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on 3 November 2010
It really does depend on what you are looking for in a book with this title as to whether or not you will like it. It is a beautiful book and worth the Amazon price but not the retail one. However, it really is not a 'homemade home' that we are looking at. The book is filled with lovely pictures of crafted things that professionals have made, not Kirsty! From time to time Kirsty is pictured holding an item while looking nervously at it. It is not a projects book and although you will see some lovely things scattered throughout the book - you will not be shown how to make them and usually they don't even get a mention as to what they are, how they are made etc. The projects that have been included are pretty dull. Crochet is an exciting colourful medium but you get shown some dull little containers here, which is not at all reflective of what you can find if you look in other places. It's not an aspirational book if you want to make things for yourself. If you want to pay someone to make them for you, then maybe you will enjoy this more. If you have a particular interest then you are better off getting a book that both serves as a visual feast but will enable you to get started on making something really special. If quilts are your thing then try 'Material obsessions' - this gives information about how to make ALL the quilts you see. Otherwise prepare to have this book maybe whet your appetite a little but ultimately leave you starving. This book has more style than substance - a point illustrated by a dining table looking wonderful but with a rug as its covering rather than a cloth. Most people could not accommodate that look in their house - besides it doesn't tell you how to make it. It won't harm to add this book to your collection if you want a pretty coffee table book but if you seriously want to get started on a craft there are many better books and many resources online to help you.
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VINE VOICEon 15 October 2010
This isn't a purely a project book. It's a book about Kirstie's style and how she goes about achieving it. It's a very pretty book and full of inspiration and ideas. There aren't any specifically Christmas makes in the book - I hope this is because Kirsty intends to bring out more books in future years. I can understand the choice to bring out something more generic - homemade HOME - for the first book and (hopefully!) specialise subsequently.

The book is in 3 sections:

Part 1: Room by Room - includes sections on The Kitchen, The Sitting Room, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Children's Corner, and Garden and Entertaining. Each of the sections is broken down further to provide guidance on some main elements in that room; The Kitchen for example includes Storage, Worktops and Surfaces, Cookers, Displays and Dressers, Tables and Chairs, and Crocks and Pots. Kirsty goes through the house, room by room, telling you how she achieves her style. She is full of hints about how to achieve things cheaply (second hand, auctions etc). These sections are a wealth of information. Kirsty has a very nice writing style - non-preachy and very friendly, although her commonsense approach does shine through.

Part 2: Getting Stuck In - this is the crafty section. Broken down into further sections, it includes: All Sewn Up, Beautiful Things, Child's Play, Ligh Fantastic, Upholstery, Crafts to Take your Time over, Best of the Rest. Many of these crafts are recognisable from Kirsty's Homemade Home series. The Best of the Rest section includes those crafts that you can't do at home (unless you're already one of these crafts people!): Blacksmithing, Glassblowing, Pottery, Spinning and Weaving, Stained Glass, and Willow-working. Kirsty provides guidance on how to get into these crafts - there is a good section on vraft course websites at the back of the book. Delving into one the craft sections - Beautiful Things - Kirsty includes, Flower arranging, Cake decorating, Gilding glass, Soap-making, and Stencilling pictures. The step-by-step instructions are very thorough, with illustrations and photos. Often each sub (sub-sub?!) section actually includes multiple projects - there are two projects in flower arranging, and two in cake decorating. There are actually 26 projects - that's not at all bad given that, for some, we are talking about full knitting patterns and chair renovations!

The final section is called Search and Find: Here Kirsty shares her hints and tips on sourcing old things. Broken down into further sub-sections: Choosing second-hand, Antiques Shopping, Auctions, Salvage and Reclaimation Yards, Markets, Skip-diving, and the Internet. To quote Kirsty 'There are numerous TV programmes and books that talk about money and antiques. This book is not one of them. I say buy what you want for the best price you can negotiate, and, unless it's a major investment (i.e. something you might need to sell one rainy day) don't worry about what it's worth. What's important is what it's worth to you. How much would you be prepared to part with to have that item in your home?'. I like that: go your own sweet way on what works for you. This section really is quite a treasure trove of encouragement and ideas on how to source things.

The book ends with a directory: numerous contacts and internet addresses. Admittedly, by location, quite a few of the auction/antique houses are in Devon or London, but Kirsty does include plenty of internet sources. This section alone is 15 pages long - I've not seen so many sources in any other book of this type!

The pages are non gloss and littered with lovely photos. Even the section headings are beautifully drawn. This is a book I will refer to again and again - maybe only to dream, but we all need those! I hope Kirsty brings us more.
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on 26 January 2011
Now I should say before we start that I really am a bit of a Kirstie fan. She is a woman after my own heart. Aside from the fact that she is 'just a little bit posh', she clearly enjoys the good things in life (that is to say, cake, craft and shoes!) This book is the product of her recent Channel 4 series 'Kirstie's Homemade Home' in which she draws on the advice of numerous craft experts to create unique, handmade items for her charming Devon home.

Before I delve into the content of this book I should say that it just looks and feels gorgeous. It is a chunky hardback containing 223 pages of beautifully styled, creative inspiration, printed on thick, matte paper. It literally oozes good, old fashioned British style. The pages are well laid out and contain numerous stunning photographs, many of Kirstie's own home.

The book is divided into 3 parts.

Part 1, Room by Room, is all about inspiring the reader. Kirstie takes you through her house, room by room, and offers ideas and suggestions to help you achieve her beautiful style (think: vintage, shabby chic, handmade and just a little bit kitsch. Cath Kidston meets Martha Stewart in Liberty's). This part is well organised and packed with information. For example, the bedroom section includes ideas about beds and quilts, mattresses, bedroom rugs, walls, pictures and plates, layout and storage and curtains and cushions. Kirstie encourages readers to scour second hand shops and go to auctions to achieve the homemade home style on a budget.

Part 2 is called Getting Stuck In - the crafty bit, hurrah! There are lots of lovely projects to attempt. This part is divided up into the following sections: all sewn up (sewing), beautiful things (such as flower arranging, cake decorating and soap making), child's play (cute projects, suitable for making with the kids), light fantastic (candles and lampshades), upholstery, crafts to take your time over (such as mosaic making and knitting) and 'the best of the rest'.

The project tutorials include lovely photographs of the finished articles, although there aren't many 'process' photographs. These tend to be given as illustrations. The projects I think I will probably try are soap making, a quilted patchwork cushion and flower arranging.

Whilst most of the projects are quite charming, the one that I was a little bit surprised with was the knitting project. It is a 'house' tea cozy, knitted in garter stitch. It really doesn't seem to fit with the style of the other projects. It looks just a little bit too homemade! (Not usually a bad thing, but in this case I think it is).

Part 3 is all about 'sourcing old stuff' (nicely put, Kirstie). Think: the internet, markets, auctions, second hand shops, salvage and reclamation yards and skip diving (although I really cannot see Kirstie diving into a skip, she is too much of a lady!) This part also contains an extensive directory of suppliers' addresses and websites.

I love this book. You can probably tell. Kirstie's writing style is conversational and quirky and the photographs will make you drool! There are some nice projects in there, but this really isn't a book of tutorials. So if you are buying for the sole purpose of finding projects to make, then this may not be the book for you. It's about how to achieve a style akin to Kirstie's homemade home, with some handmade project thrown in for good measure.

Enjoy!
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on 23 December 2010
Just bought this book for the wife for christmas. I was just flicking through it before i wrapped it up and noticed on two of the pages (104 and 112) that the print was all blurred. I have contacted the publishers and am awaiting a reply. There is a fair chance that most copies will be affected.
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on 2 January 2011
This is worth £8 but it would have been a rip-off at the original price. Kirsty has loads of enthusiasm and some goods ideas, but over ond over again you feel you're reading a book written by a rich woman with time and money to browse antique markets to 'get things right'. There are some anomalies: she says she hates cushions on beds, but they're piled high in the photos; she tries to recycle wherever possible but ripped out two brand new bathrooms when she moved into her Devon cottage because she wanted a different style. However, I like that spirit of the book: putting in home-made touches in every room and going for an eclectic, 'cosy' look that reflects your personality. One other thing: Kirsty uses the phrases 'an arm and a leg','for a song', and 'my other half' rather a lot.
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on 15 October 2010
I bought this book because I had watched both programmes, Kirstie's Homemade Home and Kirstie's Homemade Christmas. I really enjoyed the programmes and on that I pre-ordered this book.

However after a two month wait it turned up on the day of release. With much excitement I began reading.

Half of the book covers interior-design and how to arrange things to look nice. There is actually only 23 projects to do and if like me you're mad about making things yourself I don't think you'll enjoy this book on those grounds alone. There is also a huge section at the back of the book that goes into searching for things at markets and so on and 'name dropping' at the back of the book that lists people she has mentioned in the book and the programme and where you can find more information or courses.

So, I'm left feeling a bit disappointed as there is nothing in the book from her Christmas programme (shown last year), maybe it's not supposed too but I think that would have made the book better. I'm just glad I didn't pay the full RRP!!
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on 25 November 2010
This book is great, with some brilliant ideas for interior design. It all also contains some beautiful photography, however I was a little disappointed I was expecting more patterns and craft projects. The projects that are in the book are very good, I am looking forward to making a rag rug. There definitely aren't enough projects in this book to completely redesign your home. It would make a nice gift for someone with an interest in craft though, my Mother in law has already asked for a copy for her Christmas present.
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on 2 January 2011
After watching Kirstie's Homemade Home TV series I was extremely disappointed with this book. I thought the book would be like the series full of useful information, tips on "How to make things" & give step by step instructions. I certainly wouldn't have paid the full price & even with Amazon's price I felt it was still too much for what the book contained.
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on 17 January 2011
This is an absolutely amazing book: full of inspiration. Kirstie brings everything to life with love. I absolutely adore this book and everything it offers to me, including excitement over ideas, the know-how to carry them through, passion to create and learn even more. Kirstie is a legend and if she publishes any more like this, I will be buying them too!! I highly recommend this book; quite simply, it's a joy to read and should inspire anyone with a creative bent and even those who don't! There are ideas about Quilt making, rug making, how to make your own candles and soap and lots more. It's a fantastic book; even the colours and layout of the pages are lovely.
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on 30 April 2013
This was bought for me as a gift for my kindle. It doesn't work as a kindle book. Although the paper format is very colourful and pretty, the kindle relies on more actual content. I got bored reading about Kirsty taking wool from her own sheep to a woman who spins wool and makes handmade rugs and the like. I learnt nothing except that for Kirsty, money is no object. Reading on the kindle instead of in glorious technicolour, I wasn't blown away by the beauty of the book, I was just a tad insulted that Kirsty either used professional crafts people, or she talked me through how to sew a lavender bag!
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