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116 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interior style for real life
One of my grubbiest, guiltiest pleasures is 'You' magazine, which comes free with [shameface] the 'Mail on Sunday'. Even if you don't share my unhealthy interest in the shiny hair and vast wardrobes of minor celebrities, you'd have to agree that the visuals which accompany the magazine's articles are regularly gorgeous.

Over the last couple of weeks, 'You' has...
Published on 8 Dec 2011 by Third Time Lucky

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for design idea's
This book is very beautifully put together and easy to read. I had hoped there would be more hands on projects that I could create myself but would still recommend for anyone who is interested in design or looking for ideas.
Published 24 months ago by Sarah Butler


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116 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interior style for real life, 8 Dec 2011
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This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
One of my grubbiest, guiltiest pleasures is 'You' magazine, which comes free with [shameface] the 'Mail on Sunday'. Even if you don't share my unhealthy interest in the shiny hair and vast wardrobes of minor celebrities, you'd have to agree that the visuals which accompany the magazine's articles are regularly gorgeous.

Over the last couple of weeks, 'You' has been serialising 'Making a House Your Home', the new book by its Lifestyle Editor, Clare Nolan. Although I loved the excerpts, I was hesitating over buying - it's Christmas, I'm skint, and I really don't need another interiors book, as you can see from my other reviews.

Then I discovered it was almost half price on Amazon, and I'd hit the lethal One-Click button before I knew it.

Very often, I'm disappointed with these media-led purchases; magazines invariably select the best pictures and content, so the actual book never lives up to the initial marketing hype. Surprisingly, 'Making a House Your Home' is even better than the extracts used in the press.

This book is very unusual in that it isn't about a famous interior designer's signature look, and doesn't only feature the homes of the plainly loaded. There's no encouragement to knock down walls, build ambitious new extensions, or call in professionals. As the title suggests, the emphasis is on styling: working with wallpapers and paints, furniture, fabrics and possessions to decorate, organise and personalise your own house.

Okay, there's no denying that most of the rooms photographed are big and airy, have proper architectural features, and contain a lot of expensive, lovely props. If you enjoy a bit of property porn, you'll recognise the three-figure designer cushions, the four-figure rugs, and the furniture that comes with its own surname. I did a fair amount of eye-rolling at all these design hipster clichés, but also found some great makeover inspiration for my Ikea and hand-me-downs.

Many of the ideas here are temporary or portable, and therefore relevant even if renting or pre-renovation. I loved the ubiquitous Expedit bookcase, plywood storage boxes and cheap chest of pine drawers covered in wallpaper samples, and the garden shed transformed by painting it a chic shade of grey. On page 11 is the cutest photo-collage, which anyone could knock up in front of the telly over a couple of rainy afternoons. I've already stacked my outsize books next to a chair so they can be used as a side-table, stored my necklaces in pretty junkshop teacups, and sewn a ribbon around my boring white tablecloth (well, actually, I used iron-on hemming. You can have that tip for free, Clare).

The lovely pictures aren't the only attraction. I have literally hundreds of interiors books and magazines, and the text of this one is easily amongst the most useful. Nolan gives her professional guidance on topics such as zoning, colour shading, and sightlines, and good practical advice on everything from floral arrangement frogs to buying mattresses and getting rid of pet smells. There are clear 'how to' instructions, and many of the rooms are deconstructed to show just how and why they work. Most design books are quickly forgotten, but this one was an excellent buy and I can see myself referring back to it often.

Of course there are some very minor annoyances with the book, which I should mention if only to prove this is a genuine review. The numerous pictures of the author looking winsome - in classic Daily Mail girlie-airhead poses - are naff and unnecessary. They trivialise her as a writer and design professional, and I hope they'll be removed in subsequent editions, along with the many spelling and punctuation errors. If we're being told to shop around, I'd prefer it if the shops photographed weren't all on Chelsea's King's Road. Like a lot of interiors books at the moment, the featured homes mostly favour a very eclectic, colourful, and crafted look, and those who like elegance, minimalism and the "wow factor" in their rooms will find these ones hokey and cluttered. I'd venture most men won't like them at all.

But if you're a fan of boot sales and flea markets, old-fashioned upholstery, Etsy, the Anthropologie stores, the 'Domino' magazine compilation book and Holly Becker's Decor 8 blog, you'll absolutely adore 'Making a House Your Home'. Its origins may lie with the most embarrassing newspaper in Britain, but I was absolutely delighted with it, and would recommend it highly, especially as a present for friends and family setting up home for the very first time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good focus on small achievable home improvements, 23 May 2012
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This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
I'm always worried when I buy books like these thAt they'll be full of pictures of massive rooms (which I don't have), expensive antique furniture (which I don't have), or stupid suggestions that you spend more time or money on your home than you actually have. Luckily this book did not disappoint; it does have SOME photos of rooms and furniture which I'm sure the majority of the population don't enjoy but there's not too many. As the title states, it really is about how to make YOUR house a better home. I personally really enjoy this book, it makes me focus more on the little things that are more achievable. I dip into it every now and again and it fills me with fresh heart and my house normally looks a little better the following day thanks to whatever improvement the book has inspired me to make. And it has a ribbon. What more could a person want.
Only reason it's not getting 5* is because there are a fair few pages which have what in my opinion is quite boring/obvious advice and I'd have rathered it been filled with more inspirational photos or more handy tips from the author!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational - Fantastic Book!, 6 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
Fantastic book! As someone who is not naturally talented when it comes to design this book is great full of ideas and beautifully presented.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 16 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
Brought this for my daughter, but found myself hooked to the book. Lovley phots's, great ideas, and certainly something that inspires you to put into practice. Lots of guidance and tips, If you love your home, your love this book.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, 11 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
I bought this book after reading the reviews on Amazon. This book is great. Full of practical advice, it is not a coffee table but a book that will help you creating and personalising your home. Love it and highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book of that kind, 11 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
I have already bought at least 10 different books that promised the same as Clare Noland's book but none of them was so great. you get great ideas, lovely pictures (that have not been reprinted from somewhere else), practical advice concerning so many different things that I was totally amazed. Can look through the book and reread it for hours. A very good buy, perfect for a present as well, as it is not just about one particular style. she suggests different ways, patters etc. Simply love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making a house your home, 16 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
When buying books like this I usually borrow them from the library first to see if they are as good as I hope they are. This book is brilliant - it is not condescending, that is it doesn't assume we all live in palatial homes, enormous loft apartments (how do people heat those?) or grand estates and it doesn't assume that you have a massive fortune to play with. It gives sensible ideas that most of us can aspire to and can tweak to fit our own humble abodes. Also there are handy hints - getting rid of dents in carpets, getting rid of smells, etc. There are loads of pictures, one reviewer thought they were too much, but I loved it. It also realises that people live in their houses and doesn't show acres of gleaming white floorboards, have their owners learned to levitate?, there are never any scuff marks or kitchens the size of a small country minus any appliances - it is a "lived in book" and I would recommend it to anyone who needs a bit of help to get their home just right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spongy, 26 April 2012
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This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
Love this book, great ideas for display and interiors. Superb photography. Enables me to indulge in my love of interiors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 18 April 2012
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This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
Full of lovely pictures and very practical advice - not your average (well beyond any sane person's means) decoration book, but much more focussed on giving character and warmth to your family home through essentially feminine touches. It looks great on the coffee side table too ...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous inspiring book, 14 April 2012
This review is from: Making a House Your Home: The Essential Guide to Modern Day Homemaking (Hardcover)
I read 10 pages in the bath every evening -this is the best decor book I have ever come across - really inspirational and a joy to read!
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