from the great decorators, sage commentary on what to keep and what to throw away, and valuable rules for what to add to a room to make it exactly right - for you and your family.

(Martha Stewart )

I used to think that my taste was so irredeemable and so rooted in some kind of male, post-college, National Football League time warp - I own a green velour couch! - that no one, not even Deborah Needleman, could help me. I was wrong.

(Malcolm Gladwell )

'like a well worn, favourite pair of comfy slippers. I've been savouring it'

(Dear Designer blog )

A guide to the essential principals of home decorating...relevant to any size of home or budget.

(Utopia Kitchen and Bathroom )

Under such cutely entitled concepts as Jollifers and Glamifications, this hands-on style guru gives on-trend advice about lighting, bedmaking and flower arranging. Move over Martha Stewart. 

(The Lady )

About the Author

Deborah Needleman is the Internationally known editor-in-chief and creative mastermind behind Domino magazine - a cultural touchstone that amassed more than a million subscribers in just four years. Now the editor-in-chief of WSJ Magazine, Deborah is a widely published expert on interior design, style, and gardening. Virginia Johnson’s illustrations have appeared in books by Kate Spade and on textiles carried in stores such as Liberty, Barneys in New York and Net-a-Porter.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A complete waste of money 31 July 2012
By Mrs. K.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book's images of interiors are not what one would expect to be the lifeblood of such book - good quality interiors photos. Instead, every single illustration is a watercolour, often so simplistic it looks like something a 10-year old would paint. On the cover this is acceptable because it looks pretty and whimsical; but when watercolours make the entire content, this renders the book utterly useless.

There is the obvious question: why on Earth would anyone think this was a good idea? One would certainly not buy an interiors magazine if photos were replaced by wobbly naive watercolours. So why do this in a book? There is no inspiration to be had from the illustrations, they all look unclear and very much the same. Maybe it was done for the sake of the 'art'? Well, art it ain't (I will soon add some scanned images so anyone can make their minds up, but little paintings of curtains and armchairs and sofas etc would hardly qualify as art, would they?).

And anyway, we buy this kind of book to see how other people decorate their homes, via accurate good quality photographs taken from interesting angles - not to see watercolour artists' representations of random indistinguishable rooms. By the same token, if we were interested in watercolour paintings we would not be impressed with a book of magazine photographs showing the landscapes, would we? The two media simply do not mix, and this book clearly shows what a mistake it is to think otherwise.

To make matters worse, the content and the writing style are infuriatingly patronising and simpleton-like and the same time, and so American that it quickly starts to grate for the British reader. For example: the word 'nice' is repeated ad nauseam, clearly the author cannot come up with any grown-up adjectives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am nearly finished devouring every word in this wonderful book.

It doesn't look much at first glance with it's rustic sketchy illustrations, but along with it's advice it sets out to empower rather than dictate to the reader. It's advice is universal and will span the decades.

Having completely revamped our loved 90 year old house and filled it with a collection of lovingly collected old furniture, it looked good, but not great. I was at a loss how to pull it all together and make it reflect our lives and be casual and comfy, yet elegant and interesting (I wish!)

This book is giving me lots of ideas about how to look at things differently and puts into words the elements of a warm and welcoming yet stylish house.

Rather than just giving you photos of impossibly grand and stiff rooms to copy, this book paints mental images of the goal you are aiming for and sets you on the track of the many individual ways of achieving that. Day to day variations are catered for in different moods that are appropriate and how to make your guests feel at home.

The book is as much about making your home a joy for yourself as well as your guests.

I will be keeping this book close by for years to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very very good indeed 28 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Such practical, down to earth tips to decorate your own home. The ideas are not a budget breaker but still very tasteful. A great allrounder book suitable for novelists in interior design as well as those who know their subject. I keep it at my bedside table so I can refer to it every now and when. Would make a lovely present for anyone who is into eclectic colourful interior design.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sparky style guide 18 Jan 2013
By Saxman
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this as a gift for my daughter, who has bought a new house. She thought it was excellent, and loved the illustrations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection 15 Jan 2013
This book is an absolute delight, it provides the basis of interior design with beautiful watercolours and excellent advice and tips. Yes, the book doesn't contain photos, but if you want to achieve your own design without copying other ideas then this is essential, giving the basic foundations and advice but allowing your own individuality to show through too. I couldn't recommend this book enough!
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